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"You're the most ethical, dedicated person I have ever known."
Nadia Yassir, "Day 6: 12:00am-1:00am"

Bill Buchanan was the former Director of CTU Los Angeles. Before taking command of CTU LA, he was a Regional Division Director at CTU. He was initially sent to CTU Los Angeles by Division Command to oversee the exchange of Jack Bauer for Behrooz Araz in Day 4. When Michelle Dessler resigned as Director of CTU at the end of Day 4, Buchanan took permanent command of CTU. He was forced to step down in Day 6. During Day 7, he was working covertly with Chloe O'Brian and Tony Almeida to uncover a conspiracy within the United States government to aid African dictator General Benjamin Juma. During Juma's attack on the White House, Bill sacrificed himself by creating an explosion that destroyed most of the attack force and allowed the FBI to retake the White House and save President Allison Taylor.

Before Day 4[]


Bill Buchanan with Michelle Dessler.

Bill Buchanan had a relative that served with Jack Bauer and Amy Seelaki in Afghanistan in Delta Force. His relative was tortured then beheaded by Oleg Malenov before being fed to dogs.

Buchanan worked closely with Michelle Dessler in Homeland Security restructuring, CTU Seattle, and Division. Bill and Michelle worked well together, but were unable to connect outside of work because she still had feelings for her ex-husband Tony Almeida.

After transferring from CTU Seattle to Division, Buchanan earned a position in Los Angeles as the Regional District Director, replacing Ryan Chappelle. While there he sent Chloe O'Brian and Jack Bauer on a mission to Alaska to stop Russian terrorist Oleg Malenov from releasing a virus in Station 1217 that would cut off wireless communication. The terrorists successfully placed the virus, halting contact between Buchanan and Jack. Buchanan was unable to follow the status of the mission, and was constantly being hounded by the President as to what was happening. Chloe managed to stop the virus and Buchanan and the President decided to say that it was the extreme storm conditions in Alaska that led to the temporary disabling of wireless communication.

Day 4[]


Buchanan takes command of the CTU Los Angeles team during Day 4.

During the events of Day 4, Bill Buchanan was sent to CTU Los Angeles to oversee the ongoing crisis. Buchanan was put in charge of running the exchange of Jack Bauer and Behrooz Araz. However, due to both Michelle Dessler and Tony Almeida working at the Los Angeles office during the day, tension was constantly erupting.

Buchanan wasn't willing to just give up Behrooz, as he believed Behrooz might have sensitive information that Habib Marwan may not want to become public. Curtis Manning interrogated Behrooz and Tony did a basic questioning. When it was revealed that Behrooz didn't have any information, Buchanan decided to go forward with the trade, as he believed it may have been the best chance of finding Marwan. Buchanan had trackers placed on Behrooz, one implanted in the back of his neck.

Marwan's men initially planned on taking out Jack and the TAC team, but their attempts failed. Buchanan became furious when Chloe O'Brian reported that all the trackers have been destroyed, including the one implanted in Behrooz's neck. Buchanan, however, was relieved when Jack told him he short circuited wires in the place he was being held. Jack led a team over to the location, after Chloe tracked it down, but Marwan was able to escape and the hostiles destroyed Marwan's hard drive.


Buchanan talks to President Logan.

Jack brought in terrorist collaborator Joe Prado and both he and Bill agreed that Prado would only break through a physical or medical interrogation. However, Prado's attorney David Weiss arrived and took legal action to prevent Prado's rights from being broken. Prado was also guarded by a US Marshal, and Buchanan decided to take the case to the Justice Department. Buchanan wasn't able to find a judge to sign off on torturing Prado, and he called the recently sworn in President Charles Logan for authorization.

President Logan refused to let Prado be tortured and Jack continued to push Prado, while Bill expressed his belief they would both be fired if they tortured Prado. Jack suggested to resign and for Bill to release Prado, so they would both be private citizens. When Prado was released, Jack knocked out the US marshal and physically attacked him. Prado eventually gave in and both Mike Novick and Audrey Raines disapproved of Bill's complicity in the event.

