Howard Gordon: No time jumps in first eight hours of 24: Live Another Day

Howard Gordon at 24: Live Another Day World Premiere Screening
Howard Gordon at 24: Live Another Day World Premiere Screening

One of the most touted aspects of 24: Live Another Day was the newfound freedom to skip hours. But it seems that was more challenging than the writers originally envisioned and the first two-thirds of the season will take place consecutively just like prior seasons.

The 12-episode season, half its usual length, is “a little bit faster and a little more intense,” Rajskub says, while Sutherland likens it to “concentrated orange juice.”

But some issues remain unchanged. The shorter season, still confined to a single 24-hour day, was designed to allow writers the flexibility to skip through time here and there, but the first eight episodes are set in consecutive hours.

“I thought it was going to be an amazing opportunity to go, ‘Hey, next week we’re going to be in Istanbul,'” Sutherland says.

“It seemed like a liberating idea at the time,” says executive producer Howard Gordon, “until you try to do that. The sweaters are interwoven tightly,” so stopping multiple story lines and later accounting for the passage of time proved too difficult. “There were more moving parts than we imagined.”

The final episodes still haven’t been written, and producers are running into the same plotting hurdles in the same spot, two-thirds of the way to the finish line, despite having half as many episodes. Turns out that fewer installments provide “less runway to land the plane,” metaphorically speaking, Gordon says. “You can’t mold chapter and verse how things are going to morph; there’s still a bit of improvisation.”

But the persistent obstacle “surprised me immensely,” Sutherland says. “That dynamic hasn’t shifted. The challenges from telling a story in real time are what they are. It’s still a bend to try to finish it, and now we’re trying to make the shift.”

And somehow fill the rest of Jack’s bad day. “In the end, it might be me on one long flight for 11 hours from London to L.A.”

As for the future of 24? Different people are saying different things.

Could Jack come back yet again? “Anything’s possible, if the audience responds to it,” Gordon says. “I think it’s something we’d all be open to.”

Except Sutherland, who’s 47. “My bones are creaking. What am I going to do, Jack Bauer in a walker? So, yeah, this is it. For me, it’s done.”

Source USA Today


Comments Closed
Sounds like Kiefer is playing hard to get here.

UGH. I really thought they said they had an idea for a 12-episode run and could really make it work, and had plotted out the 12 episodes before they even started. If they’re doing the usual, write it as they go along stuff then it’s gonna turn into another season 6.

I hope not…

24 is a world of broken promises.

“Next season will take place one day after the current one, it will be the closest we’ve ever come to making 48…Not really folks 18 months it is”

“Jack will be on his own and the threats more personal… Jack will have the assistance of Chloe and the CIA and the threat will be a huge international one as usual”

“The 12 hour format will allow Jack to jump on a plane… Except we’re not going anywhere now”

And now…

“Howard told me he had an idea for 12 episodes… Howard had an idea for 1 episode and made it up as he went along”

At this rate LAD will be an even worse way to close out 24 than 8 was. I suggest they play the usual conspirator/recording/loose end trainwreck they’re so good at for these last 4 and then piss off for good this time. What an utterly clueless Cunch of bunts these people are… Liars too. That includes
Kiefer with his constant upspeak “I think Jack is a little darker? This time around? “

They apparently planned out day 7, yet it was just as much of a jumbled shambling mess as 4 and 6 were.

May 5, 2014 at 7:23 am
They are ready to start shooting episodes 9 and 10 so they must have them written already, Since HG did not say “no time jumps in first 10 episodes”, I assume the time jump is between episode 8 and 9. I hope this situation is not really a problem, I hope they are not really “stuck”. I would rather them violate the “12 episodes spanning a 24 hour day” rule then have a convoluted jump/continuity.

I think Kiefer and HoGo were probably interviewed a couple weeks ago, and USA Today just held it until closer to the premiere. Jon tweeted on April 29th that Milan Cheylov had started shooting episodes 9 and 10 (with Jon also starting prep work on the final two episodes) so they appear to have been written already.

There is no indication at all that they are ‘stuck’. Merely that the time jumps present their own set of challenges in terms of plotting.

Just go straight through to 10:55PM then have him wake up on the day
of the California Presidential primary.

May 5, 2014 at 11:52 am
10/10, would read again

Regarding the time jump issue, it does seem very odd that they’d write the first 8 hours as consecutive and leave the last 4 hours to absorb a 16 hour span – unless they’re serious about the notion Kiefer suggested (jokingly?) of Bauer being on a plane for 11 hours from London to LA. I could see the writers doing the first 10 episodes in London and then use some plot angle at the end (i.e. Jack extradicted to US? Jack allowed to go home and reunite with Kim?) of a long flight from Europe to US.

