The TV Addict Infiltrates the Set of 24

24 set

In anticipation of 24’s return this Sunday on FOX, is re-posting our report from the set that we ran way back in August. Tune in later in the week for our exclusive interviews with showrunners Manny Coto and Howard Gordon and new President Cherry Jones

The following takes place between 10AM and 1PM.

10:00AM — If six seasons of watching the FOX hit 24 has taught this TV Addict anything, it’s that when Jack Bauer is involved, anything can happen. Not about to be caught off guard in preparing for a visit to the set, I make sure to have not only my passport [useful in getting back into the country after being kidnapped by foreign nationals], but also SPF40 sunblock, a Swiss army knife, two days worth of rations and my iPhone. The last time someone prepared this well for a three-hour tour it was Ginger packing all her gowns before setting sail on the S.S. Minnow.

10:30AM — Although I’m half-expecting Bauer’s black SUV to pull up, instead a white bus arrives to take me — along with several other scoop-seeking reporters — to the set. I suspect at least one of the supposed “journalists” is actually an undercover operative from a rival network hoping to somehow waylay production and push the seventh season premiere to an even later date. Who would do such a thing? Let’s just say there’s a lot of pressure to make sure HARPER’S ISLAND, also slated for a January 2009 debut, is a success for CBS.

11:24AM — Something you never see on 24: An entire hour-long episode devoted to Jack getting from one location to another. Two words: Bored now!

11:35AM — Having finally arrived at our destination, it’s time for another thing you never see on 24: a much-needed bathroom break.

11:45AM — If the staff of CTU were vetted with the care taken to grant me clearance to the set, Nina Meyers would never have infiltrated the place.

11:50AM — What happens when you keep a bunch of entertainment-lovin’ bloggers sequestered together for too long? It’s Nerds Gone Wild as we start quizzing one another on which famous folks have — and have not — done guest gigs on 24. Quick, without zipping over to IMDB, which of the following never clocked in on the show: Zachary Quinto [HEROES], Leighton Meester [GOSSIP GIRL], Richard Burgi [DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES], Tony Plana [UGLY BETTY], Connie Britton [FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS], Nestor Carbonell [LOST] or Daniel Dae Kim [LOST]. For geeky bonus points, give the first name of the character each of the others played on 24.?

12:00PM — One of this TV Addict’s favorite actors, Bob Gunton of THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, just walked by and called BuddyTV’s Oscar Dahl “Dude.” Not to say I’m jealous, but I decide then and there that if we come across any of those cool torture devices they’re always using on 24, Oscar’s goin’ down.

12:05PM — As we head into the bowels of a set that look suspiciously like the corridors of the White House, I spy a sinister looking man dressed entirely in black. OMFG! Could this be the TV Addict’s moment to stop a spy [possibly superscooper Michael Ausiello himself] from infiltrating the set of 24 and leaking hush-hush plot twists to the world?

12:08PM — False alarm. Turns out it was the caterer. Interesting fact: the Vulcan Death Grip, at least when used by me, is more a Vulcan Annoyance Grip.

cherry jones 24
Cherry Jones poses with the TV Addict

12:10PM — Good News [for me]: this TV Addict is finally introduced to 24’s first female president, President Allison Taylor, played by the absolutely radiant Tony Award-winner Cherry Jones. Bad News [for you]: I’m keeping the details of our chat under wraps until later this fall.

12:33PM — Speaking of reasons to come back this fall, executive producers Manny Coto and Howard Gordon spill the beans on everything from Tony Almeda’s miraculous resurrection to how the two-hour TV-movie, 24: EXILE, may be the only good thing to have come out of the writers strike. Plus, for those of you who believe hindsight is the most accurate of sciences, they look back at season six to figure out how it all went wrong. Trust me, you’ll want to be here for that interview.

1:00PM — Seasoned 24 director [and fellow Canadian] Jon Cassar discusses what it was like shooting in Africa, the awesomeness that is Kiefer Sutherland, how Mary-Lynn Rajskub’s pregnancy will impact the show, the perils of bringing Tony back from the dead, potential spin-off ideas and, of course, the possibility of bringing 24 to a multiplex near you. Which gives you reason 1,324,423 to [all together now!] come back this fall for the complete interview.

1:20PM — With that, my compatriots and I are hustled back onto the bus, where we are blindfolded and warned — with the subtle threat of water boarding and other CTU-approved forms of torture lingering in the air — against putting national security [or at least the jobs of several FOX publicists] at risk by revealing more until this fall. In other words, I’d tell you everything… but then I’d have to kill you.

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