24 Might Return to TV, FOX in talks with Kiefer Sutherland for limited series

Jack Bauer 24 Season 5 Premiere Promo Pic


The clock may start ticking again on Fox. I’ve learned that the network is looking to bring back signature real-time drama 24 as a limited series. Kiefer Sutherland is in early talks to reprise his Emmy-winning role as Agent Jack Bauer. No deals are in place, but Fox is eying 24 as part of its recent push in limited event series.

Since 24 ended its eight-season run on Fox in 2010, there has been an effort to continue the story as a feature, which ultimately didn’t take off. I hear the idea to do another 24 chapter on TV came from longtime 24 showrunner Howard Gordon, now executive producer on Homeland. I hear he pitched the plan, which would start from scratch with a new story arc, to 24 producers 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Imagine TV as well as Fox, which all jumped on board. Gordon will likely executive produce through his 20th TV-based company Teakwood Lane.

Source Deadline


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Well this came out of nowhere! Let’s hope it happens!!!!

Gerry Mander
May 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm
WHOA indeed! Well this is a helluva surprise if ever there were one… and a very welcome one at that if proved true!

Let’s be honest about it here, this is only happening because FOX are too damn cheap to stump up for the film – even though it has a finished script and a mere $45m budget requirement – that being said, if they can craft an awesome final story arc for Jack, with Jon Cassar directing, I’ll be the happiest camper out there and no mistake!

What exactly does ‘limited series’ mean anyway? Will we get six episodes, twelve episodes, thirteen episodes, what are we talking about here? Ah screw it, why don’t they just make one more final 24-episode season and just go bananas on it, plot the whole thing out in advance, bring back the team behind the series and make it one final bow for J.B. that’s one for the ages…

Either way, we’re FINALLY getting more ’24’ and who can complain about THAT…?

I would rather have a movie or straight to dvd then a limited series run but it’s better than nothing but it’s disappointing news that were not going too see Jack Bauer on the big screen.

May 10, 2013 at 12:30 am
I don’t know why the folks commenting on Deadline think this is great news, it bloody isn’t! This is the death knell for the 24 movie, pure and simple, and all because those cheapskates at Fox wouldn’t pony up for a big screen release, the cheap SOB scumbags! And just what the hell is a limited series while we’re at it, is it a full season made but with the understanding that it will be only one? And what is the line in the aforementioned Deadline article about a brand new story arc from scratch? Does that mean they’ll ignore the end of Season 8 or does that mean it wil be a brand new story that will merely follow on from Season 8 the way previous seasons followed on from their preceding seasons? So many questions, so little answers, I too wish they were shooting the movie script as a television movie ‘event’ like they did with Redemption in 2008, but I guess Fox just couldn’t care less about Jack Bauer anymore! Kudos to Howard Gordon for fighting the good fight and helping to bring 24 back in some form, but screw Fox for pushing us down this route to begin with… bastards!

Just in case anyone doesn’t know or hasn’t heard Fox won’t confirm this until monday. But sooooooo excited this is awesome!

I don’t see why it matters honestly Kiefer’s in talks to return you have Howard Gordon involved imagine/fox David fury… Why people don’t find this as good news. yeah its a mini series it sounds like. But we have just about the same people involved…. I hope it happens I want to see Jack! Be happy guys that there considering this.

Exciting news; I have mixed feelings about this, but given that The Following messed up creatively, I’d rather see a revived 24 than nothing at all. Could be pretty good.

For anyone who is curious about what “Limited Series” means, David Fury posted on his Twitter feed that he’s involved. Someone asked him about the episode count, he said it’s 12.

Gerry, that’s exactly what I came here to say.

Fuck “limited”. If by “limited” they mean one final season, then fuck yea.

It needs to be a full season. PLEASE, FOX, SUTHERLAND, GORDON, CASSAR, WHOEVER, please just make one final full season.

Instead of lame short stories (feature films) just tell that story in one final day.

Sorry to comment again here so soon everyone, but I’ve been ‘checking’ (and let’s just leave it at that) around on this story, and David Fury’s confirmation of a 12-episode arc may indeed be true, but that’s not all, I may be proved completely wrong on this, and please don’t shoot the messenger if I am, but what I’m hearing from some is that it may be twelve FEATURE-LENGTH episodes not twelve 43-minute ones!

This would be simply awesome if it proves to be the case – and I’m taking it with a pinch of salt until confirmed by FOX – this would give the show a whole new dynamic to work with; we would see each episode play out in a two-hour period as opposed to just one, meaning less need for a cliffhanger every 43 minutes and more time to let the story breathe and play out in a more natural way, and still retain the 24-hour time frame for the larger story arc.

