This year, Kiefer Sutherland says, final means final.
The star of Fox’s 24 promises that there will be no cliffhanger at the end of Tuesday’s season finale (9 ET/PT). Like a lot of viewers, he was no fan of last year’s leave-you-hanging assassination attempt. He felt it violated the show’s unwritten pact with its audience.
“If you stick with us through the day, we’re going to end this day and it will be conclusive. … So this season has some finality to it.”
He’s happy with the ending and with his show. His only regret is 24‘s treatment of Jack’s heroin addiction, which seemed to vanish around midseason. “I wish we had made more of that story line … but we did find ourselves in a bind about what you can do to a lead character and what he can come back from — and heroin was pretty much the line.”
Next season, Jack will be back (heroin-free), though not until January, when the show will start an interruption-free five-month run; “(I’m) so excited about that,” Sutherland says. The show’s real-time, one-day format will remain the same, but the type of story will change, he says. “For three years, we’ve done the same scenario: A specific issue generates a 24-hour response. … Next season will be dramatically different.”
Next month, Sutherland is off to New Zealand to shoot the historical drama River Queen. “It’s a beautiful script, and about 180 degrees from 24.”
Don’t take that the wrong way: Sutherland says he’ll be more than happy to come back to 24. “I still feel we’re doing it really well. It’s a fantastic breath of fresh air for me, and I’m a loyal person. I’m not going to slap that in the face.”