LOS ANGELES — At a 24 party, the dead are among the living.
At Monday’s launch of the Fox thriller’s Season 5 DVD (Fox Home Entertainment, $59.98), held at Hollywood nightspot Les Deux, more than a few of the actors present represented characters who have succumbed during the five-year run of the high-octane, high-casualty series.
Fifth-season goners Carlos Bernard (Tony Almeida), John Allen Nelson (Walt Cummings) and Julian Sands (villainous Vladimir Bierko) attended, as did Penny Johnson Jerald, whose Sherry Palmer fell in Season 3.
The party, which also promoted the new book 24: Behind the Scenes (Insight Editions, $29.95), also featured many of 24‘s living, including Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O’Brian), Kim Raver (Audrey Raines), Roger Cross (Curtis Manning), James Morrison (Bill Buchanan), DB Woodside (President Palmer) and Emmy nominees Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart (former president Logan and his wife, Martha).
Central character Jack Bauer isn’t dead, but he’s feeling that way going into Season 6 (premieres Jan. 14, 8 p.m. ET/PT), said Kiefer Sutherland, who won an Emmy in August for his portrayal of the counterterrorismhero. Bauer, whose kidnapping by Chinese agents closed last season, returns in the premiere, set 20 months later, as a haggard, beaten man.
“Jack’s at his darkest place. He’s dead inside. Even in Season 2, when he was terribly mournful at the loss of his wife, he was feeling pain, but he was alive. (Now), there’s an indifference which is almost primal,” Sutherland said on the red carpet.
With Jack and 24 back on Fox for the foreseeable future — Sutherland is signed for this season and two more — fans may have to wait longer than expected for a 24 movie.
“It’s a little concern that while the show is still on the air, it may be an oversaturation. I think if the show is off the air for two years, they’d love to release a movie,” said executive producer Joel Surnow, adding that no official decisions have been made.
For the actors whose 24 characters have died, Monday’s party was a chance to catch up with friends.
“It feels a little like going back to visit high school,” said Bernard, who lasted until Season 5.
He offered a broad explanation for the success of the series, which earned its highest ratings to date and an Emmy for best drama for the most recent season.
“It’s a combination of everything. It’s writing, it’s the acting, the camera guys and the editors, the music. It’s a real collaborative effort.”