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Writer strike ends, production begins

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Staff and Wire Reports

Members of the Writers Guild of America returned to work Wednesday after voting to end their strike on its 100th day, jump-starting production of numerous TV sitcoms and dramas.

Actual production won't begin, however, until scripts have been completed, which could take days or even weeks.

For the Feb. 24 Academy Awards, the vote Tuesday by East and West Coast guild members ended the threat of a boycott by writers and actors that would have robbed the ceremony of its celebrity luster.

The writers' decided overwhelmingly in favor of ending the strike: 3,492 said yes, with only 283 voting to stay off the job. The number of guild members involved in the strike was 10,500, with countless other industry workers forced into unemployment because of the walkout.

Writers did not vote on the tentative contract agreement that already has won approval from the union's board of directors. The contract ratification vote will be conducted by mail and at meetings and will conclude Feb. 25.

 Approval is expected, given Tuesday's lopsided decision and the enthusiasm for the proposed contract expressed at guild meetings held last weekend in New York and Los Angeles

CBS announced its return of original episodes and drama series as well as the number of remaining episodes left this season.

"How I Met Your Mother," March 17, 9 remaining episodes

"The Big Bang Theory," March 17, 9 remaining episodes

"Two and a Half Men," March 17, 9 remaining episodes

"CSI: Miami," March 24, 8 remaining episodes

"Cold Case," March 30, 5 remaining episodes

"Criminal Minds," April 2, 7 remaining episodes

"CSI: NY," April 2, 7 remaining episodes

"CSI," April 3, 6 remaining episodes

"Without a Trace," April 3, 6 remaining episodes

"Ghost Whisperer," April 4, 6 remaining episodes

"Numb3rs," April 4, 6 remaining episodes

"NCIS," April 8, 7 remaining episodes

"Moonlight," April 11, 4 remaining episodes

"Rules of Engagement," April 14, 6 remaining episodes

"Shark," TBA, 4 remaining episodes

* "The Unit," "Cane" and "Shark" are on previously announced hiatus to accommodate the mid-season launches of "Big Brother," "Jericho" and "Dexter."

 ** The drama series "Swingtown," which hasn't been scheduled yet, will also resume production.

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