Well a lot of you might be asking the above question...frankly i have been. I was aware the possibility of a strike since around the summer, i got worried but thought man its gonna get resolved, tv is too good right now for networks not to do what they can to solve the problem, unfortunately it did not get solved. If you are wondering what the whole deal is, i will break it down as easily as possible.
The writer's Guild which include almost every show and movie, excluding Reality Tv Shows, South Park (Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not members of the guild) and WWE writers, meet with producers to re-work their contracts every 3 years. Back in 1988 the Writer's had a strike over royalties owned for when TV shows were being sold in VHS form. the agreement was for 2% of all the sales would go to the writers, this was ok because back then each video was sold for 30-50 dollars, but now they are being sold for 20-30 dollars. This made the writers ask for an increase from 2% to 4%, producers ofcourse said no, and felt that theya re getting paid enough royalties and don't need an increase. The DVD proposal was removed by the guild in the 11th hour, but it made no difference because the main thing writers want is a share in the New Media.
New Media includes TV shows being put online, and all future unknown medias. Lately Networks have been setting up internet channels such as MTV and CBS have been setting up, also Online viewing of shows such as Lost, 30 Rock, and other shows on ABC and NBC. The internet is clearly goin to be were networks start makin a new so the writer's are askin for a chunk of that soon to be lucrative venture, because it's obvious within 3 years all shows will be online. The problem in this, is simple. The writer's are asking for a piece of a pie that has not been baked yet, so for producers to say we will give you 2% and then it end not makin much money then the producers lost more cash then they should, and vice versa.
Overall no agreement could be made so on November 5th i believe the strike was started, this means for most of your shows it will be a short season if not already done with much like The Office.
This is a situation where most people would side with the Writer's but frankly i am kinda on the producers side, writers get paid no matter how a show does, a producer doesn't if the show fails the producers loses money not the writer.... I see both sides and think they both have good arguments but i think what they should establish is a base percentage that will be fixed according to profits every 3 years so start at the 2% and if it ends up not being enough they can fine tune it.... I know very little on the whole economic hooplah so that's just my 2 cents.
There you have it folks the reason for the Strike.