Back at the end of July, Deadline reported that Howard Gordon was working on a prequel with 24 co-creators Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran that would be in the vein of the original series but following the origin story of CTU agent Jack Bauer, the iconic role portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland for eight seasons and on follow-up limited series 24: Live Another Day.
Whether Sutherland returns is still up in the air, per Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Gary Newman today at TCA: “There are no discussions about whether or not he will have any kind of role,” the exec said. “He’s aware of it, and he’d be an executive producer and is excited about the idea.”
The Fox network and 24 producers 20th Century Fox, Imagine TV’s Brian Grazer and Gordon had been discussing new ideas for a 24 series since the end of 24: Legacy in 2017.
Prior during an executive session with his co-studio chairman and CEO Dana Walden, Newman said that “the time is always right” for a show like 24 no matter what the political climate is.
“The mechanism of telling a show in real time is quintessential to a show like 24,” Newman said. “We think it has a lot of power and lot of legs ever since it went off last year. How do you re-imagine 24? These are emotional times and security continues to be a big issue.
“Moving that franchise from a terrorism to a security to a legal world; we had talks about (the latter) going as far back as Season 3 or 4,” he added
When asked by a TCA reporter about 24‘s history of positioning people of color as the bad guys on the show, Newman responded: “Looking back at 24 from season to season the bad guys really varied from Eastern European to Asian to people in the Middle East. We understand that the criticism was bad, it just wasn’t as one-sided as it seemed.”