FOX announced Monday that another iteration of its real-time action franchise 24 is in the works. Debuting in November 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, the timing of 24 gripped TV watchers, as Counter Terrorist Unit Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) brought a sense of urgency viewers never experienced on the small screen before. With one hour of each episode clicking down in real-time, Bauer worked to thwart everything from political assassinations to terrorist attacks within a 24-hour time frame spread over 24 installments.
The series, while controversial at times, found great success during its eight-season run, including wins for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Dramatic Actor for Sutherland in 2006. The series began to run out of steam though by Season 6 in 2007, and even skipped production for a year (supplanted by 2-hour TV movie in 2008) in the interim, before returning for two final seasons in 2009 and 2010. And while Sutherland and company attempted a comeback in 2014 with 24: Live Another Day - which sported a truncated format where the 24-hour frame was squeezed into 12 episodes - it appeared time had finally run out on the series. FOX made one more attempt at the format in 2016 with 24: Legacy, which featured Corey Hawkins taking over the CTU agent role, but the series was cancelled after one season.
Related: Where Are They Now? The Cast of 24
Now, it appears FOX is going to revive 24 once again, but will instead focus on the crucial 24-hour time period in a different setting. According to Deadline, FOX chairman Dana Walden revealed in a upfronts press call that 24 executive producer Howard Gordon, along with 24 creators Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran are working on a "possible" new version of the series. Deadline says discussions about a different approach to the series have been going on since the end of 24: Legacy, and in February, such scenarios as a female-led legal thriller about an attorney trying to get her client off of death row were among the ideas being discussed. While Walden did not announce any firm plans of what the exact scenario for the new 24 will be, she says "we are very excited about where the show would go."
For those who loved the nail-biting real-time format that engrossed viewers with a ticking time clock before commercial breaks for 10 seasons, the idea of bringing 24 back for yet another go-round will no doubt be welcome news. Of course, nothing will ever match the intensity of the original series – especially in its early years – and the only thing that could truly come close to it would be a series featuring the return of Sutherland as Bauer. You can't fault FOX, though, for not wanting to abandoning the unique format of the original series, and the attempt to utilize it in a different setting is definitely worth pursuing.
Interestingly enough, Sutherland's talents are available again following the cancellation of his ABC political drama Designated Survivor. But since FOX's discussions about bringing the show back actually predate ABC's decision to ax the actor's latest drama, fans shouldn't be looking at the network's announcement as anything more than a mere coincidence. While FOX has said it would gladly welcome back Sutherland to the 24 fold, they recently expressed doubts about it ever happening.