24 (TV series)

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genre Action , drama , political thriller
Television series
German title 24,
24 - Twenty Four
Original title 24
Country of production United States
original language English
Year (s) 2001-2010
Imagine Entertainment,
20th Century Fox ,
Real Time Productions,
Teakwood Lane Productions
length 24 fps : 45 minutes,
25 fps: 42 minutes
Episodes 192 in 8 seasons ( List )
idea Joelhabenow ,
Robert Cochran
music Sean Callery
camera Rodney Charters ,
Jeffrey C. Mygatt ,
Guy Skinner ,
Peter Levy
First broadcast November 6, 2001 (USA) on Fox
first broadcast
September 2, 2003 on ORF 1 and RTL 2
Video game
24: The Game (2006)
TV movie
24: Redemption (2008)
TV miniseries
24: Live Another Day (2014)
Offshoot television series
24: Legacy (2017)

24 , even 24 - Twenty Four , is an American action thriller - television series whose charisma began 2,001th It deals with attempts by the American government to prevent terrorist attacks, track down assassins and uncover conspiracies that extend to government circles, with the characters involved repeatedly being confronted with moral dilemmas . Characteristic for the series, whose seasons 1 to 8 each tell a 24-hour, uninterrupted period, are the real-time action and split screens . The idea for the series came from Robert Cochran and Joel Zusammenarbeit , whom Howard Gordon followed as showrunner starting with the fifth season .

Motivated by the political and social situation in the USA after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 , the series addressed threats from weapons of mass destruction from the second season . In the plot, civil servants, including the protagonist Jack Bauer played by Kiefer Sutherland , use torture as a means of obtaining information during interrogations when the situation seems to require it and many human lives are at stake. The series was heavily criticized for the portrayal of torture, with arguments including a normalizing and advocating effect of torture. US military officials said the torture depictions served as a role model for US soldiers stationed in Iraq and workers in the Guantanamo detention center . Lawyers, politicians and other stakeholders publicly rated the portrayal of counter-terrorism and torture. Civil rights organizations criticized the series for discriminating against Muslims and Turks. Acting performance, authenticity and staging met with a mixed response from critics. While the series in the USA developed into a success for the station Fox , with over 13 million viewers at times, it fell short of the expectations of most broadcasting stations in German-speaking countries. The series has been nominated for an award over 200 times . The awards include a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for the best drama series and the best leading actor.

By 2010 there were 192 episodes in eight seasons and one television film ( 24: Redemption ) . The start of production of a film based on the series, which was postponed several times, was canceled in 2013. Continued 24 for 2014 with the 12-part television mini-series 24: Live Another Day , which is counted as a ninth season.

The series is particularly innovative in terms of its staging and marketing. It found its way into popular culture through mentions in television programs and print media, among other things, and was adapted for novels, comics, computer games and other merchandising products . The offshoot television series 24: Legacy with a new main character ensemble was broadcast in 2017 and discontinued after only one season. In 2013 and 2016, the first two seasons of an Indian remake of 24 aired.


Farmer actor Kiefer Sutherland (2008)

At the core of the plot are the fictional US anti-terrorist unit Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), for which Jack Bauer, the main character, works as a federal agent, and - in season 7 - the FBI . Each 24 season covers a 24-hour period of action and usually describes the events from three perspectives: First, the efforts of the investigative authority are shown - with special emphasis on Bauer. Second, the situation of the US president (seasons 2–8) or a presidential candidate (season 1), his staff and his government play a central role. Third, the series often takes the perspective of the gangsters or terrorists whose crimes the state apparatus is confronted with. In the first two seasons, the focus is also on Bauer's family, especially his daughter Kim. The series deals with terrorist attacks against the United States, its institutions and representatives, another focus is assassinations and the influence on high-ranking political officials. Numerous people die an unnatural death in the plot; Bauer alone kills around 270 people in seasons 1 to 8.

Season 1 begins and ends at midnight and takes place on the day of the California primary for the US presidency . Jack Bauer's mission isto protect Senator David Palmer from a conspiracy aimed at assassinating Palmer. In addition, Bauer's daughter Kim and his wife Teri find themselves in the clutches of the conspiratorswho want to take revengefor Bauer and Palmer's involvement in a secret mission in the Balkans .

Season 2 takes place 18 months after the first day, starts at 8 a.m., and is about CTU's effortsto preventan atomic bomb from going offin Los Angeles and to help US President Palmer find those responsible. At the same time, it is importantto preventan unfounded war between the USA and three states in the Middle East . Bauer's daughter Kim is on the run with her foster daughter from her violent father.

Season 3 takes place three years after the second season and starts at 1 p.m. Addicted to heroin since an undercover investigation in a Mexican drug cartel, Bauer isinfiltrating the group again to prevent deadly viruses from being released. President Palmer faces private revelations that threaten his re-election. Later, Palmer is forced to cooperate with terrorist Stephen Saunders and stop him from unleashing the viruses.

Season 4 takes place 18 months after the third season and starts at 7 a.m. After the US Secretary of Defense and his daughter, who is allied with Bauer, are kidnapped by terrorists, Bauer and CTU are working on their liberation. Then, the same terrorists carry out further attacks against the United States by that make it a nuclear power plant in a meltdown occurs, the US president is incapacitation and it comes as a result to diplomatic complications with China.

Carlos Bernard , cast member of Tony Almeida

Season 5 plays, also starting at 7 a.m., another 18 months later. Bauer is officially dead and few of his closest confidants know that he is alive. However, when some of these friends - including former US President David Palmer - are murdered and Bauer himself falls into a trap, he is forced to give up his cover. At the same time, terrorists with ties to the US government are stealing nerve gas with the aim of protecting the interests of the US oil industry in Asia. While Bauer tries to stop them and arrest his friends' murderers, he discovers a conspiracy involving the highest levels of government.

Season 6 begins 20 months after the fifth season at 6 a.m. With terrorists planning to detonate nuclear devices in the United States, CTU is working to prevent the attacks, with the help of Jack Bauer, who was tortured by ill-treatment in a Chinese prison. Bauer is later faced with a choice between his friends and national security when the Chinese target a tax module that could spark war between the United States and Russia.

At an undisclosed point in time between the sixth and seventh season action times, CTU is being disbanded by the US government.

The television film Redemption , set three and a half years after the sixth season and between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., is about Jack Bauer's efforts to crack down on a military coup in the fictional African state of Sangala , and about the inauguration of the new US president.

Season 7 plays 65 days after redemption and starts at 8 a.m. Bauer is being questioned by a Senate committee in Washington, DC for his interrogationmethods. He then assists the FBI when the firewall protecting the US government's computer infrastructure is breached by the Sangalese coup plotters. Together with FBI employees, Bauer tries to arrest the guilty, some of whom are even US President Taylor's closest staff. The putschists are also attacking the White House . Also plans a private security and military companies , biological weapons on US territory trigger while his backers cooperate with Tony Almeida, Bauer's former colleagues.

Season 8 plays another 18 months later and starts at 4 p.m. Bauer is hired by the newly established CTU to uncover a Russian conspiracy aimedat assassinating Islamic leader Omar Hassan during peace negotiations with the US president. Since Russia sees its power in danger from the negotiations, Islamist extremists are planting a dirty bomb for an early explosion. Bauer later begins to seek revenge for those killed in a cover-up by the former Charles Logan government.

Live Another Day takes place four years after the eighth storyline. The real-time action starts at 11:06 a.m., ends at 11 a.m. the following day and includes a 12-hour time jump between 10:46 p.m. and 10:50 a.m. Jack Bauer is in London to thwart a terrorist attack on the US President who is also there. The terrorist responsible for hijacking US combat drones for use against civilian targets. Bauer's Chinese enemy Cheng Zhi wants to plunge the United States into war and has a Chinese aircraft carrier sunk with a fake order to a US submarine. After Cheng has also had Audrey murdered, he is beheaded by Bauer, who is then forced to surrender himself to the Russians.

Shape and style

The series was assigned to different genres, especially the thriller , but also the soap opera . The following seasons after the first season were also understood as alternate world history , a subgenre of science fiction . Occasionally, the series - albeit partly without the use of the term genre - was assigned to " spytainment ", that is, the representation of secret services in entertainment programs and literature , together with works such as Homeland . Some recipients found that the real-time idea had invented a completely new genre.

Structure and dramaturgy

Each episode plays for an hour. The only exception to this is the final episode of Live Another Day , which, playing between 10pm and 11am, skips a twelve-hour period. The pauses between the usually four acts per episode serve - at least on US television broadcasts - for the commercials and imply that the action continues unnoticed during this time. The episodes begin with an approximately two-minute review of events from previous episodes and, in the first season, with an introduction consisting of a few sentences, varied over the course of the season, in which Bauer introduces himself and points out the dangers in which his family and Senator Palmer are are located. In this context, the series plot can be characterized as a multi-part .

The series uses numerous means of generating tension . An essential such means is the countdown structure or the race against time. Finding a specific person or obtaining information up to the latest possible time is often the focus of the action. The cliffhangers create tension across all episodes ; they are used regularly before the commercials and at the end of the episode, sometimes also at the end of the season. Due to the large number of storylines - an average of six per episode - and the duration of the scenes - each only lasts about one to three minutes - the narrative is characterized by a high degree of detail, density and speed. As a result, there are a number of turning points . This is the case, for example, when characters repeatedly change sides within the plot, close friends are revealed as deadly opponents and central characters are suddenly killed. Tension is also created by playing with the suspicion that the characters are not who they claim to be. Often the viewers find out who the traitor is even before he is revealed as such or reveals himself as such. This is also evident in moles within the CTU and other institutions of the US government apparatus. What is essential for the audience to experience tension is also their emotional bond with the protagonists, which is often caused by the characters' family problems.

Numerous comparisons have been made in terms of the tension and pace of the plot. According to Pfister (2011), the series works “like heroin ”, as it follows a stimulus-reaction pattern in its staging and accordingly tries to make the viewer addicted by serving his desire for tension. Widmann (2005) described the plot as consisting of nothing but MacGuffins , i.e. all pretexts that propel the story forward.

Visual and acoustic style

The time at which the action is currently taking place is displayed on a split screen at the beginning and at the end of each act as a high-pitched metallic sound and a digital clock that ticks every second . A smaller, noiseless digital clock and sometimes other split screens are shown sporadically during the action. The split screens usually consist of three to five windows each and show the current, simultaneous storylines and the characters acting in them. They often give the viewer a head start in knowledge and thus increase the tension. Since they emphasize the simultaneity of the events, the split screens were understood, among other things, as a visual metaphor for the processes in professional and private life within Western society . With regard to the representation of several storylines in one picture, the series was understood as a "drama for the age of information overload ".

