24 (TV series)

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24 intertitle
Genre Drama, Thriller, Action, Serial
Created by Joel Surnow
Robert Cochran
Starring Kiefer Sutherland
Mary Lynn Rajskub
Cherry Jones
Annie Wersching
Colm Feore
Bob Gunton
Jeffrey Nordling
Rhys Coiro
Janeane Garofalo
Carlos Bernard
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 159 + 24: Redemption (List of episodes)
Running time approx. 43 min.
Original channel FOX
Picture format NTSC 480i (SDTV)
PAL 576i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV) FOX HD
1080i (HDTV) SKY HD
Original run November 6, 2001 – present
External links
Official website

24 is an American serial action drama television series. Broadcast by Fox in the United States and syndicated worldwide, the show first aired on November 6, 2001, with an initial 13 episodes (the next 11 episodes were later ordered). 24 is the second longest-running espionage series in television history, behind the original Mission: Impossible series by number of episodes and The Avengers by longevity of broadcast. 24 is expected to surpass Mission: Impossible in January 2010, with the airing of its 172nd hour in the early episodes of Season 8, and will overtake The Avengers on March 20 that year.

24 is presented in real time, with each season depicting a 24-hour period in the life of Jack Bauer, who works with the United States government as it fights domestic threats. Bauer is often in the field for the Los Angeles Counter Terrorist Unit as they try to safeguard the nation from terrorist threats. The show also follows the actions of other CTU agents, government officials and terrorists associated with the plot. The first six seasons of the show were all based in Los Angeles and nearby locations  — both real and fictional  — in California, although occasionally other locations have been featured as well  — most notably, Washington, D.C., where a portion of the episodes took place during the fourth and sixth seasons. Departing from tradition, the seventh season is set primarily in Washington, D.C.[1]

After leading actor Kiefer Sutherland won a Golden Globe for his role in the first 10 episodes, the ratings of the show increased, leading FOX to order the second half of the season. After six seasons, it was confirmed that FOX has ordered a further two seasons to be produced.[2] A motion picture based on the show has been written and was scheduled to be filmed in 2007 for a 2008 release but plans for production were put on hold to focus on the TV series.[3]

The seventh season, originally scheduled to premiere on January 13, 2008, was initially postponed in the wake of the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike to ensure a nonstop season, a trademark of the show since the start of its fourth season in January 2005.[4][5] It was officially postponed until January 2009.[6][7] To help offset the strike induced delay, 24 returned on Sunday, November 23, 2008 with a two-hour feature (titled 24: Redemption‎) that takes place forty-two months after season six and "set up the story that [launched] season seven."[8][9][10]


[edit] Elements

[edit] Real time

An example of a 24 split-screen with the running clock, from the season 4 premiere.

24 is a thriller which is shown in "real-time", with each minute of airtime corresponding to a minute in the lives of the characters.[11] Commercial breaks are placed at times when something non-essential to the plot is taking place (e.g., characters driving somewhere will begin when a commercial break starts and arrive at their destination at the end of the commercial break). This allows for the show to actually occur in real time without compromising action. The real time clock of the show continues to tick during the commercials, emphasizing the reality of the 24 hours of the season in which the characters work. Finally, 24 does not use slow motion techniques, even on moments of rapid action or sleight-of-hand, which other franchises might choose to emphasize in that way..

Actual show run time without commercials is between 42 and 44 minutes, as is typical for hour-long television shows on many commercial stations. However, the effect only works if episodes are shown with commercial breaks during the show and then only if these are inserted at the right points in time and have the same length, which may not fit in with the normal programming of a commercial station.

Watched continuously, each season would take approximately 17 hours to finish. This real-time nature is emphasized by an on-screen digital clock appearing before and after commercial breaks, with a distinct beeping noise for each second, alternating between C and D tones (the sound associated with the on-screen digital clock is occasionally not played to signify highly emotional moments, such as the death of a main character or the in the conclusion of most of the season finales; the producers and fans have dubbed this the 'Silent Clock', and its use has become a hallmark of the show). This time corresponds to the in-universe time of the show. The characters will often place time windows (such as the common "within the hour") on certain events such as terrorist threats, thus strongly hinting the attack/event will occur before the end of the episode.

The action switches between different locations tracing parallel adventures of different characters involved in the same overarching plot. As a result, there may be long sections of unseen narrative for each character, in which case a character may only be seen for a portion of an episode's overall running time.[12]

[edit] Storytelling and visual style

24 employs fast-paced and complex plots. Though each day's events typically revolve around thwarting an impending terrorist attack, the series maintains an episodic format by requiring its characters to investigate leads on said terrorists, with each lead taking roughly an hour and introducing the next episode's lead in its closing minutes. The exact objective of the day may also change over the course of the season, as the terrorists adapt their plans, execute contingencies, or are discovered to have been mere pawns in a larger, more insidious scheme.

