Monday, July 23, 2007

"24" to be first show that addresses global warming.


Cherry Jones Elected '24' President

Emmy-winning drama will also fight climate change this season

July 22 2007

Two-time Tony winner Cherry Jones will take up residence in the White House" for the seventh season of "24."

FOX offers very little information about Jones' role in the show, except to say that when "24" returns in January, she'll be playing President Allison Taylor.

After a sixth season that saw "24" go from outstanding drama Emmy winner to out of the outstanding drama field, the show has promised at least a partial modification, though its one-episode-one-hour semi-real time format will remain unchanged.

Previous "24" presidents have included Dennis Haysbert's David Palmer, Geoffrey Pierson's John Keeler, Gregory Itzin's Charles Logan and D.B. Woodside's Wayne Palmer.

A 1995 Tony winner for "The Heiress" and 2005 winner for "Doubt," Jones is perhaps best known for her appearances in the M. Night Shyamalan films "Signs" and "The Village." Her most recent TV credits include "Clubhouse" and an appearance on "The West Wing."

As part of FOX's Sunday (July 22) presentation to the Television Critics Association, the network also made an extensive announcement saying that "24" is making a commitment to fighting climate change. It's hoped that "24" will make a variety of production changes through the season culminating in an entirely "carbon neutral" season season.

"We care deeply about this issue at '24,' and we wanted to do our own small part to be part of the solution," says executive producer Howard Gordon. "We looked at how we produce the show, and realized that there were some substantive changes we could implement which would make a real difference. But even more importantly, we hope to inspire our audience to look at what they can do in their own lives to help stem global warming. We think this will be the beginning of a conversation with our millions of viewers that will hopefully inspire them to take action around the world."

No, Jack Bauer won't spend his season fighting the hole in the ozone and driving around in a Prius, but a press release on the shift does say that "when appropriate" the next season will be "incorporating the issue of global warming and the importance of carbon emission reduction into storylines."

In addition, the production set will be rewired to use electric, rather than diesel-generate, power. All on-stage production activities will be shifted to "green power," the production fleet will integrate fuel-saving and low-emission hybrid vehicles and Kiefer Sutherland and other cast members will appear in a number of PSAs.


This is great news. I'm not that happy that we're having yet ANOTHER president on the show (This will be the 5th in the last 4 seasons, whereas there was just one for the first 3). But hopefully Cherry Jones (who I don't know that well, I did see "The Village" but don't remember her being in there) will do a solid job.

But, to me, that isn't the big news. The big news is that "24" is the first show, to my knowledge at least, that is addressing the issue of global warming, both in its production methods and possibly mentioning it (or even making it a key plotline) in the show itself. This is really impressive; I knew this wasn't my favorite show on the planet for nothing. But it is also surprising. "24", while not politically biased, was created by people who are pretty conservative. That, along with "24's" production style (lots of explosions and action), makes it an eye-opener.

Hopefully this will be the beginning of a trend, and "24" is carrying the torch. :)

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