He previously worked with Brad Turner and Robert Cochran as the executive producer of La Femme Nikita and a writer of The Commish. Surnow has also worked as a staff writer for other popular series such as The Equalizer, Miami Vice, Nowhere Man, and Wiseguy. He was a writer on Special Unit 2 where he worked with Evan Katz, the creator of that show.
On February 13, 2008, Surnow announced that he planned to resign his position as producer of 24 to pursue other projects. While Surnow was creatively involved in the production of the first eight episodes of Season 7 produced before the WGA strike, he has no involvement in the remaining sixteen episodes as are filmed.
Politically, Joel is a conservative.
- 24 Inside season 5 show 2
- Pure 24 episode 1x23
- 24 Heaven
- 24: Access All Areas
- Surnow provided DVD audio commentary for the following episodes:
- 24: On the Loose, Season 3 DVD
- Biothreat: Beyond the Series, Season 3 DVD
- Changing All the Rules, 24: The Official Companion: Season 6 DVD
- Keepin' It Real: The Stunts and Special Effects of 24, 24: The Official Companion: Season 6 DVD
- 24 and the War on Terror: Can Truth Learn from Fiction?, 24: The Official Companion: Season 6 DVD
- Surnow has executive produced every episode of 24.