When 24 debuted in November of 2001, America was reeling from the aftermath of September 11. Fear and terrorism ran rampant in headlines as Americans were forced to face a world that was forever changed after one fateful day. Enter Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer. A fictional show chronicling the war on terror as we were fighting it could’ve flopped. It didn’t. Instead it became one of the most thrilling and culturally significant shows of its time.
Set in real-time, each episode covers an hour of one jeopardizing day as Bauer and his colleagues at CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) work overtime thwarting terrorist plots before bombs, nukes and infectious diseases are unleashed upon innocent civilians. Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, the show accidentally capitalized on post-9/11 anxieties and over the course of eight seasons (plus a revival and movie), Bauer proved to be a limitless savage who would stop at nothing to protect the greater good, despite his own well-being. At its best, 24 was a high-octane rollercoaster ride that was relentless with its twists, turns and betrayals.
Here’s how to watch 24 streaming online:
How to Watch 24 Online & Stream the Complete Series
Among the streaming services, Amazon Prime has exclusive rights to the first eight seasons, as well as Redemption and Live Another Day. Here’s how to watch a stream of any of those episodes:
If You Already Have Amazon Prime
If you want to watch on your computer, make sure you’re signed into your Amazon Prime account, then head to the following links to watch your desired content:
24: Seasons 1-8
24: Live Another Day
If you want to watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device, you can do so via the Amazon Video app, which is free to download on Apple TV, Roku, Android phones and tablets, iPads and iPhones, Fire tablets, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Smart TV’s and more. You can also watch on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV stick without having to download the app.
If You Don’t Have Amazon Prime
You’ll need a subscription to Amazon Prime or Amazon Prime Video to stream either the first eight seasons of 24 or Redemption or Live Another Day online. Fortunately, it’s easy to sign up for a free trial, and there are a couple of different options when doing so:
Amazon Prime: In addition to unlimited streaming of Amazon’s movies and TV shows, you get things like free two-day shipping, music streaming, photo storage and access to Amazon’s library of E-books. Pricing options are either $12.99 per month or $99 per year, and you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.
Amazon Prime Video: The cheapest monthly option, it costs $8.99 per month and includes unlimited streaming of Amazon’s on-demand movies and TV shows. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial.
Amazon Prime Student: If you’re a student, you can sign up for Amazon Prime Student. It includes all the same things as the Amazon Prime option, but it comes with a six-month free trial and costs just $6.49 per month or $49 per year after that.
Once you’re signed up, you can either watch on your computer via the Amazon website (you can find the links for each specific season above), or you can watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app, which is free to download on Apple TV, Roku, Android phones and tablets, iPads and iPhones, Fire tablets, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Smart TV’s and more. You can also watch on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV stick without having to download the app.
How to Watch 24: Legacy Online
24 Legacy, the spin-off from 2017 that lasted just one season, is available to stream exclusively on Hulu. If you already have Hulu, simply head to their website or app, search for 24 and you can then start watching Legacy. If you don’t have Hulu, there are a couple of different options when signing up:
Hulu: If you simply want Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, which includes the lone season of 24: Legacy, you can sign up right here. It costs $7.99 per month for the limited commercials plan or $11.99 per month for the no commercials plan.
Hulu With Live TV: If you want to go from watching 24: Legacy episodes to watching MLB games or other live TV without changing the app, you can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV”. This option gives you access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, as well as a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels (list of channels included). It costs $39.99 per month for the plan that includes limited commercials with the on-demand content or $43.99 per month for the plan that includes no commercials with the on-demand content.
Once signed up for either of the above options, you can watch every episode of 24: Legacy on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
How to Buy & Stream Individual 24 Episodes & Seasons
If you would rather own the episodes but still want to have a digital library so you can watch on different devices, you can purchase either individual episodes or seasons through Amazon via the following links:
Season 1: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (24 episodes) costs $4.99
Season 2: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (24 episodes) costs $19.99
Season 3: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (24 episodes) costs $19.99
Season 4: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (22 episodes) costs $19.99
Season 5: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (24 episodes) costs $19.99
Season 6: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (24 episodes) costs $19.99
24 Redemption: The movie costs $14.99
Season 7: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (24 episodes) costs $19.99
Season 8: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (24 episodes) costs $19.99
24 Live Another Day: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (12 episodes) costs $19.99
24 Legacy: Episodes cost $2.99, or the entire season (12 episodes) costs $9.99
Once you’ve bought an episode or season, you can either watch on your computer via the Amazon website, or you can watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app, which is free to download on Apple TV, Roku, Android phones and tablets, iPads and iPhones, Fire tablets, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Smart TV’s and more. You can also watch on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV stick without having to download the app.
