Fox’s 24 Is Now 22.8

Published 8 years ago by

22 Foxs 24 Is Now 22.8I’m going to nitpick. It’s been a while, so I figure I’m due. icon smile Foxs 24 Is Now 22.8

I’ve been a huge fan of Fox’s 24 since it’s first season. It was a very cool concept, showing events in real-time, one hour per week, for a total of 24 episodes to comprise an entire day. I absolutely loved the clock that appeared at the end of every commercial break, indicating how far along we were in the episode and how long we had left in minutes until the inevitable nail-biting cliff hanger. And like clockwork, every episode ended at the top of the hour with the clock going to :00 just as the clock in my kitchen did.

It’s been the same for five seasons, but for season six of 24 things are different.

Since I watch my programs on Tivo and I have the capability of seeing how far along the program is along the bottom of the screen, I noticed something odd a couple of weeks ago at the end of an episode: At the end of the program (which was supposed to be the top of the hour), there were still 3 minutes left of my one hour recording. I thought that was kind of strange, but I figured maybe it was a fluke.

Well… no, it wasn’t. Now it seems that every week 60 minutes of “24 time” translates into 57 minutes of real time. Maybe it’s one of those pesky Star Trek temporal anomalies…

Now before you chime in with “Duh, dude, don’t forget about the commercials.” remember that every season prior to this one they’ve factored in the time spent on commercials into the clock. So if they went to a 3 minute commercial break at 7:28 on the 24 clock, when the show returned it would show the time as 7:31, showing the elapsed time.

However this season what they’re doing is adding an extra minute over each of 3 commercial breaks, so that by the end of the episode you’ve lost 3 minutes of “24 time.” Compared to the example above, what happens now is that when you come back from commercials, the clock shows 7:32 instead of the correct time of 7:31, and they advance it an additional minute two more times during the episode.

Oh sure, 3 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but over the course of the 24 hour day that comprises the season, that adds up to one hour and 12 minutes. That means that over the course of this entire season we’ll actually get one less episode of 24 than we’ve gotten in the past.

Now Fox, you didn’t really think that no one would notice, did you?.

TAGS: 24
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  1. They’ve been doing that for a long time.

    Both the “Previously on 24″ recap and the “next week on 24″ preview must occur within the hour that the show gets, so they have to fudge the clock a bit.

  2. Not really. They’ve always factored in the stuff on the front end, but the show always ended at the top of the hour and ran about one minute long to cove the next week’s preview.


  3. Where do you think that time goes, then?

    You’re saying that if there are 2 minutes of review fluff and one minute of preview, that the 8am show would “start” at 8:03, and then accurately account for commercials.

    But now, as you explain, they add an extra minute to the time when we return from a commercial break, without adding an actual minute of commercials.

    As you say, 3 minutes less per episode. What occupies that time? I assume you aren’t accusing Fox of warping the fabric of space and time, right? ;)

  4. LOL! No, what I’m saying is that we are now getting 3 minutes less per hour of the actual show than we used to, and they’re trimming time from the clock so that we don’t notice.

    What occupies that extra time: more commercials and network promos.


  5. The characters have to go to the bathroom sometime!

  6. Ha! That’s what commercial breaks are for. ;-)


  7. I watched the first few seasons on WGN, and the time on the show’s clock vs. real time isn’t even close. The whole episode ends at something like 54 or 55 minutes past the hour. I don’t even notice most of the time, though. The episodes themselves can be totally unrealistic, but as long as the clock is right on, you’re OK with it; is that how it works? :P


  8. Nope. You see I like the show so MUCH, that I want those three extra minutes of my fix. :-)


  9. I am a huge Jack Bauer fan and i need an outlet to say this…This season is not nearly as good as last season. I just won season 5 on DVD by answering trivia on the tv show Cinemattractions. It was awesome….and not just because it was free! It prompted me to watch seasons 1-4 just to get caught up. So far each season has been awesome but now Jack was acting like a pansy, then (spoiler) killed Curtis. All I’m saying is Jack Bauer is losing stock in my book…He had better kill 35 people an episode for the rest of the season to pull it out of a slump…because I’m starting to wonder.

  10. Well I don’t know about killing 35 ppl per episode, but I have to admit that this season the cliffhangers at least are not nearly as jawdropping as they’ve been in past seasons.