Some of my fondest television memories are of gathering around the TV with some friends and watching Bauer kick terrorist ass for four hours over the course of two consecutive nights. The quality of the 24 premieres, regardless of the quality of the season that followed, was consistently excellent, besting that of many made-for-TV films (ironic, given that 24’s premiere will be preceeded by made-for-TV movie “Redemption,” set to premiere on Sunday, November 23rd). For me, this achievement was always a remarkable feat, given 24’s weekly nature.

Apparently someone at Fox agrees. We’ve recently heard from a variety of sources, including Reuters, that 24’s seventh season will air be airing a four-hour season premiere as usual: a 2-hour episode on Sunday, January 11, followed by another 2-hour episode on Monday, January 12. Recall, if you can, the greatness of some of 24 premieres past. Jack Bauer storming an enemy compound to rescue the Secretary of Defense. Jack Bauer robbing a convenience store to tie up a terrorist. Jack Bauer facing off against Ramone Salazar.

Despite a troubled production, and a horrifyingly disappointing sixth season, I’m still holding out tentative hope that in 2009, Jack will really be back.

Discuss: Will you be in front of your TV for the four-hour season premiere of 24?

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