For Jack Bauer, the grizzled US secret agent, 24 hours is only just enough time to save the world from disaster. But even he might blanch at the value set on just 30 seconds for the new season of Fox’s cult series 24.
According to reports, advertisers will be charged up to half a million dollars for a 30-second advert in the debut of 24: Live Another Day – the much hyped revival of the spy drama. Variety reports that for a spot in subsequent episodes companies will be charged up to $350,000.
The price tag is among the highest on television in the US, with only sports broadcasts thought to attract more advertising money. According to experts, demand for advertising in the programme’s breaks has reached fever pitch ahead of its debut on 5 May. Fox is said to have sought up to $280,000 for a 30-second ad in the show’s eighth season in 2010.
The limited series, of 12 episodes instead of the standard 24, will feature regular cast members, with Kiefer Sutherland returning as Bauer.
It is one of the “event” programmes Fox is said to have based its strategy on this year.
The show has won a cult following across the world, with its real-time format spawning dozens of imitators. During an interview for his new television series, Homeland, 24’s executive producer, Howard Gordon, reportedly described the “absolutely stunning” show’s appeal. “Everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Bill Clinton would talk about it, and we knew they were among our fans,” he said. “I guess people used it as propaganda for their own ideas.”