Today marks 24‘s tenth anniversary – the show premiered on November 6, 2001 to critical acclaim. Although the ratings weren’t great at first, FOX believed in the show and stuck with it. They aired the seventh episode of the series several days early at 3:00 AM just so it would meet the deadline to be eligible for a Golden Globe nomination. And indeed, Kiefer Sutherland won “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Drama Series” which gave the ratings a nice uptick.
FOX also aired the season 2 and 3 premieres commercial free and paired it up with American Idol (the most popular show on TV). With season 4 they bundled the first 24 minutes of the premiere episode on a DVD included in copies of Entertainment Weekly. In order to keep the momentum, they decided to air the season non-stop with no reruns. They shelled out millions of dollars for three advertisements during the Super Bowl. By the fifth season of 24, ratings were at an all-time high. How many other shows can say that?
The fantastic cast members deserve credit too. Think of all the great actors on this show over the years – Dennis Haysbert, Penny Johnson Jerald, Xander Berkeley, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jean Smart, Gregory Itzin, Annie Wersching, Cherry Jones, Jon Voight, and more. And of course we can’t forget the incredible crew who worked tirelessly to create something special. Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow for coming up with this unique idea, Jon Cassar’s fabulous directing which made viewers feel as if they were watching a big-budget movie each week, and Sean Callery’s incredible music which received Emmy nominations for every season of the show.
24 was a great show and will hopefully become a great movie franchise starting next year. Also be sure to check out this great lengthy post from Rita at Addictedto24: 24′s Enduring Legacy and a nice video by Lisa Thomas: 24 Jack Bauer 10th Anniversary Video.