24 has an opening. Joel Surnow, the show's executive producer and self-described "right-wing nutjob," is leaving the show when his contract expires later this year. Will the show change after his departure? Almost certainly. But how will it change? Well, that depends on which other well-known showrunner takes his place. Following is a shortlist of possible candidates, along with some changes you can expect if you start seeing their names in the opening credits.
Jack Bauer's job gets a lot easier when terrorist henchmen start to become rather chatty with him after he kills them. With the information they provide, he's not in as much of a rush to track down the mastermind. Unfortunately, the death of his father in Season 6 means that Jack's now going to have to take over the family business of shady defense consulting and ex-president assassination, moving back home with his mom (Patricia Clarkson) and working with his not-dead-after-all-but-actually-gay little brother Graeme and their miniature employee/partner, Carlos (Verne Troyer). Needless to say, the transition is not a smooth one.
Jack's daughter Kim Bauer returns, and she and her father spend the season working through the issues that have kept them apart for so long, as well as several bottles of wine. But in the middle of the climactic emotional breakthrough that comes at day's end, Kim is suddenly called away on an emergency Peace Corps mission just before Jack gets word that she secretly has ovarian cancer. Then we all cry like assholes at the abrupt departure and uncertain future of a character we've unexpectedly come to love. Damn you, Berlanti!
The creator of Survivor makes a surprisingly easy shift to scripted TV, thanks to 24's preexisting habit of eliminating a different character every week.
With Chloe a new mother and Jack all but absent after a breakdown in contract negotiations with Kiefer Sutherland, Carter switches up the couple at the center of the once-buzzworthy Fox series. Now, maverick super-agent Doreen Helfer (Mimi Rogers) teams up with socially awkward but brilliant computer geek Howard Rizzuto (Chris Owens) to face down the terrorist threat from CTU's basement -- even when higher-ups like Vice President John Steele (Terry O'Quinn) and the nameless Secretary of Defense (William B. Davis) don't really want them to succeed. Together, Helfer and Rizzuto can do anything, short of tying up plot threads.