Who is Joel Surnow?

Whatever It Takes: The politics of the man behind "24."

Jane Mayer, February 19, 2007
The New Yorker

The office desk of Joel Surnow-the co-creator and executive producer of "24," the popular counterterrorism drama on Fox-faces a wall dominated by an American flag in a glass case. A small label reveals that the flag once flew over Baghdad, after the American invasion of Iraq, in 2003. A few years ago, Surnow received it as a gift from an Army regiment stationed in Iraq; the soldiers had shared a collection of "24" DVDs, he told me, until it was destroyed by an enemy bomb. "The military loves our show," he said recently. Read More

'Kennedy' mini: View from the right: Joel Surnow takes on political family.


"24" co-creator Joel Surnow is taking on the Kennedy clan, penning a 10-hour miniseries about the political family. "The Kennedys," which Canadian distributor Muse Entertainment plans to shop this weekend at the MIP TV conference in Cannes, is sure to stir up controversy back here in the States. Surnow, who's politically active in conservative politics, is drawing up a longform that will "unveil secrets" about the liberal-minded family. Read More

Jack Bauer's Conservative Creator Lands Kennedy Mini

James Poniewozik Monday, December 14, 2009

Joel Surnow, the conservative half of the team that created and ran 24 for years, has found a home for the miniseries on the Kennedy family that he's been shopping this year: the History channel. The eight-hour (apparently down from ten) project will be History's first scripted miniseries. Will Surnow's politics slant his portrayal of Massachusetts' liberal dynasty? Well, History is producing it, which means there is no chance they will take liberties or sensationalize anything for the sake of ratings. Read More

'We're trafficking in fear'

John Patterson
Monday 22 January 2007
The Guardian

Critics have accused the new series of 24, which started last night, of promoting a rightwing agenda on tackling terrorism. Its co-creator tells John Patterson why he believes in scaring viewers - and torture. Read More