The mind behind the twisting plots of television phenomenon "24," Joel Surnow is an Emmy award-winning writer and producer. He got his start in Hollywood, writing single episodes for a variety of television series. In 1985 he began writing and producing the show "The Equalizer," about a private detective. Specializing in crime and thrillers, he wrote nine episodes of "Miami Vice," combining glitz and grit. He continued to write and produce a number of series, including the popular "The Commish," about a police commissioner trying to balance work and family life, starring Michael Chiklis. In 2001, Surnow collaborated with Robert Cochran to create "24," an innovative approach to the thriller format, leaving the audience in an unending cliff hanger: each episode takes place during a single, action-packed hour of a day. "24" has been nominated for six Emmys and is the winner of two. A supporter of the Republican party, Surnow produced the unsuccessful "Daily Show" knockoff "The 1/2 Hour News Hour" on Fox in 2007.