What's it like to help put together one of the hottest shows on broadcast? TelevisionWeek's new blogger, "24" story editor Matt Michnovetz, is giving us a peek under the tent of the Fox series, which has grown from a cult phenomenon into a staple of the network's schedule. With Matt's blog, "24" -- In Real Time, TVWeek.com readers will get the tick-tock on how the show comes together.


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December 2006 Archives

Making of the DVD

December 20, 2006 2:09 AM

Last week I mentioned how interesting it was to record the DVD commentary. It’s a unique experience that as an average viewer, I might take for granted. The process itself, however, is not as easy at it would appear.

The first thing about recording the commentary is that it’s very similar to recording it live. You go into a recording area with whomever you are doing the commentary with, you get your coffee or beverage to keep your mouth lubricated, and you do it. You get no second take. There’s no pause either – unless the technician really likes you or feels sorry for you. So technically, the next time you hear the final product is when it’s released – meaning 5 million others around the world are hearing it too. And it’s usually unedited.

Ideally, you want your commentary to be equal parts informative and entertaining. It’s all too easy to get locked into relaying too much information for the sake of speaking or too little for the sake of letting the scene play.

And sometimes, you learn more about the person doing the commentary than the actual episode that you’re watching.

'24' Season 5 DVD

December 13, 2006 5:22 PM

Last week I briefly mentioned the release of the “24” season 5 DVD. Well, I was finally able to sit down and go through it, sampling some of the extras, including the deleted scenes and several commentaries.

The deleted scenes are well worth checking out. Some are extended sequences, cut from the final versions of the episodes for various reasons. Also included is our 100th episode reel. This short compilation features a “best of” throughout “24’s” first four seasons. Compiled by our writers and produced by our Associate Producer and one of our editors, it screened for cast and crew at our 100th episode party last year… and it was a big hit!

There are also multiple commentaries featuring cast members, writers, producers, directors and special guests. These commentaries range from informative and eye opening, to no educational value whatsoever, except plain entertainment. Remind me to share the experience of how a commentary gets made at some point. It’s very interesting.

The rest of the extras are quite good. They include several featurettes and a DVD-only “prequel” linking the events of season 5 to season 6. In the prequel, we see Jack in China, forced to make a fateful choice. Oh, and he’s got a beard too! There’s also a trailer for season 6 that looks like it should be a feature film.

Overall, this DVD set is exceptional. (Although, I may be a little bit biased.) If you’re a fan of the show, you will not be disappointed.

Anyone checked it out yet? Chime in ….

‘24’—In Real Time

December 7, 2006 3:52 PM

Hello blogosphere…

This is an update from the set of “24.” With the premiere of our sixth season coming up, January 14th, this is an exciting time to explain a little bit about what goes into making the show as well as share some of the interesting antics that happen on and off the set.

And what better place to start, than with antics…

To celebrate the release this week of the “24 season 5” DVD, as well as the new photo book, “24: Behind the scenes”, Fox Home Entertainment threw the cast and crew a party at Les Deux restaurant in Hollywood. It started with the red carpet treatment, where actors and producers met the media in front of flash bulbs. The rest of us got off easier and just walked in through the front door.

Once inside, it was a much more relaxed and somewhat intimate setting. Leather couches and an open patio allowed guests to mingle and dine. Around the rooms were large prints from the “24” photo book, each featuring a classic shot from one of the show’s five seasons. They pulled out all the stops for this party, from hand-rolled sushi to hand-rolled cigars(note: not on the same table). There were also several booths featuring bottle service and mixers to compliment an expansive and impressive open bar.

Things got a little out of hand as the clock got closer to midnight. Rounds of Patron shots and skewers of filet mignon began to arrive at a staggering pace. The level of embarrassing antics rose in direct proportion to the hangovers many people were going to feel the following day.

Fortunately, everyone made it home safe and despite lack of sleep, it was back to work as usual…