After eight seasons of 24, plus the 2014 12-episode event 24: Live Another Day, it appears FOX is not done with this popular franchise. Over its television reign, the "real time" action series earned 73 total Emmy nominations, taking home several statues including an Outstanding Drama win in 2006. It also grabbed two Golden Globes in 2002, one for Best Drama and the second for Kiefer Sutherland's portrayal as central hero Jack Bauer.
It's no surprise, then, that the network would be interested in another project to capitalize on the show's success, which drew in millions of viewers for each episode, including 10 million fans still willing to tune in for a mini-series event four years after the original series ended. Many were hopeful that Sutherland might return to reprise his role in a future series, but the latest news confirms FOX is looking for a fresh start.
A pilot for 24: Legacy has been ordered, starring a whole new cast of characters but still incorporating the fast-paced, real-time, split-screen storytelling that made the original series so popular. The official description of the plot indicates we'll still be dealing with the CTU and modern-day threats.
"The project will revolve around a military hero’s return to the U.S. and the trouble that follows him back – compelling him to ask CTU for help in saving his life, and stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil."
At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Fox Television Group CEO Dana Walden (via Slashfilm) revealed that the military character's name is Eric Carter, and that there will also be a female co-lead who is a former head of CTU. Walden said the show will have a prominent central character, but won't dominate the story to the extent Bauer did. They're also looking to distinguish the new show by pursuing more diverse casting.
"The character was originally conceived as being a diverse actor. We wanted it to be as different from Jack Bauer as possible and that was the original thinking behind having this be a diverse lead. Whether that's an African-American or Latino actor, we've been really excited by some of the people we've been seeing throughout our internal process."
Evan Katz and Manny Coto, who wrote for the original 24, pitched the idea for this new series to FOX. They'll executive produce 24:Legacy, along with Howard Gordon, Brian Grazer, and Kiefer Sutherland. Though the official release states that the new show will feature one hour per episode, Walden spoke a lot at TCA about the success of the 12-episode event series and how it's more competitive in today's market. So if the pilot goes over well with execs, we may be looking at another series with a more limited episode run.
After nine seasons of impossibly death-defying adventures, threats, and endless moles in the organization, there probably isn't much more story to tell for Jack Bauer. It makes sense to use the well-loved format and expand it to new characters for this latest series. Those who loved the show most for Sutherland's portrayal may not be interested in a reboot, but there should be enough curiosity about 24:Legacy to draw in both new and old fans alike. They'll be expecting heroes that are worth caring about for those super tense hours, though, so FOX has some very important casting decisions ahead.
Screen Rant will keep you updated with more on 24: Legacy as details are made available.