The camera is often held wobbly and nervously. Over-the-shoulder shots are often used , in which the viewer sees part of the head and shoulder of a figure and its field of vision from behind, and variations of eye-line shots in which the viewer first sees a figure from behind, for example , sitting at her computer and then watching the computer screen. The scientists Birk and Birk (2005) highlighted the variants of eye-line shots used as innovative. The music is electronic and constantly adapts to the plot and atmosphere.

History of origin

Idea and early production phase

The US screenwriter and producer Joel Nachbarow originally had the idea for the Canadian television series Nikita , which started in 1997 and is about the work of a secret agent . When the end of the series became apparent in 2000, he and his long-time colleague Robert Cochran began looking for an idea for a new television series. Urnow's idea was to have them play in real time over a 24 hour period . He intended to find a situation in which the characters had no time to sleep or to eat and in which personal and professional problems would come together. From the deliberations, in which Zusammenarbeit and Cochran also considered a wedding anniversary of a young couple, the fight against terrorism emerged as a topic. After the television broadcaster FX had rejected the concept due to cost reasons, Umgebung and Cochran presented it to the broadcaster FOX . Mainly because the executives of the station were quickly convinced of Kiefer Sutherland as the leading actor, they agreed to the production of a pilot episode. It was filmed in March 2001 and then shown to a test audience, who rated it positively. After skepticism began to spread in the FOX management team in view of the pilot episode and the series concept - among other things, they feared a lack of characterization of the characters - the FOX boss Gail Berman pushed through the production of a first season. She compared the new series favorably with the reality TV show Survivor ; she also described it as a “soap opera for men”. Howard Gordon was hired as the production manager.

Screenwriter and later showrunner Howard Gordon

In order to await the response from the television audience, FOX initially only ordered 12 episodes for the first season - in addition to the pilot episode. Their production began in July 2001. In the event that the series is not continued, the 13th episode should serve as the season finale. After the third episode was first broadcast, the broadcaster commissioned the production of the remaining eleven episodes of the season. Before the start of production of the second season , FOX had a script draft for a season with content-related episodes written because the broadcaster feared that the open ends of the episodes would scare off later viewers and that the series would be more difficult to exploit as part of the syndication . However, the producers decided - even after Kiefer Sutherland's objection - for the previous format and against a “conventional” format.

Staff and further production process

The scriptwriters named in the credits of seasons 1 to 8 include, in addition to Zunow (30 episodes) and Cochran (27), 22 people, including Howard Gordon (52 episodes and Redemption ), Michael Loceff (42), Evan Catz ( 41), Alex Gansa (10), Peter M. Lenkov (4) and - in the seventh and eighth seasons - Brannon Braga (16), an experienced Star Trek author . After the fourth season brought over to Howard Gordon the function of show runner he had previously performed . The reason for this was quoted as saying that he was averse to torture, as well as that he found the content of the series repetitive.

The pilot and 11 other episodes of the first season were directed by Stephen Hopkins , who had no experience directing television shows prior to working for 24 . In addition to Königinow and Cochran, he was instrumental in shaping the visual style of the series. Among other things, it was his idea to use the split screens to emphasize urgency. He also worked on the scripts for the first season. Because of differences of opinion with Umgebung and Cochran - especially about the murder of the character Teri Bauer, but also because of the planned political direction of the second season - Hopkins resigned after the first season. He was replaced as main director by Jon Cassar , one of many, especially Canadian, staff members who were jointly responsible for the series Nikita . He became the most deployed director with 59 episodes and also directed the television movie Redemption . Brad Turner was also frequently used as a director with 46 episodes . The directors also included Winrich Kolbe , Nelson McCormick , Dwight H. Little and Davis Guggenheim (2 episodes each).

During the production process, special attention was paid to the secrecy of the future action that had not yet been broadcast on television. To this end, it was mandatory for the staff and actors to sign a confidentiality agreement. Scripts were printed on red paper to avoid copies.

Usually the writers who were part of the scriptwriting team during the production of a season would coordinate the scripts with one another before further developing them individually or in pairs. They always designed the storylines for six to eight consecutive episodes. For the torture scenes, they were partly inspired by the locations and props . Them were several copies of the 1963 originating CIA -Handbuchs KUBARK interrogation manual that incorporates instructions for interrogations.

Due to the seasonally different duration of day and night and the start of the action at midnight, logistical problems arose during the shooting of the first season. For this reason, the action of the following seasons was no longer allowed to begin at night. Two episodes were always shot together and within about 15 days. The average shooting time for a season was nine months. Every day, film material totaling around eight script pages was created . Approximately 1.22 kilometers of film material was shot per season. Scenes that take place in the same location but were intended for different episodes were often filmed at once.

The production team worked closely with the U.S. military to obtain usage and filming permits . For example, the US Navy allowed scenes created for season five to be shot on board one of their nuclear submarines . In return for help from the military, the US television broadcast of the series also broadcast short military commercials. As part of the production, CIA employee and ex-intelligence agent Chase Brandon helped create the most realistic possible environment. Brandon's work was part of the CIA's efforts in the mid-1990s to make her appearances on film and television look more realistic and less threatening than before.

Most of the sets were initially created as 3D images before they were built as real backdrops. This is the case for under the White House located bomb shelter in the sixth season. Scenes with Air Force One and other aircraft were also created as 3D images . In order to achieve the most realistic effect possible, no cross-fades , time loops or slow-motion scenes were created . Real, unloaded handguns - such as those from Heckler & Koch in the second season - were used with the same aim . In order to maintain continuity, the actors wore identical clothes and hairstyle for the majority of the episodes per season, and their hair was cut every 5 days for this purpose.

Right from the start, the series was aimed at broadcasting in 16: 9 image format, which was still unusual for television series at the time. The series was often handheld and filmed with dim lighting. Therefore the possibility of correcting the colors afterwards should be preserved. For this purpose, a negative film material from Kodak was used, which is designed for shooting situations with little light. At least up to the fifth season, films were mostly made with 35mm film . The purpose of this was to be able to film with a variable depth of field and thus to direct the viewer's concentration to the object on which the camera is focused. This was an attempt to avoid disadvantages that can occur when filming with digital cameras and in HD . Nevertheless - for the first time in the last episode of the fourth season - some scenes were filmed with high-resolution digital cameras.

In order to ensure that all scenes in each season appear as if they were filmed on the same day, the film material was preferably created with low contrast and extensive color correction work was carried out. This is especially true for outdoor shots and special effects. The Californian company Level 3 Post was responsible for color correction work, for compositing and for simple visual effects . Various companies in the Los Angeles area were commissioned to create more complex effects. These included the companies Zoic Studios , which generated the mushroom cloud shown in the sixth season , and Stargate Studios . Scenes in at least the eighth season, in which helicopters land and take off, were initially filmed in the Californian production studio. Using green screen technology , the green background was then replaced by archive material from the Stargate Studios backlot collection filmed on location in New York .

With the intention of permanently moving the plot forward, every scene was removed from the cut without any new statement. Avid technology was used for editing . The pilot episode one was cut before it airs to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 setting out that an exploding Boeing 747 shows. As a consequence of audience reactions, at least in the second season, significantly fewer split screens were integrated than in the first season.

The seventh season was produced as part of an initiative of the News Corporation , which had the goal of becoming climate-neutral , and through which emissions - including during filming and special effects - should be reduced ( → main article: Season 7 ).

Locations and locations

According to a statement from 2004, about 70 percent of the playing time took place on the locations , mainly in the Los Angeles area . The outdoor venues primarily included marshalling yards, industrial areas, freeways and parking garages. The exterior shoots of the seventh season took place in Washington, DC , the location of Redemption mainly in South Africa . Although the eighth season is set in New York City , to limit the budget it was not shot there, but in Los Angeles. Most of the exteriors and interiors of location Live Another Day was London .

In Los Angeles, the interior shots, especially those played in CTU, of the first three seasons were filmed in Woodland Hills , and those of seasons 4, 5 and 6 in a former factory in Chatsworth . With the relocation of the location between the third and fourth season, the aim was, among other things, to have less disruptive acoustics and more space for lighting during filming .

The US President-focused storylines often took place outside the Oval Office and the White House, for example in hotels or bunkers. The intention of the creators was to give the series individuality compared to competing productions.

Budget, sponsorship and product placement

The budget for the pilot episode was around US $ 4 million and the other episodes in the first season averaged around US $ 1.5 million. The second season episodes were budgeted at an average of US $ 2.2 million. By the eighth season, the budget rose to about US $ 5 million per episode, about twice as high as that of other drama series on American networks .

The production of the series was funded in large part through product placement and sponsorship . Under a 2002 advertising deal, the largest of its kind at the time, Ford paid FOX between $ 1.5 million and $ 5 million to sponsor the second season, depending on the source. Due to the contract, the cars driven and shown in many episodes - especially the second and third seasons - are Ford vehicles, often SUVs ; In addition, the premiere episodes of the second and third season - with the exception of several-minute Ford commercials before the beginning and after the end of the episode - were broadcast free of advertising. Toyota , Hyundai and - for the first time in Live Another Day - Chrysler were also involved in the product placement of motor vehicles . Product placement also included Verizon phones, Apple computers, telepresence software from Cisco Systems, and technology from Dell , Sprint Nextel, and Nikon . The series was also sponsored by the insurance company Allstate , for which actor Dennis Haysbert was also active as an advertising medium .

With a view to product placement and brand expansion , the series was assigned a pioneering role, for example by the US marketing and media magazine Advertising Age (2007). In this context, the magazine Variety emphasized that the integration of advertising companies in the script had increased in importance because the audience's opportunities to avoid traditional commercials had increased through the increase in distribution channels.

Content realignment and production break

At the beginning of 2007 there were public discussions in which the series was also accused of glorifying torture (→ see also the section on controversy about the role model effect of torture ) . Dissatisfied with this situation, the broadcaster FOX and the 24 producers thereupon pursued the intention of realigning the series in terms of content and thereby also countering the accusation of glorifying torture. The scriptwriters developed several scenarios to direct the future plot ( → main article: Season 7 ). Among other things, they or FOX rejected the idea of ​​making Jack Bauer atone for his acts of torture by doing charitable work in Africa, and at least at one point to forego real-time narration. Due to the duration of the concept search, there were delays of several weeks in the implementation of the production plan in the summer of 2007. FOX eventually agreed to the authors' concept of abolishing CTU and confronting Bauer on the action in Washington, DC with allegations of his acts of torture.

A strike by the screenwriters' union from November 2007 to February 2008 meant that no new scripts were written and production came to a standstill after eight episodes. FOX postponed the start of broadcasting of the seventh season, both due to the production break and the production backlog as a result of the protracted deliberations on content reorientation. To bridge the break in broadcasting (→ see section: Publication ) , 24: Redemption was produced, a television film that also plays in real time. The screenplay material originally developed for the seventh season, which is about Bauer in Africa, was used for the film. The original title was intended to be Exile . The film has been designated as a prequel and a pilot for the seventh season.

