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Hollywood Writers to Review Tentative Deal That Could End Strike

The union representing Hollywood's striking writers says the tentative agreement reached with major studios is "not perfect," but calls the 14-week-long strike "a success."

In a memo e-mailed to its more than 10,000 members, leaders of the Writers Guild of America say the agreement sets out guidelines to pay writers for programs that are presented through "new media" such as the Internet or handheld devices.

Members of the striking guild meet Saturday in New York and Los Angeles to review terms of the settlement.

If the writers do not object to the proposed three-year agreement, the strike could end as early as Monday, putting dozens of television shows back into production and thousands of actors and crew members back to work. However, it could be a month or two before new shows are on the air.

It is estimated the strike has cost both sides hundreds of millions of dollars.

The writers will not vote on the proposal when they get details of the deal, but they will have a chance to voice their support or opposition.

The strike began in November when members of the Writer's Guild of America walked out over producers' refusal to give them a greater share of the proceeds from sales of digital reproductions of TV shows and films, as well as programs shown on the Internet and other digital outlets.

The strike by the more than 10,000 writers, the first in nearly 20 years, shut down production on virtually all scripted weekly and daily television shows and affected work on feature films.

The entertainment industry employs about 225,000 people and contributes an estimated $30 billion a year to the economy of Los Angeles, where major studios are located.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.