Television

Third season of Fox's '24' will see major changes

CALIFORNIA: Making the audience suspend their disbelief to a greater degree is one of the main challenges that the action series 24 is facing. The third season of the show recently commenced on Fox. In India the first season recently completed its run on AXN.

Fox is h oping that 24 will generate the much needed momentum for the network struggling with poor ratings for The X-Files and Ally McBeal. In India both of them air on Star World.

As reported earlier by indiantelevision.com each episode represents an hour of a day. Therefore the action is taking place in real time. The new season picks up three years after the second season. The main character counter terrorist agent Jack Bauer played by Golden Globe winner Kiefer Sutherland is said to be more reckless, bitter and cynical. While he was able to stop an assassination attempt on presidential candidate David Palmer his wife was killed in the last episode of the second season. This naturally leaves Jack racked with guilt. 

As far as the show's format is concerned what was different was that the premiere episode which aired a couple of days ago in the US was commercial-free. This was achieved through a sponsorship deal with an automaker.

However reports indicate that some industry observers have felt that the move was counter productive. After all the end of each section of 24 leaves one with a feeling of breathless anticipation. No breaks made it feel less exciting as the brief wait was not there. Yet again the plot revolves around a threat against the White House. For the emotional quotient Jack is given a new love played by Sarah Wynter.

The audiences ability to suspend disbelief will be tested. Last season it was fine that Jack left his family's safety to other counter terrorism agents while he took care of business. He could not have known that his wife would be killed. Now though it is strange to say the least that he entrusts his daughters safety to the Counter Terrorism Unit yet again.

The producers Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran were quoted in reports saying, "President Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) is back - although not as you remember him. So, too, is Kim (Elisha Cuthbert). However at 21, she is older and wiser. We have also added a new series regular, Chase Edmunds (James Badge Dale), a young partner for Jack who we think will be a terrific addition to the cast."

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