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Industry Insight

The WGA Basic Agreement Cheat Sheet

In the wake of the recent WGA strike, a transformative agreement with the AMPTP has emerged. While there are extensive documents that detail every nuance, we recognize the value of clarity and brevity. So, if you're seeking precise figures without wading through the legal jargon, you're in luck. Below, we've distilled the key points of the new agreement into an accessible cheat sheet. Dive in to gain a clear perspective on these pivotal changes.

You can find the WGA's entire memorandum of basic agreement here.


  • Increases: 5%-4%-3.5% for most minimums; lesser for select categories.


  • HBSVOD programs (96+ mins, $30M+ budget): 18% increase in initial compensation ($100,000) and 26% increase in residuals. Combined with foreign improvements: $216,000 over 3 years.
  • Screenplays: Second step required if pay ≤ 200% of minimum; same for purchases.
  • Payment schedule: 50% at start, 25% at 9 weeks, 25% at delivery for 200% of minimum or less.


  • Television Appendix A: Applies to high budget non-dramatic shows for SVOD. Budget breaks detailed.
  • Budget Breaks:
  • Weekly 30-min show: $600,000
  • Weekly 60-min show: $1.15M
  • Four episodes/week 30-min: $150,000
  • Four episodes/week 60-min: $250,000
  • Daytime Serials: If moved to SVOD, terms are negotiated with the Guild.
  • Residuals: 1.2% for high budget programs.


  • Weekly Compensation: Staff Writers and Story Editors/Executive Story Editors get 5%-4%-3.5% increases. New Writer-Producer tier with 9.5% above SE/ESE.
  • Development Room: 25% premium for ≤19 weeks. Fees not credited against post-greenlight room fees.
  • Script Fees: Staff Writers get fees on top of weeklies.
  • Pilot & Backup Script Premium: 150% for pilots and 115% for backup on HBSVOD & HBAVOD.
  • Writers’ Room:
  • Development rooms with ≥3 writers require 3 Writer-Producers.
  • Minimum staff based on episode count.
  • Terms apply post-12/1/2023.


  • Development rooms: ≥10 consecutive weeks.
  • Post-greenlight: Minimum staff ≥20 weeks or room duration.
  • In production: Details for single-camera HBSVOD and Pay TV shows.


  • No changes; Guild to continue arbitration for post-production minimums.


  • Increase span cap: $400,000 to $450,000; basic cable: $375,000. Extended to limited series.


  • Earnings cap increased: $325,000 to $350,000.


  • Foreign Streaming Residuals: Payment % based on foreign subscribers.
  • Viewership-Based Streaming Residuals: Bonuses for HBSVOD projects with ≥20% viewer rate in 90 days. Takes effect 1/1/2024.
  • Transparency: Companies to share streaming data.
  • Ad-Supported Streaming: High-budget AVOD programs get HBSVOD rates; 2% for AVOD reuse.


  • P&H Diversion: 0.5% diversion to Pension/Health in years 2-3 of MBA.
  • Health Fund: Increase by 0.5% to 12% in year 2. Extended coverage due to strike.
  • Teams: P&H contributions as individual writers.