TCA: ’24’ finds a new leader

POSTED BY STUART LEVINE

CherryjonesCherry Jones has beaten Hillary Clinton to the punch.

Jones (pictured) has been cast as the next U.S. president in Fox’s long-running drama “24.” She’ll play Allison Taylor in the seventh season of the series.

A woman president is nothing new on primetime. Geena Davis took on the role as leader of the free world a few years back in ABC’s “Commander in Chief,” but the show only lasted one season.

In “24” tradition, it’s impossible to say when Jones’ character will be “with us or against us,” as real-life President Bush might say. Past presidents in “24” have shown to be traitors against the United States.

Jones has previously co-starred in “Ocean’s Twelve,” “The Perfect Storm” and “The West Wing.”

Kiefer Sutherland will be back in action, of course, when the series begins in mid-season, and although the format will be the same, expect other changes after the show fell out of favor last season with hardcore fans and journos.

After winning the Emmy for best drama last year, the show didn’t even garner a nomination last week, and it also fell precipitously on the critics’ poll.

“Discussions are being made to reinvent the franchise, although it’s way too early to talk about specfiics,” said Fox topper Peter Liguori on the dais Sunday morning at TCA with newly appointed entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly.

Ligouri was careful not to agree with questioners that the show needed an overhaul, rather saying the franchise is a “living beast” and that the time-clock format creates tension that can be good for the creative process of the show

“I wouldn’t categorize my view of the show as disappointing,” he said. “Part of the high-wire act is the process of putting it together.”

— Stuart Levine

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