Fans of the hit TV drama 24 will have to wait until January of 2009 to see what happens to Jack Bauer. Even though eight episodes for this season were shot prior to the writers strike, producers would have had to speed up production to complete the season.

Airing the new episodes of the Kiefer Sutherland spy hit now would mean the season finale would not take place until the summer — when most TV networks rarely show their high profile programs.

"A January 2009 start seemed the best way to comply with viewers’ wishes that a season’s episodes run without interruption to conclusion," Fox said on Thursday.

The company that produces the series, 20th Century Fox, also confirmed that show creator Joel Surnow will be leaving as one of the executive producers.

Surnow told Daily Variety that he had "decided it was time to see if there were other opportunities I wanted to pursue."

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