Here's some background information about the Writers Guild of America which represents more than 12,000 film and TV writers. It is made up of two unions, the WGA West and the WGA East.
Timeline: 1933 - The Screen Writers Guild opens its first headquarters in Hollywood.
October 10, 1940 - The date of the first producers-screenwriters agreement. It recognizes the Guild as the collective bargaining agent for all writers in the motion picture industry.
1948 - The first annual awards are given out at the Hotel Bel-Air.
1951 - All West Coast writers in the television industry are represented by the Guild.
1954 - The Writers Guild of America East and Writers Guild of America West are formed when the five different groups on both coasts merge.
1960 - The Guild goes on a five-month strike over motion picture residuals and royalties pertaining to television reruns.
March 6, 1973 - June 24, 1973 - The Guild goes on strike for increased wages and better health benefits.
March 7, 1988 - August 8, 1988 - A 22-week strike creates a half a billion dollars in lost revenue before being resolved with a new contract. Basic pay increases and residuals from foreign and domestic reruns were the cause of the strike.
May 21, 2007 - The Guild makes its position known to networks and studios that it wants a bigger cut of new media revenues, including Internet, cell phones and other digital platforms. It issues a 25-item "pattern of demands" as part of upcoming contract negotiations.
July 16 - November 1, 2007 - Negotiations between the WGA and Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers take place, until the contracts expire on November 1 and talks stall.
November 5 , 2007 - The strike begins at 12:01AM.
November 26, 2007 - Talks resume, only to break down on December 7.
December 17, 2007 - WGA West announces that its members are not allowed to write for the Golden Globes (January 13) or the Academy Awards (February 24). On December 20, they announce WGA writers are allowed to participate in the Spirit Awards (February 23).
December 28, 2007 - An agreement is reached with Worldwide Pants allowing the David Letterman and Craig Ferguson late night programs to return to the air with full writing staffs.
January 2, 2008 - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien return to air with new episodes without WGA content.
January 7, 2008 - Announces that an independent agreement with United Artists has been reached. Writers are allowed to return to work on the companies' productions.
January 14, 2008 - Announces that another interim agreement has been reached. MRC, an independent film, television and digital studio and the WGA have worked out a deal similar those with Worldwide Pants and United Artists.
February 9, 2008 - Union representatives from the East and West coast Writers Guild announce a tentative agreement with studios.
February 12, 2008 - During a news conference, WGA President Patric Verrone announces that 92.5 percent of the membership had voted to end the writers strike. The writers achieved two out of three of their goals in the new agreement which include: - Any content written by guild members specifically for new media, such as the Internet or cell phones, will be covered by their contract. - The second goal relates to reuse of content in new media. The agreement bases payment for reuses on a distributor's gross formula for residuals.
February 26, 2008 - The Writers Guild of America approves a new contract with film and television producers, formally ending the strike.
2007 WGA Strike: The 2007 strike was over royalties from DVD sales, which were last negotiated in 1988, and royalties from the so-called new media - all the various places their works are distributed, including Internet downloads.
Late-night talk shows, soap operas, TV series, and movies were affected.
Reality shows, documentaries, game shows, news broadcasts, celebrity news shows, animation, sports, and commercials will not be affected.