Writers Strike Is Officially Over

Striking Hollywood writers are going back to work.

The Writers Guild of America said its members voted Tuesday to end their devastating, three-month strike that brought the entertainment industry to a standstill.

Writers will go back to work Wednesday after voting in Beverly Hills and New York.

"At the end of the day, everybody won. It was a fair deal and one that the companies can live with, and it recognizes the large contribution that writers have made to the industry," said Leslie Moonves, chief executive officer of CBS Corp.

Moonves was among the media executives who helped broker a deal after talks between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers collapsed in acrimony.

One winner in the vote was the Academy Awards, which can now be staged Feb. 24 without the threat of pickets or a boycott by actors that would have dulled the glamour of Hollywood's signature celebration.

The strike's end would allow many hit series to return this spring for what's left of the current season, airing anywhere from four to seven new episodes. Shows with marginal audience numbers may not return until fall or could be canceled.

"It will be all hands on deck for the writing staff," said Chris Mundy, co-executive producer of CBS' drama "Criminal Minds." He hopes to get a couple of scripts in the pipeline right away, with about seven episodes airing by the end of May.

The combined New York-Beverly Hills count was overwhelmingly in favor of ending the strike: 3,492 voted yes, with only 283 voting to stay off the job.

Writers did not vote on whether to formally accept the tentative contract that already has won approval from the union's board of directors.

The guild will mail contract ratification ballots to members over the next few days. Writers can also vote at meetings. All ballots must be cast by Feb. 25.

The union's board approved a deal Sunday giving writers a share of the growing revenue from programs offered on the internet and other new media.

Guild leaders say they were fighting for a piece of the future, reflecting the widespread belief that Internet-delivered entertainment fare would inevitably claim an increasing and perhaps even dominant market share.

The walkout stopped work on dozens of TV shows, disrupted movie production, and turned the usually star-studded Golden Globes show into a news conference.

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