Has the president been killed?
“24” thesp Dennis Haysbert probably would love to know.
Ending its second season with a cliffhanger, viewers of the Fox drama won’t know until next season whether Haysbert’s character, President David Palmer, makes it out alive — or remains the country’s chief executive.
It was the final twist in a year that had plenty of turns for Jack Bauer, played by star Kiefer Sutherland, who escaped a plane crash, survived a nuclear explosion and clinically died.
But in a shift from last year, when the show’s producers definitively killed off Bauer’s wife Teri (Leslie Hope) and tied up “24’s” loose ends, producers decided to keep it vague as to whether thesp Haysbert will be back to play a still-living Palmer next season.
For now, only Sutherland is confirmed back for the show’s third go-round.
“24” co-creator/exec producer Robert Cochran said he and partner Joel Surnow decided midway through the year to write a cliffhanger into the show’s final episode.
“Last year we didn’t intend it to be a cliffhanger,” he said. “We thought it was clear, but so many fans couldn’t believe we killed off a major character like that. So this year, we decided to do one.”
Rejoining the show in the final episode was Mia Kirshner, who plays hired gun Mandy — the character who attempts to kill Palmer. Kirshner briefly appeared last season, blowing up a jumbo jet in the show’s pilot.