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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Michael Wincott, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Giles Matthey, Benjamin Bratt, Yvonne Strahovski, Gbenge Akinnagbe, Kiefer Sutherland, William Devane, Kim Raver and Tate Donovan star in "24: Live Another Day." Greg Williams | Courtesy FOX
Monday on TV: '24' is still crazy — and fun to watch

Yes, it's true. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is back and trying to save the world once again in 24: Live Another Day (7 and 8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13).

I've seen the first couple of hours, and I don't want to give away too much. Jack has been in hiding for four years, and he surfaces with a couple of very specific things in mind. First, save an old friend. And, second, save the president of the United States.

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This ninth season of "24" is half as long as the first eight - 12 episodes instead of 24. Each hour will still be in real time (or a reasonable facsimile of real time), and we're going to jump over 12 hours one or two at a time.

This could be a good thing for a couple of reasons. First, Jack will have time to (finally) go to the bathroom. And I'm hoping 12 hours will keep the writers more focused on the main stories and eliminate much of the extraneous, crazy stuff that happens.

Don't get me wrong. Even in these first two hours, "24" is crazy. This is a show that has always required that you suspend disbelief in a big way, and that hasn't changed.

That said ... I had fun watching the first two hours.

Elsewhere on TV ...

NBA playoffs: Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers (5 p.m., TNT); L.A. Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder (7:30 p.m., TNT)

Stanley Cup playoffs: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Ranger (7:30 p.m., NBCSN); Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks (8 p.m., NBCSN)

Two Broke Girls (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Max earns her high-school diploma and reconnects with her estranged mother. (Season finale)

Dancing with the Stars (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Another pair is eliminated.

The Voice (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): The top eight contestants perform..

Star Crossed (7 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): The Trags are building a bomb.

Warehouse 13 (7 and 9 p.m., Syfy): Pete, Myka and Artie get trapped inside a telenovela.

Friends with Better Lives (7:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): A guys' night gets out of hand.

Mike & Molly (8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Mike and Carl arrest Molly's literary idol for DUI.

The Tomorrow People (8 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): Stephen tries to prevent the extermination of humanity. (Season finale)

Castle (9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Beckett conducts a secret investigation linked to her mother's homicide.

The Blacklist (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Liz crefuses to work with Red after she learns the truth about her father's death. (Part 1 of 2)

Bates Motel (11 p.m., A&E): Norman is haunted by his past.

Louie (11 and 11:30 p.m., FX): In the fourth-season premiere, Louie has a typical day; Louie performs at a benefit.



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