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24 is a current U.S. television action/drama series, produced by the Fox Network and syndicated worldwide. It is named 24 because the action on the show ostensibly occurs in "real-time", with each season covering the events of one day in the life of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). The show also follows Jack's colleagues at the Counter Terrorist Unit in Los Angeles, as well as the actions of both various terrorists and the White House. Every episode in a season covers the events of one hour in that day (hence 24 episodes per season). 24 makes frequent use of hand-held cameras and split-screens to show the actions of various characters concurrently.
24 was created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran (La Femme Nikita), and premiered in 2001.
24 is a thriller which purports to be shown in "real-time", with each minute of airtime corresponding to a minute in the lives of the characters. This real-time nature gives the show a uniquely strong sense of urgency, emphasized via the ticking of an on-screen digital clock appearing from time to time. In reality, however, the episodes last about 40 minutes. Because of the fact that it is a United-States-born series, one-third of 24's time is spent on commercials, which break up the show. Elsewhere, there may be no commercials at all (e.g. on BBC), or only before and after the show, so the clock that is shown sometimes makes 'jumps' where the commercials are planned for the United States, and is thus not real-time. In the United States, action that takes place during the advertising breaks is not shown (although some episodes do not have breaks thanks to sponsorship deals). Throughout every episode, the action switches between different locations, following the parallel adventures of different characters all involved in the same story. The result is that there are long sections of narrative for each character that are not seen, and mundane actions (such as car journeys) are skipped just as they are in conventional drama.
The "real-time" technique is not frequently seen in television series, but it is hardly new. It dates back to at least 1949, with the film noir The Set-Up. The similarities of the first 24 season to the 1995 real-time movie Nick of Time strongly suggest that the series was inspired both by the movie's plot and technique: In Nick of Time, a man's daughter is kidnapped in order to set him up to assassinate a senator within 90 minutes. 24 also borrows its use of split-screen techniques from Timecode, a film released in 2000, to show events in two different places at once. Despite not having invented the "real-time" and split-screen techniques, 24's techniques are regarded as innovative. Much like the BBC spy series, Spooks, (which, although not "real time" is slightly derivative of 24 and heavily dependent on split-screen technology), the usage of these techniques has largely defined the visual and technological feel of the series.
24 has received critical and popular acclaim, and has become a true "watercooler" show. However the necessities of its format sometimes lead to lots of egregious padding and some manifest absurdities (for example, traffic jams are surprisingly uncommon for a show set mostly in Southern California), which call upon the audience for a considerable amount of suspension of disbelief.
The show is notable for its approach to technology, which is more accurate than many other shows, although many have found Season 3 and Season 4 to be less accurate than the two preceding series. It has shown the use of the operating system Linux multiple times, and in one season, appeared to touch on the Macintosh vs. PC debate . In fact, in Season 4 all the terrorists used Alienware laptops. Another aspect of the show that has been praised as accurate is the depiction of interpersonal friction and tension between and within the various agencies charged with national security, even in times of severe crisis.
At first sight, it may seem as if characters rarely eat, rest, or take bathroom breaks - and this is a common complaint made by people who haven't seen the show - but in fact, due to the sheer number of storylines, characters will usually only be seen for at most 15 minutes per episode, so there is plenty of time for these things to happen offscreen.
In the first season, Kiefer Sutherland, who plays the main character Jack Bauer, won a Golden Globe for his performances; Surnow and Cochran (the creators of the show) won an Emmy Award. In 2004, the show won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series. 24 won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series, Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing For A Series, Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series, and Outstanding Stunt Coordination.
Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
|> Airing History & Information|
|Format/Time||Color / 60 Minutes|
|Upcoming Airs||Not currently airing|
Adam Kaufman (23 episodes)
Kim Raver.... Audrey Heller Raines (2005)
James Badge Dale.... Chase Edmunds (2003-2004)
Mary Lynn Rajskub.... Chloe O'Brian (2003-2005)
Roger R. Cross.... Curtis Manning (as Roger Cross) (2005 -)
Dennis Haysbert.... David Palmer (2001-2004)
Louis Lombardi.... Edgar Stiles (24 episodes)
Alberta Watson.... Erin Driscoll (2005)
Xander Berkeley.... George Mason (2001-2003)
Kiefer Sutherland.... Jack Bauer
Sarah Wynter.... Kate Warner (2002-2003)
Elisha Cuthbert.... Kimberly Bauer (2001-2004)
Reiko Aylesworth.... Michelle Dessler (2002-2005)
Jude Ciccolella.... Mike Novick (38 episodes)
Sarah Clarke.... Nina Myers (2001-2002)
Paul Schulze.... Ryan Chappelle (24 episodes)
William Devane.... Secretary of Defense James Heller (2005)
Penny Johnson.... Sherry Palmer (as Penny Johnson Jerald) (2001-2004)
Leslie Hope.... Teri Bauer (2001-2002)
Carlos Bernard.... Tony Almeida (2001-2004)
D.B. Woodside.... Wayne Palmer (24 episodes)
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|> News (News Archive) (Post a News Story)|
|'24' Cast Keeps Growing|
(Posted December 23, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)
A pair of Broadway veterans will step away from the stage and into the world of counterterrorism on the upcoming season of "24."
Jayne Atkinson, a two-time Tony Award nominee, and Tony winner Ste ... [More
|DVD-Only Prequel Fills in '24' Gaps|
(Posted December 6, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)
The DVD set of season four of "24" will include at least one nifty little extra: a 10-minute mini-episode that helps bridge the time gap between the end of Jack Bauer's fourth really long day as a cou ... [More Information]
|'24' Adds Trio to Day Five|
(Posted November 20, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)
FOX's "24" is expanding its cast some more as it readies its fifth season, adding three veteran actors to the ensemble.
British actor Julian Sands ("Timecode," "A Room with a View") will play the ... [More