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EW's moles get the inside scoop on ''24''

EW’s moles get the inside scoop on ”24.” With more surprises in store and the real-time show set to return next fall, ”24” proves that its number isn’t up

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24, Leslie Hope, ...
24: Larry Watson

True to form, ”24” wrapped its first season on Fox with more questions than answers. Is Jack Bauer’s (Kiefer Sutherland) wife, Teri, really dead? Will presidential candidate Senator Palmer make it to the White House? Who did mole Nina really work for? According to ”24” exec producer Robert Cochran, the answers to those questions are, respectively: Yes, maybe, and reply-hazy-try-again-later. (We’re guessing a victory for Palmer and a secret CIA job for Nina, but Cochran would only say, ”Anything’s possible.”) He did admit that many of the show’s twists and turns were made up as the series went along; for instance, he and exec producer Joel Surnow didn’t decide to make Nina (Sarah Clarke) a mole until halfway through the show. And they didn’t intend to kill Teri (Leslie Hope) but then decided that somebody had to die in the finale. ”It’s not a show that says don’t worry, be happy,” says Cochran. ”That would be false to the tone we set.” Fortunately, even before the finale aired, Fox answered the most nagging question about ”24” — it will be returning next fall in its real-time format, something Cochran didn’t think was possible six months ago. ”I just couldn’t see how we could repeat this format without repeating ourselves, particularly in Jack’s personal life. But if we tried to do something different, it wouldn’t be ”24.”” So next fall, the action will resume one year later, and Jack will still be working at the Counter Terrorism Unit. Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) will be back, as will his (ex-?) wife Sherry (Penny Johnson Jerald), and Jack’s daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert). As for that mysterious Nina, who offed Teri before Jack nabbed her at season’s end, ”We’ll deal with that next year.”