24Spoilers just filed this report with the Twitter Division, and I have decided to share it with all of our CTU offices…
Below is an article that appeared a couple of days ago in the New York Times. It containes no spoilers, so feel free to take a look. The writer had been invited as a “consultant” on s8 and had spent a month with HoGo and his team of writers in Hollywood.
The article takes us inside The Writers’ Room (or building), in the early stages of planning Season 8 and depicts some of the difficulties the writers have been facing every single year. First of all: the real time format. Second, the fact that everything you could possibly think of has already been done, in one way or another. Thirdly, the continuity of the story. And finally, the sheer amount of writing necessary to write a whole season.
It always starts plain and simple: with a blank page. One minute of screen time requires a bit more than a page of script. One season means 24×42 minutes of screen time. That amounts to 1’100 pages per season. A tremendous task, indeed.
Brainstorming sessions don’t always come up with solutions, and the process is tedious and exhausting. In fact, when the writer of the article leaves the writers’ room after a whole month, not one line of the season has been written.
The real-time format and the mandatory continuity of the story make things increasingly difficult year after year for the writers… The article actually confirms the feeling that some of us have been getting from Season 8: that the storyline feels somewhat contrived, the writing isn’t flowing, that it seems like the writers had to – as opposed as wanted to – come up with a story arc. Indeed, seen from this angle, it comes as no surprise that Howard and his team have come to a “creative consensus” to end 24 after the 8th season. They probably would have, even if FOX hadn’t considered the cost/benefit factor. In closing, the writer of the article tells us:
“…when Howard told me a few months ago that he couldn’t imagine coming back for Season 9, I understood.”
I guess after 9 years of repeatedly sending Jack to hell and back, the writers really did get too exhausted to go on. It’s for the best. Though TV will definitely be less exciting without 24.
Read the full story here.