'Sesame Street' writers reach a deal to avert strike The deal offers writers minimums for animation and new media programs, paid parental leave, protections against artificial intelligence and new media residuals.

'S' is for solidarity, not strike. 'Sesame Street' writers reach a deal

In this 2008 file photo, Big Bird reads to Connor Scott and Tiffany Jiao during a taping of Sesame Street in New York. Mark Lennihan/AP hide caption

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Mark Lennihan/AP

In this 2008 file photo, Big Bird reads to Connor Scott and Tiffany Jiao during a taping of Sesame Street in New York.

Mark Lennihan/AP

Writers for Sesame Street and their management reached a tentative three-year agreement late Friday, just ahead of a looming deadline for a union-authorized strike.

The deal offers writers minimums for animation and new media programs, paid parental leave, protections against artificial intelligence and new media residuals.

" 'S' truly is for Solidarity," the Writers Guild of America Sesame Workshop Negotiating Committee said in a statement. "We are glad to have a contract in place that allows Sesame to do what it does best – lead."

Thirty-five WGA union members had unanimously authorized a strike earlier this week if a deal wasn't made by Friday. They will vote on the new agreement in the coming days.

"This agreement is a testament to our dedication to our creative talent, and we appreciate the WGA's collaboration in working with us to establish this new industry benchmark," said a spokesperson for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces the mainstay children's program.

The union and Sesame Workshop began negotiating a new contract for the writers in February.

The threatened strike would have started Wednesday, outside of Sesame Workshop's offices in New York City.

"Sesame Workshop writers won a new agreement that recognizes the value of the incredible work they do to educate and enlighten children around the world," WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen said in a statement.

The 54th season of the show began in November and contains 35 weekly episodes.