Are Jack Bauer or the real-time format at the heart of 24? Fox brass are likely wrestling with that dilemma as they are weighing a possible new limited series installment of the popular franchise.

That’s because the network has been pitched a followup to last summer’s 24: Live Another Day that may or may not feature 24 signature star Kiefer Sutherland. In the the idea, which comes from 24/24: Live Another Day executive producers Howard Gordon, Evan Katz and Manny Coto, “there is a point at which Jack Bauer could come in and fit organically into the story, or they are prepared to do… one installment without him,” Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden said after the Fox executive session today. Imagine TV and Brian Grazer also will be back.

“Potentially, he won’t be in this installment, we’re not sure yet,” Walden said. She stressed that there is no plan to permanently drop Jack Bauer from future seasons of 24. “We’re talking about whether there’s one installment that he’s not in.”

The network has discussed the idea for a possible Jack Bauer-less installment of 24 with the Emmy-winning actor, who has served as an executive producer on the show and the limited series and has been supportive of doing more 24, Walden said.

Such a 24 installment would focus on the show’s supporting characters. “I look at everyone that surrounded Kiefer in (Live Another Day) — I think it could work,” Walden said.