Screen writers are expected to bring their 51/2-month-old strike against film and television producers to a close this weekend when they vote on a tentative contract agreement in Los Angeles and New York.

The contract proposal was endorsed Wednesday by the board of the 9,600-member Writers Guild of America in Los Angeles and the WGA council in New York.Guild spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden said she expects some dissent when the proposal is debated by the membership Sunday but predicted approval when the pact is presented for a vote.

"We would anticipate some debate and opposition, perhaps as much as we saw in June," Rhoden said, referring to a contract proposal that was rejected by the membership by a 3-1 ratio.

"But based upon reaction since Wednesday, I feel confident our members will vote to go back to work," she said.

Herb Steinberg, spokesman for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents about 200 producers and the three major TV networks, declined comment.

"The role of the alliance came to an end with the tentative agreement," Steinberg said. "It's in their (writers') hands now."