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Fox’s 24 was one of the most thrilling, exciting and intense television shows during its 9 season run from 2001-2010, 2014. Kiefer Sutherland played Jack Bauer, a badass, plays-by-his-own-rules freedom fighter, who works for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU). Each episode represented 1 hour, while a season composed of 24 episodes. Each day (season) Jack took on a new mission of ass-kicking and saving the USA from various threats. But let’s take a break from the adrenaline rush part of 24 and look at some behind the scenes and unknown facts about the show.
1) The writers never told actors what would happen more than one episode in advanced. 24 is a fast paced show that usually contains several plot twists each season. These plot twists often involved characters being double agents, moles, or having main characters die. The reason writers kept the plot from the actors, was to avoid letting them know if their characters would be written out of the series or killed off.
2) The most dangerous time throughout the 9 seasons of 24 has been between 7am – 8am. During this hour, there have been terrorist attacks on a shopping mall, a subway, a hotel and two busses. The safest hour throughout the show has been 9am – 10am. Only 9 people have died during this hour.
3) Jack Bauer can be heard saying, “damnit” in almost every episode. In fact, throughout the first 8 seasons, Bauer said, “damnit” 162 times.
4) Lead actor Kiefer Sutherland is actually not that tall, listed at about 5’9″. In fact, many of the actors working on the show were far taller than he was. To negate the height difference and increase Jack Bauer’s presence on screen, sometimes other actors on screen wouldn’t wear shoes while Sutherland would sport shoes with higher soles to add a couple inches. In the picture below, Freddie Prinze Jr., 6’1″ appears to be the same height as Sutherland.
5) Each episode of 24 covered a 1 hour time period, but shooting each season took nearly a year to complete. Actors would get their hair trimmed every five days to maintain a consistent appearance.
6) Like most popular TV shows, a drinking game developed that required participants to take a shot every time Jack Bauer said the word “Dammit!” When Sutherland learned about this game, he edited the script to have his character say “Dammit,” 14 times in one episode. Have fun watching that episode!
7) Jack’s daughter was frequently in trouble, appearing in 6 of the 9 total seasons. In fact, she has been abducted 8 different times during the 6 days we saw her.
8) During the 9 seasons, many different actors played fictional US government officials. However, in season 5, real US politician, senator John McCain had a walk on party, delivering papers during a CTU meeting. He can be seen in this video in the top left corner.
9) Jack, while being a hero, is also a cold-blooded killer. In fact, during the 9 days we watched Jack in action, he killed over 300 people.
10) As you just saw, if you watched any of the video for #9, 24 is a crazy, intense show filled with non-stop action. However, the original idea for the show was perhaps less intense. The original concept of the show was a romantic comedy depicting the 24 hours on a wedding day
11) 24 became the longest-running espionage television drama ever with the conclusion of the 8th season. It passed both Mission Impossible and The Avengers, collecting 20 Emmys and 2 Golden Globes on the way. Additionally, Kiefer Sutherland has received 7 nominations for portraying Jack Bauer, more than any other actor for the same role that decade.
12) Nina Myers, a main character for the first three seasons was actually cast the day shooting began. The clothes she wore in the first season were actually the clothes she wore to the audition and was casted in.
13) Jack’s deadliest hour is between 10pm – 11pm. During the 9 seasons, he’s racked up over 25 kills in this hour.
14) There have been 8 different presidents throughout the 9 days of 24. Only half of these presidents were elected, and only one has served a full term.