’24’ Backlot Talk

Jan 22, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Chuck Ross: Hello again everybody, it’s Chuck Ross, editorial director here at TelevisionWeek, and we’re on with Day Six with “24,” and of course we’re on with Howard Gordon, executive producer and show runner.
I thought last night’s episode was very interesting. I think you guys kind of slowed it down a little bit and gave us a little more character development. We had such an adrenaline rush with those first four hours, I think we got to learn a little more plot.
Howard Gordon: Yeah, it was a little reset, and just a breath to reset everything. And I think it was a welcome relief from the relentlessness of the first four episodes, but of course we also have to process the big news of this nuclear bomb going off in Valencia, which, though it was a combination of those first episodes, requires us to just process it.
Mr. Ross: Last year dealt with the deaths of Tony and Edgar,; a lot of fans were wondering since we had Curtis killed, what the reaction would be. I actually like the way it was handled. It was clear, I thought, that Chloe was upset, what happened with Buchanan, obviously Jack’s reaction. Some of the fans though, told me that they would have hoped they would have turned on the set and seen him with an IV stuck to him trying to revive him. And secondly, they thought maybe a little more due could have been played to him by some of the players.
Mr. Gordon: I don’t disagree. Part of the dilemma was the nuclear bomb, which I think eclipsed the Curtis mourning period. So I think those two things in a sense fought each other and I think Chloe as least acknowledged it, but as part of this broader feeling of, “I can’t believe this is really happening.”
Mr. Ross: If you had been a fan of the show for a while, wouldn’t we have known that…maybe Jack had a brother?
Mr. Gordon: Well I think one of the great gifts of “24” is we only meet people for the course of this one day. We’ve known Jack for six years, but we only know six days of his life. And there are plenty of days that go by without me talking to my brother.
Mr. Ross: That’s an excellent point and one I think is lost on…
Mr. Gordon: Exactly. You don’t know everything about everybody in a single day of their lives.
Mr. Ross: The conceit of the show, something that makes it so smart, is the fact that we learn hour by hour of every day, yet some of us who have been watching the show forget exactly what you say, Howard: We haven’t had a window of many years like you would on a show that’s done … without the hour-by-hour basis. That’s an excellent point.I loved the way we left it at the end where Jack certainly knows his brother and we got back to the old Jack Bauer and little goose bumps go up and down your back as he puts the plastic bag over his brother’s head.
Mr. Gordon: Yeah that generated some debate on staff whether it was a little extreme, but I think it turned out rather well.
Mr. Ross: As someone on the creative side, but who also has the executive producer responsibilities…do you look at the ratings?
Mr. Gordon: I look at them obsessively. I call at 7 o’clock in the morning, then 7:05, then 7:12, until I get an answer.
Mr. Ross: You’re up against what has become a hit show on NBC, I think it’s fair to call “Heroes” a hit show…that’s tough competition.
Mr. Gordon: I was very happy with the way it came out, with the way we fared. I think we’re pretty much on par with last year and I was concerned that “Heroes” would take a bite out of our audience. I think we held our own pretty well.
Mr. Ross: As the season progresses, I think your male demo is going to get stronger, and maybe some of the females might go over to “Heroes.” But I think the core fans-not to say there are not a lot of women who are core fans of your show…
Mr. Gordon: It just proves there’s an audience for both shows, which I think is great.
Mr. Ross: Right, and I think the more great television we have, it just draws more and more viewers to that show.
Mr. Gordon: Everyone rides on the same tide, yeah.
Mr. Ross: Is there anything you want to tell us that I haven’t mentioned about last night’s episode?
Mr. Gordon: I was very happy with the episode. I thought it actually held together very well. It’s always a trick to get these transition episodes, but I think what this promises is something that fans, who may have been surprised that Jack had a brother and had a first love, has a father. But we’ll see more about Jack’s past and answer some questions about why Jack is Jack.
Mr. Ross: A couple fans said that maybe that young man might have paternal interest with Jack.
Mr. Gordon: I got that from a couple of people too. We’ll see. It’s a good speculation. Right now he’s not, but you know, maybe people know something we don’t know.
Mr. Ross: Well Howard, thank you so much, again. Great work this season. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to come up with six days that are so different. As a fan, I thank you, and we’ll talk to you again next week.
Mr. Gordon: Thank you.

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