While on the phone with Mike, Bill asked Mike get the president to sign off on Prado's torture, so they could cheat the timeline. Bill then expressed his concern for Logan's leadership skills, and Mike agreed to help. Mike wasn't able to get the president to sign off on Prado's torture and he told Bill that Logan wanted Jack in custody. Secret Service agents sent to apprehend Jack forced CTU to move in before they were ready, and Marwan managed to escape. Afterwards, Logan realized he was wrong and decided to drop the charges against Jack.

Buchanan later learned that Jack and Tony worked together to raid the Chinese consulate, under the authority of President David Palmer. Jack needed to question Lee Jong, who was under China's protection. During the raiding, friendly fire caused Consul Koo Yin to get killed. Cheng Zhi blamed the US government for his death, and wanted someone to be brought to justice.

Though Bill was first angered at Tony and Jack for keeping the operation from him and Michelle, Bill agreed to help create an alibi for Jack's team. When Cheng Zhi came to CTU to question Bauer, Buchanan was able to help obfuscate Zhi's investigation. When it was learned that Howard Bern was identified at the consulate, Bill distracted Zhi, while Jack helped Bern escape from the building.


Bill tells Michelle Dessler that apprehending Mandy is CTU's priority.

When Secretary of Defense James Heller got information out of his son Richard, CTU got a new lead on Marwan. Jack, Tony, and Lee Castle lead a TAC team to apprehend a female suspect. During the midst of the operation, Castle was killed and Tony disappeared. Jack called CTU and told them about the situation.

The hostile Mandy called Michelle and told her that she knew about Tony committing treason in the past in order to save her. Mandy decided to test Michelle's love for Tony, by threatening to kill him if Michelle didn't clear an exit for her. Originally, Michelle was willing to go forward with it, but she broke down and told Bill about Mandy calling her. Bill told Michelle she would act like she was going along with Mandy's plan, in order to trap her. Buchanan assured Michelle he would do everything in his power to save Tony, but capturing the hostile was the priority.

When Mandy learned Michelle double-crossed her, she self-destructed the car she and Tony entered. Michelle was devastated over Tony's death and Bill comforted her. Bill told her it would be best to go home, and Michelle stepped down as the CTU Director. Jack later discovered the hostile sent in body doubles, and he eventually found Tony and the hostile. With help from Curtis, Jack was able to save Tony and apprehend the hostile. Jack called Buchanan to tell him Tony was alive, and he patched Tony over to Michelle.


Buchanan and Dale Spalding realize Jack Bauer is trying to escape.

Buchanan was later informed that the US government was handing over Jack to the Chinese, as Zhi captured Howard Bern and he confessed to Jack leading the operation. Dale Spalding arrived at CTU to pick up Jack, and Buchanan defended Jack's actions earlier in the day. While waiting for Jack, Buchanan and Spalding heard the lockdown alarm go off.

Chloe managed to track down Jack's location and Buchanan discovered Michelle and Tony hovering over Jack's body. Jack was dead and Buchanan broke the news to Audrey, who had a hard time getting over Jack's death. After Michelle and Tony left CTU together, Buchanan decided to replace Michelle's position.

Day 5[]


Bill on Day 5

Read more about Bill Buchanan on Day 5

Since Day 4, Bill took over as Director of CTU Los Angeles after Michelle Dessler quit. Lynn McGill from District came and took over his position. Buchanan was accused of insubordination, therefore McGill detained him. McGill was soon removed from his position by Curtis Manning through Section 1.12 so Buchanan was reinstated. When Homeland Security came to take over CTU Buchanan was relieved from duty. Soon after, he was reinstated as Director.

After Day 5[]


Bill and Karen Hayes during the last hour of Day 5

Between Day 5 and Day 6, Karen Hayes helped get Buchanan's job back as Director of CTU Los Angeles. The two became close friends and eventually engaged in a romantic relationship. Bill and Karen married prior to Day 6 but their relationship was a long distance one given that Bill was working at CTU in LA and Karen worked as National Security Advisor under President Wayne Palmer.