I’d still have much rather seen the big-screen theatrical movie, but consider me stoked no end for this… I sense a ’24’ marathon coming on, break out the DVD’s, the beers are on me everyone, just flush the toilet after you use it!

Northern Star
May 10, 2013 at 2:51 am
This is certainly exciting news but isn’t ’24’ a little too long in the tooth to come back? The first five seasons were bona fide television gold whilst the latter three seasons were so-so to pretty good overall, and the dividing line between that shift in overall quality was clearly Howard Gordon taking over showrunning duties from Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran from Season 6 onwards. To be frank, I would rather Surnow and Cochran had retained control of the show, they had ended it with Season 6 (only much, much better), and made the big-screen movie right on it’s heels immediately afterwards, with a likely summer 2008 release, to wrap up the story whilst still on a creative and commercial high. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll await this with baited breath annd I’ll no doubt enjoy every last minute of it, but it’s really starting to feel a little stretched out now, as the old screenwriting idiom goes; “enter the scene as late as possible and exit the scene as early as possible”, I just wish ’24’ had followed this advice.

I hope it will happen because I miss the tv show 24 and Kiefe Sutherland as jack

Gerry, that is what I’m really hoping for. I don’t care how long an “episode” is, just that its basically real-time (24 hours/one day).

I never saw the regular episodes as a problem. The supposed “cliffhangers” can really just be heightened music or a reveal to the audience (not necessarily something really big happening).

But feature-length 2-hour episodes (90 minutes to be more approximate) are better in that way of keeping you in the story for a longer period of time.

But that’s why I started waiting for the season to end (after watching the first 4 seasons live) before watching it. It’s so much better when you are actually “living” the day (at least in 6 or 8 hour increments). I usually like to watch up to a really big cliffhanger that will leave me wondering what could possibly happen next and then wait till the next day to resume so that I have a full day to ponder what might be.

I’m reminded of Day 2 when we’d wait all week to wonder and theorize about what will happen and what its all about. Sometimes a few weeks. It was the greatest season of television I’ve ever had the pleasure of being thrilled by. I’ll never forget Season 2, the season that all other seasons of 24 were basically modeled after.

Anyway, I really hope its a full 24 hour season and not truncated. It would be the greatest to think 24 was over for these few years to have return in full force for one final day. I was never truly won over by the idea of 24 films. It’s too damn short. It just wouldn’t be right.

Though this could all just be a windup to a 24 film or three that would conclude the season. But I hope not.

People, please realize that just because its in a movie theater, and shortened to 2 hours for the idiot masses does not make it better. Television will always be superior to short theatrical films. I don’t care how big a budget is. 24 the series allows you to live and experience a full day with these characters.

One thing I’m worried about is the mention of it being a new story. I really hope that doesn’t mean that they will ignore the previous seasons. It needs to be a continuation like all the other seasons. I dread the idea they are dumb enough to think that people are dumb enough to forget what happened in 24 or that they need to attract “a new audience”. Just please don’t dumb it down; not one bit.


Over Moon,

There is no God.

From now on, you say: OH MY BAUER !!!!

In Jack we trust

Good call X. I will bow to Jack Bauer every chance I get. In regards to what the “12 episode count” actually means, spoken by David Fury, I suspect it is most likely 12 hours worth of broadcast time because “event television” is characterized as this.

I honestly think this would be an incredible decision to make, mainly because the quality of the show would go way up. Think about it – the show has to retain the 24-hour period so if you were condensing that into 12 hours, each 1 hour broadcast would represent 2 hours of time in the 24 universe – so the real-time aspect would be gone but what you would get is no filler and moving characters from point A to B without having to follow them to every actual second.

I agree that FOX branding this 24 reboot as “event television” would result in multiple hours shown on one night. But my guess is that a two hour broadcast would actually be four hours worth of “24-world” content – so Kiefer (Jack Bauer) would be saying for example: THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE BETWEEN 12:00 P.M. AND 4:00 P.M. If FOX continues this pattern you would be looking at presumably one night a week for six weeks.

EVENT TELEVISION BABY! That would give the show its highest chances of long-lasting success, by not dragging the show out and the average viewer more likely to tune in. Let’s not forget the 2-night, 4-hour premieres that Fox broadcasted of 24 five times were generally the most talked-about and most watched hours of each season, respectively.

