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The deal that ended the writers strike: A look at what the 3-year agreement says

Late-night talk shows will return to air soon, but the actors strike will still impact fall TV

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Placards are gathered together at the close of a picket by members of The Writers Guild of America outside Walt Disney Studios.

Placards are gathered together at the close of a picket by members of The Writers Guild of America outside Walt Disney Studios, Tuesday, May 2, 2023, in Burbank, Calif. On Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, a tentative deal was reached to end Hollywood’s writers strike after nearly five months.

Chris Pizzello, Associated Press

The details of the Writers Guild of America deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have now been made public as the the writers strike ended on Wednesday.

The end of the writers strike means that entertainment writers can return to work on Wednesday, according to The New York Times. Internal boards voted to end the strike and “members are expected to approve the three-year deal.”

Now that the strike is over, here’s a look at the details of the deal, what this means for fall television and what’s going on with the actors strike.

What’s happening with fall television?

Talk shows will be returning to air now that the writers strike has ended.

Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and John Oliver made a joint statement on Instagram, saying “the founding members of Strike Force 5 will return to their network television shows this Monday 10/2 and one of them to premium cable on 10/1.”

Another late-night host, Bill Maher, said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that his show would return on Friday night.

Even thought talk shows are expected to return to air soon, shows that require actors (think scripted shows like comedies and dramas) will not be able to return until the actors strike ends. Strike rules prevent actors from promoting shows that will be returning.

“While writers may soon be able to return to work, actors will still be on strike as part of the SAG-AFTRA labor action, meaning that any projects requiring acting work will remain on hold,” per Today.

What was the WGA deal?

When the news first broke that the writers strike was expected to end this week, details of the three-year agreement were unknown. More details have come forward at this point, so here’s a look at what The Associated Press reported about the agreement:

  • A 3.5% to 5% raise in future residual earnings from shows varying between writers.
  • Residual pay for “being a part of the most popular shows on Netflix, Max and other services.”
  • Shows that will have at least 13 episodes will have a minimum of six writers on staff.
  • Writers for shows that are in initial development will have a guarantee of a minimum of 10 weeks of employment.
  • AI will be regulated and writers will not be required to use AI.

The deal resulted in writers receiving “improved screenwriter compensation, writers’ room minimums and renewed a $250,000 showrunner training program,” according to CNBC.

“There’s a bunch of things the companies told us they would never do: minimum staff size is one of them. Preserving the writer’s room: that was a key gain. Residuals in the success of streaming: another thing they said they’d never do. They couldn’t figure out success. They did it here. And really key to writers: some real AI protections,” WGA’s chief negotiator, Ellen Stutzman, told NPR.

Members of WGA will have from Oct. 2 to Oct. 9 to vote to ratify the agreement, according to Fox Business. The terms of the new agreement will be in place from Sept. 25, 2023, to May 1, 2026.

“This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days,” WGA West told Fox Business in a statement.

Has the SAG-AFTRA strike ended?

The actors strike is still ongoing and there are no talks scheduled between the actors union and the studios, per The New York Times.

A SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said in a statement to CNN that the union “is reviewing the WGA’s tentative agreement and are committed to achieving a fair and just deal for our members.”

“We remain on strike in our TV/Theatrical/Streaming contract and will inform our members when there is negotiations news to share. We will not speculate regarding schedule or next steps,” the statement continued.

Other industries are impacted by the ongoing actors strike. “In addition to actors, more than 100,000 behind-the-scenes workers (directors, camera operators, publicists, makeup artists, prop makers, set dressers, lighting technicians, hairstylists, cinematographers) will continue to stand idle, many with mounting financial hardship,” The New York Times reported.

Both the actors strike and the writers strike may have had “a nationwide economic impact of more than $5 billion, according to economists,” CNN reported.