During the production hiatus due to the strike, Joel Nachbarow terminated his contract as Executive Producer at FOX without any reasons being known, and from then on no longer worked on the series. Along with his departure, Gordon's production company Teakwood Lane Productions replaced his studio Real Time Productions .

Series end 2010 and mini series Live Another Day

On March 26, 2010, FOX announced that it would end 24 after the eighth season because of increased production costs, lower audience ratings and because the producers' intention from the beginning was to end the series at its peak. The reason for the end of the series was also the lack of a leading idea.

In March 2012 it became known that the production of a movie, which was focused for the first time in 2006 and then postponed several times, could start in 2013 at the earliest due to budget and time problems. In March 2013, Antoine Fuqua , the intended director, announced that the planning of the film project had been canceled. Two months later, FOX announced that it would continue 24 under the title 24: Live Another Day as a 12-part television miniseries .

See also: 24: Legacy

Cast and German dubbed version


Leading and guest actors of the seventh season (2009)
Glenn Morshower, one of the most popular supporting actors

For the lead role of Jack Bauer, towards the main role of Jack Bauer, Nachbarow, Cochran and FOX executives considered at least 30 actors - including Jeff Goldblum - who did not meet their expectations. The Canadian Kiefer Sutherland , who until then was mainly known as an actor from the Brat-Pack generation, was finally recommended to them by director Stephen Hopkins . Sutherland was the only actor to appear in all of the episodes. His contract, which was extended by three years in 2006 and included seasons 6, 7 and 8, also made him executive producer. The contract secured him a fee of approximately $ 40 million, making Sutherland the highest-paid actor in drama television series. In contrast to Sutherland, the other actors received contracts with a maximum term of one year, which were then extended if necessary.

The main cast comprised 41 actors, including 18 women, based on seasons 1 to 8 and the television film. It comprised between five and seven people in seasons 1 to 4 and between nine and eleven in seasons 5 to 8; 31 only appeared in one season, many also in supporting or guest roles. By far the most popular supporting actors were Jude Ciccolella (59 episodes) and Glenn Morshower (49).

At least three actors declined to star in 24 . These include David Clennon , who was slated for a supporting role as a Senator in season seven and turned down the offer because he condemned torture as being touted by the series.

For news programs shown on screens in the series, news anchors from FOX were usually hired . During his visit the set of the future Republican presidential candidate graduated from John McCain a cameo , in the episode - Day 5 13:00 14:00 -: (2:00 PM 1:00 PM Day 5) has been integrated.

The German dubbed version of the first season was produced by Cine Entertainment in Hamburg, the dialogue book author and dialogue director was Dieter B. Gerlach. At the beginning of the second season, Interopa Film in Berlin took over the dubbing, the dialogue book was now supplied by Markus Engelhardt , the dialogue directors were carried out by Joachim Tennstedt (seasons 2–5) and Stefan Fredrich (seasons 6–8, Redemption ). In the course of the change of the dubbing studio, the voice actors of some actors were exchanged after the first season, including those of Dennis Haysbert , Elisha Cuthbert , Glenn Morshower , Jude Ciccolella and Paul Schulze . Live Another Day was dubbed in German by Arena Synchron .

main actor

The table lists the main actors, their role names, their affiliation with the main cast (●) or with the secondary and guest actors (•) per season (1–8) or television film (Redemption) and series (Live Another Day) , the total of the episodes with appearances in the main, supporting or guest roles (including Live Another Day ) as well as their German voice actors. Roger Cross and Lana Parrilla began as supporting actors in the fourth season and were part of the main cast from the middle of the season.

Overview of leading actors
Season, film or series
actor Role name 1 2 3 4th 5 6th R. 7th 8th LAD Ep. German voice actor
Kiefer Sutherland Jack Bauer 204 Tobias Master
Dennis Haysbert David Palmer 80 Ben Hecker (season 1) , Tilo Schmitz (seasons 2–5)
Elisha Cuthbert Kim Bauer 79 Saskia Weckler (season 1) , Sonja Spuhl (seasons 2–8)
Sarah Clarke Nina Myers 36 Anke Reitzenstein
Leslie Hope Teri Bauer 24 Marion von Stengel
Carlos Bernard Tony Almeida 115 Robin Brosch
Penny Johnson Jerald Sherry Palmer 45 Ulrike Johannson
Xander Berkeley George Mason 27 Holger Mahlich
Eric Balfour Milo Pressman 28 Jens Wawrczeck (Season 1) , Marius Clarén (Season 6)
Sarah Wynter Kate Warner 25th Heidrun Bartholomäus
Reiko Aylesworth Michelle Dessler 62 Ulrike Stürzbecher
James Badge Dale Chase Edmunds 24 Dennis Schmidt-Foss
Mary Lynn Rajskub Chloe O'Brian 137 Julia Digit (up to season 8) , Susanne Herrmann ( Live Another Day )
DB Woodside Wayne Palmer 48 Oliver Field
Kim Raver Audrey Raines (seasons 4-6) ,
Audrey Boudreau ( LAD )
64 Ranja Bonalana
William Devane James Heller 32 Michael Telloke (season 4) , Uli Krohm (from season 5)
Alberta Watson Erin Driscoll 12 Kerstin Sanders-Dornseif
Roger Cross Curtis Manning • | ● 44 Peter Flechtner
Lana Parrilla Sarah Gavin • | ● 12 Claudia Urbschat-Mingues
James Morrison Bill Buchanan 64 Norbert Langer
Gregory Itzin Charles Logan 44 Lutz Mackensy
Louis Lombardi Edgar Stiles 37 Peter Reinhardt
Jean Smart Martha Logan 24 Katarina Tomaschewsky
Carlo Rota Morris O'Brian 29 Erich Rauker
Jayne Atkinson Karen Hayes 30th Monica Bielenstein
Peter MacNicol Tom Lennox 24 Olaf Reichmann
Marisol Nichols Nadia Yassir 24 Bianca Krahl
Regina King Sandra Palmer 9 Peggy Sander
Bob Gunton Ethan Kanin 31 Joachim Pukass
Cherry Jones Allison Taylor 43 Marianne Gross
Colm Feore Henry Taylor 12 Udo Schenk
Annie Wersching Renee Walker 37 Tanja Geke
Janeane Garofalo Janis Gold 21st Debora refuses
Jeffrey Nordling Larry Moss 19th Tim Moeseritz
Rhys Coiro Sean Hillinger 10 Tobias Nath
Freddie Prinze junior Cole Ortiz 24 Dennis Schmidt-Foss
John Boyd Arlo Glass 24 Jan Makino
Katee Sackhoff Jenny Scott
aka Dana Walsh
20th Natascha Geisler
Mykelti Williamson Brian Hastings 17th Axel Lutter
Anil Kapoor Omar Hassan 15th Bernd Rumpf
Chris Diamantopoulos Rob Weiss 12 Alexander Doering
Yvonne Strahovski Kate Morgan 12 Berenice Weichert
Tate Donovan Mark Boudreau 12 Peter Flechtner
Michael Wincott Adrian Cross 11 Oliver Stritzel
Gbenga Akinnagbe Erik Ritter 11 Tino Kießling
Benjamin Bratt Steve Navarro 10 Marcus Off
Giles Matthey Jordan Reed 9 Tobias Nath


Television broadcast

According to an entry from February 2009, 24 was broadcast on at least 236 television channels worldwide, reaching 100 million viewers.

The series has been credited with establishing binge watching , the viewing of several television series episodes or seasons in a row.

Overview of first broadcast dates
The table shows the first airing dates in the USA, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The periods in which episodes were first broadcast in German are highlighted in green.
United States German-speaking free TV German pay TV
St. Ep. FOX German channels
(seasons 1–5: RTL II ;
season 6: ProSieben ;
R , seasons 7, 8: Kabel eins ;
LAD : ProSieben Maxx )
Austrian channels
(seasons 1, 2: ORF 1 ,
seasons 3–5: ATVplus / ATV )
Swiss television
( SF two )
R , Season 7:
Premiere HD ,
Season 8: Sky Cinema,
LAD : Sky Atlantic HD
1 24 0Nov 6, 2001 - May 21, 2002 0Sep 2 2003 - Sep 28 2003 0Sep 2 2003 - Sep 29 2003 0Oct. 4, 2003 - Dec. 20, 2003 ?
2 24 Oct 29, 2002 - May 20, 2003 09 Mar 2004 - May 18, 2004 March 12 2004 - May 21, 2004 01st Mar 2004 - May 17, 2004 ?
3 24 Oct 28, 2003 - May 25, 2004 0Jan 5, 2005 - June 8, 20050 0Jan. 9, 2005 - Mar. 20 2005 0Jan. 3, 2005 - Mar. 21 2005 ?
4th 24 0Jan 9, 2005 - May 23, 2005 Jan 13, 2006 - Feb 25, 2006 Dec 15, 2005 - Feb 16, 2006 Nov 28, 2005 - Mar 13 2006 ?
5 24 Jan 15, 2006 - May 22, 2006 0Jan 3, 2007 - Feb 21, 2007 Nov 26, 2006 - Feb 18, 2007 Nov 27, 2006 - Feb 12, 2007 ?
6th 24 Jan 14, 2007 - May 21, 2007 June 23, 2008 - Aug 25, 2008 ––– 13 Mar 2008 - June 5, 20080 ?
R. - Nov 23, 2008 0Sep 1 2009 ––– ––– Nov 30, 2008
7th 24 Jan. 12, 2009 - May 18, 2009 0Sep 1 2009 - Nov 17, 2009 ––– ––– Jan. 12, 2009 - June 19, 2009
8th 24 Jan. 17, 2010 - May 24, 2010 0Oct 4, 2010 - Dec 20, 2010 ––– ––– 0March 8 2010 - June 8, 2010 0
LAD 12 0May 5, 2014 - July 14, 2014 May 18, 2015 - May 22, 2015 ––– ––– 0May 6, 2014 - July 15, 2014

United States

Audience ratings USA
St. Range
(from 2 years)
1 08.6 million 73
2 11.7 million 36
3 10.3 million 46
4th 11.9 million 31
5 13.8 million 23
6th 13.0 million 27
R. 12.1 million -
7th 12.6 million 20th
8th 10.7 million 27
LAD 07.1 million 60

FOX first aired the first episode on November 6, 2001. Depending on the source, FOX has scheduled the premiere episode because of sports broadcasts or postponed it by one week to this date because of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 . The first broadcasts were always shown on Tuesdays up to and including the third season between autumn and May and were - as usual on US television - interrupted by repetitions of older episodes. The first season reached an average of around 8.6 million viewers, the second 11.7 million. The increase in reach was decisive for FOX 2003 for the production of another, third season. However, their audience ratings fell again and were unsatisfactory for FOX.