Can’t believe I didn’t think of this myself, but trust Howard Gordon to – a genius who seems to be on a non-stop creative surge at this point. The fact that he was the one that came up with this brand new story arc is beyond my wildest expectations. Quoting Deadline: “Everybody jumped on board” – evidently breathing life into this franchise I had no idea could possibly exist. Better news than a 24 movie in my opinion!

a 12-episode run has always been the best thing that could happen to 24. There were rumours of it happening for Season 2, because it’s always been clear they have trouble sustaining a story over 2 episodes. It will allow them to properly map out the story rather than flying along by the seat of their pants, which is what leads to some of the more rubbish parts of seasons.

*over 24 episodes

May 10, 2013 at 10:03 am
New story arc could also be a continuation of season 8 ending- here’s how – a combination of the season 1-2 gap and season 4-5 gap.

Jack is on the run and in hiding like end of season 4 but Chloe is secretly in contact with Jack. A crisis develops that requires Jack’s expertise like at the start of season 2. Remember intel suggested Wold gang was involved with the terrorists and Jack had been undercover in the Wold gang. So they tracked down Jack. Same thing can happen but this time Jack will only help if he is granted a full Presidential pardon. Now the Russians still want him so not sure how he gets out of that problem.

May 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm
So it might be 13 episodes, huh? I’d heard the rumor yesterday about 12 feature-length episodes as well, but it appears that might have been either a misunderstanding on someone’s interpretation of the unfolding and breaking story or someone just jumped the gun, presupposed that was the case, and the rumor spread. Whatever it turns out to be in terms of number of episodes and how long each episode is, it will likely NOT be in real-time, meaning it might yet have an international scope to it as Jack would be able to travel between episodes in a way that (largely) wasn’t possible within the real-time constraints, a move which could broaden very considerably the canvas they have to play with, and give the story a real epic feel to it. I’ve been reading over the last day many people who are glad it’s coming back on television as they always believed that 24 wasn’t really suited to the feature film medium, that if you removed the real-time format and condensed it to a two-hour film, it would lose it’s distinct character and identity, I’m (kind of) starting to agree with that assessment, although I still would have loved to see the proposed film they had originally planned to make, but if they can give 24 a fitting send-off with this one that avoids any unnecessary filler, and is a lean, tight, muscular, thrilling, and emotional coda to the Jack Bauer saga, then I’m in with that… with both feet!

Me too. Although I would wouldn’t call this a “fitting send-off” because if the show continues to be successful in this new iteration, additional seasons are sure to be ordered. I don’t think Fox, Imagine and the other original players would propose this if they were just thinking in terms of one year only.

David Fury says 12, EW says 13 – I wonder who will end up being right? 12 makes more sense as they could easily divide the 24-hour time period into two hour increments, but if the order is 13, that leads me to believe that Howard Gordon and co aren’t concerned with the time aspect at all. Very eager to find out the truth.

Here’s how I hope it happens:

Any 24 season is never really 24 hours anyway. It takes place in 24 hours in the story’s universe, but it only adds up to about 18 real hours of final footage. The commercials sort of take the place of those missing chunks of time.

Now hopefully, with this limited season, the commercial breaks will simply act as twice the time it took up before. This way, we actually witness two hours of the show’s universe in one hour of our time.

So imagine a commercial break before had the clock ticking

04:13:09 04:13:10 04:13:11
and then returning after about 4 minutes of commercials
04:18:23 04:18:24 04:18:25

Imagine it now:

04:13:09 04:13:10 04:13:11
and then returning after about 4 minutes of commercials
04:31:23 04:31:24 04:31:25

I think that would work splendidly.

I’m sticking with the twelve-episode prediction, I think David Fury – only one of the new series’ writers and producers – would have a little more insight into what’s being planned than a EW reporter, don’t you?

If it’s twelve hour-long episodes, it won’t be in real-time, if it’s twelve feature-length episodes, it will be, period! I’m still pining for the movie that never was, but onward and upwards as they say, and if the upcoming (limited) series creates a new story arc whilst still acknowledging the end of Season 8, and has a bigger budget than a routine television series episode (meaning some pretty awesome kick-butt action par excellence), then I see no downside to this development whatsoever… Go Jack!

This made my day!! Please, please more 24!! TV has been so boring without it. I absolutely love, love this show and the characters aka Jack, Chloe! You can do it you will have so many people watching. It will be a brilliant and good move for FOX

OMG YES YES YES Bring Jack Back, I can’t wait bring Carlos Bernard back too yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa can’t wait!!!!!

May 11, 2013 at 8:13 am
I would hate for them to abandon the real time concept, but more 24 is a good thing. I’d rather take 12 episodes over a two-hour long movie.

