Screenwriters in the US say they have reached a tentative deal with studio bosses that could see them end a strike that has lasted nearly five months.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) said it was “exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers”. WGA members must still have a final say.
It is the longest strike to affect Hollywood in decades and has halted most film and TV production.
The writers’ walkout, which began on 2 May, has cost the US economy around $5bn (£4.08bn), according to an estimate from Milken Institute economist Kevin Klowden.
The dispute has shut down many of America’s top shows. As well as issues around pay, the writers fear the impact of artificial intelligence potentially supplanting their talents.
Negotiations also broke down over staffing levels and the royalty payments that writers receive for popular streaming shows. They complain that those residuals are just a fraction of the earnings they would get from a broadcast TV show.
As a result part of the payments writers now receive generally include a certain amount of money
The guild’s message on the proposed deal said details still had to be finalised, and it was not yet calling off the strike, but “we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing”.
Hollywood trade publication Variety reported that staff on late-night talk shows could return to work as soon as Tuesday following the announcement, adding broadcasts could resume as soon as October.
But in its message to members, the union’s negotiating committee asked for patience on details of the pact.
“What remains now is for our staff to make sure everything we have agreed to is codified in final contract language,” the union said.
“And though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last ‘i’ is dotted.”