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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Weinstein Co., the film and TV company run by sibling media moguls Harvey and Bob Weinstein, has reached an agreement to allow striking Hollywood writers to return to work for the company, a company spokesman said on Thursday.
A formal deal is expected to be signed and announced by the end of the day, spokesman Matthew Frankel told Reuters.
The deal is the second such agreement reached this week by an independent film and television maker with the Writers Guild of America in its ongoing labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
The WGA launched its strike against the producers' alliance, which represents major studios, on November 5 in a contract dispute that hinges on how writers should be paid for work distributed on the Internet.
The walkout by 10,500 film and TV writers has thrown the television industry into disarray, derailed several movie productions and is threatening to spoil the annual year-end awards season.
Negotiations to settle the strike collapsed in acrimony last month, and the union has since begun pursuing separate agreements with smaller, independent production entities.
Frankel said the Weinstein deal is similar to one reached earlier this week between the WGA and United Artists, the film production house part-owned by Tom Cruise and controlled by film distributor Metro Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
It also is similar to a WGA interim agreement with a TV production company, Worldwide Pants Inc., owned by late-night TV host David Letterman, that allowed his show to return to the air earlier this month with his writing team.
The Weinstein Co. said in November that the writers strike had forced it to postpone production on the movie musical "Nine," an adaptation of the Frederico Fellini classic "8 1/2," to be directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall.
Weinstein said at the time that filmmaker and screenwriter Anthony Minghella was unable to finish a script polish before the strike began. The interim agreement with the WGA would allow Minghella to return to the project, clearing the way for production to resume.
But Frankel said the Weinsteins were moved to reach a WGA agreement by a desire to help spur the two parties in the labor dispute to resume negotiations to settle the strike.
Reporting by Steve Gorman, editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Cynthia Osterman