Where to Buy 24 Seasons on DVD
Another option, if you prefer being able to watch episodes without being reliant on an internet connection, is to buy individual seasons or the entire series on DVD, which you can do via the following links:
The Complete Series with Live Another Day
24 Live Another Day
NOTE: Spoilers to follow
How Many 24 Seasons Are There?
Jack Bauer battled bad guys from 2001-2010 and again in 2014, spanning eight seasons—nine if you count the halved revival entitled 24: Live Another Day. There’s also a two-hour TV movie (24: Redemption) and in 2017, a spin-off series called 24: Legacy. The original run was explosive in its first five years, and say what you will about revivals, but Jack’s post-series return helped reclaim his glory days.
24 Season 1
24 Episodes | November 2001 – May 2002
Our introduction to Jack begins on the day of the California presidential primary. Bauer is ordered to protect Senator David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) from an assassination plot. Those responsible throw a wrench in Jack’s day when they kidnap his wife and daughter, seeking retribution for Jack and Palmer’s involvement with an American stealth mission in the Balkans. A mole in CTU pulls off the ultimate betrayal foreshadowing Bauer’s future torment as a government operative whose personal life will forever be endangered.
24 Season 2
24 Episodes | October 2002 – May 2003
A nuclear bomb threatens the city of Los Angeles and Bauer works closely with President Palmer to find those responsible and avoid war between the U.S. and the Middle East. Jack’s daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) returns with a so-bad-it’s-good B-story of rescuing a young girl from an abusive father. Cut to Kim getting caught in a bear trap in the woods while a cougar approaches. (I wish I was making that up.) Palmer’s wife Sherry (Penny Johnson Jerald) proves a force to be reckoned with, while Kate Warner, a new love interest for Jack, gets tied up in the day’s terrorist plot.
24 Season 3
24 Episodes | October 2003 – May 2004
Jack goes undercover to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel and intercept the sale of a deadly virus on the black market. While trying to maintain his cover, he’s forced to use heroin and quickly finds himself addicted. President Palmer deals with a potential scandal that could cost him his reputation as the best president fiction has ever seen. Colleagues Tony Almeida and Michelle Dessler’s relationship blossoms, until Dessler finds herself trapped in a hotel compromised with the virus. This is Mary Lynn Rajskub’s first season as the abrasive Chloe O’Brian who, along with Palmer, becomes an enormous fan favorite.
24 Season 4
24 Episodes | January 2005 – May 2005
Jack’s new boss, Secretary of Defense James Heller, is kidnapped along with Heller’s daughter Audrey, Jack’s new lady, as a diversion in Habib Marwan’s plan to launch forced meltdowns of nuclear power plants on U.S. soil. As usual, Jack is forced to go rogue in order to stop him, resulting in long-term consequences for Jack and the United States’ relationship with China. Smarmy Vice-President Charles Logan is introduced, while the slippery, lethal assassin Mandy (Mia Kirshner) from Seasons 1 and 2 re-appears.
24 Season 5
24 Episodes | January 2006 – May 2006
Jack fakes his death to hide from the Chinese, but is forced to resurface when the only friends who know he’s alive are targeted and murdered. (It’s the most shocking premiere episode in what turns out to be the series’ best.) Bauer is then framed by terrorists who have connections with—and orders from—the American government. If that wasn’t enough, the season’s baddies acquire canisters of nerve gas, while a sinister government conspiracy slowly unravels. It’s bingeworthy TV before bingeing was a thing.
24 Season 6
24 Episodes | January 2007 – May 2007
CTU puts Bauer back in action as he tries to take down terrorists with suitcase nukes. He later discovers that his father, Phillip Bauer (James Cromwell) not only has ties to the season’s Big Bads, but was also involved in last season’s nerve gas carfuffle. China, the perpetual gnat buzzing around Jack’s head, sets its sights on circuitry that could trigger a war between the U.S. and Russia, and they kidnap and torture Audrey in order to get their hands on it. No one Jack loves is ever safe.
24: Redemption (TV Movie)
Runtime: 102 minutes | November 2008
Due to the Writer’s Strike of 2007-2008, 24‘s seventh season was delayed over a year. To help bridge the gap, this two-hour TV movie was produced, serving up a stand-alone story with plots that would bridge over to Season 7. 24: Redemption found Jack caught up in a military coup in the (fictional) African nation of Sangalo. A rebel militia kidnaps a group of innocent children, forcing them to fight. Bauer’s in town doing missionary work and of course becomes involved in freeing the kids from the shadow organization hungry to abuse them. This movie marks the first appearance of Cherry Jones’s President(-elect) Allison Taylor.
