'24' season 7 pushed back to Jan. 2009

by Paul William Tenny

24.jpgThere's lots of news flooding the blogosphere about what shows are coming back this year, or next year, what shows aren't coming back at all, and which of those are heading back into production or have done so already. 24 wasn't going to just go away, and most of you should have been aware by now that Fox decided to hold off on airing the beginning of the 7th season which they had already begun until after the strike ended.

I could insert a snide remark here about how Fox wouldn't have even had to make that decision, if they had acted like adults and gotten the WGA contract out of the way without the need for a strike. Instead, I'll just sit here and smile, knowing full well that the AMPTP lost, and the WGA got a fair deal anyway.

What matters now is that Fox is pushing 24 back again -- in fact the episodes you'll finally get a chance to see in very early 2009 will have been originally shot in the fall of 2007. It's that messed up, and I think it's kind of retarded. Fans are not so unhappy with split seasons that they'd rather not have any 24 for over a year as the alternative. This will certainly dull our senses a bit and make us all less likely to come back to the show when the damn thing finally airs about a year from now.

Oddly, there is some good news mixed in with the bad: Series co-creator and semi-scary neo-con Joel Surnow has left the show in order to explore other creative opportunities. Now I certainly can't blame the guy for getting burned out on the show. Seven years is a long chunk of your life gone that you can't get back to do other stuff and no matter how great the result is, eventually you've got to do something else or you'll go nuts.

24 has arguably been stretched well beyond its original concept since the fourth season, and this decision which I think is signaling its not-too-far-off demise is actually coming a little too late to do any good. Not that I think Surnow is leaving the show for such altruistic reasons -- I'm sure he's genuinely bored -- but when you need a fundamental change, the series creator is often the very last person best suited to do that.

Then again, when a show needs a drastic change like that, there's little chance anything is going to make a significant and positive difference.
in Television


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