‘24′ Pilot Officially a Go at Fox, Action-Thriller To Be Revived Without Jack Bauer

24 fox revival pilot
Courtesy of Fox

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.

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  1. mike ahuja says:

    omg :) this is great news…im looking forward to this tv history in the making…boom …love it…

  2. Oh shut up you moron I don’t care about stupid African-America or latino man actor we want keifer Sutherland back right now and we want 244 episode on Fox now not one episode it will be too late got it good aghhhhhhhh ahhhhhh

  3. techartisan says:

    Perhaps “diverse” should also expand to include Asian-Americans and Native Americans. Casting people are so myopic!!

  4. frankenstein says:

    I was hoping bruce jenner would replace jack,but since he cant be white let’s keep our fingers crossed it’s rupaul

  5. Dunstan says:

    It could turn out to be a good show but mostly this smacks of a desperate act by Fox.

  6. Marie Blackmer says:

    “Jack” is the show. The show will flop without him.

  7. gary says:

    I have to agree with 99.5% of the comments, no Jack Bauer, no watch. Jack is the man.Funny to read all these comments, reminds me of the I Love Lucy show where Lucy Fred and Ethel (maybe Lucy’s mother also) try and get Ricky’s old job back at the Tropicana and they keep up with the scheme,”What, no Ricky Ricardo?!!!” Let us know when you bring back Jack Bauer so we can watch.

  8. Mike Tierney says:

    There is only one 24. The one that stars Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer. Some characters can only be played by one actor. One Spanky, one Matt Dillon, one Gilligan, one James Bond. I will try to watch it but if they try this politically correct crap I won’t watch for long.

  9. “…a diverse lead actor.”? How can a CEO of a major television network not understand what “diverse” means. Here’s a hint, idiot, a singe entity CANNOT be “diverse”, just like a single, fixed number cannot be called “varying”.. What you meant to say is “Duh! No whites allowed. Derp!”

    Shame on the hack who penned ths story and made the same mistake.

  10. Firestone says:

    Chloe O’Brian the only person who can replace Jack…She is just as intense…Perhaps she went to Navy Seal training.

  11. Dang says:

    No Bauer?! Why bother?

  12. Chuck Kern says:

    Big mistake Fox…………. 24 IS Jack and Jack IS 24! Sutherland’s acting style is paramount to the show. Rethink this bad decision Fox!

  13. The Bobster says:

    24 isn’t 24 without Jack. Let’s hope the beanies don’t try to cast a porch monkey in his place.

  14. Diverse – Politically-Correct lead “just because?” Won’t be watching.

  15. S. says:

    Diverse? Sorry consider me unplugged from this – I don’t need to tune into a show to be told I’m a racist xenophobic scumbag…that’s what the news is for

  16. WHSIII says:

    Sorry, that is about a s dumb as you get. The whole series is based on Keith Sutherland/Jack Bauer! What Producer thought that one up? A God awful idea.

  17. Paul says:

    Maybe they can have the new Jack apologize to a Muslim for assuming that a Muslim terrorism plot was done by a Muslim extremist. Nah, he already did that, in one of the worst politically correct episodes that 24 ever produced. Or, being really diverse, they can have a Muslim Jack who chases after evil white Xenophobic Americans that want to guard the border against drug runners and ISIS sneaking in as South Americans.

  18. Paul says:

    Call it 7/11 and (as Joe Biden says) you can find an Indian, anywhere, to play Jack.

  19. So they want to play off of Jack Bauer’s popularity but without Jack Bauer? Doomed to fail right out of the box. Call it something else and let it stand on it’s own or bring back Jack!

  20. Doug Day says:

    Which evil white people will be featured in this iteration?

  21. How are you gonna have the Jack Bauer Hour of Power with out Jack?

  22. fluffy bunnington says:

    It’s going to have a diverse fan base as well; that is to say, about 10% of its original audience.

  23. Art C. says:

    Sorry, 24 without Jack Bauer- LOSER!!!!

  24. One More Thing says:

    Write original shows with “diverse” characters and stop retconning good shows.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      Exactly!

      The problem is in Hollywood’s insistence to never again make anything original.

      To go way back, Shaft (the first major movie with a Black hero) was loved by people of all races because it was a great project.

      Today, they’d never make Shaft, they’d remake The Maltese Falcon with Richard Roundtree…

    • grumpy says:

      Who needs quality when you can have diversity.

  25. Wiley Thruster says:

    This will be as awesome and the most recent Annie reboot!

  26. Fra says:

    24 without Jack Bauer is 12 the clock will not ttick

  27. Maria Sanchez says:

    So the new character will have a split personality? A diverse character?

  28. Bob says:

    What the heck is a “diverse” character?

    • Alex says:

      A black Jewish lesbian midget Republican, I think there are 2.