As for Kiefer’s admission of “being done” after this arc, as much as I hate to read it, at least that’s a frank and honest acknowledgement of reality, given his age. I just wish he hadn’t admitted it before the season kicks off – it would have been better at the end of the 12 episodes so we don’t have it running through our minds as we watch the season that each show is part of Kiefer’s “farewell tour”.

What a bunch of lying bleeps. “Oh we have an idea, we can skip hours, nope not skipping hours yet.”

The one that always pissed me off is after season 7 they said it would pick right up the next day, or close to it, then we got season 8 and we were all told how the cabal was beaten because of Renee’s outlook, riiigght, stupid, pffft. I never trust a word the comes from their yaps.

Kiefer is just angling for more money to come back again, that is all. Just wait.

Be fun though if some random person threw a bag over jack’s head and took him back to L.A. then that person turned out to be Almeida lol heck they don’t know where they are going anyway, may as well just do something ridiculous.

What really annoys me is when fox ended 24 in 2010 some people were moaning that no new season is been made and now its back for 12 new episodes you lot still moaning.

Bloody hell, some people can’t be pleased. give them a chance and see how this new series unfolds before making horrible comments on the producers, you never know, this new series might be brilliant and Kiefer Sutherland could return for another new series if Jack doesn’t get killed of in the series final but not holding much up sine Kiefer stated this season is the final one ever.

I don’t think LAD can be as bad as Seasons 6 or 8, so we’ll just have to wait and see it play out…

Oh it won`t be anywhere near as bad as 6. Plus bad for 24 is still better than 95% of the crap on network tv

I agree.

Can someone please answer this.

On the homepage the clock states 3 hours to go before the season premiere, well how can this be the case when us in the uk get to watch it at 1am on Sky1, same time as the US broadcast. how can that be?

Is the clock wrong? by the way, not watching it at 1am, I am watching it at 9pm on Wednesday on Sky1 :) to late at 1am as I am in bed by then lol.

The way it works right now is that it counts down to 8:00 PM on May 5th using your computers clock.

So the countdown is inaccurate if you’re not in America (as UK time is five hours ahead of US). I don’t have separate countdowns for UK, France, etc but I’ll look into doing that in future weeks.

So us in the Uk will be broadcast same time as US? Sorry, all of this is so confusing.

Yes, Sky will be broadcasting the premiere during the same time it’s airing in the US, but because of the time zone differences (UK time is five hours ahead) it’ll be Tuesday May 6 at 1:00 AM there.

Basically… 8:00pm in US = 1:00am in UK.

I understand Kiefer doesn’t want to play Jack till he’s 70 years old, but he’s 47, he’s not an old man, and he’s in good shape, running and jumping in the promos we’ve seen.

Besides Kiefer is pretty stupid : 24 had revived his carrer. What did he play before 24 ? 2 or 3 successful movies…and a lot of rubbish ones! and after 24? supporting roles in auteur films almost nobody have seen (Melancholia, the Reluctant fundamentalist) and Pompeii, a pop corn movie that made a flop. He did a play in Broadway, I’ve seen it, very good but not a big hit too…And I almost forget Touch, that cheesy show.
He’s famous only for 24 and he wants to stop ?

At 47, he could do another season at least, Harrison Ford was 65 when he did the last Indiana Jones…

I can understand he’s fed up with Jack Bauer..but age isn’t an the good argument

Or does he want Fox to pay him much more ? (I’ve read his fee is less than it was in previous seasons)

I think you’re right Catherine. Mary Lynn is always harping on about how scary it is to play with such a well known actor like Kiefer Sutherland. Yes, he’s quite well known… but only for a few things such as ‘The Lost Boys’ and ’24’.

I did feel it was a bit of a downgrade seeing Kiefer in movies such as Pompeii & The Reluctant Fundamentalist. I think this is the only thing Kiefer has that is mainstream & which can rake in the dollars compared with any sub-par tv shows or movies.

But but…you are forgetting The Cowboy Way, that is so much better than 24, he is o well known for that, right? lol

And the Harrison Ford comparison, blah, Indy 4 was a big turd. But if Jack gets like Bruce Willis/McClane in that god awful Die Hard 5, a shark needs to come and eat him.

How many are you betting that Tony returns tonight in the season premiere? really hope so.

Roll on 1am on Sky1, I decided to watch it at 1am after all, I am still going to watch it again on Wednesday at 9pm :)

I actually can’t believe you think it’s even a possibility.

He will not be in it.

Carlos tweeted in the past 24 hours that he can’t comment on LAD. Day 8 he came out and outright confirmed he wasn’t in it, read into that what you will but Carlos is definately not in it tonight.

Yeah, absolutely, it’s possible he may be in LAD at some point (perhaps the final four episodes will feature him after the time jump) but certainly not tonight.

He’ll be back in the final 2 I say

Well Carlos Bernard had a meeting dinner with David Fury because he tweeted it about him returning as Tony in the new series so who knows, he might return, if not tonight then maybe during later episodes.

