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.
A separate dispute involves actors, who are also on strike.
The walkout which began on 2 May has cost the California economy billions of dollars.
The WGA leadership and union members need to agree a three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers before they return to work.
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”.
The dispute has shut down many of America’s top shows – popular TV series and late-night talk 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 residuals 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.
Many related businesses have been hit, including caterers, costume suppliers, carpenters and camera operators.
In the last few days the bosses of Netflix, Disney, Universal and Warner Bros Discovery personally attended the negotiations, which provided new impetus.
Actors have been on strike since mid-July – they are represented by the 160,000-strong SAG-AFTRA performers’ union.