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TV Legends: Was 24 Originally Going To Be About the Day Before a Wedding?

TV URBAN LEGEND: 24 was originally about the 24 hours leading up to a wedding!

24 rocked the foundation of what television shows could achieve when it debuted in the Fall of 2001 with its incredibly distinctive format. Each episode of the show's 24 episode-long season took place in a single hour in a single day.

Special agent Jack Bauer must protect a Senator running for President from an assassination attempt while also keeping his wife and daughter safe (as the bad guys are trying to get to Jack through his family).

Now, as noted, the show debuted with Jack having a family...

And over the many seasons of 24, Jack has had a number of love interests (like Daredevil and Wolverine, Jack's romantic partners have a knack for being murdered), most notable Audrey Raines...

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and Renee Walker...

However, while romance has always been a factor in the series, it was originally going to be the ENTIRE concept of the series!

Creator Joel Surnow explained to The Hollywood Reporter how the show was originally going to be about the 24 hours before a wedding, before Surnow's fellow co-creator on 24, Robert Cochran, came up with a better use for the format...

I'd always worked in 22-episodes-a-season TV and one day thought, "What if we did a show where an hour was in real time?" I called [co-creator] Bob Cochran and we decided to do a show about the 24 hours leading up to a wedding. Then that didn't work. It had to be something that was going keep you. It had to be a race against time. So what if some guy's daughter is missing? So we started there. We ended up getting a great lead actor in Kiefer Sutherland and were the last pilot picked up. Then 9/11 happened a week before we were supposed to air. We had a terrorist blowing up a plane in the pilot, so we cut out the shot of the plane blowing up. We premiered against NYPD Blue and Frasier and pretty much had our hat handed to us ratings-wise. But we started getting some nice reviews. It was a very weird time.

Honestly, the concept of doing a show in the 24 hours before a wedding has promise itself. There's a show with a somewhat similar premise currently in production at ABC (more about how a wedding affects all the people in the lives of the bride and the groom).

The legend is...

STATUS: True

Be sure to check out my archive of TV Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of TV.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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