Fox's 24 falling to political correctness
Producers would later experience trouble casting roles, once some of the most desirable in television, because the actors disapproved of the show's depiction of torture. "The fear and wish-fulfillment the show represented after 9/11 ended up boomeranging against us," says the show's head writer, Howard Gordon. "We were suddenly facing a blowback from current events."
Last spring, Fox executives asked producers to come up with a plan for what to do with their onetime crown jewel. The producers decided to take the radical -- and rarely attempted -- step of reinventing the show. While some fans complained "24" had grown too formulaic, the producers also grudgingly saw the importance of wrestling the show from its ties to an unpopular conflict. . . .
If you look at the viewing data provided in the article, it seems very hard for me to discern a fall off in viewership because of opposition to torture. If you look at the last season, there was a drop that was already occurring before the New Yorker piece repersented by the orange dot in the 2006/2007 season (the vertical lines represent viewership). If you click on this link, you can use the interactive features in the WSJ picture.