A recurring theme of 24 has characters faced with the decision of whether to let something tragic happen for the sake of a greater good. In Season 2, a Dept. of Defense staffer has the chance to warn CTU of an imminent attack on their building, but argues doing so would put the culprits on alert and thus cause a valuable trail to go cold.[13] A similar situation occurs in Season 5, when terrorists plan to release a canister of nerve gas inside a busy shopping mall.[14] In Season 3, the President and CTU agents must choose between the life of a high-ranking CTU official and the imminent threat of further attacks,[15] while Season 4 is notable for a scene in which two men  — one of whom possesses crucial information about a nuclear missile strike, and the other is the husband of a major character  — lie dying in an emergency room, creating the ethical dilemma of whom to save.[16] In addition, the sitting President often has to deal with a similar quandary. For example, in Season 6, President Wayne Palmer asks Jack Bauer to sacrifice himself in exchange for the location of a known terrorist.[17]

The first season began and ended at midnight,[18] and during its ninth episode (8:00 - 9:00 AM) Jack mentioned that he had already been awake for 24 hours. Later seasons have tended to use a different time window, starting in the morning[19], with the exception of Season 3, which began and ended at 1PM[20] to allow filming to begin in the summer when there are more daylight hours available. This also makes for a more realistic period of time for the characters in the show to be continuously awake.

24 frequently uses split-screen action to follow multiple plots, phone conversations, and shots leading into and out of commercial breaks[21], and emotional conversations, allowing the depiction of both participants' faces without breaking tension by cutting back and forth between camera angles.

[edit] Creative influences

Immediately prior to 24, series co-creators Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran executive-produced La Femme Nikita for its entire five-year run on USA Network. Both series deal with anti-terrorist operations, and the lead characters of both series are placed in situations where they must make a tragic choice in order to serve the greater good. As a result, the on- and off-screen creative connections between 24 and La Femme Nikita are highly pronounced. Numerous actors from La Femme Nikita have portrayed similar roles on 24, a number of story concepts from La Femme Nikita have been revisited on 24, and many of the creative personnel from La Femme Nikita currently work (or have worked) on 24 in the same capacity.[22][23]

In addition, 24 borrows some aspects of the 1997 film Air Force One, namely the plane itself and the use of the 25th amendment. In Seasons 2, 4 and 6, Air Force One can be seen (Although in Season 6 it is actually Air Force Two, as it is the Vice President on board.) and the series reused the same set as the one featured in the movie.[24] Additionally, four actors featured on 24  — Xander Berkeley, Glenn Morshower, Wendy Crewson and Spencer Garrett  — played roles in Air Force One.

[edit] Counter Terrorist Unit

Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) is a fictional U.S. government anti-terrorist agency created by Bill Clinton in response to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing[25] and is somewhat similar to the real-life FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force and the CIA Counterterrorist Center. It is, however, most similar to the newly created National Counterterrorism Center, which is run by the DNI but composed of all Agencies and Departments in the US government responsible for countering terrorism. The main character, Jack Bauer, is most similar to a Paramilitary Operations Officer in the CIA's famed Special Activities Division. CTU's headquarters are in Washington, D.C., with satellite operations in major cities where threats are likely. CTU's primary mission is to disrupt and foil foreign and domestic terror cells hostile to the United States, as well as protect it from terrorist attacks. With an office in nearly every major city, CTU also has a role in creating security policy and fighting groups of organized crime, which fund terrorism.[26]

CTU appears to have been somewhat clandestine, or at least kept out of the public eye. Particularly in the early seasons of the show, CTU agents who identified themselves as such to outsiders were frequently met with skepticism by those who had never heard of the organization, including police officers, until they produced their federal identification.

CTU offices are run by a Director, also called the Special Agent in Charge, to whom the Director of Field Operations and the Chief of Staff report. Departments within a CTU office include Communications ("Comm"), Logistics, and Tactical ("Field Ops"). Communications and Logistics personnel report directly to the Chief of Staff, whereas Tactical personnel are deployed into Tactical Teams ("Tac Teams") by the Director of Field Operations.

The Los Angeles CTU Field Office houses several areas. The first floor contains the Situation Room, as well as the main communications complex and command center, often referred to as "The Floor." On the second floor is the Director's office and Field Ops office. Situated elsewhere in the building are the Information Technology department (I.T.), an in-house Medical clinic, Meteorology department, several Holding Rooms used for interrogation and confinement, and Tech Rooms, which contain the bulk of the physical computer hardware used by CTU.

The CTU offices within a region report to a Divisional Office, overseen by the Division Director. Divisional offices cover a larger amount of territory in their jurisdiction. Finally, the Divisional office and all other offices report to a District Headquarters, overseen by a Regional Director. This title implies each District Headquarters has jurisdiction over an entire region of the United States. However, in Season 1, the reverse was implied: the District Director, George Mason, reported to District Manager Richard Walsh (who was killed in the second episode), and then Ryan Chappelle, the Regional Director from Division. However, in the Season 2 finale, Chappelle referred to a Mr. Vaughn, the District Director, as his superior.

CTU often suffers setbacks for the sake of plot. Despite the high-profile and high-risk nature of its duties, it is frequently infiltrated by double agents, and several times has been attacked or seized by terrorist forces.

CTU was disbanded during the time between Season 6 and Season 7. At the start of Season 7 those who formerly worked with CTU are being placed under scrutiny by a Senate subcommittee, and Jack Bauer is at the heart of a show trial lead by Senator Mayer. Several agents who worked for CTU at one point or another have been working underground to uncover widespread corruption at the highest level of the United States government.

