Criminal Minds executive producer Erica Messer knew very early this season that she wanted to do something out of the ordinary for the season finale.
Finale Preview: Get scoop on 39 must-watch season-enders
"I wanted to ground it with our team and I wanted to end with the idea that good things happen to good people," Messer tells TVGuide.com. "Our team puts up with all this crap from horrible people all year long, so let's actually celebrate them. We see so many bad images all season long, can't we just have our heroes be happy and smiling and dancing? We knew early on there would be a wedding at the end, not an SUV explosion [like in the Season 3 finale]."
Question: Do you think the powers that be at Fox would ever consider giving Jayne Atkinson and James Morrison a 24 spin-off series? Bill Buchanan and Karen Hayes really need to be in the same room before the end of the day. My friends keep saying it's too early for me to start obsessing over this, but if it's going to take her four to five episodes to get to L.A., she needs to get those airplane tickets soon. (PS. You look a lot like my international relations teacher.)
Answer: This question came in before last week's twist, in which Karen was forced to resign and requested to be flown, via military transport, back to CTU. Part of Bel's wish has been granted: a Karen-and-Bill reunion. But a spin-off? Not likely. Characters like these are lucky to make it from season to season, and carrying their own show would truly be too much to ask. And what would you call a 24 spin-off anyway? "12"? "48"? Not a good idea. (And is looking like your teacher a good thing? I almost fear asking. ...
Question: Any 24 scoops before it returns in January?
Answer: You probably heard that Broadway vet Jayne Atkinson has replaced Roseanne's Laurie Metcalf in the role of Homeland Security official Karen Hayes, who is sent to CTU to clean up a "situation." I hear Metcalfe wasn't coming off "forceful" enough in the dailies.
With Season 5 now less than a month away, Fox's 24 has announced two more hires: Two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Atkinson will fill the role of Homeland Security official Karen Hayes, while Tony winner Stephen Spinella will play her subordinate, Miles. These additions, mind you, are in addition to Connie Britton as Jack's new honey, Sean Astin as a CTUer, Julian Sands as a baddie named Bierko, Jean Smart as President Doofball Logan's wife, and Peter Weller and JoBeth Williams as a federal agent and his wife. These new folks are so gonna steal time from my "Chloedgar" romance, aren't they?