24 producer/director John Cassar exiting

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More so than most programs, Fox's 24 owes its fingerprint to its collection of incredibly talented producers, who bend and shape the show to their liking because they also happen to be huge fans of 24. So it's unfortunate news for 24 faithful that producer John Cassar is leaving the show at the end of the season.

Cassar is a major creative force on 24, not only producing almost 150 of its episodes, but also directing 50. But after Cassar and execs couldn't come to terms on a new contract, Cassar decided to leave the show, reports EW.com.

"I will not be involved with the upcoming eighth season," Cassar told EW. "Although that's sad for me to leave after six years, it's also very exciting to be back in the marketplace working with different people and facing different challenges."

Cassar has already found his next gig. Last week, he was announced as the director for the upcoming CBS drama pilot Washington Field from Criminal Minds mastermind Ed Bernero.

One of my fondest memories of going to ComicCon International over the past few years was watching the producers of 24, Cassar included, discuss the show with fans. They seemed to be having the time of their lives, and it was blatantly obvious that their chemistry was essential to the show's success. Let's hope Cassar's exit doesn't affect the show too much.

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