24 Pearl, 10.30pm This unique series covers a 24-hour period, from midnight to midnight, with each episode revealing one hour in the lives of the characters, told in real time. The action centres on Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), a former CIA field operative now stuck in a desk job, his wife Teri (Leslie Hope) and daughter Kimberley (Elisha Cuthbert, above left with Hope and Sutherland) and Bauer's colleagues Nina (Sarah Clarke), Tony (Carlos Bernard) and Jamey (Karina Arroyave). Bauer is head of the United States government's Counter Terrorism Unit based in Los Angeles, which uncovers a plot to assassinate David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), an African-American senator who has aspirations for the Oval Office. Meanwhile, Bauer's strained marriage is pushed to the brink by the sudden disappearance of their troubled teenage daughter. Through the use of hand-held cameras and window-within-window simultaneous action, 24 makes compelling viewing. It's a long day, but well worth the effort. Journeys To The Ends Of The Earth Pearl, 9.30pm Two thousand years ago, Libya was home to the richest cities in Africa as command bases for the Greek and Roman empires whose armies swept through the north of the continent. David Adams (above) embarks on a desert adventure to discover a little-known land of ancient cities and forbidding deserts. Nat Geo Max: Africa Extreme National Geographic, 9pm Wildlife Conservation Society ecologist, Dr Michael Fay (above), sets out to survey the biological diversity of an entire forest ecosystem. His journey, named the Megatransect, was inspired by a desire to conserve the central African forests he loves and takes the team on foot, from the flatlands of the northern Congo, across 2,000km of dense jungle and two nations, to the coast of Gabon. Team members find themselves braving raging rapids, deep sucking mud, malaria, impenetrable vegetation, stinging caterpillars, hepatitis, footworm and leeches.