Huffpost Entertainment

'24' Fans Must Wait Until Jan. 2009

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NEW YORK — Fans of the Fox drama "24" will have to wait until next January to see Jack Bauer again, this television season's most prominent casualty of the Hollywood writers strike. The network has committed to air a full season on consecutive weeks, and had been planning to start last month.

But if it had started airing new episodes soon, the season finale would not have taken place until the summer, when TV networks rarely show their high-profile programs.

Even though eight episodes for this season had already been filmed before the beginning of the writers strike, producers would have had to ramp up production soon to complete the season.

A January 2009 start seemed the best way to comply with viewers' wishes that a season's episodes run without interruption to conclusion, Fox said on Thursday.

The company that produces the series, 20th Century Fox Television, also confirmed that creator Joel Surnow was leaving as one of the executive producers. Fox is owned by News Corp.

Surnow told Daily Variety that he had "decided it was time to see if there were other opportunities I wanted to pursue."