tv shows  > 24

The Bauer clan has kept us glued to our seats and cursing the time clock all season. The white knuckle, real-time pace has created a show viewers absolutely refuse to miss weekly. However, with a plotline as twisting and turn-y as this one, it's hard for first time viewers to catch on. With the show up for renewal, producers have decided to go it at a slower pace next year (which takes the pressure off them to come up with another "longest day" of Jack Bauer's life). Instead, the show will resemble more of a traditional drama than an action movie.

Readers in the Primetime TV Forum have their own ideas about how to handle 24's sophomore season

Kiefer Sutherland stars as Jack Bauer, the head of an elite team of CIA agents who uncover an assassination plot targeting Presidential nominee David Palmer. With only 24 hours to find the killer and save Palmer, Jack must also deal with the sudden disappearance of his troubled teenage daughter. -- Fox

The first episode begins at midnight on the day of the California Presidential Primary. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) heads up the government's Counter-Terrorist Unit. He discovers that there's going to be an assassination attempt on Senator Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), an African-American presidential candidate. Bauer faces a battle against the clock to avert disaster.

The series follows several characters as they live through a day that none of them will forget. For Kimberly (Elisha Cuthbert) a night on the town takes an unexpected turn. Teri (Leslie Hope) sets out to find Kimberly and encounters more danger than she ever imagined possible. Senator Palmer, unaware there's going to be an attempt on his life, faces the threat of a long buried scandal resurfacing. Meanwhile, Jack, with help from his Chief-of-Staff Nina Myers (Sarah Clarke), is charged with the responsibility of stopping the assassination. But who can he trust, when it appears a rogue element inside the Agency is in on the hit. And all the time, the clock keeps ticking...

The programme was created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran. Ron Howard, one of the show's executive producers, has directed many hit films including A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13 and Splash. He also starred in classic TV comedy Happy Days in the 1970s.

24 has earned rave reviews in America, where it's won the Golden Satellite Award for Best TV Drama, and Kiefer Sutherland picked up a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Drama.

Kiefer Sutherland has appeared in many popular films including A Few Good Men, The Lost Boys and Young Guns.

He recently wrapped up production on the movie Paradise Found in which he portrays the Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin. His next project is the World War II film To End All Wars. The screenplay is based on the best-selling book Through the Valley of the Kwai, an account of life as a prisoner-of-war in a south-east Asian prison camp.

His other film credits include Dark City, A Time to Kill, The Three Musketeers, A Few Good Men and Stand By Me.

Son of the actor Donald Sutherland, Kiefer was part of the 1980s American brat-pack which also included Lost Boys co-stars Jason Patric and Corey Haim. He's also worked as a director and producer.

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