’24’ Backlot Talk

Mar 6, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Chuck Ross: Hello again everybody, it’s Chuck Ross, editorial director at TelevisionWeek, tvweek.com, and we’re on again with Howard Gordon, showrunner and executive producer of “24.” We’re here to talk about Season Six, hour five to six, and another really tense episode. Howard, how are you this morning?
Howard Gordon: Great, thanks Chuck.
Mr. Ross: That was just vintage, vintage action-hour “24” last night, without a doubt. One of the things that I think is sort of a hallmark this season is that Jack appears a little more “vincible,” I guess, if invincible is sort of Superman-ish. He gets into the embassy, but it doesn’t go as well as Jack usually has it and he gets caught. And I don’t know if in Season Two or Three that actually would’ve happened with Jack.
Mr. Gordon: That’s an interesting point, and I hadn’t thought of it. Honest to God he probably just got because we needed to episode 12 from bumping it to episode 14. So it was a competition that made things worse for our hero rather than better. Of course add [on] the potential of his having the knowledge of where Gredenko was but not being able to communicate that to the authorities. So again, he’s operated without their sanctions, so, you know, [there are] multiple conflicts within the situation.
Mr. Ross: I love bringing Charles Logan, Greg Itzin’s the actor, back in this season. That character is not a black-and-white character; there are lots of shades of grey. I think as viewers we really don’t know what Logan is going to do next; he’s a very complicated guy. I think that continued with last night’s episode.
Mr. Gordon: Yes. In my mind, Charles Logan was truly somebody who has sought and is somebody who in the hindsight of being out of power and in serving time has thought about his life and has tried to make amends, but it’s the old joke about the – what is it? The scorpion and the turtle, or something giving the scorpion a lift across the river and the scorpion stings him. We don’t know whether this guy is really up to something and that keeps it uneasy.
Mr. Ross: There’s no doubt about it. The other thing I liked about last night’s episode is we brought in Peter MacNicol’s character again and he’s back on the scene. There’s some ambiguity there. I think a lot of folks maybe groaned in the first episode or the second episode, thinking this guy’s going to be an ideologue and just go one way or the other, but as the season has developed, he’s gone all different ways.
Mr. Gordon: Yeah, and at least at this point he sees essentially that Daniels, the vice president, is in some ways the monster he gave rise to; it’s a bit of a Frankenstein story. Now that he’s getting his policy and getting his way, the limits of his own morality are being tested.
Mr. Ross: Howard, you’re so nice in that you said we could bring some fans in to ask some questions, and we’re going to bring in Mr. Frank Bailey. Let’s see if he’s on the phone. Frank, are you on the line?
Frank Bailey: Yes.
Mr. Ross: Frank is from Forth Worth, Texas, and Frank, you’re on with Howard Gordon. Would you tell Howard and me sort of how you go into “24?”
Mr. Bailey: My son has been a fan for, I guess this is the sixth season, and he’s always recommended it to me. And I finally got around to watching one live episode this season and that’s all it took.
Mr. Ross: And as of yesterday I think, you told me you had watched 52 episodes, or 56, but I think you watched four or five more last night?
Mr. Bailey: Well we watched the live one and then we watched three of the recorded ones. My wife and I are up to about 60.
Mr. Gordon: You may have to check into rehab, Frank.
Mr. Bailey: I’m an addict now.
Mr. Gordon: And they have support groups.
Mr. Bailey: That would not surprise me.
Mr. Gordon: That’s great to hear. I’m glad you like it.
Mr. Ross: We may have to do an intervention. Frank, do you want to go ahead and ask Howard your question?
Mr. Bailey: I was just curious where “24” might be the most popular outside the U.S.?
Mr. Gordon: You know the show I think is one of Fox’s best-performing shows abroad. I know it’s extremely popular in the United Kingdom. In fact I think on a percentage basis it may even be more popular there than it is here.
Mr. Ross: Really? That’s interesting.
Mr. Gordon: Yeah, it’s really, really popular there. In Japan it’s a huge hit also, apparently. As I understand it, it does extremely well in almost every foreign market. I think it’s carried in over 200 territories, so it plays in as far a field as Jordan and believe it or not, it’s popular there as well.
Mr. Bailey: It must translate well into other cultures.
Mr. Gordon: It seems to. And I think Europe and especially cultures that have been more touched by terrorism, I think that it plays for similar reasons. But I think adrenaline, which is obviously what the show generates, is kind of a universal thing; it translates well, it travels well.
Mr. Bailey: Well the only problem it’s created for me is, I get up at six; my wife gets up at eight, and so she wants to always watch one more episode of the DVD. [Laughter]. And I can’t do it.
Mr. Gordon: Well thanks, Frank. I appreciate you watching and enjoy the rest of the season.
Mr. Bailey: Thank you.
Mr. Ross: Well thank you Frank, and thanks again Howard. We’re going to be very interested to see where this develops next week. We’ll give you a holler again next Tuesday, and thank you so much gentlemen.

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