LOS ANGELES Lights, camera, action but first, here come the writers.
Members of the Writers Guild of America returned to work Wednesday after voting to end their strike on its 100th day, jump-starting production of numerous TV sitcoms and dramas.
"It will be all hands on deck for the writing staff," said Chris Mundy, co-executive producer of the CBS drama "Criminal Minds." Actual production won't begin, however, until scripts have been completed, which could take days or even weeks.
For the Feb. 24 Academy Awards, the vote Tuesday by East and West Coast guild members ended the threat of a boycott by writers and actors that would have robbed the ceremony of its celebrity luster.
Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which stages the Oscars, responded effusively.
"I am ecstatic that the 80th Academy Awards presentation can now proceed full steam ahead," he said, and without "hesitation or discomfort" for the nominees.
The writers decided overwhelmingly in favor of ending the strike: 3,492 said yes, with only 283 voting to stay off the job. The number of guild members involved in the strike was 10,500, with countless other industry workers forced into unemployment because of the walkout.
Writers did not vote on the tentative contract agreement that already has won approval from the union's board of directors. The contract ratification vote will be conducted by mail and at meetings and will conclude Feb. 25.
Approval is expected, given Tuesday's lopsided decision and the enthusiasm for the proposed contract expressed at guild meetings held last weekend in New York and Los Angeles.
"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," Leslie Moonves, chief executive officer of CBS Corp., told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Moonves was among the media executives who helped broker a deal after negotiations between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents studios, collapsed in December.
Under the tentative agreement, writers would get a maximum flat fee of about $1,200 for programs streamed on the Internet in the deal's first two years and then get 2 percent of a distributor's gross in year three a key union demand.
Other provisions include increased residual payments for movies and TV programs downloaded from the Internet.