24 is an American action television series created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran and presented in real time, with each season depicting a 24-hour period in the life of Jack Bauer, who works with the United States government as it fights fictitious terrorist threats to the United States.
Broadcast by Fox in the United States and syndicated worldwide, the show aired from 6 November, 2001 to 24 May, 2010. There are 124 episodes (and a TV movie) in eight seasons.
24 originally premiered in South Africa on M-Net on Thursday 31 January 2002, at 19h00. It was moved to DStv's M-Net Action channel for the 7th season, as well as the preceding television movie 24: Redemption. It later aired on e.tv (first season only) and TopTV's Fox Entertainment channel.
When Fox Entertainment became FOX in 2013 the final season aired on the new channel, which was broadcast simultaneously on TopTV and DStv. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times by channel.
The 4th season is set approximately 18 months after Season 3.
Jack Bauer is now working for Secretary of Defence - James Heller - after being fired by CTU. He is caught up in an elaborate terrorist plot which involves both men and Heller’s daughter - Audrey Raines. Audrey works as her father's chief policy assistant, and she is also personally involved with Jack. She is separated from her husband.
Jack has to work with CTU and Erin Driscoll, the new Chief Director of CTU; she is also the woman who fired him. Again, one or more moles are revealed to be working inside CTU, aiding the terrorists.
Unlike previous seasons, this season is based around one main enemy, a Turkish terrorist named Habib Marwan who controls a series of Middle Eastern terrorist cells that launch a series of attacks against the United States.
Rather that having two acts, Season 4 takes a different approach in its storyline. It is divided into several smaller acts depending on what terrorist threat Marwan came up with.
1. The kidnapping and planned broadcast of the execution of the Secretary of Defence.
2. Nuclear power plants across America are sent into a forced meltdown.
3. Terrorists steal a stealth fighter to shoot down Air Force One.
4. Jack and Marwan scramble to get a hold of the nuclear football.
5. The terrorists steal and launch a nuclear missile.
Depiction of torture
Although torture, used by both the U.S. and its opponents, had been depicted in previous seasons, there was noticeably more of it in Season 4, and the characters seemed on the whole much less disturbed by it.
In the wake of the real-life Abu Ghraib scandal and similar allegations at other U.S. military facilities housing suspected terrorists, some commentators accused the show of legitimizing the use of torture in the war on terror.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Kiefer Sutherland commented on the show's use of torture and how it relates to the recent controversies over government sanctioned torture.
"Do I personally believe that the police or any of these other legal agencies that are working for this government should be entitled to interrogate people and do the things that I do on the show? No, I do not."
Plots affecting future seasons
A Chinese national at the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles is revealed to be complicit and is captured by CTU. In the process, the Chinese Consul is killed, leading to a serious diplomatic problem with China
The Chinese government begins investigating the raid at the Chinese Consulate and begins to suspect CTU's involvement
Logan's administration attempts to frame Jack Bauer as acting against authorization by the US Government
David Palmer warns Jack that someone in the administration is trying to have Jack conveniently killed, causing Jack to fake his death with four conspirators: David Palmer, Michelle Dessler, Tony Almeida, and Chloe O'Brian.
Note: Seasons 6 and 7 were separated by the TV movie 24: Redemption, which did not air on Fox Entertainment.
Season 1 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 31 Jan 2002 | Finale: 11 Jul 2002 | Thursdays, 19h00
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 15 Feb 2005 | Finale: 26 Jul 2005 | Tuesdays, 21h00
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 12 Sep 2010 | Finale: 5 Oct 2010 | Daily, 23h15
Season 2 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 1 Jul 2003 | Finale: 9 Dec 2003 | Tuesdays, 21h30
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 6 Oct 2010 | Finale: 29 Oct 2010 | Daily, 23h15
Season 3 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 13 Apr 2004 | Finale: 21 Sep 2004 | Tuesdays, 21h30
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 30 Oct 2010 | Finale: 22 Nov 2010 | Daily, 23h15
Season 4 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 3 May 2005 | Finale: 11 Oct 2005 | Tuesdays, 21h30
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 9 Jul 2010 | Finale: 17 Dec 2010 | Fridays, 21h00
Season 5 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 9 May 2006 | Finale: 17 Oct 2006 | Tuesdays, 21h30
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 4 Jul 2011 | Finale: 12 Dec 2011 | Mondays, 21h00
Season 6 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 15 May 2007 | Finale: 23 Oct 2007 | Tuesdays, 21h30
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 3 Jul 2012 | Finale: 11 Dec 2012 | Tuesdays, 21h00
Channel: M-Net Action | Premiere: 3 Jun 2009 | Wednesday, 19h00
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Aired: Did not air
Season 7 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Action | Premiere: 10 Jun 2009 | Finale: 18 Nov 2009 | Wednesdays, 19h00
Channel: Fox Entertainment | Premiere: 1 Jan 2013 | Finale: 4 Jun 2013 | Tuesdays, 21h00
Season 8 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Action | Premiere: 6 Oct 2010 | Finale: 16 Mar 2011 | Wednesdays, 19h00
Channel: FOX | Premiere: 2 Jul 2013 | Finale: 3 Dec 2013 | Tuesdays, 21h00