71. 24 - TIE
Created by Joel Surnow & Robert Cochran
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Aired: FOX, 2001-2010
Heading into its debut, the challenges facing this intriguing new thriller were narrative ones – namely, the ability to attract, and hold, a large audience through a story that unfolded by the hour, in weekly installments. By November 6, 2001, the show’s premiere date, a series about a counter-terrorism agent trying to foil an assassination attempt had been thrown into an entirely different context. In subsequent seasons, as the shock of the 9/11 attacks began to dissipate and 24 settled into its status as a bona fide hit, the series became a flashpoint for the larger, and mostly political, discussion going on about the effectiveness and justification of the use of “advanced interrogation techniques.” In the hands of Jack Bauer, anyway, extra-legal torture worked, as did 24’s winning storytelling formula; viewers were plainly hooked, and serialized dramas in the mode of a thriller were suddenly the rage.
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