Amy Ryan
April 30, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT

The greatest threat Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland, pictured) has ever faced may be viewer ennui. According to the Los Angeles Times, 24‘s producers are feeling the sting of criticism and defection of viewers over the ho-hum plot twists of Day 6 (count me among those fans not feeling this season, especially in contrast to the gripping Day 5), and they’re promising big changes next year. “This year could be seen to be the last iteration of it in its current state,” writer/executive producer Howard Gordon says ominously.

How radical will next season’s changes be? Maybe not that radical; “It won’t be a musical or a half-hour,” Gordon tells the Times. Also, Jack won’t be undergoing any major career changes; as Gordon puts it, Bauer “won’t be flipping burgers.”

addCredit(“24: Kelsey McNeal”)

Actually, I’d kind of like to see Jack flipping burgers. “You have fiveseconds to tell me the secret sauce recipe, or I’m going to put yourface in the fryolator.” Seriously, Gordon & Co. need to dosomething different, not just because longtime fans are finding 24‘scurrent storytelling predictable and stale, but also because (as thearticle notes) it’s not 2002 anymore, and American viewers areincreasingly skeptical of 24‘s terror-threat scenarios, just asthey are of the government’s efforts to sell a real-life War on Terror.So let’s have it, PopWatchers? What challenges should Jack Bauer faceon Day 7? What would 24 have to do to become must-watch Monday-night viewing again?

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