24 is an American television series produced for the Fox network and syndicated worldwide, starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer. Each 24-episode season covers 24 hours in the life of Bauer, using the real time method of narration. Premiering on November 6, 2001, the show spanned 192 episodes over eight seasons, with the series finale broadcast on May 24, 2010. In addition, the television movie 24: Redemption was broadcast between seasons six and seven, while a feature film of the same name is also planned.
Bauer is the only character to have appeared in every episode of the series. The series begins with his working for the Los Angeles–based Counter Terrorist Unit, in which he is a highly-proficient agent with an “ends justify the means” approach, regardless of the perceived morality of some of his actions. Throughout the series most of the main plot elements unfold like a political thriller. A typical plot has Bauer racing against the clock as he attempts to thwart multiple terrorist plots, including presidential assassination attempts, nuclear, biological and chemical threats, cyber attacks, as well as conspiracies which deal with government and corporate corruption.
Although critically acclaimed, the series has been criticized for its depictions of torture as effective and its negative depictions of Muslims. Nevertheless, the show won numerous awards over its eight seasons, including Best Drama Series at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards and Outstanding Drama Series at the 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards. At the conclusion of its eighth and final season, 24 became the longest-running espionage-themed television drama ever, surpassing both Mission: Impossible and The Avengers.
24 was nominated for and won several other television awards including the Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. It is the only TV series (besides NYPD Blue and The West Wing) to have ever won the Emmy Award, the Golden Globe and the Satellite Award for Best Drama Series.
24 was nominated in categories for acting, directing, writing, editing, sound, music score, and stunt coordination. The American Film Institute included 24 in its 2005 list of 10 Television Programs of the Year.
The series received 68 Emmy nominations, with 20 wins. It received nominations for Outstanding Drama Series at the Primetime Emmys in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and won the award in 2006. Kiefer Sutherland received nominations in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009 (for 24: Redemption) and won in 2006. Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran won for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in 2002 for the pilot episode. Composer Sean Callery received nine nominations for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series, nominated for every season and 24: Redemption; he won in 2003, 2006, and 2010.
The series’ fifth season was its most successful for awards, earning twelve Emmy nominations and five wins, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for Kiefer Sutherland (after being nominated every year previous). Jon Cassar won for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series, and Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart received Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a Drama Series nominations. In 2009, Cherry Jones won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama.
The series received twelve Golden Globe nominations with two wins. It received nominations for Best Drama Series at the Golden Globes in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2006, winning in 2003, and Kiefer Sutherland received nominations at the Golden Globes in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2008 (for 24: Redemption), winning in 2001. Dennis Haysbert received a nomination for Best Supporting Role in 2002.
The series received ten Screen Actors Guild nominations with four wins. It was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2003, 2005, and 2007 at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Kiefer Sutherland was nominated in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, winning in 2004 and 2006. The series won for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a TV Series in 2008 and 2010. In 2008, Empire magazine ranked 24 as the sixth greatest television show of all-time