• Publication date: May 28, 2011

A Lot Can Happen in Only a Day 24: The Clock is Ticking

Each episode of 24 depicts one hour of its lead character, Jack Bauer's (Kiefer Sutherland) life as a member of America's fictional Counter-Terrorism Unit, a rouge entity that series creators sometimes imply spawned from Homeland Security, while at other times the Central Intelligence Agency.

Each episode of 24 depicts one hour of its lead character, Jack Bauer's (Kiefer Sutherland) life as a member of America's fictional Counter-Terrorism Unit, a rouge entity that series creators sometimes imply spawned from Homeland Security, while at other times the Central Intelligence Agency. Bauer's approach to law enforcement frequently deviates from ethical behavior. For example, he has no objection to torturing suspects, nor is he beyond risking his family's lives to apprehend one individual or prevent a single act.

This approach puts the agent at odds with his superiors. During one incident Sutherland's character blasts a higher up with a tranquilizer dart, an action that results in strangely minor repercussions. At home Bauer's wife, Teri (Leslie Hope) temporarily abandons her husband to protest his constant absence at home; in contrast daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) remains empathetic to dad and his unconventional career.

In season one, or the first hour of the program, Jack struggles to protect Senator David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), the country's first African-American presidential nominee after a white supremacist group threatens to assassinate him. However, a soon-to-emerge secret from Palmer's past could ruin his presidential prospects without the use of ammunition. In parallel, evidence suggests that Bauer's former fling has infiltrated the unit, despite the absence of any smoking gun. While the aforementioned problems are difficult to tackle by themselves, much less in only 24 hours, Kim has been kidnapped and Teri scours the city on a solo rescue mission.

24's innovative, real-time storytelling, coupled with post 9/11 terrorist hysteria aided its critical and commercial ascent internationally, a feat that spanned eight seasons and yielded a feature-length television movie with a second cinematic effort on the way. The program earned two Golden Globes and 20 Primetime Emmys. In 2008 Empire magazine deemed 24 the sixth greatest television series of all time.

Year: 2001-02

Duration: 60 minutes

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Starring:

Kiefer Sutherland...

Mary Lynn Rajskub

Carlos Bernard

Elisha Cuthbert

Dennis Haysbert

Created By: Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran

Rating: TV-14