After much talk, Fox is seriously considering bringing back “24” with a formal pilot order for a reboot of the series, titled “24: Legacy,” Variety has learned. The pilot will film this winter.
Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer character would not be part of the revival series, which will feature an all-new cast of characters, but will retain “24’s” format of real-time storytelling with split screens and like the original, each episode will represent one hour of an eventful day.
“24: Legacy” will revolve around a military hero’s return to the U.S. and the trouble that follows him back — compelling him to ask CTU for help in saving his life, and stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil.
Original “24” producers Howard Gordon, Manny Coto, Evan Katz and Imagine’s Brian Grazer will return as exec producers.
Fox is hot on reboots lately, following in the footsteps of “The X-Files” event series revival, which starts its six-episode run this month. With the high volume of television content across broadcast, cable and streaming, having brand recognition is appealing to networks, giving “24” a good chance, now that the pilot order is official.
Insiders tell Variety the pilot script for the reboot came in early, before the holidays, and Fox execs immediately were intrigued and realized they had found a way to continue the hit action franchise without Sutherland’s Jack Bauer. While no casting has been announced, sources say a diverse lead is a strong possibility. Fox CEO Dana Walden confirmed that news saying, “The character was originally conceived as being a diverse actor,” she said. “We wanted it to be as different from Jack Bauer as possible. That was the original thinking behind having this be a diverse lead. Whether that’s African-American or a Latino actor, we’ve been really excited by some of the people we’ve been seeing throughout our internal process.”
Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, “24” was a huge hit for Fox, debuting in 2001 and running through 2010 with eight seasons and a television movie, titled “Redemption.” In 2014, “24” returned with Sutherland for an event series, or the ninth season, titled “24: Live Another Day.”
Though he won’t be on-screen for “24: Legacy,” Sutherland will be on broadcast TV next season, as ABC gave a straight-to-series order to a political conspiracy thriller in which he’ll star. (On that note, insiders say Fox looked at that script, but it ultimately landed at ABC due to their hefty series order offer.)
“24” joins a small, but growing, group of drama pilots in consideration for series orders at Fox including an untitled music drama from “Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels, starring Queen Latifah, and a female baseball drama from Dan Fogelman, titled “Pitch.” With both of those pilots having diverse leads, it seems that part of Fox’s strategy going into the 2016-17 season will be showcasing diversity and reboots. On the comedy side, the network has given a pilot order to a time travel live-action comedy from Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Julius Sharpe, and a series order to the Jason Sudeikis-voiced animated series “Son of Zorn.”
“24: Legacy” hails from 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and Gordon’s Teakwood Lane Productions.