- "Twenty-four hours. One full turn of the earth on its axis. Most days blend in to all the others, but some we remember the rest of our lives."
- — Opening narration from the original pilot script
Season 1 of 24 began in November of 2001 on the Fox Network. It was created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, who were also executive producers along with Brian Grazer, Tony Krantz, Howard Gordon and Stephen Hopkins.
Fox initially ordered thirteen episodes of the show to try it out. The successful rescue at the end of the first half of the season was planned as a series finale in case the show was not picked up for the rest of the year.
24: Season One was released on DVD in North America on September 17, 2002, making 24 the first television show to release a season set immediately after the season ended. Because of the rushed nature of the original release and its lack of special features, a special edition DVD set was released on May 20, 2008.
CTU Los Angeles learns of a potential assassination attempt aimed at Senator David Palmer. As Jack Bauer and CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) investigate the threat, Jack's daughter Kim runs away but ends up being held against her will when the guys she's with kidnap her under orders from Ira Gaines. Jack's wife searches for Kim and is later kidnapped as well. Gaines uses Teri and Kim in an effort to force Jack to help assassinate Senator Palmer and take the fall for his death. Jack eventually finds and rescues his wife and daughter and takes down Gaines' terrorist cell (Day 1 antagonists) in the process. He learns about a second group of terrorists that hired the first cell. The second cell is led by the men who are ultimately responsible for the day's events: Andre Drazen and Alexis Drazen.
The Drazen's motives are revealed. Two years prior to this day, Jack Bauer was sent as part of a classified team to Kosovo on the orders of a secret Congressional panel headed by David Palmer to kill their father, Victor Drazen. In order to keep the operation totally secret, the panel never met nor knew the team of operatives, and vice versa, meaning David Palmer and Jack never knew about each other's involvement. The Drazens found out about both David Palmer's and Jack's role in their father's death and sought revenge on both of them. Because Jack was thought to be the only surviving member of the special ops team, he was targeted to carry out the assassination plot. The Drazens hoped that by the end of the day, Senator Palmer would be dead, Jack would be imprisoned for the assassination, and Jack's family would be killed.
While following up on a lead in the investigation, Jack discovers that Victor Drazen is actually alive and being held in a top secret underground holding facility under classified security. The Drazens' ultimate goal is to free Victor Drazen and kill Senator Palmer and Jack and his family. They storm the holding facility and free their father, capturing Jack in the process. They also abduct Kim again and use her for leverage to force Jack to contact Senator Palmer in person and have their family assets unfrozen. After a cell phone rigged to explode detonates in Senator Palmer's hotel suite, Senator Palmer goes along with a story that he was killed in the blast in order to fool the Drazens and save Kim. Andre Drazen tells Kim that his mother and sister were killed by Jack years earlier, but Kim does not believe him. She formulates a plan to escape, and when a guard allows her to get a cup of coffee, she scalds him and runs outside. She's being held at the Port of Los Angeles, and hides on the docks. Jack confesses to CTU that Senator Palmer's death was faked, and a mole inside CTU calls the Drazens to tell them that Senator Palmer is still alive. Victor Drazen knows that Jack is coming to trade himself for Kim, but fears that Jack won't show himself unless he hears from Kim. Drazen instructs Nina to lie to Jack and tell him that the Coast Guard found Kim's body in the harbor. Jack is devastated when he hears the news, and the Drazens wait for him to show up and avenge Kim's death.
When Jack arrives at the harbor, he charges the dock and kills everyone. After a backup team arrives, including members of the Coast Guard, Jack requests that he be allowed to claim Kim's body. The Coast Guard informs Bauer that they found no body that night. Jack realizes that someone at CTU was working for the Drazens, and that Nina is the person who told him Kim had died. He calls the Director of CTU and tells him to order a lockdown.
