FOX Sets January Clock for Day Seven of '24'
New '24' season will have its two-night premiere in mid-January
Since FOX shifted "24" to a repeat-free, January-launching schedule in 2005 for the show's fourth season, the two-night, four-hour premiere has been the standard.
Day Seven will kick off on Sunday, Jan. 11 with two episodes starting at 8 p.m. ET. Two additional hours will air on Monday, Jan. 12, leaving the series to move into its regular 9 p.m. ET time period on Monday, Jan. 19.
The new "24" season opens with CTU dismantled and Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer in Washington facing questions about a variety of past actions. When a national crisis arises, Bauer is forced to work with a team of FBI agents, as well as a few old friends.
In addition to returning co-stars including James Morrison, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Bob Gunton (plus the long-awaited resurrection of Carlos Bernard's Tony Almeida), among the new faces for the season are Jon Voight, Cherry Jones, Colm Feore, Sprague Grayden, Janeane Garofalo, Annie Wersching, Jeffrey Nordling, Rhys Coiro and John Billingsley.
The last original episode of "24" aired in May of 2007 and the path to the seventh season has been a bumpy one.
Production was original delayed in the summer of 2007 while producers scrapped and revamped the season's entire plot. Then, only eight episodes into shooting, "24" was put on hold due to the writers strike and FOX elected to make 2008 a year without Bauer. Another production delay came this fall, as the creative team took time to reevaluate the season's final episodes.
The long break between seasons will be bridged by the Nov. 23 telefilm "24: Redemption." Filmed partially in South Africa, the special finds Bauer dealing with his own internal struggles, as well as a developing coup in a fictionalized African nation. The telefilm introduces several characters at the heart of Day Seven, led by Jones' newly elected president and Voight's malevolent puppetmaster Jonas Hodges.
While Jack Bauer wouldn't be sentimental about such things, FOX notes that the final hour of January's two-night premiere will be the show's 150th episode, a milestone that only works if the network is counting "24: Redemption" into the total.