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Network 24/Hello 23! Goodbye 24!

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"Hello 23! Goodbye 24!" is the thirty-sixth blog post on Network 24. It was posted by Shauna McGarry, on May 24, 2010, at 8:42pm CST

The blog was a video of the table reed for Day 8: 2:00pm-3:00pm.

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Tonight was the Series Finale, and it’s a bittersweet night. Geoff and I co-wrote Episode 23 so we are very excited to see it but we’re sad that there won’t be more 24 and that the members of the 24 family are all going off to new projects.

Writing Episode 23 was a lot of hard work but so rewarding. All episodes of 24 are conceived and outlined by the writing staff in the writers’ room before they are sent off to script. While a single writer or a writing team might take final ownership, each episode has had the benefit of a whole room of talent and brains. Because Geoff and I were the novices in the room, we were extremely lucky and thankful to have Evan Katz, one of the show’s Executive Producers -- a real powerhouse writer and a major voice in 24 -- as a mentor throughout the process.

One of the final polishes of the script comes during and after a TABLE READ. Unlike other shows, our table reads of the scripts don’t involve actors. Instead, the script is usually read out loud to the writers by me, Geoff, the director and line producer. During the reading, the writer and overseeing Executive Producer will adjust certain lines.

Here’s a little sampling of the Table Read for Episode 23. This is basically how it goes for every script. The featured players are Shauna McGarry, Geoff Aull, Evan Katz, Director Brad Turner and Line Producer Michael Klick.

[video transcript]

GeoffAull

Geoff Aull introduces the table read

  • Geoff Aull: Hi there I'm Geoff Aull, I'm one of the two script coordinators here on 24 and we're about to do what we call a "read-through", which is where myself and Shauna and typically the writers or producers of an episode will come in and we also have the line producer, and the director, and the assistant director come in, and we'll sit around the round table here and read the script dialogue through, actually playing out each character so we get a feel for how the script sounds, if the dialogue is right, if there needs to be adjustments made.

(reading from script)

  • Shauna McGarry: "Just tell me what you're talking about, Charles."
  • Geoff Aull: "Jack Bauer isn't just trying to gather evidence about the conspiracy, he's seeking retribution. "
  • Shauna McGarry: "Retribution?"
  • Geoff Aull: "Bauer just murdered Mikhail Novakovich. One of the key members of Russia's staff."
  • Shauna McGarry: "Then Novakovich was responsible for the assassination of President Hassan?"
  • Geoff Aull: "Yes Ma'am."
  • Shauna McGarry: "Novakovich was the ranking member of the Russian delegation, Suvarov is-"

(McGarry is interrupted by Evan Katz who begins to make suggestions for the script)

  • Evan Katz: Take out the word, "then", and just make it...
  • Shauna McGarry: Novakovich was responsible-
  • Brad Turner: Can I ask you to put some other phrase rather than repeating retribution? Because it makes her sound like she can't hear.

(cut to later in the reading)

  • Michael Klick: "The agreement will go forward as planned. Really we couldn't have asked for a better outcome."
  • Geoff Aull: "Except that I'm asking Dalia Hassan to shake hands with her husband's murderer."
  • Michael Klick: "Madame President.."
  • Geoff Aull: "Call Suvarov. Tell him I'm aware of his involvement in this and that I will see him at the Senate."

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