I’m keeping optimistic about this, :)

In France it’ll air tonight ( actually in the middle of the night to be at the same time than in the US) but on a paid channel, so I have to wait till tuesday evening…

I’ve loved many moments in even 24’s worst seasons. In season 6, there was the opening 4 episodes, the Tom lennox/karen Hayes dynamic, and some truly great sequences with jack (killing fayed, final conversation with Heller). But I’m really disappointed to hear that they are stuck in how to do the 12 hour gap.

I mean, one of the things that gave me hope for the season was the fact that HG had an idea, a SPECIFIC idea of what he wanted to do with the format. Now it just seems like they wrote themselves into a corner like they have done before. The first thing they should have done when they started writing the show over SEVEN months ago was figure out the time plan. I’m still hopeful, and I’ll probably love much of it (even season 8’s last 8-10 episodes were pretty damn good) and I’ll give them all the chances they need, but I’d be lying if I said this didn’t have me concerned.

Where is it indicated that they are ‘stuck’?

Okay, they WERE stuck, or at least were finding it very difficult. The real problem is that they didn’t have a plan or a clear idea of what to do format wise when they started writing the season. That sounds like such a basic step when you’re changing the whole real time aspect of the show that it does worry me.

If you think that you can ‘plan’ a writing process, you’re sadly mistaken. It doesn’t work like that. The process of writing in any format is intrinsically malleable.

Of course it is. I really understand that. I really do, more than you think. But when you’re talking about the most bare-bones aspect of this new season: that it’s only 12 episodes long and that hours must be skipped, it is too central a process to leave unplanned in some fashion. Because this seems to suggest they didn’t even know what they’d be skipping in those 12 hours. A plane ride? A night’s sleep? An escape? A surgery?

I feel like I’m coming off more judgmental that I really am. It’s just that as a fan when I read stuff like “It seemed like a liberating idea at the time”, it worries me. Because it really underscores how vague HG’s ideas were regarding the 12 episode structure. I mean, what idea did HG have that convinced Kiefer that 12 episodes was the way to go and not a movie or 24 episodes. That’s what worries me because it begins to sound like he really only had an idea for 1 episode and then just made it up as he went along.

I think he *did* have an idea for all 12 episodes. What’s more, they’ve been working on the broad strokes of the story since last June. It’s just that when you start actually scripting this stuff and get the ball rolling it’s a different kettle of fish. These things can initially seem clear in your head from a purely theoretical perspective, but practically it always becomes more challenging than you thought it would be. I really don’t see any reason to be overly concerned.

paul bonnici
May 6, 2014 at 8:44 am
Hopefully the raitings will break records, I would like to see some night episodes so that the season actually represents a 24 hour day . I am interested in how Kate Morgan will be portrayed this season. I have some theroies
1 Jack and Kate team up,
2 Just say that Jack gets killed by the end of the season the show is renewed what about Kate Morgan becoming the lead character, as she is a younger version of Jack as Kiefer said in an interview { that maybe a wild idea}
3 For all the work Jack has done over the years the President gives Jack a pardon , Kim comes back for the final episode Jack meets his grandson for the first time, the show ends for good
4 there was no real empasis on the Russins hunting Bauer it was just the Americans maybe towards seasons end and into next season he will have to contend with the FSB , he is taken to a prison camp me manages to escape with a few trusted allies

I think they have finally done a time jump. The current episode pair looks like a night/day double header. So it looks like they’re only having one full night episode (9), with some night scenes at the end of 8 and maybe the beginning of 10. Hope they have a sunrise!

Combined with Mary Lynn’s revelation about the 9th episode being outrageous surprise, I have a strong feeling that the time gap in the final 4 episodes will indeed have something to do with Jack’s return to American soil – either as an exonerated hero or extradicted prisoner or some version in between. It wouldn’t surprise me either if such a return may be based on the villain of S9, having failed in their mission in London, than captures Kim in the US and forces Jack to return.

The cross-continental flight seems too convenient a way for the writers to back them out of the corner they’ve put themselves into with only 4 episodes left and 16 hours to cover. And, if they really are viewing this season as a one-shot return with no idea of future seasons, then it seems like a poetic and pragmatic concept to get Jack back home in some form.

The problem if 24 doesn’t return, it’s the end, because I liked very much the season 8 finale with the clock countdown to 0, Jack saying good by to Chloe and to us through the screen, it was a very good idea, and original, not a finale with his daugther or a lover…
But now, they have to find a better idea, and I don’t think killing Jack is a good idea, too predictable, too commonplace…

Jack saved Chloe in Hour 1. If TJ is right about the 9th episode having an outrageous surprise, I would love that to be Chole saving Jacks life by bringing back Tony to save Jack and the day when we least expect it. Then later we get a fast shot of Tony’s Cubs coffee mug.