Meanwhile, at CTU, Nina was preparing for exfiltration by erasing all of her incriminating information. Teri Bauer, who was at CTU waiting for Kim and Jack to return, stumbled upon Nina and was tied up to prevent her from hindering the escape. Jack returned to CTU and caught Nina in the parking garage, then went inside to be with his family. He discovered a dead security guard in a hallway and started a panicked search for Teri. He found Teri hidden in an IT room, tied to a chair and facing the wall. He spun her chair around and saw that she had been shot in the stomach. He untied her and checked for a pulse, but she was dead. Jack held her in his arms and cried while apologizing as the final clock silently ticked to 12:00am.
- For clues given in this season about the date, see the timeline page.
- In the first act, a mercenary group tries to force Jack Bauer to kill Senator Palmer by kidnapping his wife and daughter. Jack works to rescue his family and keep Senator Palmer out of harm's way. The main antagonists in this act are Ira Gaines, Jonathan Matijevich and Kevin Carroll. (12:00am–1:00pm)
- The employers of Gaines initiate their own assassination plot, and as CTU tracks their activity, Jack learns why he and the Senator are being targeted. He must stop the attempts on the lives of both Palmer and himself. The main antagonists in this act are Andre Drazen, Alexis Drazen, Victor Drazen and Nina Myers. (1:00pm–12:00am)
- Throughout the day David Palmer faces several challenges to his campaign, including: two assassination attempts, a scandal involving his son that threatens the destruction of his candidacy, excess ambition at the hands of his wife, and one of his staff members being unknowingly involved with one of the terrorists.
- Teri Bauer and a man named Alan York search for their missing daughters Kim and Janet, though York is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, Kim's kidnappers Dan Mounts and Rick Allen take Kim to Ira Gaines.
- Later on in the season, Rick betrays Gaines' to help Kim and Teri and befriends Kim, though she gets involved in a drug deal in the process.
- Teri briefly contracts dissociative amnesia after being separated from Kim.
- A mole at CTU Los Angeles is sabotaging efforts to stop the assassination.
- Romantic conflicts between Jack's girlfriend while he and Teri were separated, Agent Nina Myers, and her new boyfriend, Agent Tony Almeida.
- There is a second, more influential mole at CTU LA.
Impacts on future seasons
- Nina Myers kills Teri Bauer and is arrested afterwards.
- David Palmer divorces Sherry Palmer and is later able to become President.
- The revelation of the details of Operation Nightfall, the backstory behind Day 1, which was also an important motivation to the mastermind of Day 3.
The pilot episode of 24 was filmed in March of 2001, with regular production of the series beginning in July. Filming of the season was completed in early May of 2002.
The season was scheduled to begin airing on October 30, but after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the date was moved back a week to November 6th. Fox originally only ordered thirteen episodes, but in late November, picked the show up for a full 24-episode season, after airing only three episodes. Five days before the finale aired, 24 was renewed for a second season.
The first season had a dramatic and unexpected ending: the death of Teri Bauer. Many fans were dismayed by this sudden plot twist, while others applauded 24's genre-defying willingness to kill major characters with little warning. The producers also filmed an alternate ending in which Teri, Kim, and Jack are reunited, and another in which Teri is shot, but survives. However, they eventually decided to go with the death of Teri Bauer as the climax of season one. The first alternate ending is available on the Season 1 DVD boxed set.
- Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer (24 episodes)
- Leslie Hope as Teri Bauer (24 episodes)
- Sarah Clarke as Nina Myers (24 episodes)
- Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer (24 episodes)
- and Dennis Haysbert as David Palmer (24 episodes)
- Daniel Bess as Rick Allen (18 episodes)
- Željko Ivanek as Andre Drazen (15 episodes)
- Xander Berkeley as George Mason (12 episodes)
- Michael Massee as Ira Gaines (12 episodes)
- Vicellous Shannon as Keith Palmer (12 episodes)
- Jude Ciccolella as Mike Novick (11 episodes)
- Karina Arroyave as Jamey Farrell (10 episodes)
- Zach Grenier as Carl Webb (9 episodes)
- Glenn Morshower as Aaron Pierce (9 episodes)
- Eric Balfour as Milo Pressman (8 episodes)
- Tanya Wright as Patty Brooks (8 episodes)
- Misha Collins as Alexis Drazen (7 episodes)
- Matthew Carey as Dan Mounts (6 episodes)
- Megalyn Echikunwoke as Nicole Palmer (6 episodes)
- Jacqui Maxwell as Janet York (6 episodes)
- Silas Weir Mitchell as Eli Stram (6 episodes)
- Navi Rawat as Melanie (6 episodes)
- Tamara Tunie as Alberta Green (6 episodes)
- Vincent Angell as Phil Parslow (4 episodes)
- Kara Zediker as Elizabeth Nash (4 episodes)
- Mia Kirshner as Mandy (3 episodes)
- Paul Schulze as Ryan Chappelle (3 episodes)
- Currie Graham as Ted Cofell (2 episodes)
- Kim Murphy as Bridgit (2 episodes)
- Michael O'Neill as Richard Walsh (2 episodes)
- Wade Andrew Williams as Robert Ellis (2 episodes)
- Penny Johnson Jerald as Sherry Palmer (22 episodes)
- Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida (23 episodes)
- Richard Burgi as Kevin Carroll (11 episodes)
- with Lou Diamond Phillips as Mark DeSalvo (2 episodes)
- and Dennis Hopper as Victor Drazen (5 episodes)
- Main article: 24 production staff § Season 1
- See also: Episodes § Season 1
|Picture||Title||Number||Production Code||Original Airdate|
|"12:00am-1:00am"||1||1AFF79||November 6, 2001|
|Jack Bauer's daughter, Kim, sneaks out of the house to go out with friends. As Bauer and his wife, Teri, try to figure out how to find Kim, Jack is called in for a meeting at CTU Los Angeles in response to a threat on Senator David Palmer's life. Bauer discovers that there may be a mole inside CTU, and Senator Palmer gets a disturbing phone call.|
|"1:00am-2:00am"||2||1AFF01||November 13, 2001|
|Jack's plans to find his daughter, Kim, are sidetracked when he gets a call from Richard Walsh, who is being stalked by assassins connected with the David Palmer hit. Mandy passes the photographer's ID card on to Ira Gaines. Kim realizes that she and Janet York may be in danger, while Teri Bauer and Alan York search for their daughters.|
|"2:00am-3:00am"||3||1AFF02||November 20, 2001|
|The files on Walsh's key card points Nina Myers as a dirty agent, but an alibi saves her from the accusations. Gaines has Mandy's girlfriend Bridgit shot when Bridgit tries to extort more money for the ID card. Kim and Janet York escape, but Janet is hit by a car and left to die while Kim is recaptured.|
|"3:00am-4:00am"||4||1AFF03||November 27, 2001|
|Jack follows a lead from Walsh's card, while Jamey and Nina run interference with George Mason. Kim is handed off by Dan and Rick to Ira Gaines. Janet is taken to the hospital, with Teri and Alan following shortly.|
|"4:00am-5:00am"||5||1AFF04||December 11, 2001|
|Palmer meets with Maureen Kingsley, who explains that she has two separate sources accusing Keith Palmer of murdering his sister's rapist. Kim and Rick are taken to Ira Gaines' compound. Jack finds an unidentified body connected to Gaines in the trunk of a car. Alan and Teri watch as Janet flat lines in surgery.|
|"5:00am-6:00am"||6||1AFF05||December 18, 2001|
|Jack and Teri are briefly reunited at the hospital, where Jack warns the doctors not to let anyone near Janet York. Ira Gaines contacts Jack and tells him that he has kidnapped Kim and Jack must follow his orders to save his daughter. David Palmer discovers that his entire family has been keeping secrets from him. Jamey helps identify the body from the car.|
