Don't worry, awards show junkies. It looks like a celeb-packed, picket-free Academy Awards broadcast is going to happen after all. Variety reports that members of the Writers Guild of America approved the new AMPTP contract agreement at meetings held yesterday in Los Angeles and New York. WGA leaders are assembling today to formally recommend ratifying the deal, and to approve a "special 48-hour vote" among Guild members. Heading into the weekend, many speculated that the Guild leaders were going to make a back-to-work announcement for Monday morning. Writers will not technically be back to the drawing board tomorrow, but many people will be unofficially preparing scripts.

The main sticking point of the deal -- as discussed in this week's edition of "The Write Stuff" -- was that the studios wanted to stream programs on the Internet for a period of 17 - to -24 days without paying residuals to the writers. That clause still stands in the agreed upon deal, and it appears both sides have realized that there has to be some give-and-take with any deal. At yesterday's meeting, WGA West Executive Director David Young explained to members that the AMPTP was unwilling to budge on the free streaming period due to concern about declining television ratings, and his explanation pleased most of the writers. So, it seems safe to say at this point that the strike is officially ending. If the vote goes according to plan, writers are expected to be back at work Wednesday at the earliest. A more conservative TV pilot season should get underway. New episodes of your favorite programs should make it to air by the end of the season. And feature films that had been stalled by the strike are expected to start back up again immediately.

A press conference to announce all of this is scheduled for today at noon Pacific Time. This is fantastic news, and congratulations to all!
categories Oscars, Cinematical