Through several changes in the broadcasting schedule of the fourth season, FOX hoped for a higher audience acceptance: The first broadcast of the season did not begin until January, in order to be able to broadcast without interruptions through repetitions until the end of the season; In addition, the first four episodes were shown promptly in the form of two double episodes on Sunday and - now the regular broadcast slot - on Monday. In fact, the average reach per episode improved by around 20 percent to 12.1 million viewers. When the existing license agreement between FOX and the production company 20th Century Fox expired at the end of the fourth season , the competing broadcaster NBC expressed interest in purchasing the fifth season, but unsuccessfully; FOX acquired the rights to the fifth and sixth seasons. The broadcast schedule was retained for the following seasons. The fifth season, broadcast in 2006, was the most successful in terms of reach in the course of the series with an average of 13.8 million viewers.

When the sixth season began broadcasting in January 2007, FOX began a separate advertising campaign in autumn 2006, which consisted of television and radio advertising ( → main article: Season 6 ). The sixth season finally achieved with an average of 13 million viewers only a slightly lower range than the fifth, but the range between the beginning and the end of the season was reduced by about a third. In May 2007, the broadcaster announced that it had extended the series for seasons 7 and 8.

Because of the production backlog, which was also caused by the scriptwriters' strike at the end of 2007, FOX postponed the first broadcast of the seventh season from January 2008 to January 2009 ( → main article: Season 7 ). The television film 24: Redemption , which was produced to bridge the broadcast break , was first broadcast on November 23, 2008. The seventh season, with an average of around 12.6 million viewers, again achieved slightly reduced coverage compared to the sixth. The eighth season reached in 2010 with around 10.7 million viewers per episode, as few people as since the third season. The first broadcast of the eighth season ended on May 24, 2010 with a double episode advertised as the series finale.

The prices for the first-time advertising time offered by Fox were among the highest on US television. For example, the price of commercials per 30 seconds when Redemption was broadcast was between $ 500,000 and $ 600,000, and $ 650,000 for the final double episode.

German-speaking countries

Audience ratings German free TV
St. Channel Range
(from 3 years)
Market share
(from 3 years)
1 RTL II 1.6 million 5.1%
2 1.5 million 5.0%
3 0.9 million 3.9%
4th 0.9 million 3.0%
5 1.0 million 4.3%
6th ProSieben 0.9 million 6.6%
R. Cable one 1.0 million 4.7%
7th 0.7 million 5.0%
8th 0.6 million 4.1%
LAD ProSieben Maxx 0.2 million 1.1%

Broadcast on free TV

The first five seasons were broadcast in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein on RTL II , beginning on September 2, 2003. In Austria, the first two seasons were also broadcast on ORF 1 and seasons 3 to 5 on ATVplus . In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, SF broadcast two of these seasons. The first five seasons were broadcast relatively close to RTL II by the Austrian and Swiss channels; At least between ORF 1 and RTL II there was a cooperation agreement regarding the broadcast. The five stations were involved in the German-language first broadcast of the five seasons.

The broadcast was not successful enough for the German and Austrian broadcasters. In Germany, RTL II achieved average reach of around one and a half million viewers in the first two seasons, and in the following three seasons they fell to just under a million. After the five seasons, which were shown at different times of the evening program on different days of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday), RTL II ended the first broadcasts. For ORF 1, the ratings, especially for the second season, fell well short of expectations. ATVplus finally ended the broadcast because the audience ratings were also too low. For the station SF 2, 24 was one of its most successful series , at least when the fourth season was first broadcast, which reached an average of 105,000 viewers.

In the spring of 2008, SF 2 aired the sixth season as a German-language premiere in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The television film Redemption and seasons 7 and 8 have not yet been shown on Swiss television (as of May 2, 2014). Swiss television decided not to purchase the rights to the seventh season for reasons of time and money and because the distribution insisted on the first broadcast in Germany. Seasons 6 to 8 and the television film Redemption have not yet been broadcast by any Austrian broadcaster (as of May 2, 2014).

In Germany, the sixth season was broadcast for the first time on Monday evenings in the summer of 2008 by ProSieben . Because the audience numbers were also too low, with an average of 870,000 people, the series changed the channel and the slot again, now to Kabel eins and on Tuesday evening. The seventh season started there on September 1, 2009, directly following the television film Redemption . The eighth season was broadcast by Kabel Eins again in autumn 2010, but now on Monday evenings. With seasons 7 and 8, the number of viewers fell to an average of just over half a million per episode.

In the broadcasts in German-speaking countries, the commercial breaks were usually shorter than the narration time between the acts of each episode. One possible reason for this is the shorter, maximum per hour permitted time span for advertising in Germany.

An average of two thirds of all viewers of the first broadcasts on RTL II, ProSieben and Kabel eins came from the advertising-relevant target group of 14 to 49 year olds. In this age group, the average market share per season was between 4.9 percent (seasons 4 and 8) and 9.6 percent (season 6).

Censorship and age rating

A number of episodes were only broadcast in cut versions on German free TV. There is evidence of cuts in the original versions due to youth protection in a total of 26 episodes of seasons 1, 2, 4 and 8 as well as the television film Redemption . The premiere episode of the second season was cut so that scenes in which torture is swapped, slowed down and extended. Scenes from two episodes of the fourth season, in which there is torture, were judged by the FSK to be “socially and ethically disorienting”, “excessively frightening” or “potentially developmentally impairing” and had to - together with scenes from other episodes - be cut for broadcast from 8 p.m. become. As far the only episode of the series was 12:00 to 13:00 ( 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm , Season 8) not in its uncut version of the FSK youth released .

Broadcast on pay TV

The television film and seasons 7 and 8 were shown on pay TV as a German-language first broadcast. Redemption was broadcast on November 30, 2008, the seventh season from January to June 2009 and the eighth season from March to June 2010. The seventh season ran in German-English two-channel sound. Her first episode aired at the same time as it aired on FOX in the US.

Other countries

In Japan, 24 was a huge hit on television. However, the number of viewers there also declined in younger seasons. In January 2011 the Japanese FOX broadcaster showed the first seven seasons in a row on the occasion of the upcoming broadcast date of the eighth season, thus setting a new world record with the longest uninterrupted broadcast of a television series, which was included in the Guinness Book of Records . The station TV Tokyo said the premiere of the eighth season starting in April 2011 because he their actions in light of the Fukushima nuclear disaster judged as inappropriate.

DVD and Blu-ray

first release dates
Season United
German speaking
1 17 Sep 2002 29 Sep 2003
2 0Sep 9 2003 June 26, 2004
3 0Dec 7, 2004 0July 7, 2005
4th 0Dec 6, 2005 May 18, 2006
5 0Dec 5, 2006 0Apr 2, 2007
6 (Ep. 1–4) Jan. 16, 2007 –––
6th 0Dec. 4, 2007 0Oct 2, 2008
R. Nov 25, 2008 Oct 23, 2009
7th May 19, 2009 1 Nov 20, 2009 1
8th Dec 14, 2010 1 Nov 26, 2010 1
LAD Sep 30 2014 1 03rd Sep 2015 1

1 Also as Blu-ray.

The series has been distributed on DVD since 2002. The bonus material of the DVD boxes of seasons 3, 4 and 5 includes a prequel for seasons 4, 5 and 6. These are 6 to 12-minute short films that play after the end of the story of the previous season whose final scenes they begin. From the first six seasons to May 2009, over 7.5 million DVD boxes were sold. At least until the beginning of 2008, the first season was the best-selling with a share of around 30 percent of all sold seasons of the series.

The series was given a pioneering role in the marketing of television series on DVD. The British Telegraph said the series helped " create the ' DVD box set culture'". The New York Times said the series had validated the nascent business with sales of entire series on DVD.

United States

With the release of the first five seasons one month before the start of the first broadcast of the respective following season, FOX pursued the intention to benefit from the increased attention at these times. The appearance of the first season on DVD in September 2002 also marked the first time that a complete season of a television series not yet sold or discontinued for syndication by one of the six major film studios was released on DVD. In May 2008, the first season appeared again on DVD, but this time as a special edition, which compared to the first release contained additional bonus material. Such a form of DVD release had not previously been tried out for television series. From the first day of release of each season on DVD, all seasons that had been released up to then were distributed again on DVD. On the occasion of the appearance of the complete series on DVD, FOX held a television marathon in December 2010. In the end, three viewers of 24 episodes over more than 86 hours set a new world record on continuous television , which was then included in the Guinness Book of Records .

The first four episodes of the sixth season were released on DVD the day after the second double episode first aired. Such a timely DVD release of TV series episodes was a novelty at the time and served to promote both formats. The television film Redemption was released on DVD two days after it was first broadcast, along with a 13-minute longer version. The seventh season was released on DVD just one day after its first television broadcast, because the production was much earlier due to the air break.

About 2.5 million copies of the first three seasons were sold by 2005, about 3.7 million copies of seasons 5 to 8 by December 2010. Relative to the first week after the start of sales, seasons 6 and 8 sold significantly less than their previous seasons. While 460,000 boxes were sold from the fifth season in the first week, the sales volume fell to 180,000 by the eighth season. For the approximately 550,000 DVD boxes of the eighth season sold in the first six weeks after publication, sales of around 21 million US dollars were achieved.

United Kingdom

The first season was first released on DVD in the United Kingdom in October 2002 and immediately reached first place in the sales charts despite great competition from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring . No television series had previously achieved the highest sales rank there. In an interview with the British broadcaster BBC in 2009, Kiefer Sutherland said that the DVD sales success of the first season in England was significant for the continuation of the production after the first season.

German-speaking countries

All eight seasons were published on DVDs with regional code 2 with a German soundtrack. Some of them appeared a few days, some up to four months after their first broadcast on German free TV. The film Redemption was released in October 2009, without the longer version co-released in the USA. At the time of the release of seasons 3, 6 and 8, all seasons published up to that point were sold again on DVD.

Official sales figures for the German-language DVD editions are rare. In February 2007, Der Spiegel named 400,000 DVD boxes of the first four seasons sold in Germany. On the other hand, the Swiss media magazine 2007 names an annual amount of 400,000 copies sold within Germany.


Seasons 7 and 8 as well as Live Another Day also appeared on Blu-ray , at the same time as their DVD versions and with largely identical bonus material.

Other forms of publication

Performance at the Cologne Conference

24 was shown as a German premiere at the Cologne Conference 2002. At least one episode from the first season ran on June 15, 2002 as part of the TopTen Fiction competition series.


For the British market, the first two seasons also appeared on VHS in August 2002 and 2003 respectively .

Soundtrack CDs

Three audio CDs with the soundtrack to the series have been released in the United States . In December 2004 a CD with 19 pieces of music from the first three seasons was released. Another CD with 21 tracks from seasons 4 and 5 was released in November 2006, a third CD with 17 tracks from the TV film 24: Redemption in November 2008. The first and third CD were also released in January 2005 and November 2008 for the German version Market, the first containing five additional titles.

