Joel Surnow, the co-creator and executive producer of 24, is leaving the FOX series effective immediately. No immediate reasons were given for the departure.  Surnow was a key creative cog for 24 during its first six seasons and was intimately involved with the eight un-aired pre-strike episodes of season 7.  His contract with FOX and 24 was supposed to run through April, but Surnow asked to be let off the hook early and FOX obliged.  He will have nothing more to do with 24’s seventh season.

Joel Surnow is an interesting fellow.  He began his television career as a writer on Miami Vice.  Before 24, Surnow was best known as the creator and producer of the television version of La Femme Nikita.  Since he created 24, he’s become well-known as a staunch conservative.  He’s good friends with radio host (and blow-hard) Rush Limbaugh.  He also created the short lived and despicable FOX News comedy series The Half Hour News Hour.  That series was supposed to be the conservative response to The Daily Show.  The only problem was that the show was painfully unfunny and often quite offensive.  I wonder if his departure has anything to do with the upcoming presidential election.  Perhaps he has something up his sleeve.

This news comes amidst uncertain times for 24.  While there has yet to be an official announcement, it’s been widely reported that 24’s seventh season will not hit the airwaves anytime soon.  FOX will likely wait until January of 2009 to air season 7.  This year long delay marks the most extreme result of the writers’ strike for any series that hasn’t been canceled.  As a fan, I have to admit that this is disappointing news, but given the circumstances it’s probably the right decision.  24 is one of, if not the, most difficult series to produce on television and FOX should take all the time it needs to produce a quality season, especially after the disappointment that was season 6.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
(Image Courtesy of WireImage)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV