Monday, August 6, 2007

24 Goes Green

It may sound like a publicity stunt, but Fox spokesman Chris Anderson says the network isn't after bigger ratings. "We are publicizing '24's' commitment to climate change for two reasons and two reasons only: to inspire the public to take global warming seriously and hopefully to motivate other studios to make changes to their production practices as well," he says.

The show's electricity bills will go toward renewable-energy credits that will bring a share of wind, solar and water power to Los Angeles's grid. A diesel-powered soundstage will be converted to electricity, thus lessening the show's contribution to the local air pollution problem, and the show's five location scouts will be given Priuses to drive. Scripts, schedules and memos -- which used to be hand-delivered by car -- will be sent via e-mail.

The "24" page at now features energy conservation tips and a public service announcement about global warming featuring Kiefer Sutherland; more information will be posted when the show airs in January. Plus, climate change will be incorporated into the series' plot (which just might scare some viewers into taking action).

Maybe I'm wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised Kiefer himself gently nudged 24 in this direction. After all, his dad was a long-haired, rabble-rousing hippie from the old school (M*A*S*H, FTA).

And from the few interviews I've read, Kiefer has always appeared uncomfortable with the program's fascist inclinations, especially in the later episodes. Still, as a struggling actor who was one step away from either obscurity or a reality TV series before 24, I'm sure he's even more uncomfortable nibbling the hand that signs his big paychecks.

But hey, whatever works. I'm not a purist. Anything that gets the mainstream audience thinking seriously about global warming is good. Sure, maybe Jack Bauer beats up dirtbag Muslims, but at least his recycles his trash, right?

A tip of the Kangol to The Blogging Curmudgeon.