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Joel Surnow

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"Another thing is that a lot of shows are forgiven for sort of repeating certain plot twists and turns. But we can't get away with it. We're expected to go into new territory every time out."
Joel Surnow on the writing procedures for 24

Joel Surnow (born November 29, 1954; age 61) is the co-creator of 24, along with Robert Cochran. He is also a former executive producer and writer on the show and served as showrunner for the first four seasons, after which Howard Gordon took over for unknown reasons. His cousin is fellow 24 writer-producer Michael Loceff.

Biography and career Edit

Joel Surnow was born in Detroit, Michigan. He was raised first in Michigan, and later Los Angeles. Surnow attended the University of California, Berkeley for two years, and eventually graduated from UCLA film school in 1976. Soon after graduation, he began writing for film and television.

Surnow and Robert Cochran started working together in 1981 in the show Falcon Crest, as a writer and story editor respectively. Surnow's first breakthrough came when he began writing for Miami Vice in 1984. After that, Universal made Surnow a supervising producer in the new show The Equalizer, in which he worked for 3 years.

In 1993, Surnow began working as a writer on The Commish, where he worked with Cochran and director Brad Turner. The three later collaborated, along with Surnow's cousing, Michael Loceff, on La Femme Nikita. Surnow also worked as a staff writer for other popular series such as Falcon Crest, Nowhere Man, and Wiseguy. He was also a writer on Special Unit 2 where he worked with Evan Katz, the creator of that show.

In 2014, Joel Surnow made his directorial debut in an independent production he had also written called Small Time, starring Dean Norris and Xander Berkeley.

Role on 24 Edit

Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran developed 24 in 2001. During the first six seasons, they worked on the show as writers and executive producers.

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 had no involvement in the remaining sixteen.

Surnow and Cochran worked as executive consultants in later seasons, and are also credited as writers on 24's Indian version. They are credited as creators for all episodes.

24-related appearances Edit

Day 4 production Surnow Callery Cassar Kiefer

Joel Surnow with Sean Callery, Jon Cassar and Kiefer Sutherland

24 credits Edit

Day 3 Surnow and Gordon discuss

Surnow and Howard Gordon discuss the outcome of Day 3.

Creator Edit

All with Robert Cochran

Producer Edit

Writer Edit

All with Michael Loceff unless otherwise indicated.

External links Edit

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