24 Background Information
The series, 24, is a unique concept in that each one-hour program theoretically takes place during one hour of the day. There are, therefore, 24 programs produced during a year. In general, each program airs one hour a week on the Fox network, although occasionally more than one program will air in one week. The show moves from one setting to another during the course of the “hour,” showing what is happening in various locations such as the headquarters of the intelligence unit, the president’s office, and city streets. Some story line elements are started and resolved in each program, but many elements last through the entire season.
The show’s star, Kiefer Sutherland, plays the part of James Bauer. For the first three seasons he was the Director of Field Operations for the Central Intelligence Unit in Los Angeles. He and his elite team of CIA agents worked to eliminate dangers facing the city and the country. For example, the first season (day), takes place on Presidential primary day in Los Angeles when a plot to assassinate presidential nominee David Palmer is uncovered. The CIA agents had only 24 hours to identify the killer and save Palmer’s life. In season four, Jack was working for the Secretary of Defense.
From a production point of view, the programs are shot in pairs. In other words, two “hours” are shot together over a fifteen-day period. Then the shows are separated and the pieces that have been shot are edited together into the individual shows. The same person, Anne Melville, does almost all the script supervision for all 24 shows. There are three editors, Chris Willingham, Scott Powell, and David Latham, who rotate through editing the programs. Two assistant editors, Larry Davenport and Ann Parish, work for all three editors.
The show is produced by Imagine Television, in association with 20th Century Fox Television. It was created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran and first aired in November, 2001.