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'24': The Ticking Clock

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How real is the real time on Fox’s 24?

A About as real as Hollywood gets. In the premiere, Kiefer Sutherland’s CIA agent (above) drives from home to office in three minutes, though L.A. commutes average 34 to 41 minutes. ”Everything is within 15 minutes of [the CIA office],” says 24 creator Joel Surnow. And when a plane blows up over the Mojave, a live TV report begins 20 minutes into episode 2. Could TV crews get on the air that quickly? ”The chances of that happening in the desert at 1 a.m. are slim to none,” says newsman Larry Laurent of L.A.’s KCBS-TV. Surnow shrugs: ”We have to be a little nimble or we commit the greater error of being boring.”