November 6, 2001: “24” Premieres

On this day in 2001, “24” premiered on Fox. The serial action thriller set in real time starring Kiefer Sutherland produced countless thrills during its eight-season run.

24 PosterOn this day in 2001, “24” premiered on Fox. The serial action thriller set in real time starring Kiefer Sutherland produced countless thrills during its eight-season run.


The show centered around eight terrible days over time in the life of government agent Jack Bauer (Sutherland). During them, he killed countless terrorists, had to fake his own death and was taken prisoner by the Chinese government. And of course, his wife was murdered. The final episode ended with Jack being a fugitive on the run.

Fortunately, Fox has announced that it will bring closure to the series with a 13-hour event in June of 2014, called “24: Live Another Day.” It has the lofty task in concluding a series that produced numerous shockers over its eight seasons.  Here are my top ten.

10. The Wrath of the First Daughter (Season 7): When the First Daughter (Sprague Grayden) learns that a defense contractor (Jon Voight) is responsible for the murder of her brother, she takes severe action. Yet neither he nor we saw the car bomb coming.

9. Tony Saves the Day (Season 4): Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), disgraced at the end of season three, returns in the seventh hour to save an under fire Jack. When you saw that it was him dropping henchmen, you stood up and cheered.

8. George Mason Goes Down in Flames (Season 2): After suffering from radiation poison, slimy bureaucrat George Mason (Xander Berkley) relieves Jack of the duty of crashing a plane with a nuclear bomb in the desert. Many shady characters did good deeds throughout this series, but this scene was the best of them.

7. The Assassinations (Season 5): The first hour of the fifth season started with a punch in the gut as beloved characters David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) and Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth) are murdered. The shocking moment kicked off the best season of the series.

6. The Bomb Actually Goes Off (Season 6): The misfire of a sixth season kicked off with a nuclear bomb actually going off in Los Angeles. The look on Jack’s face as he saw the flash was priceless.

5. It was a Recording (Season 8): Jack is racing to save a president of a Middle Eastern nation who is going to be executed over streamed video online. It seems like Jack has arrived just in time, until he realizes the video being streamed is a recording and the president is already dead.

4. Jack Takes a Freighter to China (Season 5): After coming out of hiding to save L.A. and expose a corrupt president (Gregory Itzin), Jack is kidnapped by the Chinese government and taken to prison. As you watched the Chinese freighter drift off as season five ended, you couldn’t wait for season six.

3. The Airliner Explodes (Season 1): In the first episode, you see a photographer on a plane and think he is on his way to assassinate David Palmer. However, it is actually the lady he joined the Mile-High Club with that is the villain. When she parachutes out of the plane before it explodes, you know you are in for a hell of a ride.

2. Jack is Human (Season 3): The first two seasons ended with shocking moments of violence, but the third gave us the most surprising ending of the series. After losing people he loved, shooting his boss, arresting friends and nearly killing his future son-in-law to contain a virus, Jack gets into his car… and cries. It was the most realistic moment of this over-the-top show.

1. Teri Dies (Season 1): The tone for the series was set when Jack returned to headquarters to find that his wife, Teri (Leslie Hope), had been murdered.  This tragic ending put fans on notice that anything could happen.

1 thought on “November 6, 2001: “24” Premieres”

  1. For the most part I agree with this list, though I have to admit that the greatest 24 shocker for me was finding out that Xander Berkley and Sarah Clark (Nina Myers) are married in real life.

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