Last night was a complete success for the Fox network despite the Golden Globe Awards that were airing on NBC. Sunday marked the premiere of  season 8 of “24” as well as a preview of the upcoming action drama, “Human Target.“  After plenty of heavy promotion last week, the Kiefer Sutherland led show returned with solid numbers considering its competition. How does “24″ stay so strong?

Sunday was filled with obstacles that would have easily taken out any other TV show, but not Jack Bauer and his “24″ crew. The premiere brought in an estimated 11.5 million viewers despite the Golden Globes, and NFL Football playing earlier in the day, as well as new episodes of “Cold Case” and “60 Minutes.” Overall, Fox came in third with viewers after CBS and NBC.

Usually when a show passes their fourth or fifth season their ratings start to show a decline, but “24″ has a very strong fan base. These numbers might undoubtedly change in the coming weeks when the football season wraps and its back to your regularly scheduled programming.

How does Jack Bauer do it? How does he stay fresh and relevant in a society where TV superheroes don’t really exist? He’s one of the few characters that echo old school vigilantes, who play by their own rules to seek out justice. The show’s executive producer Brad Turner recently gave his take on why he thinks “24″ and Jack Bauer have stayed successful for so long.

“He’s not Spider-Man. Spider-Man can really do anything. But he’s kind of Spider-Man the bus driver, but he never puts his suit on. He’s so accessible and I think it’s why people really relate to his character. And he is great because I’ve seen him protect that character like I’ve never seen an actor protect a character.

If we aren’t doing the right thing for (Jack), he will correct us and that’s a great thing. He’s now a person that you can actually believe that exists and live down the street from you. I think the first episode of (season eight) really exemplifies that more than anything because he’s just a grandpa. He’s not a superhero, he’s just a grandpa.”

I agree 100 percent with this notion. Sutherland loves this character and puts Jack’s needs before his own. Some actors might do things for the best interest of themselves but he wants what’s best for Jack.

Why do you think “24″ has remained so successful? Why do you still watch the show?

Source: MSNBC