Video streaming

The series is also available from video-on-demand providers. They usually offer the episodes individually or as full seasons, and in standard and high definition. The series has been available on iTunes in the United States since 2006 via video-on-demand . It is also available in English at Vudu . At Netflix , the series was available from 2010 to March 2014 before the license rights for 24 expired. The online department store Amazon.com has held it since April 2014 . Its service Amazon Video offers the episodes of seasons 1 to 8, Redemption and Live Another Day . The series is also available from Hulu . At Amazon.de, the eight seasons have been synchronized in German since August 2014. iTunes offers the eight seasons and LAD in the German area in the original English version.

From May 2014, 24 was again available on Youku , the leading video portal in the People's Republic of China .

The series was also made available on file-sharing platforms. After the first four episodes of the sixth season were available in Internet file sharing networks before they were first broadcast in the United States, FOX took legal action against YouTube .


Entertainment value, staging, authenticity

The radio correspondence (2002) praised the series as "immensely diverse and entertaining." Schweizer medienheft (2007) spoke of “one of the most entertaining and exciting fictions of the present”, the American Film Institute perceived 24 as “a groundbreaking exercise in continuous tension” (2003) and “powerful and attractive” (2005). The Los Angeles Times (2010), however, rated the series as "exaggerated but engaging". The New York Times (2005), according to the series keep the "voltage, even when characters and plot are dangerously thin stretched". The well of Stephen King ( Entertainment Weekly , 2007) criticized sections of the act - starting usually at the 16th episode of the season - confirmed as part of the airs live another day and some of the 24 -Erschaffer, including director Jon Cassar . The Tagesspiegel (2008) saw in 24 a "TV addictive substance of greatest effect" despite oddities and despite breaks in the plot. Entertainment Weekly (2010) said that the first half of the eighth season symbolized what went wrong with the whole series. That expresses itself in predictable quarrels and the “shameless reintroduction” of popular characters such as US President Logan when the series failed to introduce new ones.

Medienheft (2007) assessed the real-time narrative as a “dramaturgical device” that not only created a previously unknown connection with the viewer's sense of time, but was also able to maintain the tension “surprisingly well” despite some lengths. The British Guardian (2010), on the other hand, criticized the real-time format for “ultimately turning the series into little more than a chain of grotesque deadlines ”. Michael Reufsteck (2007) in the television lexicon rated the high number of events in the significantly shorter narrative period compared to other television series as unrealistic . Hannes Stein criticized the real-time narrative in the world also (2014) as untrustworthy and 24 also because as a modern variant of the absurd theater . In 2012, screenwriter Howard Gordon in the British newspaper The Independent also rated the real-time idea as "absurd" and unrealistic.

Reufsteck (2007) continued to judge the high number of deaths among Bauer's colleagues during service missions as implausible, while Bauer himself always survived, as well as the frequent replacement of the CTU director's position. Michael Hanfeld , on the other hand, was enthusiastic in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2004), because the series is “an intelligent depiction, explanation and commentary of the state of this world that is valid down to the smallest impact assessment. The fact that nothing about this scenario is artificial or exaggerated and that the plot only seems far-fetched in a few twists is what defines the fictional mastery of “24”. ”The author of New York Magazine (2007) criticized the CTU agents always arrive too late at the scene of the crime, although their headquarters are always informed of everything through surveillance cameras and cell phones. The review site DVD Verdict (2003) criticized that in the series nobody takes a toilet break, eats something, takes less than ten minutes to drive through Los Angeles and that the streets of the city are strangely empty even at lunchtime. The industry journal Variety (2006) found the Fox news often superimposed on screens in the series to be inauthentic , whereas Tobias Moorstedt in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (2009) saw the product placements strengthened the credibility of the story.

In an article in Federal Computer Week magazine (2006), Tom Tutko of Northrop Grumman found the technology representation in 24 "believable enough that people cannot tell if the representation is real." Marcus Fedeli from the market research company Input judged the logic behind the use of the technology to be inconsistent, since, for example, satellite connections that the CTU uses for monitoring would suddenly collapse for no apparent reason. Dan Smith from system integrator gtsi criticized the fact that data quality and connection speed , for example when downloading satellite images to a PDA , are not as fast and versatile in reality as shown in the series.

The Atlantic magazine (2010) rated the use of light in the actors' faces as "remarkably cautious".

Characters, cast, German dubbed version

The New York Times (2009) saw "exciting characters that go beyond simple, Tom Clancy- like cartoons". Funkkorrespondenz (2004) praised the breadth of the actor ensemble as “remarkable”, also because characters with the most varied of lives acted alongside one another on an equal footing. On the other hand, the press said that solid acting and dialogue were often not given the highest priority on the series (UT San Diego, 2010) and that with the exception of Jack Bauer and President Logan, none of the characters were allowed to “seem complicated Showing inner life ”(Entertainment Weekly, 2010); the New York Times (2010) lacked ingenuity in developing the characters. The daily newspaper (2008) criticized the dialogues particularly sharply, saying that they had been on an "underground level" since the beginning of the series and offended the minds of the audience.

The cast and actors received both praise and blame. The New York Times (2005) said that 24 knew how to select “unknown and interesting actors” such as Dennis Haysbert. Daniel Haas from Spiegel Online (2003) judged the actors rather negatively , with the exception of Kiefer Sutherland most of them remained “astonishingly pale and random”. The newspaper USA Today (2010), found that 24 never "actor's" was known as.

The critics disagreed on the level of emotionality with which Kiefer Sutherland embodied his role. According to Funkkorrespondenz (2003), which praised Sutherland's performance as "excellent", Sutherland had "mastered the task of depicting Bauer with all imaginable human impulses and emotions" with flying colors. The US paper UT San Diego (2010), on the other hand, regretted Sutherland's rarity of touching, dramatic moments and the frequency of scenes in which he gives orders and shoots. Entertainment Weekly (2010) lacked humor and irony in Sutherland's role. The NZZ (2013) called it a "plain-brute" play. The Time Magazine (2001) ruled that Sutherland Bauer've played with a security hinwegtäusche as young actor about his past.

The achievements of some other actors, especially those of the US presidents, were given positive mention. For example, in the world (2009), Hannes Stein paid tribute to Cherry Jones' play in the role of US President for having played “very convincingly”. The play by Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart as the presidential couple Logan has received multiple praise ( → main article: Season 5 ).

In the Netzeitung (2005), Joachim Widmann judged the quality of the German dubbed version to be “not bad at all”, but compared to the original version, “quiet, unusually nuanced play” was partially lost. In Funkkorrespondenz (2003), Harald Keller criticized the fact that 24 German voice actors were used, who were also often heard in other feature films and television series shown on German television stations. As a result, according to Keller, the various images of the actors began to overlap in the viewer's mind, the illusion was damaged and the fun was clouded. He also found it particularly annoying that the character Nina Myers, played by Sarah Clarke , whose language in the original English is “low-emotion, tight, tough”, loses its original character in the German dubbed version due to a “girlishly soft” voice.

Season-related reviews

The individual seasons found different levels of approval from the critics. The plot of the first season was on the one hand praised as “captivating to the end”, but on the other hand - in relation to the second half of the season - criticized as having decreasing logic and credibility ( DVD talk , 2009). The second season found recognition for increased realism ( TV Highlights , 2009) and increased narrative speed ( IGN , 2003) compared to the first season . On both seasons, the predominantly Kim Bauer stories were judged negatively, including as clichéd and boring (TV Highlights, 2009). The third season was rated as exciting, but weaker than its predecessor, among other things because of subplot lines that were perceived as unnecessary (DVD talk, 2004). The following two seasons were each highlighted as the best to date. The fourth season , for example, received praise for the introduction of new leading actors (New York Times, 2005), and the fifth, among other things, for entertainment and unpredictability (DVD talk, 2006). The sixth season, on the other hand, was judged rather negatively, for example because of content-related parallels to the second season ( Deseret News , 2007) and because of the often foreseeable turns of action ( Süddeutsche.de , 2008). The television film Redemption was rated as “exciting entertainment as a hybrid between a TV movie and solid, but under-produced cinema film” ( Lexicon of International Films ) and as a “pure routine product” ( NZZ , 2008). The seventh season received a more positive response than the sixth, but was judged negatively for addressing the acts of torture from previous seasons, for example ( The Guardian , 2009). The eighth season was finally about positive criticized for entertainment value and scenery, but negative for logic and credibility of the action (DVD Talk, 2011). The season articles offer a larger compilation of reviews.

Seasons 1 and 5 received the highest Metascore among seasons 1 to 8 from the Metacritic website with 88% and 89%, respectively , while the eighth season received the worst rating with 67% approval (as of May 25, 2014).


Nominations and awards
for seasons 1–8, the film Redemption
and the miniseries Live Another Day
price N. P.
Primetime Emmy Award 76 20th
Golden Globe Award 12 2
AFI Award 0 3
ALMA Award 4th 0
Artios Award 7th 0
ASC Award 1 0
ASCAP Award 2 2
CAS Award 8th 2
Camera Operator of the Year Award 1 0
Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Award 3 0
Critics' Choice Television Award 2 0
Directors Guild of America Award 3 1
Eddie Award 8th 2
Excellence in Production Design Award 4th 0
Golden Reel Award 2 0
Golden nymph 7th 3
NAACP Image Award 8th 0
Producers Guild of America Award 5 1
Satellite Award 16 5
Saturn Award 3 0
Screen Actors Guild Award 12 4th
TCA Award 15th 2
Teen Choice Award 13 0
Writers Guild of America Award 2 1
Minimum amount 214 48

Primetime Emmy Awards

At the Primetime Emmy Awards there were at least five nominations and one award for each of seasons 1 to 8. There are a total of 76 Emmy nominations - five for television films and three for LAD - compared to 20 awards. For the fifth season, the series was awarded in the most important category Best Drama Series , for which it was already proposed in the previous seasons. Kiefer Sutherland was nominated for best male leading actor for the first six seasons and for the television film Redemption , and was awarded for the fifth season. Cherry Jones was awarded an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for the seventh season ; for the eighth season, however, she refused to be nominated in this category because she was dissatisfied with the development of her role. Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart were nominated twice for Best Male and Female Guest and Supporting Actors. The series was most successful in editing (13 times nominated, 4 times awarded), in music composition (10 times nominated, 3 times awarded), in sound mixing (9 times nominated, 2 times awarded) and in Sound editing (nominated 9 times, awarded 3 times; information including LAD ). There were further nominations and, in some cases, awards for stunt coordination, casting , direction , camera , screenplay and artistic direction .

