There are only so many times one man can save the world in the span of 24 hours. And there are only so many ticking time bombs an audience can take. After eight seasons of fighting terrorists in “real” time, Jack Bauer is retiring … at least from TV. Fox has canceled 24, and the last episode (the final hour) will air later this year, though plans are in the making for a big-screen version.
The popular action series, which took off when George W. Bush was in the White House and meets its demise during the Obama Administration, attracted both viewers and controversy. While Counter Terrorist Unit agent Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) excelled at torturing the truth out of fictional bad guys, his lack of nuance doesn’t quite mesh with the current attitude toward interrogation. Indeed, in Season 7, the conflicted hero testified before Congress about his harsh tactics. Despite that overly strained attempt at topicality, the show’s nadir probably arrived in Season 6, when the show’s creators detonate a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles and Jack discovers that his father (who kills Jack’s brother and then kidnaps Jack’s nephew) is involved in the plot.