Producer Surnow Leaves '24,' Tired Of Thinking Up Ways For Jack Bauer To Violate The Geneva Convention

· 24 co-creator/primetime-torture advocate Joel Surnow is leaving the series to follow his muse, having previously ceded day-to-day control of the show to fellow executive producer Howard Gordon. Surnow explains his decision to officially pass on Jack Bauer's interrogation-speeding belt-sander to his colleagues: "I've done seven years, almost eight years at the same place with the same great group of people. During the strike I started thinking about different things I'd like to do independently, and decided it was time to see if there were other opportunities I wanted to pursue." [Variety]
· Hoping to pressure SAG leaders into opening negotiations with the studios long before the June 30th expiration of their contract, "several top stars" may launch a public campaign in hopes of preempting a second industry-crippling work stoppage, possibly in the form of a series of "Don't Be Fucking Crazy. No One Wants Another Strike For At Least Three Years" ads in the trades featuring actors like George Clooney, Ben Affleck and Teri Hatcher hugging moguls such as Peter Chernin and Les Moonves. [Variety]

· Re-teaming alert! Jim Jarmusch will reunite his Broken Flowers co-stars Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton in The Limits of Control, a thriller/road movie about a "mysterious loner" up to no good. [THR]
· Jericho finally returns from hiatus, but to ratings close to those that earned it the short-lived cancellation that inspired outraged fans to bury short-sighted CBS executives in several tons of peanuts. Meanwhile, American Idol's two-hour Back to Hollywood episode put up the series' best numbers since its premiere. [THR]
· A cheerily delusional FCC chairman Kevin Martin tells the House of Representatives that he expects the coming transition from analog to digital television will be a smooth one, dismissing fears of nationwide riots induced by the unexpected, simultaneous darkening of millions of TV sets as "somewhat unlikely." [Variety]