Writers Guild Reaches New Deal With Producers Alliance

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

UPDATED: Terms were not disclosed, but since the Directors Guild ratified its contract in January with solid gains, the WGA's deal will probably resemble that one.

The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have reached a deal on a new three-year contract. Terms were not disclosed and no press release has yet been issued. However, it is expected that the deal will resemble the agreement the DGA reached in November.

A key writer-specific area is also expected to be addressed: options and exclusivity that impede television series writers from taking other jobs. It’s a difficult issue: Short series orders are common in cable and even broadcast television, meaning that writers are kept on ice, uncompensated, for extended periods while networks decide whether to place orders for subsequent seasons. The resolution of this issue may have a significant effect on how the deal is greeted by writers.

For reference, here are the key terms of the DGA deal. Again, it is not known whether the WGA deal will mirror these terms, but the practice of "pattern bargaining" suggests that it will:

* Wages: The DGA received annual 3 percent wage increases, up from 2 percent increases in the previous three-year contract.

* Residuals: The DGA achieved increased residuals bases, including for network primetime reruns, an area in which residuals had been frozen in the previous contract.

* Basic cable: “outsized increase” for directors of one-hour basic cable series.

* Subscription video on demand (SVOD): The DGA established, for the first time, minimum terms and conditions for high-budget new media made for subscription video on demand (SVOD).

* Streaming media: The DGA obtained increased residuals in streaming new media.

* Diversity: The DGA obtained an agreement that every major television studio will establish a formal diversity program at.

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