This should appease some impatient 24 fans.  While recent announcements by FOX have led viewers to believe that 24 would not be returning to the air until January 2009, it turns out that fans will get a taste of Jack Bauer this Fall.  The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that FOX will produce a two-hour 24 prequel to air this Fall that will bridge the gap between seasons 6 and 7.  Season 7 of 24 was the highest profile casualty of the recent WGA writers’ strike.  It was set to air in its entirety this Winter, but production delays, coupled with the strike, derailed that plan.  It was thought that FOX might be inclined to then split the seventh season up into two parts, with half of the episodes airing next Fall, the other half starting in January.  FOX declined that option, but today’s announcement means that 24 and Jack Bauer will be back in our lives this Fall, if only for a couple of hours. 

There are no real specifics yet about how the prequel will tie the two seasons together (between which there is said to be a two year gap), but I think it’s safe to assume that, for the first time ever, 24 will shed its real-time format.  To truly bridge the two year gap, you’d think a more prolonged time line would be necessary.  At the end of season 6, there was no major twist, and Jack was left looking out into the sea, pondering life.  I thought he was contemplating suicide at that moment; perhaps the prequel will clear that up.  So, in two years time, Jack goes from staring into the distance to testifying in front of Congress.  Will the prequel show any major events in Jack’s life during this time?  Will there be a lot of exposition?  Will this affect the plans for the not yet produced episodes of season 7?

I’m really excited for this prequel.  It will be a good test to see if the 24 team is able to survive in a non-real time format.  I see no reason why they can’t.  In fact, I imagine that the 24 writers will find penning the prequel quite liberating after conforming to the vast restraints of staying within the real time formula for so long.  I imagine Kim Bauer will be involved.  Same with Chloe, and probably Audrey Raines.  Other than that, who knows?  The prequel could go a lot of different ways.  Now, instead of a 10-month wait, it’s only going to be 6-8 months.  That’s not unbearable.

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

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV