AceShowbiz - "24" will be back, not with just one, but two potential new series. Recently, it was reported that FOX eyes a potential prequel that explores the early days of Jack Bauer. Now, it turns out that the network is also working on a legal drama based on the action thriller.
FOX CEO and Chairman Gary Newman confirmed this at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday, August 2. "The other is a whole new take on the franchise set in the legal arena," Newman said of the second project.
He said that the idea for the legal thriller actually came up during the third season of the original series. "The idea of moving the franchise from terrorism and security into the legal world is something we talked about as far back as season 3 or 4 of 24 where, from time to time, there would be discussions of spin-offs," Newman shared.
He added, "You have to look for an arena where the stakes are high and time matters. [The legal version of '24'] deals with an execution of a prisoner and there are just 24 hours left until the execution is supposed to take place. So the stakes are high and it potentially has a lot of the same values of the original '24'. Regardless of the political climate, the time's always right for a show of that type."
Kiefer Sutherland, who played Jack Bauer on the original series and limited series "24: Live Another Day", is set to produce both shows, but there's no word if he will return to star. "I can tell you he loves the idea of the legal thriller [spin-off]," entertainment president of FOX Broadcasting, Michael Thorn, told TheWrap. "And he's been pitching ideas directly to [longtime '24' showrunner] Howard Gordon."
"He's involved as a producer on both shows," Thorn added. "He is part of the fabric of those shows. Our hope is that like James Bond has had different versions of James Bond or Jack Ryan has been played by different people we can expand it to feature other signature characters. But I know that's not easy, because Kiefer is an incredible actor that broke the mold with Jack Bauer. And so it's a high bar."
Asked whether the "24" format, which was launched in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, still has real-world relevance, Newman said, "We feel [the '24' format] still has a lot of power and a lot of legs. Times are fraught now, these are emotional times. Security continues to be a big issue. In terms of the prequel, people love Jack Bauer and [we] would tell a story that I think the audience would very much connect with - of how he became that character. It would be set in the same world of security."