24 Season 7
24 Episodes | January 2009 – May 2009
With CTU disbanded, Jack is approached by the FBI when the firewall for America’s federal computer infrastructure is breached by the same villains from Redemption. President Taylor has a rough day when corruption within her administration allows Sangalans to raid the White House and capture her. Toss in some nuclear weapons and the return of a presumed dead former ally and we’ve got a solid, better than average season after a lengthy two year wait.
24 Season 8
24 Episodes | January 2010 – May 2010
CTU is re-instated and Jack is enlisted to uncover a Russian plot to assassinate Omar Hassan, an Islamic leader meeting with President Taylor to discuss a peace negotiation. The Russian plan involves an engineered dirty bomb, which Islamic extremists threaten to detonate unless Hassan is handed over. Charles Logan is back to his old shenanigans, as he tries to convince Taylor to cover up these crimes to protect the peace agreement. Despite everything he’s sacrificed, Jack is seemingly at odds with almost every single government, including Russia and his own, as he questions his place in the world.
24: Live Another Day (Season 9?)
12 Episodes | May 2014 – July 2014
After disappearing once again, Jack is a fugitive in London trying to stop an assassination attempt on President James Heller by terrorist Margot Al-Harazi (Game of Throne’s Michelle Fairley). Jack also contends with an old enemy and a Russian diplomat who’s trying to spark beef between the U.S. and China. Live Another Day revived the series by paring the story down to 12 episodes (while still covering “a day”), giving us a taut, thrilling entry that harks back to the show’s heyday.
12 Episodes | February 2017 – April 2017
This spin-off starts anew with Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins), an ex-Army Ranger who’s targeted by terrorists after leading a mission to eliminate terrorist leader Sheik Ibrahim Bin-Khali. Carter and CTU are preventing a large-scale attack that’s in the works in retaliation for Bin-Khalid’s death. There’s no Bauer, so why should you care? You shouldn’t. It’s been cancelled.
What Are the Best 24 Episodes?
With its fluid real-time storytelling, this isn’t a show you jump into mid-season. Its cumulative effect is where it’s at, so choosing a season and committing to the ride is the best way to consume it. Pick anything in Seasons 1-5 and you’ll be a happy customer. Having said that, here’s a list of some of the best 24 episodes that delivered gut-punches to the system.
Season 1, Episode 24: “11:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.”
The finale of the debut season is juicy. Palmer’s marital drama with Sherry comes to a head, while we finally—finally!—find out who the mole was in CTU: Jack’s longtime friend and ally Nina Myers. Jack takes down the Drazens in an epic firefight and returns to CTU to confront Myers…but not before she takes down one of Jack’s closest ties. This episode was the first, but definitely not the last time Bauer suffered true loss and trauma.
Season 2, Episode 15: “Day 2: 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.”
CTU realizes that defusing the bomb is impossible and someone must fly it to the desert on a suicide mission. Our hero steps up to the plate after CTU Director George Mason offers, who unbeknownst to everyone is dying of cancer. Mason sneaks on board and convinces Jack to parachute to safety while he sacrifices himself. Palmer and Kim watch the explosion, believing Jack has died.
Season 3, Episode 5: “Day 3: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.”
Jack is in the middle of a prison riot while trying to escape with Ramon Salazar, a person of interest in the sale of the virus. The rioters play an intense game of Russian roulette as Jack (and the viewers) sweats it out. A prison guard dies during the game, and Jack and Ramon barely make it out alive.
Season 5, Episode 1: “Day 5: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.”
Explosions, assassinations, dead friends. 24‘s fifth season kickstarted with a dose of adrenaline that put Jack back in the game while we were still catching our breath from its face-melting open. It’s the best episode of the best season.
Season 5, Episode 12: “Day 5: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.”
Kim returns to CTU still thinking her dad is dead. The two are reunited just before nerve gas infiltrates CTU and kills nearly half of the staff, including Chloe’s friend Edgar Stiles who suffocates and dies right in front of her.
Season 7, Episode 1: “Day 7: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.”
Tony Aleida was presumed dead after the events of Season 5, but just minutes into the this premiere, not only was he alive, but he was the villainous puppet master pulling the strings.
Who Are the Actors in the 24 Cast?
This show has a slew of fan favorite characters made entirely possible by its able cast and dynamic writing.
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
Jack Bauer knows no boundaries. He’s killed, tortured and even shot junk into his veins in order to save his country. The role of Bauer is Sutherland’s finest work and will no doubt go down as his most important role ever.
Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brian
Although many of her CTU colleagues grew tired of Chloe’s snarky, socially aggressive personality, fans couldn’t get enough. Dark-hacker Chloe (Live Another Day) is something to revel in and Rajskub nailed every iteration of the character throughout the years. Rajskub is a stand-up comedian who got her start on shows like Mr. Show and The Larry Sanders Show, but she’s perhaps most known as Chloe.
Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida
Tony Almeida was both a fan favorite and a villain, and Bernard was able to navigate that change of role with ease, using the death of Tony’s family as his main motivator. Bernard can also be seen in shows like Dallas, The Inspectors and Supergirl.
Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer
Kim Bauer was the source of Jack’s heart and his primary motivation even when he had little to live for. Kim’s storylines were shaky at times, but it was no fault of Cuthbert’s. Having Kim work at CTU in Season 3 was a step in the right direction. Cuthbert is known for many teen comedies, but don’t miss her in the gone-too-soon rom-com Happy Endings.
Kim Raver as Audrey Raines
Audrey is the perfect example of how Jack can’t have nice things. Since meeting Jack, Audrey’s life was turned upside down and not for the better. Raver is also known for Grey’s Anatomy and Ray Donovan, but recently reunited with Sutherland after she joined Designated Survivor.
Annie Wersching as Renee Walker
Renee Walker was another doomed love interest for our hero. Wersching was a great counterpart to Sutherland’s erratic energy and controversial, off-book methodology, making the Bauer-Walker combo fun to dissect. Wersching can currently be seen in Marvel’s Runaways and Timeless.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on 24?
Thanks to a revolving door of CTU agents, some big stars that have appeared alongside Jack. Here’s a list of the most important 24 guest stars:
Dennis Hopper as Victor Drazen
24 made a huge splash with its Season 1 villain—the two-time Oscar nominee Dennis Hopper. Hopper’s take on the Serbian military leader was ice cold, the perfect counterpart to Bauer’s heroic nationalism. Hopper had experience playing the bad guy—just look at Blue Velvet and Speed for examples.
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Dina Araz
Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo played a suburban mom and member of a sleeper terrorist cell in Season 4. Her love for her son, Behrooz, threw her loyalties into disarray, which ultimately led to her demise. Aghdashloo can most recently be seen in The Expanse and The Punisher.
Jon Voight as Jonas Hodges
Vought appeared in the TV movie as well as Season 7 as Jonas Hodges, a CEO of a private military company that supplied African warlord General Juma with weaponry. Voight recently starred as Mickey Donovan in Showtime’s Ray Donovan.
Janeane Garafolo as Janis Gold
Rajskub wasn’t the only comedian to serve side eye from behind a government desk. Janeane Garafolo starred as Janis Gold, an analyst from the FBI Field Office in Season 7. Janis played the stereotypical computer nerd who didn’t trust Bauer at all, but later put everything on the line in order to help him. Every season had one. Since then, Garafolo rejoined David Wain for both Wet Hot American Summer series for Netflix.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind 24?
The seeds of 24 were planted when two producers met to discuss an espionage show that operated on a 24-hour clock. They predicted it would be too hard, but after an in-depth conversation at a Los Angeles IHOP, the bones of the show started to grow.
Joel Surnow: 24 Executive Producer, Co-creator and Writer
Surnow pitched the idea to a producer friend of his and quickly, the challenging real-time format seemed more and more plausible. Surnow is also the Co-creator and Producer of La Femme Nikita, which ran from 1997-2001.
Robert Cochrane: 24 Producer, Co-creator and Writer
Cochrane co-created the series with Surnow, and also worked on La Femme Nikita. Cochrane returned to the series, producing and writing for Live Another Day and Legacy.
Howard Gordon: 24 Executive Producer, Showrunner and Writer
Gordon wrote for early seasons of the show before taking a break and returning as showrunner. Earlier in his career, Gordon worked on genre shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files. He’s also the co-creater and producer of Homeland, a show that’s often compared to 24.
Where 24 Ranks in the Television Pantheon
In it’s original form, 24 was a needle-pushing show that reflected Americans’ fears back at us. It’s one of the best action shows of our time, bolstered by Sutherland’s strong performance and Jack Bauer’s strict moral code and self-destruction. While it’s far from flawless, 24 could be turned into a drinking game to help you through the low points (Google that). It did fall victim to tropes and stereotypes in its later years, plus its unfair portrayal of Muslims as terrorists seems pretty un-woke by today’s standards. Despite Season 6’s floundering, the show consistently fared well in ratings and was regularly nominated for Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG awards. Thanks to its soapy dramas and high-speed crises, 24 was gripping, edgy, must-see television.