The WGA writers’ strike has hurt many shows, killed others, but perhaps the most high-profile hatchet-job involves 24. The highly-touted seventh season of the Jack Bauer-led drama was set to premiere this month, but 24 only got seven or so scripts finished and ready to shoot before the strike hit. Now, until the strike is resolved, fans will be without their beloved series. However, the question lingers – when the strike ends (and it will, eventually) what should FOX do with 24? It’s not as simple as “finish filming season 7 and then air it,” though it’d be nice if it was.
For the remainder of this post, let’s all assume that the writers’ strike will be settled at some point between now and July. If it isn’t, the whole business of network TV will be in serious trouble. It will officially be all reality, all the time. And no one wants that. Hence, the assumption. When the strike is settled, FOX will have to make some decisions. Will they wait until January 2009 to air the first new 24 episodes since May 2007? Will they move up the schedule to have the remaining seasons of 24 run in Fall instead of Spring? Will they forgo the 24-episode format and break season seven into two mini-seasons, spanning the entirety of the 2008-2009 TV season?
Realistically, FOX will do whatever they believe is the most financially beneficial and/or agreeable to Kiefer Sutherland, Joel Surnow, Jon Cassar, et al. In a perfect world, the 24 team would attempt to make up for lost time and get a season up and on the air as soon as possible. To do this, they would have to either do two mini-seasons in the Fall and Spring, or just decide to air the full season beginning in the Fall. There’s absolutely no way that 24 can cobble together two full seasons for both halves of the 08-09 season – the production for a season of 24 is lengthier than almost any other series on television.
Either way, it’s only going to be 24 total episodes next year. If we presume this to be the case (and it seems the most logical) then I would imagine that FOX and 24 would opt not to go for mini-seasons. There’s no need to risk alienating the fans by toying with an unfamiliar format. Personally, I wouldn’t be opposed to two mini-seasons, but I just can’t see FOX truly entertaining that thought.
What do you all think?
Should FOX air two mini-seasons of 24 next TV season?
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)