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'24' may arrive on mobile phone
Next year, Verizon Wireless customers might see the Fox TV show "24" in a new way.
"24: Conspiracy" will be 24 one-minute episodes with a link to the award-winning thriller series about counterterrorism expert Jack Bauer and the federal Counter Terrorism Unit.
While negotiations are under way to bring "24: Conspiracy" stateside, Vodafone customers in the United Kingdom will watch the mobile series make its debut Jan. 30, which coincides with the launch date of the television series' fourth season.
For the cell phone version, Keifer Sutherland will not reprise his starring role. In fact, "24: Conspiracy" will feature new characters and a cliffhanger story line that wraps up in the 24th episode.
"24" is the first big-name series to license a mobile version. Carriers will be watching closely, envisioning a world where cell phone users regularly pay to watch snippets of entertainment, in addition to playing games, browsing the Internet, typing messages to friends, buying products and making calls.
Because of mobile devices' smaller screens and wireless networks' current inability to send the large amounts of data required for smooth TV viewing, mobile series have to be made differently from TV shows. Usually, the action is static, there's heavy reliance on dialogue, and episodes are long enough to hold viewers' attention but short enough to make viewing comfortable.