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!! It’s fucking erfect, I’m over the moon..I too wished thre was a movie or a whole 24 season but it’s far more better than nothing.I JUST CAN’T WAIT FOR IT!!

Oh, and fuck you damn FOX!If it wasnt for 24 and Homeland, action series would still be a load of rubish!

With Dexter ending and Body of Proof getting cancelled, that now leaves Manny Coto and Evan Katz free. I wonder if Gordon will bring those guys back to the writing staff as well.

This is great news IMO – the “limited series” reference only implies that it will be done more along the lines of great theatrical series on cable right now (i.e. Gordon’s “Homeland” series on HBO does only 12 shows per season; “Sopranos” was always 12-13 episodes per season; “Game of Thrones” and “Justified” both are also of limited episode runs but get critical acclaim for their quality). During its run, “24” was always produced so well like a movie more than conventional TV series and we all read the stories during the show’s run of how their production costs kept rising each year to do so. Making it a 13-episode season just reaffirms that they will want to keep the production quality just as good – it’s easier to afford over fewer episodes.

I also think that the trend that occurred in every season o “24” other than the 4th one – where the first half of the season featured a different villain and story arc from the villain and arc that appeared in the second half – was a big reason why there was this sense of fragmentation and over-the-top believability in the stories. A 13-episode arc will bring a more direct story that can stay on track without all of the tangential stories that used to take away from the main story Jack was involved in. Did any of us really care about the side stories about Palmer’s son in Season 1 or the Kim Bauer mini-dramas of Seasons 1-2 or the length of time devoted to the all of the moles, etc. inside CTU? They often felt like filler to help make for 24 episodes IMO.

And for those who think this news means “either-or” for the “24” movie, I would say this: maybe FOX is skeptical of the kind of gate receipts and interest a movie would generate 3 years after the series ended? Bringing a reboot of shorter episodes to TV may be a lower-risk gamble on their part to see if there is still avid support of the series/character – and if it does well in the ratings, one would think that FOX will then feel more confident in either: 1) doing a feature film after ending the 13-episode series; or 2) renew the series for a second season (or more) of the limited episode quantity.

Entertainment Weekly in its report of the same news did raise the most salient question – how the show’s story will work within 13-episodes. Will the 24-hour day still be the frame for the story’s duration but allow larger time gaps in between? Or will each season be half-day arcs? Their report also added:

“Fox is in talks to bring back Kiefer Sutherland the long-running action drama 24 for a limited run. Since the network is revving up a division that will eventually churn out event miniseries like a remake of Shogun, a revisit to the successful 24 franchise could be just the ticket.

Insiders caution, however, that talks are early. If the dream becomes a reality, the series’ longtime executive producer Howard Gordon — who reportedly pitched the return in the first place and has since moved on to Showtime’s grown-up domestic terrorism hit Homeland — would return with the show.”

The other harsh reality to remember is that, with Sutherland getting closer to 50, it’s also imperative that any revival of “24” occur now rather than in 2-3 years from now. Even Kiefer noted recently of all of the action he was doing on “Touch” that was harder to do physically now than in the first few seasons of “24”. Maybe he can defy age as an action star in a believable way like Bruce Willis can but the odds aren’t in his favor.

I’d love to see Jon Cassar return in some role.

EW.com corrected their mistake today. It’s 12 episodes. Fury tweeted today they are still negotiating. So nothing is 100% set in stone.

I wonder what premiere date they were thinking of having. Howard Gordon sure has a lot on his plate, with Homeland in the fall of 2013 and Legends in 2014. But David Fury’s tweet about doing 24 and Tyrant simultaneously, leads me to believe that 24 would be filming sooner rather than later. I wouldn’t expect anymore writing delays either, given Howard’s new story already in place and the limited run of episodes, taking less time to film.

FOX’s new dramas will most likely premiere in the Fall on Monday and Friday, because there is no more room left on the schedule. Then on January 6th, 2014, 24 should return with a two-hour premiere. It continues to screen for five more weeks worth of two-hour broadcasts. Then on February 17th, Bones returns for the remainder of its ninth season and The Following begins its second season, both finishing on May 26th, 2014.

TJ dude, you’ve hit the nail on the head, that’s the single best assessment I’ve yet heard on this developing news regarding all things ’24’…

It was clear from the Deadline article in March 2012 that detailed the reasons behind the movie’s postponement that FOX were a little shaky in their confidence of the movie’s box-office potential – hence the extremely cautious $30m budget offer – and if the upcoming limited series gets gangbusters ratings and widespead critical acclaim from critics and viewers alike, this could give the franchise both a creative and a commercial reinvigoration… and maybe it would give the studio more confidence in making a movie with a more appropriate budget (in the $60m range hopefully), but as you rightly said, Kiefer isn’t getting younger and they have probably about three years at absolute most to do it (if they’re going to do it at all) before Le Kief is no longer capable of doing everything that may be physically required of him!