[edit] Recurring plot devices

There are some plot devices which are used frequently on 24.

  • Weapons of mass destruction: WMDs, especially nuclear weapons, are constant threats on the show. Seasons 2 and 6 have been based around the threat of nuclear weapons. In Season 3, it was a weaponized virus. Season 5 featured a fictional nerve gas. Season 4 featured the threat of a nuclear weapon also, but the entire season did not center around this plot, and included a nuclear meltdown and a strike on Air Force One. Season 7 features a private military company in the vein of Blackwater called "Starkwood" which seeks to acquire bio-weapons after testing them in Sangala.
  • Traitors in the government: CTU is often compromised by moles. Major subplots often deal with the presence of double agents working with terrorists. There was first thought to be one mole in the first season, but then a second was discovered. Since then, another agent was found to be a corporate spy in Season 4. In Season 5 one traitor was discovered in the White House Administration, before a second was. Many other agents have been accused of being turncoats. One of Season 7's major subplots was about a massive breach in U.S. Government, where well over fifty individuals were hired by war criminal General Juma.
  • Frequent Change of President of the United States: The president has changed many times over the show's history. The Presidents have been:
    • Four Year Term
      • President Harry Barnes, (Season 1, unseen) (defeated for re-election by Senator David Palmer, served one four year term.)
    • Four Year Term
      • President David Palmer, (Seasons 2 and 3, 24: Game) (served one four year term.)
      • Acting President Jim Prescott, (Season 2 and 24: Game) (became Acting President due after removing Palmer by a cabinet vote, and soon after as Palmer was injured in an assassination attempt.)
    • Four Year Term
      • President John Keeler, (Season 4) (served for 1 year, 2 months. Removed via the 25th Amendment after he is seriously injured when Air Force One crashes.)
      • President Charles Logan, (Season 4 and Season 5) (served for 1 year, 6 months. Vice President under John Keeler. Forced to resign after he was involved in a series of terrorist attacks throughout Day 5. His activities were kept secret from the public.)
      • President Hal Gardner, (between Season 5 and Season 6) (served for 1 year, 4 months. Served out the remainder of the term started by Keeler and continued by Logan. He is either defeated in the election by Wayne Palmer or chose not to run.)
    • Four Year Term
      • President Wayne Palmer, (Season 6) (served for around 3 months before being removed via the 25th Amendment due to an assassination attempt. He assumed office soon after the attempt on his life but collapsed hours later. He was replaced by Noah Daniels.)
      • President Noah Daniels, (Season 6 and Redemption) (served for 3 years, 9 months. Became Acting President briefly after Palmer's incapacitation. Palmer assumed office again soon after, but collapsed hours after allowing Daniels to become President. Defeated for re-election by Allison Taylor.)
    • Four Year Term
      • President Allison Taylor, (Redemption and Season 7) (took office during Redemption, which took place on Inauguration Day)
  • Frequent Change of CTU Directors: There have been twelve directors of CTU, many of whom have also either resigned or been killed. In general, the current head of CTU LA (be it Jack, Tony, George Mason, Bill Buchanan, Michelle Dessler or some other) is depicted by the writers of the show as being willing to compromise protocol for the sake of progress. Frequently, Division sends over a new, by-the-book director to (in the words of Alberta Green) "slow things way down" and reassert control over the maverick department; and, in doing so, oppress or reduce the efficiency of CTU LA employees attempting to perform their jobs under deadline. About half these directors have eventually evolved from agents of bureaucracy to allies and partners-in-crime, facilitating CTU's work even at the expense of protocol; almost inevitably, these "reformed" directors (Ryan Chappelle, Lynn McGill) sacrifice their lives in a heroic fashion. Just as inevitably, they are eventually replaced by yet another bureaucrat.
  • Torture: Jack and others employ the use of torture or threats of torture in nearly every situation in order to extract information. CTU has also used hyoscine-pentothal, a fictional pain-inducing drug, in interrogation sessions where quick results are needed.[27] This has been used on both agents and antagonists. Its effects are completely unlike the effects of real hyoscine and pentothal. The show has been criticized by human rights groups for its over-use of torture scenes;[28][29] in response, the show's writers have said that they will try to include fewer torture scenes in future episodes.[citation needed]
  • Retribution: While antagonists in 24 usually are dealt with a sense of justice, some are intentionally killed by Jack after he deems that their usefulness and danger are over: Victor Drazen (shot repeatedly after falling from a dock), Nina Myers (shot while attempting to escape CTU), Conrad Haas (shot after confessing to assassinating David Palmer) and Christopher Henderson (shot on the deck of a Russian submarine). Similarly in Season 3, the wife of the late Gael Ortega shot Stephen Saunders while in CTU.
  • Jack's absence from CTU: The only time Jack is a CTU agent between seasons is before season 1 and in between seasons 2 and 3. Prior to every other season, Jack is always somewhere else where his skills are not being practiced. Before Day 2, Jack was retired/inactive from CTU for a year and a half after the death of his wife, Teri. 15 months before Day 4, Jack began working for the Secretary of Defense, James Heller, after he was fired from CTU by Erin Driscoll because of his heroin addiction. Before season 5, Jack had faked his death and was working at an oil refinery. Before season 6, Jack was in a Chinese prison for 20 months. Between seasons 6 and 7, Jack was evading a senatorial subpoena by traveling the world and participating in humanitarian work.