Fourteen months prior to Day 6, CTU Seattle detained Abu Fayed and 19 other known terrorists. Seeing there wasn't enough evidence to put Fayed behind bars, Bill signed for his release.

Day 6[]

Read more about Bill Buchanan on Day 6

During Day 6, Buchanan was involved in stopping terrorist attacks allegedly originating from Hamri Al-Assad. In an arrangement with the United States government, one of Assad's lieutenant's, Abu Fayed made an agreement to trade Jack Bauer for Assad's location. Buchanan made a prior exchange with Bauer's captors, the Chinese government, in order to deliver him to Fayed.

Buchanan would later continue to work at CTU throughout the day, preventing a series of terrorist attacks within the United States. His efforts would go unrewarded, however, when his wife, National Security Advisor Karen Hayes, was coerced into firing him. Later, Bill aided Jack in the field, helping rescue Josh Bauer from an aerial strike.

After Day 6[]

Bill left CTU and was pardoned by Vice President Daniels. He was still married to Karen Hayes. Tony Almeida, thought to have been killed during Day 5, then made contact with Buchanan. Almeida had been working with a domestic terrorist group led by David Emerson and learned of a plot to breach the United States' CIP firewall, which would put thousands of American lives at risk, something that Tony did not want. He informed Bill of the conspiracy, which included senior members of President Allison Taylor's administration, to blackmail her from launching an attack on General Benjamin Juma's regime in Sangala. Along with Chloe O'Brian and Almeida, Buchanan set up a covert operation that placed Tony undercover in Emerson's group. The three of them planned to bring the conspiracy to light and stop Juma from attacking the United States.

Day 7[]


Buchanan talks to Jack on the phone

During the first phase of the CIP firewall attack on Day 7, Tony Almeida was apprehended by Jack Bauer and Renee Walker. This put Buchanan's entire operation at risk, because keeping Almeida undercover at that point was going to be very difficult. During his interrogation by Jack, Tony secretly gave Jack an old CTU pass code that led him to Buchanan. He gave Jack some vague details of his operation and informed him that Tony was undercover with the domestic terrorist group and that it was imperative that his cover not be blown. The two devised a plan, along with Chloe O'Brian, to break Almeida out of FBI custody. Buchanan picked up Jack and Tony in a van after they successfully escaped and promised a confused Jack that he would explain everything once they got to their safe house.

When the three former colleagues arrived at Buchanan's base of operations, Tony, Buchanan and Chloe explained their covert operation to Jack and the cover-up surrounding Tony's death. Convinced that what they were doing was worth joining, Jack agreed to help the three place Tony back undercover with Emerson. Buchanan's plan was to get the two of them close to Colonel Iké Dubaku, Juma's second in command, and the CIP device that was being used to breach the firewall. After Tony and Jack left, Buchanan and Chloe ran the operation from the safe house. When they learn through a microphone planted on Almeida that Emerson wanted Bauer eliminated, Buchanan stopped Chloe from acting to help Jack, knowing that uncovering the conspiracy and keeping Tony's cover is more important than Jack's life. He told her that Jack knew this scenario was a possibility when he agreed to help them.


Buchanan and Chloe save Renee from death

When Jack and Tony helped to kidnap Ule Matobo, Chloe told Buchanan they needed to stop the attack to save Matobo's life. However, he remained firm and stressed the necessity of keeping Tony and Bauer undercover with Emerson, even at the expense of Matobo's life. After this, Jack had to fake the execution of Renee, when Emerson told him to kill her. After he and Tony buried her alive in a ditch, Tony contacted Buchanan so he and Chloe could rescue her. They found her and revived her with CPR and a shot of adrenaline. After this, Buchanan was forced to tell her of their covert operation. When Renee told him she needed to contact the FBI, he forbid it, claiming that the FBI had been compromised, as well.

