Fox is Considering Another Season of 24, But Without Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer

I enjoyed watching 24 during the series' original run, but it got increasingly ridiculous as the seasons progressed (how do you top a nuclear bomb going off in Los Angeles?), and the Counter Terrorism Unit really should have stepped up their game when it came to conducting background checks on new employees because it seemed like there was a different mole in the organization every season. I was disappointed by last year's 24: Live Another Day, but it appears that Fox isn't completely finished with the show just yet.

At the Television Critics Association this past weekend, Fox CEO Dana Walden said that not only is the network considering bringing back 24 for another season (and possibly as soon as 2016), but that star Kiefer Sutherland might not appear as Jack Bauer. Wait, what now?

"We have discussed it with him. We talk to Kiefer all the time. He’s a great creative partner, potentially he won’t be in this installment. We’re not sure yet. We’re not that far along, but I know he supports us doing more 24."

24 without Jack Bauer just seems wrong to me. I suppose the 24 hour "real time" format doesn't necessarily have to follow that character, but it would definitely be a strange departure for the show to lose him. But then, Walden said something that was a little confusing:

"First of all, we’re not talking about continuing the show without him. We’re talking about whether there’s one installment that he’s not in. I think if the storytelling is exciting enough, that real-time element that the show really owns–so many of the production aspects are so unique to that show–I do [think we could do it without him]. I think [it could be] great characters with that creative team. I look at everyone that’s surrounded Kiefer in the last installment and I think it could work."
“Jack Bauer could come in very organically in the story, or [producers are] prepared to do something that would be the one installment without him.”

So they're NOT talking about continuing the show without him, but they ARE talking about making a season that doesn't feature that character? That sounds to me like they're 100% talking about continuing the show without him. From these comments, it seems as if the people at Fox are thinking that the show will go on for multiple new seasons, which is a pretty ballsy assumption to make in the current TV climate. Audiences are getting pickier about what they watch as more choices become available to them, and without Sutherland's star power to pull in the older crowd, it's going to be tough to convince people that 24 is a show worth sticking with if it takes one of the show's secondary characters and bumps them to the lead to replace Bauer.

For what it's worth, Sutherland told USA Today last year that he was done playing the character.

"My bones are creaking. What am I going to do, Jack Bauer in a walker? So, yeah, this is it. For me, it's done."

What do you guys think? Would you watch 24 without Jack Bauer?

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