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FOX Resets '24' Clock for Mid-January

(Posted September 22, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)









LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) FOX is moving the fifth-season premiere of "24" back one week in January, hoping to take advantage of an NFL lead-in to give the show a ratings bump.

Originally scheduled to open Sunday, Jan. 8, the show will now begin its fifth year on Jan. 15. As it did last season, FOX is making a two-night event of the season's beginning, offering up back-to-back episodes on Jan. 15 and 16. The series will settle into its regular time at 9 p.m. ET Jan. 23.

The miniseries-like premiere paid dividends for "24" last season, scoring some of the show's biggest audiences ever and building momentum that translated into its most-watched season. FOX's strategy of running the season without repeats, which it will do again in 2006, helped as well.







Last season's premiere was helped by having a National Football League playoff game as its lead-in in much of the country, and the NFL schedule played a role in this year's scheduling as well. FOX only recently learned that it would have the late-afternoon playoff game on Jan. 15, a network spokesman says, and made the move in hopes of duplicating the success of last year's opener.

Pushing the show back a week also means FOX will have to air a two-hour block of episodes at some point in the season to keep the finale from airing after May sweeps end. That bit of scheduling has yet to be finalized.

Season five of "24" will pick up 18 months after last season's end, with the presumed-dead Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) living under a false identity with a woman (Connie Britton, "Spin City") and her son (Brady Corbet). Carlos Bernard, Mary Lynn Rajskub, James Morrison, Kim Raver, Roger Cross and Louis Lombardi will reprise their roles from last season, while Jean Smart ("Center of the Universe") and Sean Astin ("The Lord of the Rings") are joining the cast.



Source: Zap2it
 


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