So it’s definitely a 12-episode series then, I knew it all along, so it will likely NOT be in real-time, meaning Jack could travel between destinations thereby giving the new story a broader and more epic canvas – especially if it’s a biger budgeted affair than a normal series – to work on, and without 24 episodes and approximately 1, 100 minutes to fill, the new story arc stands a very real and likely chance of being all killer and no filler… EXACTLY what the ’24’ franchise needs right now!

I am officially stoked for this now, roll on 2014…

It’ll be “real-time” for sure, but they’ll probably skip hours here or there. It could take place over 24 hours, but skip 4 hours here or there for the sake of travel. The format of the episodes wouldn’t change much.

In any case, this is fantastic news.

Here’s another factor that could be in play: we all read from past reports that the script for a movie was close to being, if not already done. FOX obviously invested money in it and both Sutherland and Gordon were reportedly pleased with the final edition. Instead of the risky venture of a movie that will probably require more money to produce / film / market than a series would, I wouldn’t be surprised if the script for the potential movie instead becomes the storyline / plot for the series. Whether all those involved would want it to be a sequel to season 8 (and Sutherland mentioned some hints in past interviews that it might take place in Europe with him being on the run from Russia) or just a clean slate storyline like these current reports suggest, who knows.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind if the series would make references to the first 8 seasons (i.e. events & characters) but not try to answer every question that was raised at end of S8. There were so many references throughout the series’ original run to Jack’s international missions and experience abroad – I think it would be an exciting way to kickstart a reboot to see him on a mission that either starts or ends in the middle East, similar to how “Homeland” did for a few shows this past season. “Redemption” was refreshing to see him outside of the US. And we all saw the huge marketing success that “Zero Dark Thirty” had.

As for Kiefer’s timeclock, he definitely looked more weathered and older on “Touch” – especially after re-watching a lot of the “24” DVDs recently. And unlike other franchises, I just can’t see any version of “24” ever working without him. Even if Jack isn’t the focus, the show with a different lead character would feel false.

Over The Moon – I think you pegged how it would unfold if FOX commits to it. Similar to the model other cable networks handle their “limited series” (and even how FOX handled “Touch”), a 12-show arc can be done from January through sweeps in May. Showtime splits up all of their popular series by season (Homeland & Dexter in fall, Californication and House of Lies in spring) – which Gordon no doubt knows. And, if Gordon’s plate is too full, having “Homeland” run Sept-Dec and then “24” run Jan-April would be akin to the kind of production schedule that Gordon handled when he was doing full seasons of “24”!

Let’s face it though – FOX has been pretty cheap in regards to producing more 24. So I highly doubt they will keep the Europe aspect in the script, whether or not they use the movie version. I suspect Howard’s “story from scratch” is exactly that, and we will be completely surprised by what occurs (hint – BRING BACK AARON PIERCE!)

Having it take place on domestic land would make more sense production wise, and I have no problem with that as Jack Bauer is all about service to his country. However, going back to Los Angeles seems counter-intuitive as it has been done to death and the East Coast has had its time in the spotlight. So how about Miami? It would be easy to fake that location while still shooting the bulk of it in L.A. and it won’t feel crowded because CSI: Miami, Dexter and Burn Notice are all finishing/have finished.

Plus Jack Bauer looks totally bad-ass with bright sun shining on his aviators. I miss that weather on 24.

OMG !!!!!!! I was in vacation and a friend of mine phoned me from France to US just to tell me the good news..
I prefer a mini series of 12 episodes than a 2 hours feature film..more of Jack Bauer :) and I think, if the rating are huge, Fox may renew it.

Interesting to hear people referring to Jon Cassar on here. Stephen Hopkins was the director of the pilot episode and as well as directing half of the episodes in the first series, kept a close eye on the guest directors for that first season. He gave us the tone and the feel of 24, something which has faded over the eight seasons. Bringing that gritty feel of an old fashioned British kitchen-sink drama, as they’re called here. What started out as a thriller seems to have become a more generic action series over the years. The design of CTU became too slick and glamourous. The first 13 episodes of season one were the best in the show’s history. Not to mention that final episode. The music, as well as the fantastic lighting design and long takes combined to give a very cinematic dimension to a television show. If the producers of 24 are looking to revive this show, this is where they need to start….