Sunday, March 14, 2010

Don't count out Jack Bauer yet

     It has widely been noted that Fox's 24 has been slipping in the ratings and may soon face cancellation.  How far has it slipped?  Down to third for the entire network.  Yes, the show that ranks only behind American Idol and House is considered lagging.  I guess it takes more than 12 million viewers a week to still be considered good enough to keep on the air.  And yet the network continues to air 'Til Death.
     Seriously, though, after eight years, the budget has gotten pretty high, and if the downward ratings trend continues, then 24 might cease to be a valuable, marketable commodity.  That would really screw things up for Fox when they try to begin putting Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) on the big screen, and need to sell a few more than 12 million tickets to turn a profit.
     Which is why it comes as a surprise to learn that 20th Century Fox, the studio that makes 24 for the Fox television network, is talking to NBC about taking over the adventure.  Yes, this is a rumor, but multiple sources confirm that these talks are happening.  The price tag to keep the series going is, of course, a major sticking point, and may cause the deal not to happen.  Also, keeping Jack on Fox might mean a delay in the feature films, the first of which already has been given script treatment, though it's not at a final draft stage, awaiting approval, or anything.
     Should 24 continue?  It's debatable.  I still love me some Jack Bauer action, but this season has been dragged down considerably by the Dana Walsh (Katee Sackhoff) subplot.  The show has plenty of time this year to redeem itself, and if past performance is any indicator, it will.  Yet, as the television movie, 24: Redemption, aired in fall of 2008 showed, a fresh take on things benefits the plot.  It may be time to turn in the gun on the small screen, and take things to the next level.
     24 airs Mondays at 9pm on Fox.

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