TOKYO (Hollywood Reporter) - Broadcast of the final season of “24” has been pulled by Tokyo TV because the plot featuring radiation has been deemed inappropriate in light of the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Dai-Ichivnuclear power plant.
“With the many victims of the current disaster in Japan, and ongoing concerns about radiation leaks from the nuclear power station, TV Tokyo has decided not to show the planned final season and show season five instead,” a TV Tokyo spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
The magnitude 9 earthquake that struck off Japan’s northeast coast on March 11, the fourth most powerful ever recorded, and the ensuing tsunami, has killed as many as 28,000 people and left many more homeless.
The tsunami also destroyed the cooling systems at four of the reactors at the Fukushima plant, leaving workers battling to control the heat of the fuel rods in the facility. The situation remains unstable and radiation has found its way into underground water sources, foodstuffs and nearby soil. Although radiation levels in Tokyo are currently showing normal readings, there are continuing fears that more serious leaks could occur.
Tokyo TV bought the rights to the “24” finale after the first seven seasons were shown on Fuji TV, Japan’s biggest net.
“24” began its run in Japan on cable TV and became a big hit, with Kiefer Sutherland appearing in commercials for an energy bar, as Jack Bauer. Viewing figures have dropped off for later seasons.
Editing by Zorianna Kit