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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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HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE “24” SEASON PREMIERE

January 11, 2007 1:37 AM


For fans who’ve been waiting since last May to find out what happened to Jack as he was slapped across the cargo hold of a slow boat to Shanghai … this Sunday night is Judgment Night.

For me and my family, it’s a holiday – it’s the return of the Jack Bauer Power Hour. Only this time, it’s two hours … and two hours on two nights back to back. Let’s face it, an event like this comes only once a year, so you better prepare for it.

Not that I can recommend the same prep for everyone, but I like to start with the gear: my “24” Day 6 T-shirt and any other appropriate apparel I can get clean before the show. That includes hats, boxers, tank tops, hooded sweatshirts, sweat jackets, leg warmers, bandanas, ski masks, and of course … my Jack sack.

Then I run an AV diagnostic, making sure the HD DVR and the 7.1 surround sound are ready for take off. “24” is one of those shows that is made for the home theatre experience. The people who make it like to watch it … and it shows.

Next, I line up the appropriate food and beverage. As any die-hard fan will tell you, the nail-biting intensity of Jack Bauer’s day is not something you want to experience on an empty stomach. It’s better to go with something light, yet substantial … a little roughage, but long on flavor. Under these guidelines, I recommend buffalo wings and a nice Pinot Noir … or any dark beer.

Finally, I collect my wife and loyal beast (my dog) to join me on this momentous occasion. Of course, family and/or close friends are also important … the people you want to clutch and squeeze and disturb by yelling at the screen.

If you’re prepared, hang on and get ready for the ride of your life. I’m looking forward to your comments and thoughts on the premiere …

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Comments (2)

Arthur Greenwald:

Matt,

Wings are not a bad choice but we went with freshly-smoked ribs and a dark beer for the 24 Season Six premiere! When it comes to 24, red meat seems more appropriate. Naturally our own household canines approve.

But the menu was quickly forgotten as we were completely absorbed by the first two hours. Can't wait for the next two tonight. Thanks to you and your colleagues for producing such a completely absorbing and satisfying show.

Andre:

Matt,
I'll be honest. I was worried about the first four episodes. Nothing was grabbing me, and I wasn't sure where you guys were going. I felt as if you guys were kotowing to the Muslim population in the wake of years of criticism and you were re-hashing old plotlines.

Then Jack killed Curtis and the nuke went off!

My adrenaline pumped, my eyes widened and I smiled the smile of a true 24 fan. You guys really scared the shit of me, and you brought it like the champs you are. I understand that you have to write those fiirst episodes a little differently since the network is running two-a-night over two nights. But now you're in it, and you got me. Can't wait til next week. Great job as always!

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