      • Subotai Bahadur says:

        Nah, they’ll never have a Republican. Too much “hate” for Hollywood. It will be a Black, Muslim, Lesbian, Midget defending Muslims from “backlash”.

  29. nopcspokenhere says:

    Keep it without Jack, stuff it back in the box. Can’t put lipstick on a pig.

  30. Lamont Jones says:

    Eff your diverse nonsense.

  31. We are huge Jack Bauer fans so of course we’re disappointed. At least have one or two episodes leading up to his demise so viewers are not left wondering “where’s Jack”?

    Having said that, it won’t be the same without Jack just as the X Files wouldn’t be the same without Sculler and Mulder.

  32. Dugway says:

    24 without Bauer is like The Flinstones without Fred.
    Fox should consider a name change – “1440”. Or “1/365”.

  33. arnold stang says:

    I suspect they are going to “diverse” themselves out of a good show.

  34. Doug says:

    FOX, the new ABC, CNN, BBC etc.

  35. Nolan Conley says:

    Southerland is not going to be back as Jack Bauer? You’ve just ruined the show. It was great. Count me out. And like Bill below… I’m sick and tired of all this “diversity” being forced upon us.

  36. Arthur Jury says:

    Black Bauer ? not watching

  37. …and 20th Century Fox is also heavily investing in a TV “James Bond” style series, without James Bond…..called “Agents of C.R.A.P.” …No, no, no: it stands for “Conflict Resolution and Peace” – the “agents” are really Social Justice Workers or “Social Justice Warriors” (as they like to refer to themselves as) who are sent to the most dangerous places on earth to listen to, and convey back to the “powers that be” back home, the “root causes” of various terrorist group grievances – the only “weapons” these SJWs have are their naïveté, their empathy, their caring and their disdain for their own Western culture. Their catchphrase, repeated at the beginning and ending of each episode is borrowed from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan: “Our dreams will come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else, even your life, for it.”

    Fox is betting this series will be very popular in Colleges and Universities in the North America and Europe, and may form a basis for class study and discussion…

    • Alex says:

      Look at how many different actors have played James Bond, every time they cast a new Bond many people yell HE’S NOT THE RIGHT ACTOR TO PLAY BOND! Then they make the film and it’s a hit. Wait to see who they cast before all of you trash it, they may find the right guy. I know the industry is reboot crazy these days but this may work…or not.

  38. bill elder says:

    yep, no Jackie no watchie. I’m sick and tired of ‘diversity’ agendas trumping traditional heroes.

  39. Jo Ann says:

    I resent the fact that they are eliminating all caucasion lead actors because they want diversity? The blacks, Latinos, Indians, etc. would be protesting if that were said about them. I for one won’t be watching a program that starts out like this

  40. Cali says:

    Sutherland is Jack. If there is no Keifer, just call it something else. It’s not “24”. I realize they are going to try and make some actor famous off of Sutherland’s notoriety, but it will flop……at least I”m not watching

  41. RC Arrow says:

    Dear Fox Management:

    Why would you produce 24 series without traditional hero? What drives this poor logic? FYI, I will not be watching and I predict millions will not because of this poor decision.

  42. No Jack, no how, no way. Jack Bauer is 24.

  43. Jack says:

    No Jack Bauer, no watching for me. We didn’t watch it because of just the story, we watched it for the whole package, which includes JB.

  44. CM Corso says:

    24 without Jack Bauer. Um no way. There is no 24 without Jack Bauer.

  45. CBL says:

    I’ll watch. As long as the main character doesn’t stage-whisper his/her lines like Jack did. That was maddening.

    But a better reboot WOULD have been to have Renee Walker take over for Jack after season 8. The formerly straight-by-the-book FBI agent turned CTU agent and Jack’s protegee would have carried the series forward. Kill Jack off and give the lead to Renee. Instead, the geniuses at Fox killed Renee off. What a wasted opportunity.

  46. GozieBoy says:

    So Fax is joining CBS in demanding “diverse” actors to lead proven shows that formerly had white actors. I am glad I do not own stock in these “straight to failure” media companies.

  47. Barry bin Inhalin says:

    Sharks everywhere are rejoicing.

  48. Cb says:

    Lol no Jack? Why watch 24 then. Even the plots started sucking after a few seasons but Jack was the only reason anyone watched. Good luck

  49. Gerry Law says:

    24 without Jack Bauer is nothing – replacing him with a “diversity” character is pathetic. So now I’m supposed to tune in out of guilt? Jack was a breath of fresh air – a common sense driven, no BS guy who saw what needed to be done and DID it – the anti politically correct metrosexual liberal

  50. Mike says:

    The executives at Fox seem to be utterly clueless. Split screen wasn’t why we watched. Jack was.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      Great point!

      Sadly in Hollywood, the majority of the people in decision-making posts think CSI was popular because of the “inside the body” shots (so was House!) and 24 was popular because of split screen.

      It’s never the good writing or acting, always the gimmick…

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