|"6:00am-7:00am"||7||1AFF06||January 8, 2002|
|On Gaines' orders, Jack replaces the key card Milo was working on with a fake one and takes Nina out to a cliffside to shoot her, but not before giving her a flak jacket. Teri escapes from the counterfeit Alan (actually Kevin Carroll) only long enough to be captured by more of Gaines' men. Nina wakes up and runs off.|
|"7:00am-8:00am"||8||1AFF07||January 15, 2002|
|Nina and Tony realize that Jamey is working for Gaines and lock her up in the Internal Technical Support room. Using instructions and equipment from Gaines, Jack gets in to see David Palmer's appearance at the San Clarita power plant, but is taken into custody by the Secret Service. Gaines begins Plan B.|
|"8:00am-9:00am"||9||1AFF08||January 22, 2002|
|Sherry Palmer convinces Maureen Kingsley not to run her story on Keith by promising an exclusive on the assassination attempt at the breakfast. Jack breaks out of custody and begins to search for his family. Eli tries to rape Kim, but Teri offers herself instead. Jamey is found with her wrists slashed.|
|"9:00am-10:00am"||10||1AFF09||February 5, 2002|
|Teri Bauer manages to call CTU with a stolen cell phone, and Jack, Nina, and Tony must race to track down where she and Kim are being held. CTU's Acting Director, Alberta Green, arrives at CTU and declares Jack a fugitive. With Jamey Farrell dead, Jack follows a lead from her computer tying an investment banker to his family's kidnappers.|
|"10:00am-11:00am"||11||1AFF10||February 12, 2002|
|Cofell suffers a heart attack and dies, but Jack extracts Kim and Teri's location from a man Cofell is meeting, Kevin Carroll. Concerned about the possibility of another mole, Nina and Tony agree not to tell Alberta Green anything. When Eli comes to kill them on orders from Andre Drazen, Teri wrestles his gun away and shoots him. She fires a second shot to suggest a second death and she and Kim hide Eli's body.|
|"11:00am-12:00pm"||12||1AFF11||February 19, 2002|
|Jack Bauer makes it onto Ira Gaines' camp, but Gaines is on to him and starts a rampant search for him and his family. David Palmer tries to talk Dr. George Ferragamo, but discovers that Carl Webb and his associates has been there before him. Meanwhile at CTU, Alberta Green tries to turn Nina and Tony against one another.|
|"12:00pm-1:00pm"||13||1AFF12||February 26, 2002|
|Jack Bauer has a final confrontation with Ira Gaines as he saves his family with Rick's help. David Palmer plans to talk to the D.A. about Dr. George Ferragamo's murder, but Carl Webb changes his mind. At CTU, Nina Myers discovers that a second assassin has arrived in LA, which means that Palmer's life is still in danger.|
|"1:00pm-2:00pm"||14||1AFF13||March 5, 2002|
|Jack Bauer is returned to CTU, but can't stay with his family because Alberta Green places him under arrest. Green wants Tony Almeida to make a power play. Nina Myers escorts Kim Bauer and Teri Bauer to a hospital, but comes across evidence they may still be targets. David Palmer discovers a link between himself and Bauer, and decides to face the impending issue.|
|"2:00pm-3:00pm"||15||1AFF14||March 12, 2002|
|Jack and Palmer finally meet face to face and learns of their connection through Operation Nightfall, a mission that Palmer had authorized years before. They work together to track down those who are seeking revenge on them, while Teri and Nina have a revealing conversation about Jack at the safe house.|
|"3:00pm-4:00pm"||16||1AFF15||March 19, 2002|
|Keith takes matters into his own hands when he arranges a secret meeting with Carl. Elizabeth Nash realizes who Alexis Drazen really is and immediately comes forward. The safehouse is attacked. Teri and Kim manage to escape, but are then separated by an unforeseen accident where Teri thought Kim died.|
|"4:00pm-5:00pm"||17||1AFF16||March 26, 2002|
