AXN announced the premiere of its most anticipated show 24 (Season 8). This season will feature Bollywood superstar Anil Kapoor in a pivotal role alongside with 24 series’ lead Kiefer Sutherland. It is for the first time that a Bollywood celebrity has been cast in a Hollywood television show.
24 is an American serial action/drama television series starring Kiefer Sutherland as special agent Jack Bauer and the show is presented in the semblance of real time, with each 24-episode season covering 24 hours in the life of Bauer. First broadcast on November 6, 2001, the show has run for 192 episodes over eight seasons. In addition, the television movie 24: Redemption was broadcast between seasons six and seven, while a feature film is also planned.
The season 8 will have an added appeal exclusively for the Indian audiences. Bollywood’s superstar Anil Kapoor will be seen essaying a crucial role in this season. Anil Kapoor plays the role of President Omar Hassan of the fictional Islamic Republic of Kamistan (IRK) who visits US for a peace conference with President of the United States. 24 Season 8 is set 18 months after season 7, the story arc involves Jack Bauer contending with assassination threats made during a peace conference between President of the United States Allison Taylor and President Omar Hassan of the fictional Islamic Republic of Kamistan (IRK).
AXN has revamped the programming for 24 Season 8 by airing the series daily and weekend marathon episodes. Considering the Indian audiences psyche AXN has decided to adapt strip programming for this season of 24.
Multi Screen Meida senior vice president Rohit Bhandari said, “24 is one of the key tent-pole properties of the year on AXN. It has in its previous seasons always garnered great viewership and this season will definitely be much more interesting. The show has had a great appeal with Indian audiences in the past and now with Mr. Anil Kapoor being a part of the show, I can only expect it to be bigger and better. After gauging interest levels among our target audience, the channel has decided to adopt strip programming which will appeal to the show fans. They will now be able to get a dose of their favorite show every day of the week from Monday to Thursday at 11 pm.”
Talking about his experience of working on 24, Anil Kapoor says, “The experience of working with Fox, Kiefer and the cast and crew of 24, has given me tremendous exposure. While shooting I discovered that the character of Mr. Omar Hassan was at the heart of the final season of the show, almost Shakespaerean. I will never forget my last day on the set of 24. As soon as I gave my last shot, they cut a huge cake and several people gave speeches about working with me. Never on my 30 year career have I got this kind of appreciation and send off from my peers. It was almost as if I was some kind of ambassador from India and had made a difference to their lives. I was so overwhelmed. I think it went beyond professional respect.”