’24’: Talks Still Ongoing About Possible New Incarnation Of Real-Time Drama On Fox

Event programming remains a target area for Fox, whether branded like 24 or original like the upcoming sci-fi drama NeXt, Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn told Deadline during TCA.

The network made a concerted effort last season to develop a new incarnation of one of its signature series, 24, by commissioning two scripts from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV, a real-time legal thriller written by 24 executive showrunner Howard Gordon and Jeremy Doner and a prequel that traces the origin story of CTU agent Jack Bauer, from Gordon and 24 co-creators Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran.

As we reported in January, none of the projects got to pilot, with 24 producers going back to the drawing board and Fox expressing interest in cracking the prequel idea with a fresh new take. The legal thriller concept is no longer on the table, I hear.

“We are wide open,” Thorn said when asked by Deadline today whether there is a particular arena they want to explore with a new 24 series. I hear that, besides the prequel, there is at least one other idea that Fox is interested in.

The process is in very early stages. “There is nothing formal yet; we are still having discussions with 20th Century Fox TV and the producers on a way to come up with some other incarnation,” Thorn said. “There is a really strong desire to crack it, we are still talking about it.”

In January, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier stressed that a new iteration of 24 will go forward only “when we get it right” because the network takes bringing the franchise back “very seriously.”

Thorn echoed his sentiment today.

“However we build the franchise, it has got to feel big, eventized and all the creators and producers involved have to feel really excited about that direction and that we all feel we’ve got the right script.”

24′s Emmy-winning eight-season run was followed by limited series 24: Live Another Day with original star Kiefer Sutherland as well as reboot series 24: Legacy, which aired for one season on Fox.