[edit] Cast

[edit] Main cast

24 is known for making major changes to its main cast every season—the sole exception being Kiefer Sutherland, who is the only main cast member to star in all seven seasons to date. Glenn Morshower, who plays Aaron Pierce has also starred in all seven seasons, and background extra Michael Jacey (who plays Agent John) is the only actor besides Sutherland to appear in the first six seasons. Due to the unpredictable nature of each season's storyline, main cast members are added and dropped frequently. In a few cases, guest stars have been upgraded to main cast members during the course of a season. Main cast members who return from prior seasons—whether they return for one episode or the better part of a season—are often given a "Special Guest Star" billing, although this is also used for other cast members who are well-known film actors, like Richard Burgi, Dennis Hopper, Powers Boothe, Sean Astin, James Cromwell, and Jon Voight.

Because of the intense nature of the series, the number of onscreen deaths is high compared to other television dramas. Of the 35 characters who have comprised the main cast over the past seven seasons, ten are deceased. This number is considerably higher when guest characters—be they government agents or terrorists—are also included.

Actor Character Episode Count Main Cast Seasons Recurring Cast Seasons
Kiefer Sutherland Jack Bauer 160 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 NA
Leslie Hope Teri Bauer 24 1 NA (deceased)
Sarah Clarke Nina Myers 36 1 2, 3 (deceased)
Elisha Cuthbert Kim Bauer 72 1, 2, 3 5, 7*
Dennis Haysbert David Palmer 79 1, 2, 3 4, 5 (deceased)
Sarah Wynter Kate Warner 25 2 3
Xander Berkeley George Mason 27 2 1 (deceased)
Penny Johnson Jerald Sherry Palmer 45 2 1, 2, 3 (deceased)
Carlos Bernard Tony Almeida 107 2, 3, 5, 7 1, 4
Reiko Aylesworth Michelle Dessler 62 3 2, 4, 5 (deceased)
James Badge Dale Chase Edmunds 24 3 NA
Kim Raver Audrey Raines 52 4, 5 6
Alberta Watson Erin Driscoll 12 4 NA
William Devane James Heller 20 4 5, 6
Lana Parrilla* Sarah Gavin 12 4 4*
Roger Cross* Curtis Manning 44 4, 5 4*, 6 (deceased)
Mary Lynn Rajskub Chloe O'Brian 96 5, 6, 7 3, 4
Gregory Itzin Charles Logan 36 5 4, 6
James Morrison Bill Buchanan 64 5, 6, 7 4 (deceased)
Louis Lombardi Edgar Stiles 37 5 4 (deceased)
Jean Smart Martha Logan 24 5 6
D.B. Woodside Wayne Palmer 48 6 3, 5
Peter MacNicol Tom Lennox 24 6 NA
Jayne Atkinson Karen Hayes 30 6 5
Carlo Rota Morris O'Brian 28 6 5, 7
Eric Balfour Milo Pressman 28 6 1 (deceased)
Marisol Nichols Nadia Yassir 24 6 NA
Regina King Sandra Palmer 9 6 NA
Cherry Jones Allison Taylor 16 7 NA
Annie Wersching Renee Walker 16 7 NA
Colm Feore Henry Taylor 10 7 NA
Bob Gunton Ethan Kanin 18 7 6
Jeffrey Nordling Larry Moss 16 7 NA
Rhys Coiro Sean Hillinger 10 7 NA
Janeane Garofalo Janis Gold 13 7 NA

* = Was moved from guest star to main cast member midseason.

[edit] Notable guest stars

24 features a large number of guest characters in every season. Below are some of the guest stars who have made appearances during the first seven seasons.

Actor Character Seasons Episode Count
Jude Ciccolella Mike Novick 1, 2, 4, 5 58
Glenn Morshower Aaron Pierce 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 43
Paul Schulze Ryan Chappelle 1, 2, 3 23 (deceased)
Zachary Quinto Adam Kaufman 3 23
Geoff Pierson John Keeler 3, 4 19
Daniel Bess Rick Allen 1 18
Michelle Forbes Lynne Kresge 2 18
Arnold Vosloo Habib Marwan 4 17 (deceased)
Adoni Maropis Abu Fayed 6 15 (deceased)
Željko Ivanek Andre Drazen 1 14 (deceased)
Laura Harris Marie Warner 2 14
Jesse Borrego Gael Ortega 3 14 (deceased)
Powers Boothe Noah Daniels 6 14
Vicellous Shannon Keith Palmer 1,2 13
Joaquim de Almeida Ramon Salazar 3 12 (deceased)
Tzi Ma Cheng Zhi 4, 5, 6 12
Michael Massee Ira Gaines 1 12 (deceased)
Ricky Schroder Mike Doyle 6 12
Rena Sofer Marilyn Bauer 6 12
Jonathan Ahdout Behrooz Araz 4 12
Shohreh Aghdashloo Dina Araz 4 12 (deceased)
Nick Jameson Yuri Suvarov 5, 6 12
John Allen Nelson Walt Cummings 4, 5 12 (deceased)
John Terry Bob Warner 2 12
Kurtwood Smith Blaine Mayer 7 4 (deceased)
Isaach De Bankolé Ule Matobo 7 6
Sprague Grayden Olivia Taylor 7 5
Hakeem Kae-Kazim Ike Dubaku 7 10 (deceased)

* = Attached to star/in production.