Golden Globe Awards

As part of the Golden Globe Awards , the series was nominated 11 times from 2002 to 2007 and received two awards. Among them are five nominations for Kiefer Sutherland in the category Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series (Drama) (2002- 2004 , 2006 , 2007) with an award in 2002 and also five nominations in the category Best Television Series (Drama) (2002- 2005 , 2007) with an award 2004. 2003 was Dennis Haysbert in the category of an actor in a supporting role in a series, a miniseries or movie made for television Best performance nomination. Sutherland was in 2009 also as the best male lead in the film Redemption nominated.

Other honors

In 2004, 2006 and 2007 the American Film Institute named the series as one of ten television programs of the year. The Television Critics Association had 14 nominations from 2002 to 2006, mostly for Sutherland as Best Actor and for the series as Best Drama. Acting achievements were honored with the Screen Actors Guild Awards (nominated 12 times, awarded 4 times), the Teen Choice Awards (nominated 13 times), the Golden Nymphs at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival (nominated 7 times, 3 times awarded), the NAACP Image Awards for colored actors (8 times nominated) and the ALMA Awards for Latin American actors (4 times nominated). There were 16 nominations and 5 awards for the Satellite Awards , with which, in addition to the actors, 24 were honored as the best drama series and best DVD release. Sean Callery has received two awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers . The audio mix honored the Cinema Audio Society with eight nominations and two awards. The film editing was nominated 8 times and awarded 2 times at the Eddie Awards . The Casting Society of America nominated the series 7 times for an Artios Award and thus for the best cast. There was also one award each for the Directors Guild of America Award (nominated 3 times) and the Writers Guild of America Award (twice nominated), which honor directing and screenwriting achievements. The Writers Guild of America also included 24 in their list of 101 Best Written TV Series in 2013 , where the series shares 71st place with two other television series.

Themes, interpretations and motifs

The protagonist as a tragic figure

In the conception of 24 , Umgebung and Cochran intended to give the protagonist Jack Bauer a more human being by now - unlike in Nikita - get his own family. However, the story of the first season eventually developed in such a way that Bauer's wife was killed, so the family broke up again. For all the efforts that Bauer made in the first season both to prevent the assassination attempt on the senator and to save his family from the hands of the kidnappers, he was ultimately denied his wages. Keller (2003) interpreted the story, which therefore lacks a happy ending , as a “purgatory experience, but at the end of which there is no release”. Keller described this development - in relation to both the first and the second season - as a "physical and psychological decomposition of the classic hero figure", against which the station FOX initially defended itself. Such developments are repeated throughout the series. For example, at the end of the fifth season, Bauer is captured by the Chinese; in the eighth season, his lover dies in an assassination attempt. In this regard, Bauer is also interpreted several times as a tragic figure and broken hero, for example by Miesen (2007): “The fact that this very life destroys him morally and spiritually makes him a tragic figure. In a figurative sense, Bauer sacrifices himself for a society that abhores him and his methods. "Screenwriter Robert Cochran interprets him as follows:" He takes on, so to speak, the atrocities of society, doing things that have to be done that no one else does for the safety of all. ”He also emphasized that this psychological stress was quite intentional:“ We have tried to make clear his emotional problems, which arise because he does things that are normally forbidden. ”

Bauer is seen in the role of Odysseus or Beowulf of the "epic poem" 24 because he has to fight "terrible monsters" that are full of political corruption and cowardice, narcissism and megalomania, ruthlessness and stupidity, such as President Charles Logan. Bauer is also interpreted as Ahasver , who wanders restlessly over the “battlefields of modern asymmetrical wars ”, who is not granted family peace and who is repeatedly “ chased through purgatory ”.

Moral dilemmas

As Keller (2008) noted, there are always situations in the series in which the characters are confronted with problems for which there only seem to be solutions with disadvantages, in other words, they find themselves in dilemmas . Repeatedly, people with integrity have to make decisions that violate their personal convictions, says Keller. For example, in season three, the terrorist Saunders presented President Palmer with the choice of either killing CTU chief Chappelle or risking the lives of large numbers of people by releasing deadly viruses from Saunders . Palmer finally decides to kill Chappelle and thus sacrifices only one life instead of many lives.

Keller (2008) interpreted the dilemmas as opposing the polarity of the action scenes and as filling in the actual drama of the action. For Chamberlain et al. (2007) suggested the moral dilemmas shown in 24 that all political and thematically difficult actions have consequences. As a result, the series resolutely fails to show complete, orderly situations.

24 has been the subject of research into moral dilemmas in a number of scientific publications. Parrish (2009), for example, wrote that various situations appearing in the series are not addressed as moral dilemmas, even though they are. An example of this is the behavior of data analyst Chloe O'Brian: She often helps Bauer to track leads, but at the same time avoids being chased by the CTU - contrary to the clear, lawful and well-founded instructions of her superiors. According to Parrish, this, by the way very common, behavior of O'Brian is rarely presented as an ethical problem - if at all - by the series or its characters. As a result, moral dilemmas are devalued and delegitimized, according to Parrish.

Counterterrorism and Torture

24 made the fear of terrorist attacks an important basis of the plot. This is the fear that the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 sparked in the US population . From the second season this fear became a motive for action, says Franklin (2006), among others, because the threats addressed in the series, such as nuclear , biological and chemical attacks, have since become more extensive and more terrible. This aspect was also clear for Joelhaben : 24 is a kind of "wish fulfillment for America" ​​and comes from the zeitgeist of people's paranoia about being attacked. “America wants the war on terror that Jack Bauer is fighting. He's a patriot. "

In 24 , high-profile suspects are repeatedly tortured with the addition of psychological or physical distress. The purpose of torture is to obtain information on the basis of which an imminent terrorist attack or a similar catastrophe can be prevented. Such situations are described in the literature as “ticking bomb scenario” or “ticking time bomb scenario” and are similar in meaning to the rescue torture scenario. Harvard lawyer Alan M. Dershowitz reinterpreted the scenario of the ticking time bomb in the months following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 as part of a multimedia campaign. He argued that in cases where there are only 24 hours to avert a deadly terrorist attack, the state - empowered by a court - should be able to use torture with the aim of obtaining information that will prevent the attack . As Pinedo (2010) noted, Jack Bauer never receives authorization to practice torture in the series, although in exceptional cases it receives tacit approval from the US President. Producers were aware that the ticking time bomb scenario was unrealistic, as screenwriter Robert Cochran assured: “Most terrorism experts will tell you that the ticking time bomb situation never or rarely occurs in real life. But in our series it happens every week ”.

Presidency and Government

Dennis Haysbert (2009), who played for President David Palmer
Cherry Jones (2009), starring President Alison Taylor

Schneider (2007) interpreted the top political figures and government actions shown in the series as "demonstrated" with disrespectful recklessness. This can be seen in President Palmer's family life shaken by intrigue, and the grotesque behavior of Vice President Logan, "who acts as if Dick Cheney was played by Bob Hope ". Gartenstein-Ross et al. (2008) found that the series portrayed the United States as a "quasi- banana republic ". Fractions conspired actively and with great success against the president, which is also evident from the very high number of seven presidents in the first six seasons. Alston (2010) recognized a deteriorating state of the US presidency over the course of the series, largely due to the writers' efforts to create tension: "The descent from superhero president to a leader who is at best clumsy and at worst villainous , largely stems from the tendency of 24 to increase the stakes with each season. "

The decision to include David Palmer, an African-American presidential candidate or president, in the plot was based on the scriptwriters' desire to have a national representative from this ethnic group , given the large proportion of African-Americans in the US population . Because of Barack Obama's success in the 2008 presidential election, several authors claimed that the willingness of Americans to elect an African-American president was increased by the character of David Palmer and 24 . In the Süddeutsche Zeitung 2008, Sterneborg even referred to - albeit unnamed - studies that prove this influence.

The decision in favor of a US president was based on the authors' assumption that Hillary Clinton would run for the presidential candidacy. While Stanley (2009) characterized the figure of President Alison Taylor as “decisive and even downright martial”, Alston (2010) saw a tendency in Taylor to always blindly follow the current suggestion of one of her male advisors, such as her decision on End of series, stepping down from office.

Trust and instrumentalization

An important theme in the series is trust. This becomes clear in the extremely frequent sentences of Bauer: “You have to trust me. I can't tell you more at the moment. ” Johanna Adorján (2005) found that this principle corresponds to that of religions such as Christianity . Because of the permanent lack of time and pressure to make decisions, the request is the one that is repeated most frequently in the course of the series, according to Manderson (2009). “Whenever Bauer is confronted with dissent or confusion, he never looks for reasons. He never looks for alternatives or allows himself to be discussed. ”“ Just trust me ”is the mantra of 24 and at the same time a metaphor for Bauer's“ perfect alienation from the world ”, which has become steadily stronger over the course of the series: initially the head of a“ villainous one Government Organization ”, the CTU, he increasingly finds himself a villain and an outlier within the organization itself. Much of the drama in the series comes about under the guise of secrecy and isolation, under which Bauer, based on his urge to trust blindly, operates and which repeatedly causes missteps, confusion and misunderstandings in the course of the series.

Freuler (2006) found it one of the core messages of the series not to trust anyone. This is clear from Bauer's repeated calls to distrust others and confirmed when moles are exposed.

Several authors emphasized that 24 was about the instrumentalization of people and groups of people. For Riegler (2008), for example, it was clear that the terrorists always turn out to be henchmen and puppets of overriding interests, as in the second season, in which the group Second Wave is controlled by a US oil consortium. Keller (2008) said that almost everyone can be bought, that selfishness triumphs over moral scruples and that the social groups that dominate the economy only interpret ethical concerns as signs of weakness. Keller also concluded from this that corruption in US society pervading all social classes was an issue of 24 .


Mary Lynn Rajskub (2009), starring Chloe O'Brian

Computers play a central role in the series. Schneider (2007), for example, emphasized the importance of the computer for action and maintaining tension as being as dominant as that of God . In the series, the computer, together with mobile phone and satellite, forms “something like a digital trinity ” with the four properties of omnipresence , omniscience, omnipotence and inexplicability. “When everything goes into hopelessness, when the logic has withered, when the tracks have blown and the investigators furiously stomp through dead ends, a digital light comes on - and everyone is back in action.” Bauer does not have the strings in hand and in reality I am “on the drip of the digital machine”. Dowd said in Arnone (2006) that the technology in the show is designed to increase the characters' ability to make the right decision as quickly as possible.

Marc Ottiker (2013) said that in the series "Screens in hyper-secret command centers acted as iconic symbols of a world", "in which drone attacks in distant parts of the world and the familiar home form a ghostly relationship"; the technology suggests superiority and security.

Haas (2007) understood the vital role that cell phones play in the plot as a symbol of the demands of today's working world to be flexible and always available. With regard to permanent mobility and accessibility, Bauer has “ deeply internalized the neoliberal work ethic, ” says Riegler (2008).

