(CNN)The Sept. 11 panic attacks that rippled done US nine and civilization 20 years agone besides disrupted the autumn TV play that was astir to begin. While each of tv pondered however to respond, those events peculiarly impacted a trio of caller dramas with anti-terrorism and espionage themes: "24," "Alias" and "The Agency," resulting successful last-minute scrambling and changes.
Two decades later, it's wide aboriginal predictions that the trauma from specified coercion connected US ungraded would change fashionable amusement turned retired to beryllium wrong. If anything, "24" demonstrated however the 2 would coexist, with Kiefer Sutherland's counterterrorism cause Jack Bauer battling connected done the decade, becoming a short-hand awesome for the warfare against terror, adjacent referenced successful the statement implicit nationalist tolerance for torture successful "ticking-clock" scenarios.
Before that, however, the producers had to edit a series successful the opening occurrence that progressive a violent blowing up an airplane. The aviator for CBS' CIA play "The Agency" -- which made a notation to Osama bin Laden and progressive a panic crippled to stroke up a section store successful London -- was besides delayed, and rescheduled for aboriginal successful the season.
"Alias" turned Jennifer Garner into a prima (and introduced viewers to Bradley Cooper) arsenic a super-spy successful a much fanciful bid that ran for 5 years connected ABC. It was much a pistillate James Bond motif than the others, but nevertheless coiled up lumped successful with them discussing whether programmers were prescient oregon had truly atrocious timing.
As the Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes wrote 12 days aft the attacks, the destiny of each 3 shows appeared uncertain astatine first: "Upon reflection, however, web executives began to anticipation that these shows were a lawsuit of being successful precisely the close spot astatine precisely the close time. Remember, World War II movies were precise fashionable during World War II."
Although "The Agency" was canceled aft 2 seasons, "24" became a large hit, 1 invoked by politicians and pundits to buttress their arguments astir the request for Jack Bauer-like enactment successful effect to the menace of terrorism.
The representation lingered. In a peculiarly dubious editorial, the New Hampshire Union Leader reacted to the 2014 US Senate Select Committee connected Itelligence report connected the CIA's usage of torture by asking, "What would Jack Bauer marque of these wusses?"
At the aforesaid time, governmental columnist Matt Bai wrote astir the "'24' effect," noting that to the fictional Bauer, "the operative doctrine was simple: 'Stop terrorists, by immoderate means necessary.'" As for the power connected argumentation makers, Bai noted, if thing other politicians had to announcement the show's popularity, and "no substance however assiduous you are astir separating creation from reality, quality quality says you wouldn't privation to look successful the reflector and spot 1 of the spineless bosses astatine CTU."
Despite interest astir whether TV viewers could instrumentality to specified shows arsenic a signifier of escapism, they yet did. A decennary aft the attacks, Associated Press professional Frazier Moore noted, "Soon enough, the travel of TV programming, including scripted play and drama with each of their distractions and excesses, defiantly resumed with the remainder of regular life."
It's worthy noting "24," "The Agency" and "Alias" made their debut earlier determination were streaming services, backmost erstwhile the 4 large broadcast networks -- portion feeling unit from cablegram --accounted for overmuch larger proportionality of wide TV viewing.
Audience-wise, those networks are a shadiness of what they were successful 2001, but their existent lineups underscore however the genre bounced back. CBS, for example, volition motorboat the caller TV season with 3 editions of "FBI" and a revival of "CSI," 1 of the transgression procedurals to which millions turned each week aft the attacks.
At the time, networks liked to qualify specified programming arsenic "comfort food." While the packaging has evolved, successful immoderate respects, overmuch of the paper remains the same.