24: Live Another Day – Entertainment Weekly Cover Story

Not too long ago the whole idea of bringing back 24 would have seemed like a pipe dream. Fox canceled the once-critically acclaimed series in 2010 for a reason: Though it ran for an impressive eight seasons, ratings dropped steadily and the melancholic finale–which ended with Jack staring grimly at a surveillance camera as a tearful Chloe commanded, “Shut it down”–pulled in a disappointing 10.4 million viewers, below the 10.8 million average for the final year. “I feel like [the finale] was under-appreciated,” says exec producer Howard Gordon, a veteran writer on the show who went on to produce the Emmy-winning Homeland for Showtime. “We were quite happy with the way the last season went and the way it ended, but at some level people moved on at that time. It didn’t get the [viewership] it deserved”

Talk of making a 24 movie didn’t get any traction over the next several years either, even with Sutherland and producers Brian Grazer and the late Tony Scott on board. “I didn’t understand why it wouldn’t make sense from an economic standpoint,” says Sutherland, who gets visibly annoyed at the mere mention of the extended negotiations.

“Obviously someone else had done the counting and thought they didn’t need to make it.” Then early last year, Fox Networks Group chairman Peter Rice scheduled a casual lunch with Gordon and brought up the prospect of reviving the series for a limited run on Fox. Intrigued, Gordon bounced the idea off Sutherland, who loved it–though he figured it was highly unlikely.

Kiefer Sutherland gets fired up for his photo shoot with EW
Kiefer Sutherland gets fired up for his photo shoot with EW

“I thought he would start to write it, then be on some massive deadline for Homeland,” says Sutherland, whose 24 follow-up, Touch, ran for two low-rated seasons on Fox. “I really didn’t take it that seriously.” Longtime 24 scribe and exec producer Manny Coto had a similar reaction: “When Howard called me saying they were bringing back 24, I was on my porch smoking a cigar, thinking about the day’s work. My response was ‘Great, Howard, good luck with that’-never expecting that it would actually come through.” But a lot has changed in TV since the clock last stopped on 24. The rise of Netflix and binge-TV culture has driven the networks to start searching for “event” programming.

A reboot of 24 made perfect sense for Fox, which had already begun developing Wayward Pines from M. Night Shyamalan as a limited series for summer 2014. And Rice’s suggestion about condensing 24 into 12 episodes solved one of the major problems that had always plagued the action drama–the burden of keeping a suspense story suspenseful (and vaguely realistic) over 24 hour-long episodes. “There was always that period around 16, 17, and 18 where it was pretty evident that the plot was vamping a bit,” says Coto. (See: Teri Bauer’s amnesia in season 1, or Kim Bauer’s run-in with a cougar in season 2.) “In this scenario there’s no vamp.” Even though no network had ever attempted to resuscitate a show that had been on the trash heap for years (the closest example was Family Guy, which went dark for two years before Fox brought it back), Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly gave it “a very long 30 seconds of thought” before delivering his verdict. “There’s not a month or maybe even a week that goes by at Fox that someone doesn’t bring it up and ask me about [24],” he says.

“I knew there was still a lot of love for it, and then when I knew the band could get back together–this was not with a different cast or different showrunners–I said yes.” Final step: Make sure Jack Bauer was ready to go back to work. Sutherland was eating with his sister in Toronto while on break from Pompeii when he got a call from Dana Walden, the chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox TV, which produces 24. “When she called, I went, ‘This is for real,'” recalls the actor.

Though Sutherland says his paycheck isn’t near what he got for the last three seasons of the original series, he had other, more important reasons to return to Jack: “This is the [role] that my kids thought was cool. I was cool for a minute to my kids!”

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I didn’t even pick up on the Chloe and Adrian thing when I read the magazine… Weird!!

Yeah, weird indeed. So Morris is definitely out of the picture.

Wonder if he has died in between Seasons 8 and 9? Makes me sad if that’s the case. ;c

lol that’s funny this was the role my kids thought I was cool in lol

Somehow I don’t think this will be it…….. If the fans are already going nuts for 24’s return there definitely gonna wanna see more seasons. I think the feedback will definitely explode….. I believe this will hopefully be the start of all new stories starting with this follow up.

Part of me really hopes it isn’t. Someday I want them to make good on their oft-stated intention to make a smaller, fresher, more personal season without the trappings of international threats, Chloe, White House and Agency bollocks dragging it all down.

It’s like they’re infected with the James Bond curse, “when we try to make a From Russia With Love, we always end up with a Goldfinger”.

’24’ was never cancelled, there were no serious plans nor discussions underway for a Season 9 in 2010, both Kiefer’s and HoGo’s contracts expired with Season 8 and both decided it was time to end it gracefully… you can’t cancel what was never planned to begin with!

I still believe that FOX Filmed Entertainment fumbled the ball in a major way with their disgraceful treatment of the ’24’ movie – Kiefer has every right to still feel aggrieved over what happened – but their loss is FOX Television’s gain, and it has to be said that it simply couldn’t have worked out any better than it did… unlike Le Kief, I absolutely DO believe in Providence and when you look at how things worked out, maybe HoGo was right, maybe God really is a ’24’ fan!!!

As to the future of ’24’ post-‘Live Another Day’, it all comes down to how the new series ends, if ratings are strong throughout, and if the writers still feel thay have another story to tell, I would surely be disappointed if it was the final chapter, but would be genuinely pleased and satisfied we got a good and proper ending…

Yea, I remember when Day 2 was coming to an end and it was announced that Kiefer was contracted for 6 more seasons. I was thinking, “What the fuck? That’s ridiculous!!! What can they possibly do after this one? It’ll never happen.”

I hope they end 24 for good real soon. I like my stories to have endings, not perpetual money grabs.

I’m so glad they didn’t do the movie. I think they still will after this. But it’s a gigantic step-down from a series (whether that’s 24 episodes or 12). The only way a film would work is the same way Redemption worked: as an extension of an existing or upcoming season. Redemption was basically 2 bonus prequel hours to Day 7.

12 hours is the shortest they should go.

I don’t think the ratings even have to be that strong for another season to be made. With FOX’s viewership dropping a lot lately, 24 seems like a sure bet to at least cracking a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating, and that would make it the highest rated show. Also with the huge advertising rates Fox are charging for LAD, I wouldn’t be surprised if they bumped up Kiefer’s salary, and maybe decide to film in Los Angeles again for a cheaper, longer tenth season.

From an emotional standpoint for Jack, coming home would make sense as it’s the thing he wants the most but can’t have. The story would also work as if Jack goes out of his way to save Heller, a pardon could be granted and the show could mention that the Russian president and co-conspirators were arrested thanks to Allison Taylor’s testimony.

This could also be the perfect way to bring back other favorite characters, which is of course what all the fans want. Los Angeles is the only plausible setting for Tony, Aaron, Mandy, Mike Novick and Kim to return. I can think of a few great plotlines for these characters, including Kim as a CIA analyst feeding information to Jack, who is properly reunited with her like he always wanted, and has his job back. Because of this new dynamic, there is simply no room for Chloe left in the story anymore and it sounds like she’s been through a great ordeal. A perfect, tragic ending for Live Another Day would be for Chloe to finally get killed off.

While ultimately I’d prefer Jack to be his own man and start fighting for himself instead of all this “greater good” bollocks, if he MUST keep turning up and saving the world, for the love of fuck just GIVE THE MAN A DAMN JOB!

Out of 9 seasons, he’s been gainfully employed for 3 of them, surely that must have raised some red flags in the writers room.

2.5+ 18-49 sure based on what exactly? Given FOX’s dreadful ratıngs, this can even have trouble cracking 2.0 during the summer. Besides, 24 is probably more expensive than an average FOX show, so the financially feasible ratings for renewal will be higher. FOX can ask silly amounts like 500k for 30 seconds as much as they want, the advertisers are not that dumb to dump that much money to this franchise.

As for second point, the writers proudly and incessantly bragged about tragic Bauer during S8. “Renee had to die because Jack cannot get away with happiness”, “We never pressed reset with Jack [with regards to tragedy]”, “Jack won’t come away from this”, “This show is a tragedy, so no happy ending for Jack”, “We want Jack to be in perpetual tragedy”, so on and so forth to defend that tragic Jack crap.

If the immediate season just reverts everything back to normal before S8, they will be eating crow big time. We will see how much spine they really have.

Well I think after season 9 & 24 does well like it most likely will & they make a series of seasons….. I don’t think a movie really matters anymore. Yes it would be nice but it wouldn’t matter as much…. But I’m sorry I just don’t see an end here. Based on a few points 1. the Fox president said 24 as franchisablty in it. 2 this new story taking place outside the U.S with Jack on the run. 3 the suggestion if 24 does well there could be more seasons in play. & the new season won’t be so restricted by the real rime element. I know we’ll all be watching & wondering by the end will they do more??? & my gut feeling is most likely based on the suggestions we are getting already. They are seeming to suggest success here not an end. But I think a concrete answer will come towards the end of this season. They might have a better idea by then. So won’t & it’s probably smarter to not debate on the series’s closure until they say or suggest otherwise.

I could find this on zero newsstands today.. just the spiderman cover

Here’s an awesome video from extratv featuring interview and clips. Still no interviews with Kim Raver and William Devane yet (maybe they’re trying to keep their storyline under wraps?)

http://www.extratv.com/2014/04/04/24-live-another-day-first-look-all-the-details-on-jack-bauers-epic-return-to-tv/

I have been wondering the same thing. But Kim Raver actually did have a little bit to say in the EW article. She says “Audrey is a hopeless romantic. Jack, for her, was the one and only. No one will ever match up.” As a Jack/Audrey fan this makes me happy, although she also says it’s unlikely they will run off for a surprise wedding at Westminster Abbey during “Live Another Day”. Which would probably be impossible considering she is already married :(

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