Screen Actors Guild Screen Actors Guild

It looks like the threat of a strike by members of the Screen Actors Guild has been averted.

The union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced Friday that the two sides have reached a tentative agreement on actors' contracts for film and television work. No details were released.

The union's 71-member national board is expected to vote Sunday on the agreement. The members were to vote Saturday on a previously announced, tentative agreement for actors' commercial work. If approved by the board, the agreements would be submitted to SAG's more than 110,000 members for approval.

A source familiar with the negotiations told the two sides reached an agreement through back-channel talks outside of formal negotiations. The two sides reached the deal when SAG and AMPTP reached a compromise on when the new contract would expire. SAG had wanted a June 2011 expiration, and producers wanted it to end a year later. The source would not say what compromise was reached.

SAG-covered actors have worked without a film and television contract since June, when producers made what they then called their best and final offer. The contract dispute led to strife within the union, which removed and replaced chief negotiator and executive director Doug Allen earlier this year.

Allen had been a leading voice in favor of a strike that many feared would decimate the film and television industries.  

Unless the new agreement contains significant improvements over the one offered by producers nine months ago, many in the industry are likely to complain that SAG delayed a contract for nothing. But the economy took a significant downturn after the June offer, and SAG's prospects dimmed with it.