[edit] Cameo appearances

  • Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., makes a cameo appearance in the "1:00 - 2:00 PM" episode of Season 5. He has a non-speaking role as an unidentified bureaucrat who delivers a file folder to Audrey Raines (Kim Raver), and can be seen in the "split screen" for about six seconds beginning at 1:32:22.
  • NASCAR driver Carl Edwards made a cameo appearance with a small speaking part in the "10:00 - 11:00 PM" episode of Season 5, which was broadcast on April 3, 2006.[30]
  • The Office co-writer and director Stephen Merchant makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the first episode of the sixth season, which takes place between "06:00 - 07:00 AM" originally broadcast on January 14, 2007.[31]
  • Nancy Cartwright, best known for providing the voice of Bart Simpson on the animated television show The Simpsons, makes an appearance in the "4:00 - 5:00 PM" episode of Season 6 as Jeannie T., Morris O'Brian's former AA Sponsor. (Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub likewise had cameo appearances as their 24 characters on The Simpsons episode "24 Minutes," which is a parody of 24.)
  • Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham has an unspoken appearance in the "5:00 - 6:00 AM" episode of Season 6.
  • Radio talk show host Larry Elder made a split-second cameo as a SWAT officer being shot in the third hour of Season 6.
  • On Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, the photo of the first Senate confirmed head of the National Counterterrorism Center John Scott Redd appeared in the 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM hour (Season 7: Episode 7) of Fox's 24 (TV Series). The photo can be seen in a long shot of the FBI director standing in his filing cabinets. It is the only photo on the filing cabinets.

[edit] Plot synopsis

[edit] Season 1

Season 1 begins and ends at 12:00 AM, and occurs on the day of the California presidential primary. Jack Bauer must protect Senator David Palmer from an assassination plot, and rescue his own family from those responsible for the plot, who seek retribution for Jack's and David Palmer's involvement with a covert U.S. mission in the Balkans.

[edit] Season 2

Set 18 months after season 1, season 2 begins and ends at 8:00 AM. Jack must stop a nuclear bomb from detonating in Los Angeles, then assist President David Palmer in proving who is responsible for the threat using only the weapons he has.

[edit] Season 3

Set 3 years after season 2, season 3 begins and ends at 1:00 PM. While struggling with a heroin addiction, Jack must re-infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel in order to acquire a deadly virus being marketed underground. Jack must then stop the mastermind behind the virus from releasing it.

[edit] Season 4

Set 18 months after season 3, season 4 begins and ends at 7:00 AM. Jack must save the lives of Secretary Heller (his new boss) and Heller's daughter Audrey Raines (with whom Jack is romantically involved) when they are kidnapped by terrorists. The same terrorists then launch further attacks against America, and Jack is forced to use unorthodox methods to stop them, methods which will have long-term consequences for both Jack and the U.S.

[edit] Season 5

Set 18 months after season 4, season 5 begins and ends at 7:00 AM. Jack is believed to be dead by everyone except a few of his closest friends. Terrorists with connections to the U.S. government attempt to steal a nerve gas in order to protect U.S. oil interests in Asia, and Jack must resurface to stop them as well as dismantle the government conspiracy.

[edit] Season 6

Set 20 months after season 5, season 6 begins and ends at 6:00 AM. Jack is released after being detained in a Chinese prison for twenty months. Terrorists plot to set off suitcase nuclear devices in the United States and Jack must stop them; later, Jack has to prevent sensitive circuitry from falling into the hands of the Chinese to prevent war between the U.S. and Russia.

[edit] Redemption‎

Redemption‎ is a television movie, aired on November 23, 2008, bridging the gap between the sixth and seventh seasons of 24. Set partially in Southern Africa, Jack finds himself caught up in a military coup while trying to find somewhere he can rest. Meanwhile, in the United States, it is Inauguration Day, where Allison Taylor is being sworn in to office.

[edit] Season 7

Kiefer Sutherland (Jack Bauer) and Carlos Bernard (Tony Almeida) in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. for filming of 24 in October 2007.

Season 7 begins and ends at 8:00 AM. A major national security incident occurs when the firewall responsible for protecting America's government computer infrastructure is breached by the same people responsible for a conflict in Sangala. The season features the show's first female president, Allison Taylor, and this is the first season without CTU. [32] It also includes members from the previous seasons.

[edit] Season 8

The eighth season of 24 will begin shooting in May 2009[33] and will presumably air in January 2010 following the pattern of the show since season 4. Executive Producer Howard Gordon says, "My hope is to go [shoot the feature film] after the eighth season. That's sort of what we're aiming for. I think that a big-screen 24 will be a fitting send off for Jack."[34] Kiefer Sutherland confirmed he will return for the 8th season and said the show’s future also hinges on its writers’ ability to shape its story.[33] The only confirmed cast members so far are Kiefer Sutherland, Carlos Bernard, Annie Wersching, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Cherry Jones who will reprise her role as Allison Taylor.

