The clock won’t stop on “24.”
Pleaded no contest Tuesday to a charge of driving above the legal blood-alcohol limit, star Kiefer Sutherland has agreed to terms that will keep production moving on the Fox series.
Under terms of the plea agreement, Sutherland will spend 30 days in Los Angeles County Jail to be served by July 1. Meanwhile, having violated the terms of his probation from a 2004 drunken driving arrest, Sutherland will also spend 18 days in the custody of the L.A. County Sheriff starting Dec. 21.
The December stretch will come during the “24” holiday hiatus, while Sutherland can serve his 30-day sentence after “24” wraps for the season in the spring.
Sutherland has also been ordered to complete an 18-month alcohol education program and to attend weekly alcohol therapy sessions for six weeks. The actor also cannot drive any vehicle from Nov. 9 to May 9.
In a joint statement, the Fox net and “24” producer 20th Century Fox TV said they were pleased that Sutherland had resolved the criminal case “at the earliest opportunity.”
“Kiefer made clear to us at the time of his arrest that his first concern was the welfare of those he worked with and that he intended to do whatever was necessary to prevent shutting down the show because of his situation,” the statement said. “He told us that even if he had to sacrifice more time in custody in order to protect the show and the jobs of those who work with him, he would do so.
“From what occurred today, it is evident he is a man of his word.”
Sutherland was arrested Sept. 26 on suspicion of driving with a blood-alcohol level way above California’s legal 0.8 limit. The thesp was departing a Fox party honoring the net’s new season — a season that could have been impacted had production been halted on “24.”
“I’m very disappointed in myself for the poor judgment I exhibited recently, and I’m deeply sorry for the disappointment and distress this has caused my family, friends and co-workers on ’24’ and at 20th Century Fox,” Sutherland said in a statement. “I appreciate the support and concern that has been extended to me these last weeks both personally and professionally.”