FOX Nixes "24" Day 7 Plot, "Drive" Burnoff
The relentless network axe has swung again. FOX has decided to scrap the entire storyline for season 7 of its fading thriller "24" which was supposed to go into production in a couple of weeks. At the same time, the network quietly announced it would never air the final two installments of "Drive" they first promised to air July 4 and then July 13.
Just as the former NBC chief Kevin Reilly (that's the good guy who stood by 'Friday Night Lights' all season long) assumed his new position as President of Entertainment at FOX, the network took some drastic measures that indicate trouble behind the scenes of its Emmy-winning drama "24" that once ruled the ratings and generated critical accolades.
In its sixth season "24" and its tired storytelling failed to generate any excitement and following a decent 15 million+ opener, the drama fizzled out barely crossing the 10 million mark at the end of the season. The producers promised to toss out the entire CTU and refresh the aging series with a completely new concept come January 2008 when Day 7 premieres.
Unfortunately, as TV Guide reports, the network made an 11th-hour move yesterday and tossed out the plan to shoot a number of episodes in Africa. The plan was to take Kiefer Sutherland's invincible Jack Bauer and put him into a completely new setting. Albeit, that won't be Africa, as FOX finds the idea too expensive. That means the writers have to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch.
Production on the seventh season of "24" has therefore been delayed and it won't start before mid August. But can the writers come up with a compelling (yet not too expensive to produce) plot to save the dying series in only 5 weeks ahead? I smell a disaster. Boy those networks sure know how to screw up their own shows, don' they?
Finally, FOX has quietly announced (in a press release for "5th grader") that they won't be airing the final two episodes of "Drive," starring Nathan Fillion, which they originally promised to air back-to-back on July 4 and then, July 13. No word if the episode will make it to its My Space page either. Instead, FOX will air repeats of "Bones" and the final 2 episodes of "Standoff" on July 13 and 20.