24 is an American crime thriller television series produced for the Fox network, created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, and starring Kiefer Sutherland as counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer. Each season, comprising 24 episodes, covers 24 hours in Bauer’s life using the real time method of narration. Premiering on November 6, 2001, the show spanned 192 episodes over eight seasons; the series finale broadcast on May 24, 2010. In addition, a television film, 24: Redemption, was broadcast between seasons six and seven, on November 23, 2008. 24 returned as a 12-episode series titled 24: Live Another Day, which aired from May 5 to July 14, 2014. 24: Legacy, a spin-off series featuring new characters, premiered on February 5, 2017. After the cancellation of Legacy in June 2017, Fox announced its plan to develop a new incarnation of the franchise.
The series begins with Bauer 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, weapons of mass destruction detonations, bioterrorism, cyber attacks, as well as conspiracies that deal with government and corporate corruption.
24 garnered critical acclaim, winning 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 season, 24 became the longest-running U.S. espionage/counterterrorism-themed television drama ever, surpassing both Mission: Impossible and The Avengers.