Hollywood writers and studios reach tentative agreement to end historic 146-day strike

Hollywood screenwriters and studios have reached a tentative agreement to end the writers strike that has brought the TV and movie industry to a standstill for nearly five months.

The Writers Guild of America announced the deal late Sunday with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the group that represents studios, streaming services and producers in negotiations.

"The WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement," the Writers Guild West posted Sunday on X, formerly Twitter. "This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who stood with us for over 146 days."

The three-year contract agreement must be approved by the guild's board and members before the strike officially ends. There is still no deal between Hollywood actors and the studios; the 160,000-member Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has been on strike since July.

A tentative deal was reached to end Hollywood’s writers strike after nearly five months.
A tentative deal was reached to end Hollywood’s writers strike after nearly five months.

SAG-AFTRA congratulated the WGA negotiators in a statement posted Sunday.

"We look forward to reviewing the terms of the WGA and AMPTP's tentative agreement," the actors union statement said. "And we remain ready to resume our own negotiations with the AMPTP as soon as they are prepared to engage on our proposals in a meaningful way."

President Joe Biden weighed in Monday with a statement from the White House applauding the agreement "that will allow writers to return to the important work of telling the stories of our nation, our world."

After months of stalled talks, the prolonged writers strike surged to an agreement after a rare joint meeting Sept. 20 between union officials and four top media CEOs: Disney's Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery's David Zaslav, NBCUniversal Studio Group's Donna Langley and Netflix's Ted Sarandos.

The marathon meetings continued through the weekend, leading to Sunday's breakthrough announcement.

The writers strike began May 3 after 11,500 WGA members stopped working when their contract expired, beginning the first writers strike since the 100-day walkout in 2007-08. SAG-AFTRA, the Hollywood actors union, voted to join screenwriters on the picket lines July 14 in the first joint strike in more than six decades.

Screenwriters have fought for increased pay and over the size of diminished writing staffs on shows in the streaming era, as well as issues such as the use of artificial intelligence in creating scripts.

TV and movie production has been brought to a halt as a result of the work stoppage. All the TV late-night shows, staffed by writers who create monologues and jokes for their hosts, immediately went dark, including NBC's "The Tonight Show," Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and CBS' "Late Show With Stephen Colbert."

Daytime talk shows such as "The Drew Barrymore Show," "The Jennifer Hudson Show" and CBS' "The Talk" stopped production. All three TV shows had made plans to restart production earlier this month amid the strike but reversed themselves after social media backlash and picketers. A settlement would mean they can resume airing immediately.

When will it end? Hollywood holds its breath as dual actors, writers' strike drags on

Networks rearranged their fall TV schedules to deal with the lack of new shows, filling prime time with reruns, reality and game shows. If a strike persisted into October, the entire TV season could have been wiped out.

Now, if the actors follow suit and reach a speedy settlement, production on scripted TV shows could begin in a matter of weeks and new episodes could be ready to air by early next year.

Contributing: Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press

More: Drew Barrymore's talk show to return amid strike; WGA plans to picket outside studio

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Writers strike ends: Hollywood screenwriters, studios reach agreement