Employing split screens and kinetic pacing, the real-time action thriller-drama 24 became a fast cult hit when it premiered on FOX in late 2001. Each one-hour episode covers an hour in a single day that unfolds over the course of a season. Kiefer Sutherland stars as über-hero Jack Bauer, a daring and seemingly indestructible agent for the fictitious U.S.-intelligence body the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU). Throughout the series, Bauer has stopped an assassination attempt, thwarted a nuclear attack, been widowed, decapitated a witness, died, and become addicted to narcotics while undercover with a drug cartel. Among the other characters are President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), who was candidate Palmer throughout the first season, later had the Presidency swiped from under him, and was the victim of a bio-attack at the end of the second season; Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert), Jack's trouble-prone, damsel-in-distress daughter; and Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), a fellow-CIA agent with whom Jack has both butted heads and allied. Noted for its unflinching ability to kill off major players for the sake of the show, an assortment of other characters have come and gone throughout the show's history.
by Matthew Tobey synopsis