Thursday, August 23, 2007

24 Season 7: More News

Loyal reader Jonk has pointed me in the direction of the latest news haul for season 7. It comes from the Chicago Tribune and it does have it's fair share of spoilers... so BEWARE!!! I'm going to pull some quotes from the article and talk about them below.

And Fox has confirmed that "Entourage's" Rhys Coiro, who plays nutty director Billy Walsh on the Hollywood dramedy, has been cast on "24." Garofalo told Jam Showbiz that he'll play another FBI staffer who works with Gold.

So Entourage's Billy Walsh, who works with Ari Gold will be an FBI staffer who works with Janis Gold (Garofalo). If only we knew the name of Ari's wife... please say it's Janis! Or Janice. Or something similar. In any case, that's another pseudo-comedic actor who's joined the ranks.

At Comic-Con in July, the show’s producers also floated the idea of bringing back Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), but that concept is still in the rumor stage.

Genius idea... not. But I bet these guys are creaming in their jeans.

Production was supposed to start in late July, but the writing staff decided to toss the story they had originally planned to tell, which would have taken Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) to Africa and New York.

Good thing, as traveling from NY to Africa would've put Jack on a plane for about half the season. Smart move!

There’s been a slight tweak there, executive producer David Fury noted. Now the plan is to bring Jack before a federal grand jury (instead of a Congressional Committee). “The change was due to the time of day the hearing would take place, and other story concerns. But the purpose is the same,” Fury said.

That's quite the difference! Good call!

Within the universe of the show, “CTU has been dismantled by a corrupt bureaucracy,” Fury said. “Instead, we'll be focusing on FBI headquarters in Washington.”

It's probably best, seeing that CTU would allow the terrorists to go through with 90% of their plans before Jack stopped them. But I'm not sure that the FBI isn't much worse. Oh the webs that 24 spins.

Executive producer Michael Loceff told a Seattle Fox affiliate that next year’s story lines will be “smaller” and more “personal.”

Really? I sure do hope they're being honest here. What a novel idea.

Garafalo’s casting may bring about some lively debates behind the scenes; the actress and comic has been a commentator for the liberal Air America radio network, while “24” co-creator Joel Surnow called himself a “right-wing nut job” in a February New Yorker article about the show.

“But Joel will tell you this – the politics on the show are very varied,” executive producer Evan Katz said in an interview at Comic-Con. “He’s really at one end of the spectrum, and most of us are not. Not at all.”

“But I also feel that the storytelling is pretty apolitical,” Katz added. “You assume [former president] David Palmer was a Democrat and [former president] Charles Logan was a Republican, but there’s no reason to assume that. We purposely stay away from [depicting] any real domestic issues, partly because it’s distracting from the stories we’re trying to tell. We’re not ‘The West Wing.’ And also, we don’t want to alienate 50 percent of the audience.”

Right! You've never been able to tell what party everyone was a part of... orrrr... let's rewind to season one and see what Wikipedia says about David Palmer. Then you have the fact that Sherry Palmer also mentions, paraphrased, "You are the Democratic nominee for President". And except for the fact that Palmer (democrat) ran against Keeler (republican) in the general election, and then Logan replaced the incapacitated Keeler. But yeah, they're not party-aligned.

As for the idea that the show has, at times, legitimized torture as a method of gaining information, Katz said it will always be part of Jack’s “arsenal,” but he also said the writers are “a little sick of it.”

“I think we intend to have him torture people less, simply because we as writers have done it a lot and we always want to do something different,” Katz said.

The writers are getting sick of it? You always want to do something different? YOU'RE THE WRITING STAFF AND THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS!!! No one is making you write torturing into the script.

“The critics kind of savaged us a little bit last year, I thought mostly unfairly, so it was nice to see that the fans, as I kind of suspected, stick with the show even if they’re momentarily disappointed about one thing or another,” Katz said.

Unfairly? You "won" Emmys for acting, directing and drama... and you're talking about unfairness? Sheesh.