From the third season onwards, the character Chloe O'Brian played an often central role in the acquisition of information by computer. She has been characterized several times with the stereotypical characteristics of a nerd . Stevens (2010), for example, found her a “brilliant but socially awkward computer genius” and “extremely talented, extremely loyal and a deeply sensitive soul”. Additionally, Stanley (2010) found that her "curmudgeon" was the only recurring element of humor in the series.



In the USA, during the first broadcast of the seasons, especially the fourth and sixth seasons, there were public discussions that also revolved around possible influences, effects and influences of the depictions of torture in the series. In addition to the press, scientists, politicians, representatives of the military and the judiciary and other stakeholders were also involved in the discussions. In Germany, the debate did not gain a similar level of publicity; in Switzerland, a legal dispute broke out in the context of the torture controversy.

Part of the debate was also the frequency of scenes of torture. The US interest group Parents Television Council, for example, counted 89 scenes in the first six seasons of torture. The fourth season is seen by many recipients, including the examiners of the voluntary self-regulation television , as the one with the most torture scenes up to that point.

The effect of violence in depictions of torture is emphasized to different degrees by various staging factors. Factors include showing or hiding both the act of torture as a whole and details, the amount of time the violence took on the screen, and the use of sounds to express pain. Also because of the portrayals of torture, which many perceived as drastic, the series was attributed to the horror sub-genre Torture Porn (German: Torture Porn) , sometimes with negative criticism .

Effect on viewers

Characteristic of the fourth season is the frequent use of torture not only by Bauer, but by the CTU and thus by the state. In relation to this, too, the relay was certified to convey a fascist message, for example because the state disregards civil rights. On the other hand, the season was credited with showing that by torturing the innocent and showing the pain caused by torture, it was clear that torture is not always successful. The Nation magazine and the New York Times highlighted it as new compared to the previous seasons that torture was used as a melodrama in the fourth season and the series thus normalized torture.

In connection with the acts of torture, the philosopher moved Slavoj Zizek early 2006 in his article The depraved heroes of 24 are the Himmler of Hollywood (German as: "The depraved heroes of 24 are the Himmler of Hollywood ") for the British Guardian parallels between the series and Heinrich Himmler's dilemma in organizing the Holocaust , how to get people to do “dirty things” without “turning them into monsters” (→ Season 4) .

Arnold (2007) spoke in the fifth season of an ideological correction of course from right-conservative to democratic , since behind the terrorist threat is the White House , which wants to trigger an international conflict in the interests of the US oil industry. With the same justification, Hanks (2008) and Wilson (2009) took the view that the fifth season showed liberal elements. Diez and Hüetlin (2013) interpreted 24 in Spiegel as a “right revenge series”.

Human rights activists, among others, put forward the theory that there is a so-called “Jack Bauer effect”. The effect is psychological and states, according to Hill (2009), that the viewer is cognizant of the fact that he is following a fictional act, but by watching the program they get used to it and the torture is played down. During the start of an anti-torture campaign in May 2014, the human rights organization Amnesty International named 24 as exemplary for depictions of torture in television series. The representations are responsible for the worldwide extent of the use of torture, the series glorified torture for an entire generation of viewers.

A 2008 opinion poll by the University of Maryland- led project WorldPublicOpinion.org found that 44 percent of all Americans support the use of torture for counter-terrorism or other purposes; In 2006 it was still 36 percent. For the doctor Dr. Homer Venters was certain that Jack Bauer generated and reflected this consent to torture, as Venters wrote in an article for the medical journal The Lancet (2008): “We come from the sheen and rough charisma we have of Jack Bauer, on the illusion of protection and the lure of vigilante justice, in temptation. ”Also on the grounds that torture over TV shows such as 24 is popular, Alfred W. McCoy , author of A Question of Torture , claimed that it was the Bush administration was allowed to undermine laws and agreements without arousing public outrage. McCoy was quoted with this statement in the Oscar-winning US documentary Taxi to the Dark Side , in which director and screenwriter Alex Gibney addressed, among other things, the responsibility for the Abu Ghuraib torture scandal and for acts of torture in the Guantanamo camp and also showed two scenes from the fourth season of 24 . Suter (2008) in SWR2 came to a similar verdict as Venters : “When a Jack tortures Bauer, the watching audience assumes during the whole procedure that the tortured person is guilty or has secret information and thus becomes an accomplice in hope that the torture 'succeeds'. "Referring to the same aspect, the psychologist Wolfgang Hantel-Quitmann (2009) named the series as an example of hubris , that is, of the" violation of ethical values ​​by a person who is in great delusion and self-importance acts as a savior ”. In identifying with the leading actor, the audience is made to say goodbye to almost all values ​​of the democratic constitutional state and the Geneva Conventions , since every means is right to counter terrorism.

Miesen (2007) expressed himself in the online magazine filmszene.de with conviction that the series uses torture as a last resort in borderline situations, but does not glorify it because it does not glorify the emotional consequences for both those who are tortured and for those who are tortured destroyed part of yourself, display. Mendelson said in the online newspaper Huffington Post (2013) that 24 was used as a stereotype for the glorification of torture in the context of the controversy over the depictions of torture in the feature film Zero Dark Thirty . However, 24 was "never 'the torture series'" because it never celebrated or condoned the use of torture for use in a civilized society. Torture was either the last act of the desperate "good guys" or the first act of the "bad guys" in the series, and it ended in failure just as often.

Model effect on state employees

In November 2006, Patrick Finnegan , Brigadier General and Dean of the West Point Military Academy , and three interrogators from the US Army and the FBI visited the production team in its studio without prior notice. The visit was arranged by the human rights organization Human Rights First as part of their political anti-torture work. Finnegan and his companions argued that the series encouraged unethical and illegal behavior and adversely affected US soldiers in the performance of their duties, and therefore tried to convince the producers to portray torture in the series in the future not as a successful but as a failing interrogation method . One of the three experts, once an interrogator in the Iraq war , argued that US soldiers stationed in Iraq were inspired by the interrogation methods shown in the series for real, self-conducted interrogations. According to Finnegan, among other things, 24 made it more difficult to convince some of the cadets he had trained that the US had to respect laws and human rights . As a further argument, he put forward that the series damage the international reputation of the United States by showing a US government, the various forms of torture.

Jane Mayer , author of the book The Dark Side , reported for the first time about Finnegan's visit and the interrogation experts in the highly acclaimed article Whatever It Takes for The New Yorker magazine on February 19, 2007. It also dealt with an interview by Mayer with Königinow, in which Republican party member Zunow advocated the use of torture in exceptional circumstances, such as an impending atomic bomb explosion. Among other things, press authors responded with contributions that the series was motivated by the political views of Zunow. A few days after Mayer's article appeared, screenwriter Howard Gordon announced that the series would contain fewer scenes of torture in the future because the torture was beginning to appear "a bit trite" and because the idea of ​​physical coercion or torture was "no longer a novelty or surprise" represent. In further response to Mayer's article , inneow said that it was not his or the other 24 creators' intent to portray torture as great. Referring to the article, Keller (2008) called it “treacherous” in radio correspondence that one of the three interrogators had their own experience of torture interrogation, and pointed out that although the military and authorities endorsed torture, the Use of physical force on the orders of the US President to hide from the public.

In September 2002, US officials met in the Guantanamo detention center to discuss new interrogation methods. The British lawyer Philippe Sands made it public in 2008 that they also served 24 as a source of inspiration . The military lawyer and officer Diane Beaver, who was involved in the talks in 2002, told Sands that the character Jack Bauer gave people "a lot of ideas" in the fall of 2002. According to the statements of other employees to Sands, the series directly contributed to the fact that those employed in the interrogation facilities were encouraged to see themselves “as on the front line and to go further than they would have done under other circumstances”. In addition, 24 opponents of abuse made it more difficult to stop the abuse.

Reviews by politicians and stakeholders

In June 2006, the Republican US Secretary of the Interior Michael Chertoff praised the portrayal of the war on terror in the series and rated it as a reflection of reality. He said that as a participant in a panel discussion hosted by the politically conservative think tank Heritage Foundation and moderated by Rush Limbaugh , about 24 and the US's image in relation to counter-terrorism. That same day, Joel Nachbarow and other staff on the series accepted an invitation to the White House that was attended by Republicans Karl Rove , Tony Snow and Mary Cheney . O'Mathuna (2010) cited the discussion as an example of possible influences of 24 on high-ranking US decision-makers.

Several representatives of the Republican or conservative political spectrum commented on the torture portrayals in the series. Antonin Scalia , United States Supreme Court Justice , defended Jack Bauer's interrogation methods in June 2007 as part of a panel discussion, arguing that law enforcement agencies needed room to maneuver in times of crisis. The lawyer John Yoo , who was instrumental in drafting the so-called torture memos under the Bush administration , quoted Jack Bauer in his book War by Other Means: An Insider's Account of the War on Terror and argued that torture in extreme cases like for example the ticking time bomb scenario is justified. Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo endorsed Bauer's interrogation methods for preventing threatened nuclear weapons attacks in a Republican election campaign debate held in May 2007 and received great applause from the audience; there were also heated debates on the Internet in this regard. From the conservative spectrum, however, there were also negative viewpoints. Melissa Caldwell of the conservative advocacy group Parents Television Council said: "'24 is the worst offender on television: the most common, the most drastic and the leader in the trend of showing protagonists practicing torture". The radio presenter Laura Ingraham cited the popularity of the series as evidence that the Americans favored brutality.

However, people from the democratic political spectrum also spoke publicly in relation to 24 . The pro-democracy presenter and blogger Taylor Marsh, for example, mocked the Republicans on her blog in January 2006, calling Jack Bauer a hero and a Democrat. After Bill Clinton had spoken in favor of torture in the ticking time bomb scenario in 2007, he defended statements on the political talk show Meet the Press by his wife Hillary Clinton , who was running for the presidency , who rejected torture as part of US politics. He mentioned 24 and Jack Bauer several times . The remarks also sparked discussions on the Internet and became a topic in the daily press .

In 2007, New York University Law School discussed the torture depictions in 24 publicly . Representatives from Human Rights Watch and the American military, as well as cultural scientist Richard Slotkin, also attended. According to Arnold (2007), Slotkin saw the series as the classic pattern of American national mythology, the ever-smoldering conflict between order and lawlessness. Slotkin: “The future of the nation is always at stake, the conflict can only be resolved through decisive action, never through negotiation; and order can only be restored by violating it ”. Torture has now "become part of our national mythology," Slotkin said.

In the US news magazine Newsweek (2008), journalist Dahlia Lithwick characterized him as the most influential thinker and most important driving force of America, mainly because so many lawyers have cited Jack Bauer in relation to torture and have quoted him “more often than the constitution” Interrogation doctrine.

