’24’ Producer Cites Lack of Planning for Show’s Ratings Decline

May 2, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Treading water amid a sea of unhappy fans, “24” is not a sunken ship yet, and according to co-executive producer David Fury, those “disillusioned” viewers will be back next season.
In this week’s exclusive “24” Backlot Talk podcast, Mr. Fury responds to a column in Monday’s L.A. Times.
“It’s been a very tricky year for us; it’s been very difficult,” he said. “This is year six . and you try to keep the plates spinning on this show. You try to keep things interesting, find new ways to tell the story, and unfortunately we wound up repeating ourselves somewhat. . I still would claim that regardless of the quality dropoff that people are saying, the show’s still very strong. It’s still one of the best things on television.”
The producer attributed the show’s seeming decline to several obstacles, including a lack of “mapping out stories” and story arcs and killing off a significant number of characters.
“In the early seasons of ’24,’ they did try to map out stories and arc out stories a little bit more than they did in seasons four and five,” Mr. Fury said. “And four and five turned out to be the two most successful seasons of the show. It just so happens that maybe this year it’s caught up with us.
“There are relationships that Jack had that we can’t exploit anymore, and that’s certainly a problem,” he added. “We don’t have those people to pull from anymore for stories, and it becomes harder for the audience to latch on to new characters. . It takes time for those characters to garner the same affection that the older characters did.”
Mr. Fury said next season has already been hashed over, and viewers can expect to see a new approach toward writing the episodes, with a mixture of “winging it” and plotting out story arcs. He also promised more of the show’s characteristic twists and turns that he said will have fans coming back for more.
“After winning the Emmy last year, we had nowhere to go but down anyway,” the producer joked. “They’d have to be gunning for us; there’s no way to keep this good press up.”
To listen to the complete interview, go to TVWeek.com’s Backlot Talk for the full podcast.
(Editor: Horowitz)

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