Fury said in a July interview that it’s not really possible to plan an entire “24” season out in advance. And it does seem like a good idea to keep things flexible: for example, part of the decision to focus much of Season 5’s stellar storytelling on Martha and Charles Logan (who were played by Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart) came as a result of the writers and producers seeing what great work the actors were doing.

“It’s very difficult to map things out, and when you try to do that, everything starts to feel stale,” Fury said. “By nature of what the show is, we almost have to let it be very fluid.”

Ladies and gentlemen... THAT is the exact reason 24 has sucked the past few seasons. How can a show be difficult to map out? Oh, well maybe when your story line gets scrapped twice before production starts... that may make it tough.

Consider yourself informed.


Jonk said...

"Good thing, as traveling from NY to Africa would've put Jack on a plane for about half the season. Smart move!"

I read somewhere a few weeks ago that the scrapped plan involving Africa would have abandoned the one-day, 24 hours structure. Apparently the first few hours (presumably the two-part four-hour premiere) would have placed Jack in Africa, then about 12 hours would be skipped so Jack could get back to New York for the final 20ish episodes.

Fury said in a July interview that it's not really possible to plan an entire "24" season out in advance.

The "24" team says that, when they write the beginning, they have no clue how the season will end. But even "Alias" bothered to set up markers for its seasons. "Lost" is built around many "tentpoles" -- specific events that the writers want to happen in each season. I realize that writing for the split-camera and the "real time" is more time-consuming than a normal show, but how can they be the one show that doesn't plan ahead? I mean, you can even have:

Episode 1: New lady Senator character established to audience.
Episode 2: Senator's teenage son vanishes.
Episode 4: Senator's husband and daughter are kidnapped, son revealed also kidnapped.
Episode 9: Senator's son is killed (!).
Episode 14: Senator refuses demands, is almost killed.
Episode 17: Husband and daughter rescued. Go Jack!
Episode 19: Senator meets with kidnappers, is kidnapped herself.
Episode 24: Senator is rescued, family re-united.

This is a very quick rough sketch. I didn't take the time to decide who the kidnappers are, nor their motivation, and I think the back-end is kind of weak (another kidnapping?!). And yes, it re-hashed some stuff we've seen before. BUT, this is for demonstration purposes only. It's not that crazy to set up tentpoles, then decide how the plot advances in the episodes in-between.

Jonk said...

Just to clarify, the abandoned Africa idea still would have been in real-time. A few hours in Africa, then 20 hours in New York "later" in the day.

Also, David Fury is a former "Lost" writer. When he joined the "24" crew, I really hoped he would help push them toward doing some pre-season planning. Guess not.

AlmeidaFan/Webmaster said...

"Genius idea... not. But I bet these guys are creaming in their jeans.”

Hahahaha. You bet we are.

Ivan said...

Really, their inability to stat shooting is totally laughable and ridiculous. If carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof (exec producers and writers of LOST) manage to plan out the WHOLE SHOW, why can't the 24 writers plan one lousy season? Jonk's example is exactly what they should do. Only I'd prefer it looked like this:

Episode 1: new setting in Montana established
Episode 4: Jack Bauer dies
Episode 6: realistic action and really real time established
Episode 10: a plot twist we haven't seen before
Episode 15: terrorists destroy CTU, Washington, and FOX headquarters all at once
Episode 20: a character has major character developement (now THAT would b something new on 24)
Episode 24: ends without re-using the Chinese plot line

Ivan said...

Hey, even stephen King doesn't like 24 anymore... he wrote here:,,20043515,00.html

"Remember the spectacular second season of 24, when President Palmer (the believable President Palmer) and Jack Bauer (the believable Jack Bauer) were trying to keep the believable terrorists from blowing up L.A.? I got that season on DVD and sat there in front of my TV hour after hour, slamming in new discs and hoping that Jack would whack the abusive father who was terrorizing Kim. Last season's 24 was only a pale imitation, but I'll be back next year, hoping for a return to the good stuff: more thrills, less filler."

Dizagaox said...

Try working on a production. Then you'll realise why it's hard to plan 24 episodes all in advance.