Apr 30, 2008

Jack Bauer Heads To Africa After All

Aintitcool points the way to an AP story that spills the beans on this fall's 24 TV movie, set to bridge the extra-long gap (thanks to the writers' strike) between seasons 6 and 7 of the hit Fox show. The article reveals that this fall's two-hour movie will find Jack Bauer in Africa. Avid CTU surveillance experts will recall that the initial plan last summer for Season 7 was to begin it in Africa. Fox got cold feet due to cost (and supposedly the scripts weren't ready) and the whole idea was scrapped. The writers allegedly started from scratch and came up with a plotline that would shoot at least partially in Washington, D.C., thankfully moving Jack out of his all-too-familiar L.A. environs. Some episodes were shot, but thanks to Kiefer's drunk driving charges and subsequent jail time, and the WGA's work stoppage, the production team didn't get very far. Next we heard, 24 wasn't returning until January 2009, series mastermind Joel Surnow was leaving the show, and everything seemed up in the air. Would they even use what they'd shot of Season 7, or scrap it for a new take entirely?

Well, now it seems like they're not only going to be able to use what they shot, but also to incorporate the abandoned Africa storyline! Fox recently announced a fall TV movie to satisfy a Bauer-hungry public (and to remind fickle viewers the show still existed!), and now we know they'll use that as an African prologue to the regular, Washington-set season. Executive Producer Manny Coto explains that the prequel film will "lead directly into the events of Season Seven. [Jack's] a soul in turmoil and has been moving from place to place trying to find somewhere he can be at peace," Coto tells the AP. He goes on to reveal some delicious Season 7 spoilers that I won't reprint here, including the tantalizing return of a favorite character believed to be dead. (And the return he talks about actually sounds intriguing, not stupid.)

The bulk of the AP article, however, concerns the 24 webisode series, The Rookie. I knew that the first two Rookie cycles were being included on the upcoming 24 Season 1 Special Edition, but I wasn't really sure what they were. This article makes The Rookie sound pretty cool, though, like a legit 24 spinoff--only chalk full of advertising incorporated into the storyline, apparently! I'll have to check these out.

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