In 2001, Fox wowed the world with the inaugural season of action-drama series “24”, starring actor Kiefer Sutherland. He played the role of Jack Bauer, a federal agent of the Counter-Terrorist Unit (CTU) agency. For several seasons Bauer, finds himself juggling between duty and personal life when complex terror threats are leveled against the US within the tense period of one day, divided into 24 hours counted as episodes. The series was a hit worldwide, codifying Sutherland’s Bauer as an agent archetype who beats terror suspects during interrogations while yelling “Who are you working for!” How did a man like Jack Bauer become like that? We may soon find out.
Entertainment Weekly has it that Fox is bouncing ideas around for a new “24” series. Unlike the 2014 limited series that served as a distant sequel, this show is being developed as a prequel set in the past featuring a Jack Bauer that is yet to cement his reputation to viewers as one of the greatest antihero characters in recent fiction. The original creators and show-runners of “24”, Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran, are looking to conceptualize new stories about Bauer with input from the franchise’s executive producer Howard Gordon.
This story is not anything new. Fox chair and CEO Dana Walden once remarked in 2017 that the network is interested in making new installments of the “24” franchise. While constantly following the same core group of characters for 9 seasons and a TV movie, an anthology storytelling format has been put forth as an alternative. This was already attempted in “24: Legacy”, which aired on Fox in 2017 but was cancelled with only 12 episodes. Its lead, Corey Hawkins who plays a new main character, was eventually released by Walden from commitment to future additions to the “24” franchise.
Despite the short run of the most recent “24” series, Dana Walden insists that the network had nothing but good feelings for most of “Legacy”. It was a hard decision to make, whether to bring it back or not,” she noted. “We let Corey out of his obligation so he could do his Broadway play.” “24: Legacy” only managed 6.08 million viewers on average for its 12 episodes, and scored only 1.6 in rating for adult viewers aged 18 to 49. Kiefer Sutherland had insisted on not appearing there as Jack Bauer, though he did serve as an executive producer.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons