Al Jazeera's Kelly Rockwell in Los Angeles said that it was not just the film and television businesses that were affected financially as people were spending money in the city.

"People haven't been going out buying a new car, or a $4 cup of coffee every morning and that has really had a crippling effect on the economy of Los Angeles," she said.

Awards disrupted

It also caused major disruption to Hollywood's annual awards season, leading to the cancellation of the Golden Globes ceremony after actors refused to cross picket lines, and threatened to disrupt the Oscars on February 24.

"The reason for this strike was to make sure we had coverage of the internet, that it didn't become a guild-free zone, and I think we accomplished that"

Warren Leight, executive producer of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"
WGA board members in New York and Los Angeles approved the new contract after meeting on Sunday and will now hold a vote of the union's members early next week to confirm the decision.

Patric Verrone, WGA West leader, described the agreement as "the best deal the guild has bargained for in 30 years," while acknowledging that there were still "some holes".

For content streamed free over the web, writers will get a fixed  payment of $1,200 per year for one-hour webcasts over the first two years, followed by two per cent of any revenues earned by the distributor in the third year.

"The reason for this strike was to make sure we had coverage of the internet, that it didn't become a guild-free zone, and I think we accomplished that," Warren Leight, executive producer of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" told the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
     
The board members could have voted to call off the strike as early as Monday, but they opted to wait until rank-and-file members have cast their ballots before formally lifting the strike.
   
Under that scenario, the 10,500 striking writers would not return to work before Wednesday, union officials said.

Acceptance urged

"We should say yes to it and move on," Craig Wright, creator of the television series "Dirty Sexy Money", said.

"I said yes to it already."
   
The tentative deal to settle the worst Hollywood labour dispute in 20 years was announced early on Saturday in an email from WGA leaders, who called on members to accept the proposal and end the strike.
   
"While this agreement is neither perfect nor perhaps all that we deserve ... our strike has been a success," they wrote, stressing gains achieved in the area of digital entertainment.