After Jack and Tony overpowered Emerson and his men, and enlisted the help of the Matobos in their plan to get to Dubaku, Buchanan, Chloe and Renee arrived at Northwoods Airfield where Jack was holding Matobo and his wife. They waited for Nichols, the middleman between Dubaku and Emerson, to arrive and pick up the Matobos in exchange for a payment of diamonds from Sangala. Buchanan acted as the look-out and informed Tony and Jack when Nichols arrived.

When Nichols took the Matobos, Buchanan and the rest followed them as they were taken to Dubaku. After Chloe tracked them to an office building, Buchanan, Jack, and Tony climbed on the roof and infiltrated the building. When Jack located Dubaku, Buchanan and Tony stormed their room and engaged in a gunfight. As a result, the CIP device was destroyed but Dubaku fled. Buchanan and the others returned to the safe house before the police arrived.

When they arrived, Buchanan ordered Chloe to use satellite imagery to see if they could track Dubaku. When Chloe insisted that they didn't have the resources to track him down, she suggested they should contact an outside agency. Buchanan refused to reminding everyone of the corruption in the government. However, when Matobo agreed to meet with President Taylor privately, Buchanan agreed. After Matobo arranged the meeting, Buchanan and Jack left to bring him to the White House. When Tony informed them that he planned to stay, Buchanan reminded Jack that Tony was still a fugitive.


Buchanan, Renee and Jack meet with President Taylor

Bill, Jack and Renee arrived at the White House with Matobo and met with President Taylor, who demanded to know what was going on. The three explained their undercover operation to the President and Bill stressed that the loss of life suffered by the CIP firewall breaches was necessary to get to Dubaku. Taylor asked Buchanan why he didn't come to her instead of running an illegal undercover operation and Bill explained it was because her administration was corrupted and he didn't know who to trust.

Colonel Dubaku then phoned the White House and demanded President Taylor withdraw her invasion of Sangala and deliver Matobo or he would kill First Gentleman Henry Taylor. The trio asked for the President's permission to find Henry and stop Dubaku from blackmailing her. She granted it and while Jack and Renee went out in the field, Bill stayed behind at the White House and worked with White House Chief of Staff Ethan Kanin to run the operation.

They devised a plan where a Matobo look-alike would be delivered to Dubaku's men to buy Jack and Renee some time while they found Henry. After Jack discovered the First Gentleman's location from rogue Secret Service agent Edward Vossler, he phoned Bill to tell the President and Kanin. Bill watched with the Chief of Staff and President Taylor from the Oval Office as the decoy Matobo was brought to Dubaku's men. He ordered the agent that was driving the fake Prime Minister to wait, even after they demanded they produce Matobo. When they realized they could no longer dupe Dubaku, they ordered the agent and the decoy to flee. Bill watched via satellite as Dubaku's men destroyed the car carrying both men.


Buchanan watches with Ethan Kanin and President Taylor as the car is destroyed by Dubaku's men

When the President found about her husband being shot, Bill offered to drive her there since they couldn't trust Secret Service. Taylor reinstated him on a provisional basis and made him responsible for her security. After President Taylor talked with Henry, she asked Bill if there was anyone he trusted that could bring her daughter Olivia over to the hospital. Bill then called former Secret Service Agent, Aaron Pierce to pick up Olivia.

After Dubaku was apprehended by Jack and Renee, Bill informed President Taylor and Ethan Kanin about the capture of the Colonel. He stressed that Dubaku's medical condition was critical and the names of the people who had corrupted the government were still unknown. President Taylor got frustrated about the situation and Bill suggested leaving the hospital and returning to the White House. Although she wanted to stay with her husband, Ethan and Bill convinced her to leave.

At the White House, Bill received the information about the corrupted members of Taylor's administration and the government and ordered arrests throughout all agencies. As he informed Taylor, he told her there were close to 100 corrupted members on Dubaku's payroll. Bill took the time to stress the help they got from Jack Bauer and that his actions to stop Dubaku's threat to the nation could be enough to dismiss the Senate investigation against him. Bill told the President that Senator Blaine Mayer had a personal vendetta against Bauer and wanted to use him as an example. He pleaded with President Taylor to talk to Mayer and try and get him to back off of his Senate investigation into Bauer's prior actions at CTU. Taylor told Buchanan she would think about it, which was all Bill could ask of her.

