Harvey Weinstein was expected to announce that The Weinstein Company interim deal with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) last night [Jan 10] that is said to be similar to the agreement the writers have reached with United Artists and David Letterman's production company Worldwide Pants.

Weinstein flew into Los Angeles on Wednesday to attend screenings of his best picture Oscar hopeful The Great Debaters and close the agreement.

Sources close to the company said the mogul was agitated by the impasse with the US majors and the 'trickle-down economic effect' of the strike, which commenced on Nov 5 last year.

Weinstein was doubtless also eager to end the go-slow on Nine and other Weinstein Company projects brought about by the industrial action. The accord means that the screen version of the Broadway musical Nine, the tale of a beleaguered film director based on Federico Fellini's to be directed by Chicago's Rob Marshall, can go ahead. Anthony Minghella is expected to begin work on revising Michael Tolkin's script.

The deal is strictly an interim arrangement and would be superceded by any subsequent agreement the WGA reaches with the Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers on behalf of the studios.

Now that UA and the Weinsteins have stuck their heads above the parapet attention has inevitably turned to a host of other mini-majors.

While nobody was prepared to comment on the record it is understood that a deal with Lionsgate may be forthcoming in the next several weeks. Summit has not yet entered into talks with the WGA.