Originally posted: May 15, 2008
’24’ returns in November with an African adventure
“24” has been off the air for a year, so Fox is throwing fans a bone in the form of a 2-hour TV movie that will debut Nov. 23.
The two-hour “prequel” to Season 7 will show Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland, pictured at left) battling an international crisis in Africa on the day that a new president, Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones), is being inaugurated in the U.S. The film will be shot on location in South Africa.
Last year, after a wave of criticism for a season that was widely regarded as among the show’s weakest, producers of “24” had thought about shaking things up by setting at least part of the show’s next season in Africa. That plan was eventually shelved, but some of those ideas went into the script for the “24” TV movie.
David Fury, an executive producer of “24,” said that the 2-hour movie allowed the writers to return to “the ideas and some of the material originally written for Season 7. It was a great opportunity to more properly set up the events to come.”
It wasn’t clear from the Fox press release whether the “24” will take place in real time, but Fury said that it will — for the most part. “With the exception of a brief opening teaser scene, the movie will be in a real-time format, taking place several months before Day 7,” Fury said.
The events of the TV movie will help set up what occurs when “24” returns to its regular Monday-night time slot. When Season 7 begins, CTU will be gone and Bauer will be in Washington, D.C., on trial for the various alleged crimes he committed while battling terrorist plots. (There’s more on Season 7 here, here and here.)
In Season 7, Bauer will be joined by new colleagues played by Janeane Garofalo and Rhys Coiro. Cast members Mary Lynn Rajskub (who plays computer whiz Chloe), Carlos Bernard (former Bauer buddy Tony Almeida) and James Morrison (CTU boss Bill Buchanan) will be among the few familiar faces when “24” returns in January.
“We’re excited about the prequel [movie] because it explores Jack’s complex emotional state of mind and still has all the signature excitement and suspense that fans have come to expect from ‘24,’” executive producer Howard Gordon said in a statement. “Shooting in South Africa affirms everyone’s commitment to making this season especially memorable for our fans.”
By the way, USA Today reports that when the show returns on Mondays in January, Joss Whedon’s new series, “Dollhouse,” will air alongside it.
Fox’s entire press release on the “24” sequel is below.
EMMY AND GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER “24” GETS A JUMPSTART ON THE CLOCK WITH SPECIAL TWO-HOUR PREQUEL SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, ON FOX
“Day 7” Season Premiere Clocks-In January 2009
Fans have been waiting almost a year for the return of 24, television’s most addictive drama. On Sunday, November 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the wait will be over as FOX presents a special two-hour prequel event.
Shot on location in South Africa, Jack Bauer battles an international crisis, while here at home the nation prepares for a new president on inauguration day. Taking place just a few months before the new day dawns, the prequel will set the stage and raise the stakes for Season Seven.
“We’re excited about the prequel because it explores Jack’s complex emotional state of mind and still has all the signature excitement and suspense that fans have come to expect from 24,” commented executive producer Howard Gordon. “Shooting in South Africa affirms everyone’s commitment to making this season especially memorable for our fans.”
Celebrating its 150th episode this season, the series has resumed production on “Day 7” and will unfold without interruption in its regular time period Mondays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) beginning in January 2009.
Set in Washington, DC, “Day 7” finds CTU dismantled and Jack Bauer on trial. Bauer’s day takes an unexpected turn when former colleague TONY ALMEIDA (Carlos Bernard) returns. Meanwhile, President ALLISON TAYLOR (Cherry Jones) leads the country alongside White House Chief of Staff ETHAN KANIN (Bob Gunton) and First Gentleman HENRY TAYLOR (Colm Feore).
A national security crisis prompts an investigation by a team of FBI agents including Agent JANIS GOLD (Janeane Garofalo), Agent RENEE WALKER (Annie Wersching), Agent LARRY MOSS (Jeffrey Nordling), Agent SEAN HILLINGER (Rhys Coiro) and security specialist MICHAEL LATHAM (John Billingsley). Although CTU is no longer, CHLOE O’BRIAN (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and BILL BUCHANAN (James Morrison) are back for another momentous day of shocking events.
As part of News Corp.’s global commitment to fighting climate change, 24 has pledged significant and innovative changes to its production practices with the goal of saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.
Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, 24 is a production of Real Time Productions and Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Howard Gordon, Evan Katz, Jon Cassar, Manny Coto, David Fury, Kiefer Sutherland and Brian Grazer are the executive producers.