[edit] Feature film

A feature film adaptation of 24 was originally planned to be shot during the hiatus between the sixth and seventh seasons. Series creators Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran planned to write the script with showrunner Howard Gordon working on story.[35] Filming was to take place in London, Prague, and Morocco.[36] Jon Cassar revealed in an interview "I think the idea is to do an hour of it that sets it up where you can go around the world and set up a story in normal film time, and probably the last hour will be in real time – something like that."[37]

Plans for the movie were later put on hold. Kiefer Sutherland stated, "It's impossible to ask writers to work on the show and then come up with an amazing film we can shoot in the break between series."[38]

It is now thought that a film would be made after the eighth season, and that filming could still take place outside of the USA.[39]

[edit] Broadcasting information

[edit] U.S. television ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of 24 on FOX.

Note: Most USA network television season starts in mid-September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps. However 24 begins its season in January and runs new episodes non-stop until May, a trend which began after many fans grew unhappy with constant pre-emptions. 24 airs during February and May sweeps.

Season Timeslot Premiere Finale Rank Viewers (M)
1 Tuesdays 9/8c November 6, 2001 May 21, 2002 #76 8.60[40]
2 Tuesdays 9/8c October 29, 2002 May 20, 2003 #36 11.73[41]
3 Tuesdays 9/8c October 28, 2003 May 25, 2004 #42 10.30[42]
4^ Mondays 9/8c January 9, 2005 May 23, 2005 #29 11.90[43]
5^ Mondays 9/8c January 15, 2006 May 22, 2006 #24 13.78[44]
6^ Mondays 9/8c January 14, 2007 May 21, 2007 #27 13.0[45] Note: Click on ratings list "22-48" for '24's ratings
Redemption* Sunday 8/7c November 23, 2008 November 23, 2008 #16 (tied) 12.1
7^ Mondays 9/8c January 11, 2009 May 18, 2009 #19 11.21 (as of Mar 30, 2009)[46]

^ = Indicates a "non-stop" season, in which the season did not start at the beginning of the television season in September, but rather in January (the start of mid-season) to air new episodes every week until its season finale in May.

* = Indicates that 24: Redemption was the television movie. Also, this was the rating of that week.

Viewership increased midway through its second season when the mega-hit American Idol became the lead-in to 24 starting in February 2003. For its fourth season, FOX gave the show a vote of confidence by moving 24 out of the post-American Idol time slot (to make room for the eventual hit drama, House) and placed it on Monday nights at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (8:00 p.m. Central) while it aired the show in consecutive weeks, beginning in mid-January of 2005. The consecutive-week schedule was also implemented for 2006, beginning in mid-January 2006.

In comparison to its 2005 season, 24 in 2006 was up 16% in overall viewers and 14% in viewers of the advertiser-friendly 18 –49 age demographic.[47] Thus, the series has so far reached its ratings peak in 2006.

The sixth season's two-night, four-hour premiere gained its largest audience ever, scoring an average 15.7 million viewers.[48] This record was later beaten by the seventh season's premiere, which scored approximately 27 million viewers.

Viewership has increased steadily for 24, except for a slight fall in the third season. FOX was able to continue gaining audience share in 2005 and 2006 with non-stop seasons and the number of viewers was up over 60% in season 5 vs season 1. In more recent seasons ratings have dipped slightly, but this can be attributed to the increased prevalence of online means to watch episodes, as this slight reduction in ratings is not limited to 24.[49]

[edit] International broadcasters

24 is widely broadcast in other parts of the world, including Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

In Australia, the first few seasons were highly successful. However, the current season is only being viewed by less than 400,000 viewers and has been bumped first to 10:30pm Sundays and now to 11:00pm Sundays.

Kiefer Sutherland attributes the show's support from Fox to its early success in the UK[39]. Its viewership there, however, decreased significantly when the BBC lost the rights to subscription channel Sky1 after the second season.[50]

In mainland China, only season 1 was broadcast, but DVDs of other seasons can be bought easily.

[edit] Critical reaction

Because of the "real-time" storytelling approach to 24, and the series' willingness to directly address the threat of terrorism, the implementation of torture as a way to acquire information and the use and misuse of government authority, the series has generated a sizable critical reaction, both positive and negative. The series and the main character, Jack Bauer, have been accused of promoting the use of excessive violence and torture in the minds of the voting public, in part to support the policies of the current federal government.[51] Slate magazine commented that the United States' torture policy has deeper roots in 24 than in the U.S. Constitution.[52]

In Europe, 24 is under heavy criticism due to its glorification of governmental tortures and its permanent violation of human rights (e.g. privacy, dragnet, computer surveillance, etc.).[53][54].

