"Even though eight episodes for this season had already been filmed before the beginning of the writers strike, producers would have had to ramp up production soon to complete the season. So "24" represents this television season's most prominent casualty due to the writers strike. "
"A January 2009 start seemed the best way to comply with viewers' wishes that a season's episodes run without interruption to conclusion, Fox said on Thursday."
Delay it a whole year? Comply with viewers' wishes? Yeah, I was totally wishing for that. Just because I'm a FAN of the show, doesn't mean I actually have a desire to watch it, or that I anticipate the start of a new season. No, no, no, no, that's crazy talk (just want to point out that hint of sarcasm there, in case you missed it).
"If [FOX] had started airing new episodes soon, the season finale would not have taken place until the summer, when TV networks rarely show their high-profile programs."
I always looked forward to the start of the "24" season, just as I looked for other ways to make it through the winter until Spring Training started. So, the real reason they're delaying the season premiere (from that same article):
I mean, honestly, does everything always have to be about money? I know it's FOX, so I shouldn't really be that surprised, but it still irks me. I have no problem with the writers strike itself; everybody is entitled to as much as they can get, and I think it's the networks fault for prolonging it. But what irks me more is that I know I'm gonna end up watching it next year, not because I have any sort of loyalty to the network or give a crap about their advertising revenues (which I certainly don't) or care for their political views (which I certainly despise), but simply because I'm a huge fan of the show, and I'd rather be entertained than miss out on something I enjoy simply to prove a point, especially when TV ratings are in millions of viewers.