The seventh season in response to criticism of torture

The producers and screenwriters used the seventh season to respond to public criticism of the show's portrayal of torture. The hearing or indictment of Jack Bauer before a Senate investigative committee served them - according to Gordon's testimony - to defend 24 , "instead of selling out the whole series and its history and legacy and apologizing for it and finally invalidating it. “The strong name resemblance between Senator Blaine Mayer, the committee chairman, and Jane Mayer was by design. Bauer's self - reflection statements in the season also represent a reaction . For example, at the beginning of the season he says: “We have done so many secret things over the years to protect this country, we have created two worlds - ours and those of the people we promise to protect ”(German translation from the original English version). The season was also seen as a concession to the political climate in the United States, which, in view of the treatment of terrorists under the Bush administration, was marked by an increasingly negative attitude towards torture among the population. Recipients also believed there was a connection to Barack Obama's election as the new US president and his announcement that torture would no longer be allowed. Because torture is no longer used in the seventh season to the extent that it was the case in previous seasons, Hannes Stein , for example, judged in the world : “The series was cooked as soft as a diaper [under Barack Obama]. With the slack of the politically correct she is now on the leash of ' Fox 5 '. "

Legal dispute in Switzerland

In October 2007, the Swiss lawyer Claude Schönthal filed a complaint with the ombudsman of SRG SSR against the broadcast of the series on Swiss television . Mainly arguing with examples from the fourth season, Schönthal was convinced that in 24 the USA is promoting torture with the aim of portraying torture as a necessary means and that the unrestrained use of force will become an acceptable and familiar act for the viewer. This is expressed by the fact that torture is always carried out by the good - especially in the form of Bauer as a figure of identification - and they do not respect human dignity. Schönthal also saw rules and regulations violated by the broadcast of certain scenes in the series, including those of the Swiss constitution and the penal code . The SF editor-in-chief Michel Bodmer said in his statement on the allegations, among other things: "The portrayal of torture in '24' is [...] diverse and contradicting, so by no means one-sided and positive, as it should be for the purpose of propaganda." As a result of Schönthal's complaint, the guideline Representations of violence in the fictional program of Swiss television was supplemented by two sentences, which among other things state that the rule of law must not use torture in criminal prosecution.

Muslims and Turks as terrorists

When the fourth season first aired, FOX was criticized negatively by the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for portraying American Muslims as suspects. FOX responded with minor changes to individual episodes and with spots that show Muslims in a positive light. In the same month the British Council of Muslims objected to the portrayal of Muslims as “consistently hostile and unbalanced” and promoting Islamophobia (→ Season 4) . The Assembly of Turkish Americans Associations , which advocates for Turkish Americans , and the Turkish Embassy in the United States criticized FOX and the producers negatively for portraying Turkey as the country of origin of the terrorists. At the start of the sixth season in January 2007, the CAIR renewed its criticism and urged the scriptwriters to be careful in their portrayal of Muslims. In response, FOX stated in writing that the selection of its characters did not intend to blame any particular ethnic or religious group.

Some authors responded to the criticism expressed by the interest groups. Yin (2009) said that the problem with portraying Arabs as terrorists in the series is less with their roles as villains, but more with their one-dimensional nature as " nihilistic zeros," which makes the torture they are subjected to more acceptable than if they were they would be considered human. Because of this, he thought 24 was not as negatively biased as other critics have lamented. Because even in the seasons in which the terrorists are of Arab origin, there are usually other, non-Arab villains, such as Marie Warner in the second season.

Adaptations and influences


In 2017, FOX broadcast the offshoot television series 24: Legacy . It played Corey Hawkins the lead role, Kiefer Sutherland was no longer involved as an actor. The 12-part season remained without a continuation due to poor ratings.

In 2018, two new TV series based on 24 were under discussion: a prequel that tells about Jack Bauer's past and a court series in real-time format. Both projects failed to be made into a film. There are also talks by FOX officials about a revival of 24 in series in 2019 (as of August 7, 2019).

Indian adaptation

Anil Kapoor

Actor Anil Kapoor , who played Omar Hassan in season eight, produced an Indian remake of 24 in which he also played the lead role of Jack Bauer equivalent Jai Singh Rathod. Kapoor's production company acquired the rights to 24 from FOX for the sum of 1 billion Indian rupees , making the adaptation the most expensive Indian television series. The first season aired in India in 2013, the second season in 2016.

Other television series

The German television series Alone Against Time , produced from 2009 to 2011 and broadcast on KiKA , was based on the example of 24 . Each episode also corresponds to a narrative period of 60 minutes, but only lasts 25 minutes. The US television series Prison Break (2005-2009) was credited with taking ideas from 24 , for example regarding the pace of the plot. The German television series GSG 9 - Ihr Einsatz ist ihr Leben (2007-2008), which deals with the work of a special government unit, was certified to be a German version of 24 . Adam Fierro , screenwriter and producer for the sixth season of 24 , was motivated by the meeting of the interrogation specialists with the production team arranged by Human Rights First in 2006 to play torture in the US television series The Shield (2002-2008) which he also worked as a screenwriter, as a failing interrogation method.

Merchandising products

In the United States, Pocket Books published eleven novels within the 24 Declassified series between 2005 and 2010 . They all play before the first season begins. Each novel tells - equivalent to each season - a 24-hour period, divided into 24 chapters. The first three novels were published by Panini under the series title 24, files released in German. Since 2014, three more novels have been published in English by Titan Books . The first of them, Deadline , appeared in German on Cross Cult , but does not play within 24 consecutive hours. It follows directly from the end of the eighth season and tells of Jack Bauer's escape from the American and Russian law enforcement agencies.

In addition, the US publisher IDW Publishing published five comic volumes from 2004 to 2008, of which the fourth was divided into five volumes when it was first published. The first three comics appeared in German translated in the anthology 24: The official comic for the TV cult series . In 2014, Comic 24 followed: Underground , which takes place between the eighth season and Live Another Day . The literature also includes a magazine (24: The Official Magazine) that was published in a total of 12 issues from 2006 to 2008 and a number of accompanying books that contain background information such as production reports, photos and interviews, but also episode guides and the plot of the television series.

A number of games were also distributed. These include mobile games such as 24: The Mobile Game and two online games . Under the title 24: The Game , an action-adventure computer game offered by Sony Computer Entertainment and published in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 is available. In terms of content, it is located between the second and third season and contains 58 so-called "missions". The player can slip into the role of any character. In addition, board games and card games were published for the series.

Some web series have been released. These include The Rookie: CTU , which is about a young, inexperienced CTU employee, and 24 - mission briefing for day 6 , which addresses the events of the sixth season immediately after the end of its narrative period. Mobisode 24: Conspiracy also appeared , which is about the investigation of a CTU agent into a murder case. Some of these miniseries were also published on the 24 DVDs. Some were used as part of contracts with sponsors (→ see also: budget, sponsoring and product placement ) , such as Sprint Nextel and Unilever , for advertising, product placement , brand transfer and cross-promotion .

Furthermore, wall calendar, were action figures , bracelets , an eau de toilette and a 24 - energy drink marketed.

Humorous adaptations

Several US media parodied or caricatured 24 . These include satirical programs such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien , which, among other things, presented the length of the flashbacks as disproportionately long, as well as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report . The MADtv show featured 24 -related skits in multiple editions , one of which included Bauer using his interrogation methods on an orangutan . The US satirical magazine MAD devoted at least five different issues to the series. One of them contained a 6-page comic satirizing the second season and its characters. Issue 131 of the German series Simpsons Comics also parodies 24 . The two and a half hour US film production 24 XXX - An Axel Braun Parody is a parody of 24 in the form of a porn film , which was released at least on DVD in 2014 and was directed by the Italian Axel Braun and with Kurt Lockwood in the lead role of Jack Bauer.

In numerous television productions 24 , the CTU, Jack Bauer and other characters of the series were mentioned, mostly in an ironic way or in the form of allusions within dialogues. These include US television series like American Dad , Entourage , Gilmore Girls , Happy Endings , In Plain Sight , It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia , The Office , Scrubs , 30 Rock, and at least three episodes of Dr. House . In a Dr. House episode as House reacted sarcastically to an emergency by recommending to summon Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer was also mentioned in the British television series The Sarah Jane Adventures and Dead Set .

At least the American version of an episode of Sesame Street showed a 24-second sketch about a farmer doll. The 2007 aired episode 24 Minutes ( 24 Minutes , Season 18 ) of the animated series The Simpsons was created as a parody of 24 . For example, the storylines taking place in parallel are visualized on split screens for significantly longer than in 24 ; In addition, at the end of the episode there is a nuclear explosion in the neighboring town. 24 was also parodied in the March 2007 episode Hillary 2.4 (The Snuke) of the 11th season of the animated series South Park .

In a cinema commercial for Acer notebooks that was shown in European cinemas in 2012, Kiefer Sutherland parodied his role as Jack Bauer. A three-part television commercial for a functional drink from the Japanese pharmaceutical company Ōtsuka Seiyaku was created as a parody of 24 ; the fee for Sutherland's appearances in it was estimated at US $ 2.5 million.

Fans realized a musical that - consisting of twelve pieces - parodied scenes and episodes from the second season and at least published it on the Internet. There were also a number of jokes in fan circles, for example in relation to life-threatening situations that Bauer survived. More than 100 jokes in 2012 in the book were the best Chuck Norris Jokes mitveröffentlicht.


Several US politicians mentioned Jack Bauer in speeches to the House of Representatives . The Democrat Chaka Fattah, for example, called it in 2007 - while he was arguing for the establishment of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office - as a synonym for 24 and a series that conveyed the danger of nuclear weapons attacks to the population . That same year, Republican Mike J. Rogers spoke out against the oversight law in foreign intelligence, including calling Bauer someone who does not take the US Constitution very seriously.

A commercial from the US political organization Keep America Safe , which tries to ascribe some of the responsibility for the attempted bomb attack of December 25, 2009 to the federal government of Barack Obama , imitated the splitscreens typical of 24 . In the US feature film The Report (2019), which deals with the use of " extended interrogation methods " by the CIA after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the main character speaks negatively about Jack Bauer. The song Amerikhastan , which is about cultural and religious conflicts, on the album United Abominations by the metal band Megadeth was inspired by 24 .

Numerous websites were created that are entirely dedicated to the series. These include the pages jacktracker.com, which uses Google Maps to localize the locations of the series, and bauerkillcount.com, which counts those killed by Bauer. 24spoilers.com is dedicated to news related to the series. In multiple languages created Wikia - Wikis especially to the series, one of which includes the English edition now more than 7000 pages. Fans published numerous self-written short stories, including on fanfiction.net, the largest website for fan fiction . In fan circles, Jack Bauer was often referred to as a badass because of his aggressiveness .


Reports and history of origin

Interpretations and scientific publications

Review mirror


Rather positive


Rather negative


Web links

Commons : 24  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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This article was added to the list of excellent articles on March 24, 2013 in this version .