The series has won numerous Emmy Awards for its technical and artistic achievements, but at the same time has been criticized by a number of prominent individuals and organizations who have objected to how the series has handled story and character elements.[citation needed]

In 2008, Empire magazine ranked 24 as the sixth greatest television show of all-time, trailing only behind The Simpsons, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Sopranos, The West Wing, and Lost, respectively.[55]

[edit] DVD releases

The release of 24 on DVD has had a significant impact on the success of the television series. In an interview with IGN in 2002, Sutherland revealed, "[24's] success in England was phenomenal. It was the biggest show the BBC has ever had. It was the number one DVD there, knocking off Lord of the Rings, which is unheard of for a television show DVD to actually knock-out every feature DVD available. And that's because they showed it without commercials."[56] The U.S. sales of the Season 1 DVDs increased the audience size of Season 2 by 25%.[57]

At CES 2007, Fox Home Entertainment announced the complete first season of 24 would be released on the Blu-ray disc format in early 2007[58] although this has not yet come to fruition and no date for the Blu-Ray release has been confirmed.

The Region 1 DVD releases of 24 strictly emphasize actor Kiefer Sutherland on the cover art for all six seasons to date, while the Region 2 & 4 DVDs instead echo the series' split-screen format by featuring the major players in each respective season. This presented audiences who had not seen the TV broadcast (since the series moved to premium channel Sky One) in the UK with a large spoiler on the front cover of season four  — which featured 'surprise' special guest star Tony Almeida.

A "limited special edition" of Day Six is also available in the United States. In addition to the DVDs, the box includes a booklet with an episode guide, each major character's job description and biographical information, and script excerpts. A limited edition of Day Six was also released in the United Kingdom, available from HMV stores.

In mid-2007, the first four seasons were re-issued, featuring slim-packaging in line with the season 5 release, and improved video quality, especially in the first season, which was initially rushed to DVD. The metallic "24" logo has also been dropped in favor of the seven segment display logo.

Fox announced a special edition re-release of season 1, which was released on May 20, 2008. The new set includes a 7th disc of bonus features, while disks 1-6 contain all 24 episodes with deleted scenes, audio commentary, and 5 extended episodes. The set is released in a steel box.[59]

Seasons 1-7 are also available for purchase on iTunes.

DVD Release Episodes Originally aired Release date
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
24 2001 –2002 September 17, 2002 October 14, 2002 December 2002
One: Special Edition
24 2001 –2002 May 20, 2008 TBD TBD
24 2002 –2003 September 9, 2003 August 11, 2003 September 2003
24 2003 –2004 December 7, 2004 August 9, 2004 September 2004
24 2005 December 6, 2005 August 8, 2005 November 2005
24 2006 December 5, 2006 November 6, 2006 December 6, 2006
24 2007 December 4, 2007 October 1, 2007 September 19, 2007
24: Redemption‎ 1 (Two hours) 2008 November 25, 2008 December 1, 2008 February 11, 2009
24 2009 May 19, 2009 October 19, 2009 November 2, 2009

[edit] Other media

The success of 24 has led to the series being extended into other arenas, including media specifically created for mobile devices and the internet. In addition, the series has spawned video and board games, toys, soundtracks from both the series and the video game, and a number of original novels inspired by the series, as well as a number of "behind-the-scenes" books. A feature film based upon the series has been written but the project has been put on hold to focus on Seasons 7 and 8.