|Teri is struck with amnesia and must turn to an old friend for help. Kim goes to Rick's house in hopes of finding a lead. Jack orchestrates a sting operation against Alexis in an attempt to track his activity, but the plan takes a turn for the worst when Nash stabs Drazen.|
|"5:00pm-6:00pm"||18||1AFF17||April 2, 2002|
|Palmer and Sherry clash over the handling of the evidence against Carl. Kim finds herself in a sticky situation with Dan's brother. Jack poses as Alexis and meets with a stranger who has vital information, but an agent with a grudge from Jack's past picks a bad time to get even. Teri and Dr. Phil return to the Bauer home, putting themselves in further danger.|
|"6:00pm-7:00pm"||19||1AFF18||April 9, 2002|
|Jack and Mason investigate the area where the power was to be turned off. Nina tries to warn Jack about his family's disappearance, but Mason hampers her efforts. Teri explores her home in hopes of regaining her memory as Drazen's man closes in for the kill. Kim finds herself in the middle of a botched drug deal, while Palmer breaks the story about Keith to the press. Tony saves Teri from death.|
|"7:00pm-8:00pm"||20||1AFF19||April 16, 2002|
|Kim lands in jail when the cops don't believe her story. Jack stumbles onto a secret detention center and arrives just in time to bluff Andre and his men out of freeing a prisoner who is being transferred in. Jack confronts the prisoner and discovers that it is Victor Drazen. Before Jack can learn any more, Andre and his soldiers make another run on the prison.|
|"8:00pm-9:00pm"||21||1AFF20||April 23, 2002|
|David Palmer wins the primary, taking not only California, but all eleven states. Kim is released from prison when Melanie tells the truth, but is recaptured by henchmen of the Drazens soon after. Jack and Mark DeSalvo are ambushed by Andre's men, and Victor explains the connection between himself and Jack. Jack offers Alexis Drazen in exchange for his freedom. Victor and Jack is taken out of the facility just before CTU arrive for rescue.|
|"9:00pm-10:00pm"||22||1AFF21||May 7, 2002|
|Ryan Chappelle refuses to trade Alexis for Jack, so Nina calls in a favor from David Palmer, who promises George Mason a promotion if he makes the trade. Sherry Palmer enlists campaign worker Patty Brooks to spy on her husband and sleep with him if necessary. The Drazens take Alexis but destroyed the homing device CTU planted on him. Jack is released, but Kim is still a captive.|
|"10:00pm-11:00pm"||23||1AFF22||May 14, 2002|
|Alexis Drazen dies. David Palmer fires Patty for conspiring with Sherry against him. Victor Drazen attempts to kill Palmer with an explosive cell phone, but Jack saves him just before the explosion and decides to cover up his survival for the moment. Unknown to Jack, Kim escapes from the Drazens. Andre Drazen takes a call from his source inside CTU, who tells him that CTU has faked Palmer's death. The source is Nina Myers.|
|"11:00pm-12:00am"||24||1AFF23||May 21, 2002|
|David Palmer tells Sherry he wants a divorce. Conspiring with the Drazens, Nina tells Jack that Kim is dead. Jack kills Victor and Andre in cold blood. After learning that Kim is alive, Jack warns Mason that Nina must be the mole. George is skeptical but believes Jack after evidence shows that she killed Jamey. Nina is captured, but she has already killed Teri. Jack cradles his wife's lifeless body in anguish.|
Background information and notes
- Season 1 and Legacy are the only seasons to not feature a President of the United States or a White House Chief of Staff.
- This is the only season that takes place over the course of the same day. Every other season occurs over the course of 24 hours, but within 2 separate days.
- This is the only season that starts and ends at night. The sun rises at the ends of Days 4 and 6.
- Season 1 and Season 3 are the only seasons where all of the main cast appear in all 24 episodes.
- Day 1 antagonists
- Unnamed Day 1 characters
- DVD collections: Region 1, Region 1 SE, Region 2, Region 4
Findings at CTU