I did a double take earlier today when my Twitter feed revealed that Kiefer Sutherland will be back. No, not in “Touch,” which was canceled by Fox (after, duh, it ended up in the Friday Night Death Slot), but in “24.” Yep, you read that right. “24” is coming back to our TV screens.
In a little different form, though. Fox will air 12 — count ’em, 12 — episodes of a series called “24: Live Another Day” as part of its new directive to air summer programming in order to tie together the regular seasons. A miniseries from M. Night Shyamalan called “Wayward Pines” will air after the run of “24.”
Of course, we’ve all been wondering if there would be a “24” movie, but as Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly told us earlier today, “they all agreed ’24’ being compressed in two hours is not ’24’ … A light bulb went off with (former Executive Producer) Howard Gordon. The spine of the 24 episodes is about 12 hours. Those were big events that occurred and little connective tissue in between.”
So, the upcoming version, which will, of course, star Kiefer Sutherland, will jump around during a single day of Jack Bauer’s action-packed life. And apparently, it could feature some big stars. “A lot of who’s who in Hollywood wanted to participate in this,” Reilly said. No doubt.
Added Imagine Television Chairman Brian Grazer, “I’m both excited and proud that Howard, Kiefer, and I, along with ours partners at 20th and Fox, have this new opportunity to give ‘24’ fans what they’ve been asking for – more Jack Bauer. It’s been my experience that people love Jack Bauer because he’s a guy who cuts through the red tape and gets the hardest things done. I am certain ’24: Live Another Day’ will again have a huge impact on our culture.”
“The response to ‘24’ is unlike anything I have ever experienced as an actor before,” noted Sutherland. “To have the chance to reunite with the character, Jack Bauer, is like finding a lost friend. The story ideas from Howard Gordon are exciting and fresh, and will not disappoint. Great thanks to 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and the FOX network for this opportunity. Make no mistake, my goal is to knock your socks off. See you soon.”
Though Reilly doesn’t envision ’24’ becoming a regular series again (we’ll see what the fans have to say about that), he won’t rule out its “franchise-ability.” Hmmm … what’s it all mean?
Any thoughts on this? Does it seem like too little to keep “24” fans happy? And should they re-name the series “12”?
Here’s a little refresher from season two involving Nina Myers: