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Thursday, December 07, 2006

24 things about "24"

Here is a great article I ran across this morning. ~

By CHELSEA CARTER, Associated Press (ASAP)
© December 7, 2006 LOS ANGELES (AP) _

Kiefer Sutherland's ''24'' character, Jack Bauer, is going to have a tough year, er, day. And despite the tantalizing previews of the upcoming season that give his character a ''Christ-like'' appearance (and perhaps attitude) Sutherland says that the character is far from being the son of God.

With the season six premiere of ''24'' only weeks away, the cast and crew of the hit Fox television show are keeping a tight lip about the plot and Bauer's fate (we left off last season with him being kidnapped.)

But the cast recently took to the red carpet to promote the new DVD release of ''24: Season Five,'' and asap went along in search of 24 things to know about the new season, the DVD and the party they had to celebrate it all.

1. The new DVD offers a prequel to Season 6, giving viewers a chance to find out what has happened to Bauer since he was kidnapped seven months earlier. ''I would never say Jack Bauer is indifferent. But the DVD prequel that sets up the new season shows you why he is in the state that he is in,'' Sutherland told asap. ''He's indifferent to life -- a shallow hollow of a man.''

2. Does Bauer kill anybody in the first hour of the new season? Sutherland stared for a moment. ''You almost got me there. I'm being worn down after talking to every person on this carpet,'' Sutherland said. Spoiler alert: Bauer is responsible for a death in the prequel.

3. No, the character Tony Almeida is not coming back. He is dead, said the show's director and executive producer John Cassar. Actor Carlos Bernard, who played Tony, also confirmed it. He's working on other projects, he told reporters.

4. Rick Schroeder, formerly of ''NYPD Blue,'' is joining the cast. Schroeder plays the new head of field operations at CTU, taking the job that once belonged to Bauer. ''He's going to have a lot of Jack Bauer's qualities,'' Cassar said.

5. ''We are bringing back cast from other years,'' Cassar said. ''People will definitely be killed and a few characters who you haven't seen in awhile will be resurrected.''

6. Among those returning this season is actor Eric Balfour as Milo, a CTU employee who appeared in the first season.

7. For the first time, viewers will see the president in a presidential setting -- the oval office, said production designer Joseph Hodges. ''We've had a presidential story line for six years and we've never had the president in a presidential setting. That changes this year.''
7 1/2. Cassar said don't get too attached. The set isn't around for that long.

8. The set designers also have created a bunker, which houses the president and his advisers. Although Cassar would not say why the president has to hide in a bunker, he did say that this season Bauer and the team were not trying to stop terrorist acts. ''The terrorist acts have already happened. This season is about how America is coping with that,'' he said.

9. Actor Powers Boothe joins the cast as Noah Daniels, the vice president. Described as controversial by the show's creators, Boothe said the character is not a bad guy. Like all characters on the show, he says the vice president does the things he does because he believes in them.

10. Kim Raver, who plays Audrey Raines and is romantically linked to Bauer, said she didn't know if her character would survive the season. ''I really, really don't know. But you know, anybody who makes Jack happy doesn't seem to have a long life span.''

11. The show's writers are cognizant of the country's ongoing war against terrorism, Cassar said. Right after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the show pulled a scene that had already been filmed from its first season that showed an airplane blowing up. ''My biggest fear is that someone does something and says 'Guess where I got the idea to do this.'''

12. Fear of being killed off on ''24'' haunts many of the cast. ''You're signed for the season. But you kind of peek at the script and then say 'Whew, I'm still alive,''' Balfour said.

13. Actor James Morrison, who plays CTU's Bill Buchanan, says he wears a black suit this season.

14. The photos in the recently released coffee table book ''24: Behind the Scenes'' was compiled from 30,000 digital images on 20 different hard drives, said cinematographer Rodney Charters.

15. Milo falls in love this season with somebody in the cast, Balfour said.

16. Raver wore a black dress by Dolce & Gabbana to the party. ''I'll tell you something nobody else knows: I got ready tonight without a mirror. We just moved into a new house and we don't have any mirrors. I put on everything and my husband said 'You look great. Let's go.' That's probably why it didn't take so long tonight,'' she said.

17. ''24: Agent Down,'' a new game for cell phones, was released this week.

18. A cigar bar was set up at the party at the Les Deux nightclub in Hollywood. ''I'm the only guy who doesn't smoke cigars on the show,'' Sutherland said, pulling a pack of Camels from his jacket pocket as proof.

19. Jean Smart, who plays First Lady Martha Logan, said a crew member on the show bought 200 ''Impeach Logan'' buttons off the Internet and gave them out to the cast and crew. ''The Logans are still crazy,'' she said.

20. The new season will feature more members of Bauer's family, including his father. The role will be played by actor James Cromwell, Cassar said.

21. Smart and Glenn Morshower, who plays agent Aaron Pierce, will share some screen time.

22. The DVD is linked to a Web site, which is only accessible by inserting disc 7 into a computer. For 24 weeks, the site will be updated with new footage, including three to five minute segments about the show. It begins with a tour by Cassar of the CTU set.

23. Party-goers dipped strawberries, bananas and marshmallows in a giant chocolate fountain.

24. The number one answer on the red carpet from Sutherland, Raver and just about everybody else associated with the show: ''I don't know. I really don't know.''

____ Chelsea J. Carter is asap's projects writer. ___