’24:’ Fox Orders Pilot, But Kiefer Sutherland Will Not Return As Jack Bauer

Fox has ordered a pilot for a reboot of the drama 24, but Kiefer Sutherland will not be returning in the role of Jack Bauer, CNN is reporting.

24: Legacy will feature all of the hallmarks of the original Kiefer Sutherland series, according to a statement from Fox.

“[The new version will] retain the real-time, pulse-pounding, fast-paced format with split screens and complex interweaving storylines, with each episode representing one hour of an eventful day.”

However, instead of bringing back Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, the pilot will feature a whole new cast of characters. The title character will be a military hero returning to the U.S. from war, and will focus on the “trouble that follows him.” Eventually, the veteran gets in touch with the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), hoping the agency can save his life. True to form, the agency will have to stop a terrorist attack, as well.

As of this writing, none of the cast members of the 24: Legacy pilot have been officially announced; although, Fox has confirmed that Kiefer Sutherland will have a role in the reboot as executive producer.

The original 24 aired on Fox for eight seasons, between 2001 and 2010. During its original run, the show was a ratings giant for Fox; its fast-paced action and original concept made Kiefer Sutherland a star. The show was also a hit with the critics: during its eight years, 24 was nominated for 68 Emmys and won 20, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for Kiefer Sutherland, as well as multiple Golden Globes, Critics Choice, and other awards

24 ended in 2010, but was brought back, briefly, in 2014 for a limited series with Kiefer Sutherland in the lead role. The return, 24: Live Another Day was a ratings disappointment.

With the new cast and new premise, Fox is hoping the reboot of 24 will live up to the glory of the previous series.

L.A. Times reporter Stephen Battaglio notes that the 24 reboot is the latest attempt by a network to mine an old property for new ratings. Disney has already done it with Girl Meets World; Netflix is doing it with Fuller House; and Fox is doing it with Prison Break and The X-Files.

Fox Television Group Co-Chairman Gary Newman said that streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, have kept old shows alive in the minds and hearts of viewers, and have proved that there may still be an audience for new content.

“We live in a different world now where it’s easier for these shows to stay in the public’s mind because of services like Netflix and Hulu. Keeping that fan base alive, you’re get a better sense of what they’re hungry for. We’ve been talking about 24 and Prison Break for a number of years. Those shows in particular somehow continue to resonate with our audiences in a really significant way. Similarly with ‘X-Files’ — people talked about a reunion series.”

Unlike 24, which is bringing back a whole new cast, Prison Break‘s revival is bringing back at least two of the main characters, Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller. And Prison Break’s writers are going to have to climb out of a huge plot hole: in the series finale of the show’s original run, the audience was led to believe that lead character Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) had died (his widow and child were shown placing flowers at his grave).

The 24 Fox pilot is scheduled to begin filming this winter.

[Image courtesy of Fox via Wikimedia Commons by Fair Use]