[edit] References

  1. ^ "IGN: 24: The Dead Rise". au.tv.ign.com. http://au.tv.ign.com/articles/821/821061p1.html. Retrieved on 2008-04-23. 
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  3. ^ "24 DIRECTOR JON CASSAR TAKES A TIME-OUT TO DISCUSS SEASON SIX AND THE 24 MOVIE". http://www.ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=1926. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. 
  4. ^ "FOX Postpones '24,' Sets 'American Idol' Premiere". http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-fox200708scheduleoverhaul,0,5434043.story?coll=zap-news-headlines. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. 
  5. ^ "'K-Ville,' '24' latest affected by strike  — CNN.com". http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/11/08/hollywood.labor.ap/. 
  6. ^ Carter, Bill (2008-02-11). "After Strike, TV Shows Hurry Up and Wait". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/11/arts/television/11show.html. Retrieved on 2008-02-12. 
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  8. ^ "'24' Prequel Coming This Fall". TV Blogger. http://www.tvblogger.org/2008/03/24-prequel-coming-this-fall.html. Retrieved on 2008-03-06. 
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  10. ^ "EMMY AND GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER "24" GETS A JUMPSTART ON THE CLOCK WITH SPECIAL TWO-HOUR PREQUEL SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, ON FOX". the futon critic. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20080515fox01. Retrieved on 2008-05-15. 
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  14. ^ "Fox Network summary of Season 5: "2:00 PM-3:00 PM"". http://fox.com/24/episodes/season5/2pm.htm. 
  15. ^ "Fox Network summary of Season 3: "6:00 AM-7:00 AM"". http://fox.com/24/episodes/season3/6am.htm. 
  16. ^ "Fox Network summary of Season 4: "2:00 - 3:00 AM"". http://fox.com/24/episodes/season4/2am.htm. 
  17. ^ "Fox Network summary of Season 6: "6:00 - 7:00 AM"". http://fox.com/24/episodes/6am.htm. 
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  21. ^ "Funinfo.com review of Season 3". http://funinfo.com/comment/user_101467/id_35298/prod_158270/lang_1/. 
  22. ^ "IMDB entry for La Femme Nikita". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118379/. 
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  25. ^ epigraph in every 24 Declassified tie-in novel
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  27. ^ "12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.". 24. No. 127, season 6.
  28. ^ BBC NEWS Magazine The clock's ticking on torture
  29. ^ Torture works on 24, but not for real Opinion The First Post
  30. ^[citation needed] San Jose Mercury News
  31. ^ "Extras star lands 24 cameo role", BBC (Nov. 21, 2006).
  32. ^ ""24"". 2008-11-26. http://digiex.net/media/706-24-series-7-preview-high-quality-download.html. 
  33. ^ a b Associated Press (2009-03-24). "Sutherland says he's on for 8th season of '24'". msnbc.com. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29859071/. Retrieved on 2009-03-24. 
  34. ^ ""End In Sight For Hit Show 24"". 2009-01-16. http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0650913/. 
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  36. ^ Garth Franklin (2006-05-05). "Sutherland Talks "24" Movie Filming". Dark Horizons. http://www.darkhorizons.com/news06/060505r.php. Retrieved on 2008-07-03. 
  37. ^ Anthony C. Ferrante (2007-02-19). "Exclusive Profile: 24 Director Jon Cassar Takes a Time-Out to Discuss Season Six and the 24 Movie". iFMagazine.com. http://www.ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=1926. Retrieved on 2008-07-03. 
  38. ^ Ben Rawson-Jones (2007-04-01). "Report: '24' movie delayed indefinitely". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/cult/a44685/report-24-movie-delayed-indefinitely.html. Retrieved on 2008-07-03. 
  39. ^ a b "24 movie 'may be set in London'". BBC Newsbeat. 2009-01-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/entertainment/newsid_7847000/7847437.stm. Retrieved on 2009-01-23. 
  40. ^ "Michigan Daily: '24' makes its triumphant return on FOX". October 29, 2002. http://www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2002/10/29/Arts/24.Makes.Its.Triumphant.Return.On.Fox-1413405.shtml?norewrite200609030222&sourcedomain=www.michigandaily.com. 
  41. ^ "US-Jahrescharts 2002/2003". 2003-06-01. http://www.quotenmeter.de/index.php?newsid=9938. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. 
  42. ^ "Boston Globe: TV producers have to be agile to deal with ratings, say experts". January 16, 2005. http://my.brandeis.edu/news/item?news_item_id=103458&show_release_date=1. 
  43. ^ "Entertainment Weekly on AOL: The Worst Day Ever". January 9, 2006. http://www.ew.com/ew/onlyonaol/report/0,17129,1143221_3%7C%7C565864_0_,00.html. 
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  47. ^ "Hollywood Reporter: 2005-06 primetime wrap". Hollywood Reporter. May 26, 2006. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/television/feature_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002576393. 
  48. ^ Mahan, Colin (2007-01-16). "Ratings: Jack Bauer vs. Globes". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/24/show/3866/story/8132.html?tag=story_list;title;6. 
  49. ^ "Viewership numbers of primetime programs during the 2005-06 television season". Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. http://web.archive.org/web/20070310210300/http://www.abcmedianet.com/pressrel/dispDNR.html?id=053106_05. 
  50. ^ Adam Sherwin (2003-12-19). "Sky One outbids BBC for thriller.". Times Online. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1046155.ece. Retrieved on 2009-01-23. 
  51. ^ Ray McGovern (2007-12-12). "Are Americans Really Better Than That". CIA. http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/12/12/5794/. 
  52. ^ Dahlia Lithwick (2008-07-27). "Our torture policy has deeper roots in Fox television than the Constitution". Slate magazine. http://www.slate.com/id/2195864/?from=rss. 
  53. ^ http://www.sueddeutsche.de/ausland/artikel/257/107150/
  54. ^ http://www.medienheft.ch/kritik/bibliothek/k07_ArnoldJudith_4.html
  55. ^ "The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time". 2008-04-30. http://www.empireonline.com/50greatesttv/default.asp?tv=6. 
  56. ^ Steve Head (2002-10-28). "A Conversation with Kiefer Sutherland". IGN. http://tv.ign.com/articles/375/375598p1.html. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. 
  57. ^ David Lambert (2003-10-22). "24's TV-on-DVD success leads to new DVD concepts". TVShowsOnDVD. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=764. Retrieved on 2006-08-27. 
  58. ^ IGN staff, "CES 2007: 24, Prison Break Hit Blu-ray", Jan. 8, 2007.
  59. ^ "24 - Season 1 - Special Edition DVD Information" (HTML). TVShowsonDVD.com. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releases/24-Season-1-Special-Edition/7493. Retrieved on 2008-03-08. 

[edit] Further reading

BOOK: Steven Keslowitz, The Tao of Jack Bauer: What Our Favorite Terrorist Buster Says About Life, Love, Torture, and Saving the World 24 Times in 24 Hours With No Lunch Break (2009).

Steven Keslowitz, The Simpsons, 24, and the Law: How Homer Simpson and Jack Bauer Influence Congressional Lawmaking and Judicial Reasoning, 29 Cardozo Law Review 2787 (May 2008).

[edit] External links

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