Exclusive: '24' to shut down production for rewrites

Apparently Jack Bauer needs a little breather: After the completion of episode 18 on Sept. 15, production on Fox’s hit drama 24 will shut down until Oct. 9 while the writers reshape the upcoming season’s creative direction — specifically the transition leading to the end game. “We had a couple of scripts that we weren’t happy with,” 24 exec producer Howard Gordon tells EW.com. “We just couldn’t get this direction to work, and we found another one that we liked better, so we wound up retooling it.”

Production shutdowns are usually cause for concern — and 24 is coming off its least critically beloved season — but Howard assures fans that everything will be on track, and the season will not be interrupted. He says that the show is ahead of schedule, which means the airing of season 7 — which begins in January 2009 — will not be affected. (You may remember that 24 had the first eight episodes of this season in the can when last fall’s WGA strike occurred; Fox decided to delay the launch until 2009.) “The only, only, only concern at all is getting it right,” Howard says. “Our feeling was this: We’re so happy with what we’ve done so far, and to the extent that we had that luxury [of time], we said, ‘Why not make it as good as we could?'”


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  • jake

    After all the critical drubbing last season got, I was shocked that last season was actually quite good and exciting. Perhaps because season 5 was so phenomenal that anything that followed was just not up to par, but I really enjoyed season 6.
    disappointed that in effect we have lost a season because of the writers strike.

  • Servo

    No Jake, season 6 got scorched by critics and fans beacuse it was damn near unwatchable. Season 5 rocked more than usual but seasons 1,3 and 4 also blow away anything part 6 had to offer.

  • Servo

    oh yeah, and this news does not exactly inspire confidence

  • Brownhound

    Season 6 wasn’t a total disaster. The first third was incredible. Jack being released from China only to be turned over for execution; his escape from his captors; and the explosion of a nuclear bomb in LA. It was a great setup. They just up the rest of it.

  • Ben

    They couldn’t get us a season last year and now they can’t come up with an ending this year? Not promising. I hope this show gets back on track.

  • Nick

    WOWWWWW. Hey, if they have the time, they might as well make it not suck!

  • queen of disrepair

    I agree with Jake; season 5 was such a completely compelling story with amazing actors. Season 6 just couldn’t have been as focused and tight because the bar was set. They had WAY too many storylines going and when they realized they had to get back to characters living the action instead of the other way around, it was too vast and thinned out. I hope they come back to DC and film – now, that would be the “Change” this town needs.

  • 24Fan

    I think 24’s biggest problem lately has been repetitiveness.
    Every season is about a big terrorist threat and every season (except for 1 and 3) starts between 6-8AM. Note that in seasons 2, 5 and 6, the big terror threat was usually resolved around 10PM and then the cover operation, going after the chip, recording and component always happens in the middle of the night.
    I honestly believe that a dramatically different start time (how about late afternoon or early evening, which has NEVER been done) would automatically change the tone and structure of the season.
    Also, I believe the unique 24 hour format does not require terrorism as its main threat. Why not have a smaller, but equally suspenseful storyline about a serial killer out on the streets? Maybe Marilyn Bauer could be one of the victims so Jack’s involvement in the show would still make sense!

  • emteem

    I don’t know if you remember, but this will actually be the third time that Day 7 has shut down.
    Day 7 was supposed to begin filming in July of 2007, but after FOX nixed their plan to go to Africa to film the first few hours they put production on hold until August 27th to try to come up with a new plot.
    Then the August 27th start date was moved to September 10th because they didn’t have scripts ready.
    After the decision was made to delay the series an entire year due to the strike the producer’s discussed how they had the entire season plotted for the first time ever and wouldn’t be flying by the seat of their pants like they normally do. Now they’re taking another break while they cobble together a new ending.
    Day 7 is scaring me. Especially after the horror that was day 6 and seeing evil, bearded Tony in the trailer released late last year at 24trailer.com
    Please don’t suck!

  • nick

    24 was great every year but last year in my opinion and simple reason is writers got lazy and casting got lazy,after thye killed curtis there was really no one good left…i hope this season is great and i think best way change the show is to turn it into jack movies instead of the 24 format lets get this series turned into movie franchise before its to late like x-files did.

  • jaime

    To improve 24!
    Show JACK eating
    Show JACK use the bathroom
    Show JACK sleep
    Show JACK change
    ….okay jk but ugh we never see any of that!
    I think they need move from L.A. period um hello Im sure HOUSTON gets threats too…you can get NASA involved. IM TIRED OF L.A. maybe it would be intriguing if it was a threat against a small town! The small town effect would help bring other characters to life. . .or have drama for 2days (back 2 back) and the end of day one is a huge cliffhanger and day two starts the following season!
    I love htis show and i will watch it regardless…

  • chloe

    in the words of jack bauer = dammit!
    they all went to comic con and talked about how great this season was going to be, and what a blessing in disguise it was to have breathing room to plot out the whole year instead of flying by the seat of their pants.
    i also saw where the 2hr movie in november is changing the title. used to be 24:exile and now it will be 24:redemption.
    i got behind with 24, so we did a marathon weekend of season 5 and then a few weeks later a marathon weekend of season 6. definitely season 5 was MADE OF AWESOME WIN but i didn’t think season 6 sucked that bad. it just wasn’t near as good as s5, which was a pretty high bar, you know?
    they better not screw up this show, dammit. jack bauer ftw!

  • entertainmenttodayandbeyond.com

    Hopefully things will work out fine creatively as the show needs a big time bounce back after last years very up and down season. Theres no doubt that this has to be a tough show to keep fresh after 6 seasons.

  • Garry

    To Jaime:
    Do you REALLY want to see Jack eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom that badly? (as for seeing him naked, perhaps if this were a cable show).
    I don’t. As the producers have explained, showing him performing mundane tasks might be more realistic, but it would slow down the pace of the show. “24” fans like me want to see ACTION (and Chloe), not bathroom breaks.

  • jaime

    To Garry:
    It was a joke but seriously how long does it take you to pee. . .yeah shouldnt take long. It would not hurt to make it realistic. . .I love the action too but come its a 24hr day…he needs to pee at least once..lol! Oh and love chloe like alot. . .i heard she wasnt going to be in this day. . .or not the whole day…maybe im making that up but i think i read that.

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