The long-running innovative action drama “24” returns to television in a special 12 episode mini-series event beginning Monday May 6th on Fox.
When we last saw Jack Bauer in May of 2010, “24” ended in a two hour finale with all the spectacular thrills mayhem fans have come to expect from the long running show. The evening was book-ended by two special treats for fans.
Star Kiefer Sutherland appeared before the start of the show and personally thanked the fans and talked about how much the show has meant to him. And the final scene of Jack saying goodbye to Chloe O'Brian, the one character who has always been there for him no matter how desperate the situation. In many ways their relationship of trust and loyalty was the true heart of the show.
Jack Bauer survived multiple gunshots, stabbings, deadly biological agents, torture (often several times within the same 24 hour day, sometimes even the same hour). He had his heart broken and was a fugitive on the run (pretty much most of the time). He even had a bout of heroin addiction that he kicked cold turkey while taking on the terrorists, the conspirators, and anyone else that would dare stand in his way as he went about the singular, unselfish sacrifice of keeping America safe—often from itself.
Jack Bauer could do it all. But even the brooding super-agent could not survive the axe of the network as sliding ratings (although only slightly) escalating costs, and general production fatigue of delivering nearly a decade of twenty-four feature film quality hours per year overtook both the show and its resilient star, thus ending an era of landmark dramatic television.
After Fox canceled “24” despite the solid ratings, Kiefer and the producers wisely declined to let the show linger on and be picked up by a rival network and instead are currently began pre-production plans for Jack Bauer to live on in a series of feature films. But “24” is one of the revolutionary shows that ushered in the new golden age of television drama; so Fox, Kiefer, and Executive Producer/showrunner Howard Gordon opted instead to bring “24” back to the small careen in a limited special edition 12 episode run. It was a wise decision.
During its eight season run, “24” received critical praise and became a pop culture icon. Both the star and the show won Emmys and Golden Globes.
“24” gave us the first African American president seven years before Barrack Obama, showed the politics of terror from all sides, utilized an all too real fictional Blackwater type company that became too big and powerful to control, and was exposing the torture “debate” long before most of us knew what draft-dodger Dick Cheney was up to in that secret bunker at an undisclosed location.
The show was a model of cutting edge production and filmmaking techniques. It was gritty, uncompromising, and consistently delivered a true rush of adrenaline that left fans always wanting for more.
Let us not forget what a truly innovative show “24” was—and hopefully will be again in its new incarnation, “24: Live Another Day”.
Jack Bauer, we salute you!