When Jack arrived to the White House with the intel that Tony gave him about the next attack, he attacked Bill with the intention of not involving him. Jack was arrested later for torturing Blaine Mayer's Senatorial Chief of Staff Ryan Burnett, who happened to have information about the attack. Bill was angered at Jack for not coming to him with the information. When Jack told him Burnett was about to confess, he asked Bill to force him to reveal the target. However, Bill refused to torture him.


Bill escorts Allison Taylor to the panic room when the White House is infiltrated by Juma's men

When Bill found out the target was the White House, he started securing the area. It was too late, though and General Benjamin Juma cornered them as he tracked President Taylor. To divert them, Bill took the President's tracker and ran in the opposite direction. He was then captured by Juma giving Jack and the President enough time to reach the safe room. Bill was then taken with the rest of the hostages.

Jack informed Bill that he had opened some natural gas canisters in the safe room. Jack planned to draw the fire of Juma's men, causing an explosion and opening an opportunity for Bill to save the President. Bill then detailed information to Jack about how he had seen Juma getting real-time intel about people in the White House. He said that Jack was more capable of saving the President and finding out who Juma's source within the government was, and before Jack could stop him, Bill ran at a guard and took his gun, firing it near the opening of the safe room which caused an explosion, sacrificing his life so Jack could save the President.


Buchanan's body after the explosion

The President was successfully saved, by a combined effort of Jack Bauer, Aaron Pierce and the FBI that rushed the White House after the explosion. Once the firing had stopped, Jack looked over to Buchanan's body. He walked towards the corpse and collapsed next to it, shedding a tear for his dead friend.

Background information and notes[]

  • Bill Buchanan is the sixth longest running character on the series (along with Audrey Boudreau) with 64 episodes total, and the second longest-running deceased character. Despite this, he never appeared in every episode of a season. See also the comprehensive list of multi-season recurring characters.
  • Bill is the tenth character portrayed by a main cast member to die in 24. For the others, see the whole list.
  • Bill introduced himself as the "Regional Director of Division, Los Angeles" in "Day 4: 6:00am-7:00am", as the "Director of CTU, Los Angeles" in "Day 6: 10:00am-11:00am", and as the "Director of Operations" in "Day 6: 1:00pm-2:00pm".
  • During Day 5: 1:00am-2:00am, Bill Buchanan's address is shown as being:
    5 Valley Vista Circle
    Studio City California 91604
  • Jack tells Bill that he has been a good friend even though they had only met four days on-screen, and had been separated during the intervening years. It is implied that they had worked together in the past, although their on-screen interactions during Day 4, while not hostile, do not suggest a close friendship.
  • Of all the Directors of CTU Los Angeles since Day 1, Bill had the longest term.
  • In both Season 5 and Season 6, Bill is Director of CTU Los Angeles at the start of the season. He is removed by night time in circumstances both involving Karen Hayes, then returns, also through Karen's help. Both times, he continues to assist Jack even after being dismissed.
  • In "Day 6: 5:00am-6:00am," Bill is seen for the first time holding a weapon, and in "Day 7: 2:00pm-3:00pm" Bill is seen for the first time shooting someone.
  • Bill was honored by a silent clock after his death.
  • Bill is the fifth of the thirteen main characters to die while still being credited as a main cast member. For the others, see the whole list.

Live appearances[]

See also[]

Wiki 24 has a collection of quotations related to Bill Buchanan.
Wiki 24 has 164 images related to Bill Buchanan.
Preceded by:
Ryan Chappelle
Regional Division Director of CTU Los Angeles Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Michelle Dessler
Director of CTU Los Angeles Succeeded by:
Nadia Yassir
Preceded by:
Ted Hovis
Director of White House Secret Service Operations (acting) Succeeded by:
Ted Hovis