Talk about waiting for the last minute. After almost two months of talks on a new three-year film and TV contract, negotiators for the actors union and producers tonight extended their current contract and dealmaking attempts another 24 hours, both sides announced. Here’s the joint statement SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television just released:

Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have agreed to extend for 24 hours the current TV/Theatrical contracts set to expire at midnight tonight. The extensions are effective from 12:00 a.m. July 1, 2014 and expire at 11:59 p.m., July 1, 2014.

The extensions are effective for the Producers-Screen Actors Guild Codified Basic Agreement, Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement, Exhibit A of the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, The CW Supplement, all basic cable agreements that incorporate by reference the aforementioned contracts, and all associated schedules, exhibits, side letters and supplemental agreements now in force.

Negotiations will continue under the previously announced media blackout.

We have no further comment.

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Once the two sides have an agreement, the deal still must be ratified by the guild’s members — a process that could take weeks. This announcement comes less than an hour before the old contract was set to expire tonight at midnight PT. The union and the networks have been in talks since May 5. It’s the first attempt at a film and TV agreement that the actors union has negotiated since the 2012 merger of SAG and AFTRA. The process undoubtedly has been been complicated by the union’s attempt to merge its two separate TV contracts and by the fact it still has two different pension and health plans. Earlier on Monday, SAG-AFTRA took a major step toward merging its two old health care plans, announcing that actors for the first time can combine their earnings under SAG and AFTRA’s separate film and TV contracts in order to reach the minimum threshold of $15,100 to qualify for SAG Plan II health benefits.

Deborah A Howell
3 months
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