The Bauers (or 24: The Sitcom)

(Theme song)

He’s a guy who works for CTU, and he’s always in control!
(That’s Jack!)
She’s a gal who works for DOD, and she may have been a mole!
(That’s Audrey!)
They settled down and had a few kids of their own,
They’re bringing homeland defense into the home,
They still take care of Kim, even though she’s grown —
‘Cause they’re The Bauers!

JACK: (voice over) The following takes place before a live studio audience.

(We open on the two adorable Bauer daughters, BRIANNA, 10 and TAYLOR, 6, playing on the living room floor.)

BRIANNA: OK, you be the terrorist suspect, and I’ll be the CTU agent!
TAYLOR: You ALWAYS get to be the CTU agent! I wanna be the agent!
BRIANNA: I’m the agent. You can be Chloe if you want.
TAYLOR: I don’t know how to make my face like Chloe’s.
BRIANNA: Just pretend you smelled a fart.

(KIM pokes her head in the front door.)

KIM: I can help with that! (farts; audience applauds her appearance)


(KIM enters the room. She has a bear trap attached to one leg.)

KIM: Guys, have you seen dad? I’m stuck in a bear trap again.
BRIANNA: He’s in the kitchen.
JACK: (yelling from offstage) WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?! WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?!
KIM: Is he interrogating a suspect?
TAYLOR: No, a telemarketer.

(JACK enters, still on the phone. Audience applauds.)

JACK: Let’s get one thing clear. The only reason you’re still alive is that I don’t know how to kill you through the phone — but don’t think I’m not working on it! Put my number on your Do Not Call list, or I’ll send your coordinates to my tactical team. (hangs up) Hey, sweetie. Another bear trap?
KIM: (sheepishly) Yeah….
JACK: What have I told you about following trails of M&Ms that you find in the woods?
KIM: (reciting) Don’t follow the trails of M&Ms that I find in the woods, because they probably lead to a bear trap.
JACK: That’s right, honey.
KIM: But I thought –!
JACK: (as he removes the trap) One more bear trap and you’re going to lose this foot, the way Chase lost his hand and that other boyfriend lost his leg.
BRIANNA: (piping up) “Go out with Kim, lose a limb!”
JACK: Oh, you!

(AUDREY enters through the front door. Audience applauds.)

AUDREY: Hi, honey! Hi, kids!

(All greet her warmly.)

JACK: How was your day?
AUDREY: Pretty good. The Department of Defense gave me a new assignment.
JACK: Oh? What is it?
AUDREY: They want me to stand around being blond and pretty, to occasionally burst into tears, and to get injured now and then so someone can rescue me.
JACK: That’s wonderful, honey!
KIM: Do they have any openings?

(The phone rings. JACK answers it while KIM and AUDREY talk.)

AUDREY: Do you have a date tonight, Kim?
KIM: Yeah, I met this nice guy in an alley who said he wants to show me his bomb shelter.
AUDREY: That’s wonderful! He sounds terrific.

(JACK hangs up the phone and returns to the conversation.)

JACK: I’ve just received some alarming intel from a reliable source.
AUDREY: What is it?
JACK: Brianna has been misbehaving in class!
BRIANNA: What? That’s not true!
JACK: I just spoke with your teacher, Mrs. Cantrell. She says you were passing notes, and that when she caught you, you sassed her!
BRIANNA: Never! This is a set-up!
JACK: (swinging into action) Audrey, get me my tools! Kim, prepare the interrogation room!
KIM: You mean the kitchen?

(Everyone gets moving. JACK transports young BRIANNA into the kitchen, where he plops her down into a chair as AUDREY and KIM look on.)

BRIANNA: I wasn’t sassy to my teacher! I swear!
JACK: (holds up a carton of ice cream) See this ice cream? Do you want some of this ice cream for dessert tonight?
JACK: Well, you’re not going to get any! Not unless you tell me what you know!
BRIANNA: I don’t know anything!
JACK: No ice cream for you! (he throws it in the wastebasket)
AUDREY: Jack, maybe we should talk to her teacher some more, find out more details.
JACK: Dammit, that’s not the right move!
KIM: Someone help….

(She has gotten her head stuck in the ice cream carton.)

JACK: Audrey, help Kim. I’ve got to keep working on the sass-mouth situation!
AUDREY: Couldn’t you just —

(AUDREY helps KIM get the ice cream carton off her head.)

JACK: Now Brianna, this is your last chance to tell me what you know before I cut you off from dinner, too!
BRIANNA: Mrs. Cantrell caught me passing a note — but the intel I was passing was highly sensitive! If Mrs. Cantrell had read it, it would have jeopardized family security!
JACK: So you sassed her?
BRIANNA: I told her she didn’t have clearance to read the note.
JACK: What did the note say?
BRIANNA: I was telling my friend Kaitlin that Mom is going to buy Mrs. Cantrell a bouquet of flowers for her birthday next week.
AUDREY: She’s right, Jack. I am. I thought it would be a nice gesture. She’s Brianna’s favorite teacher.
BRIANNA: And if she read the note, it would ruin the surprise!
JACK: So you couldn’t let her read it.
JACK: You followed protocol, sweetheart. I’m proud of you. I’ll do a background check on Mrs. Cantrell and then explain that it was all a misunderstanding.
BRIANNA: Thanks, Dad! You’re the best!


KIM: Um, can someone help me out here?

(She has a bear trap on her leg.)

JACK: Kim Bauer, you are un-bear-able!

(All laugh. Then: The bear trap explodes, killing KIM and sending shrapnel and smoke everywhere. The clock ticks: 8:29:57, 8:29:58, 8:29:59, 8:30:00)

Once "a sitcom version of '24'" occurs to you, the script pretty much writes itself. I toyed with a few additional ideas -- like having the ghost of Nina Meyers inhabit the Bauers' house as a pesky poltergeist -- but I didn't want the story to become too cluttered. There were going to be six or seven children, too, before I realized I barely had enough for two (besides Kim) to do.

As always, if you don't watch "24," take my word for it. This column is hilarious.