×

TV Review: ’24: Live Another Day’

With:

Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kim Raver, William Devane, Benjamin Bratt, Yvonne Strahovski, Tate Donovan, Michael Wincott, Gbenga Akkinagbe, Giles Matthey

Jack Bauer is back, and enthusiasm regarding “24: Live Another Day” (or really, at 12 episodes, another half-day) will likely be split, depending on whether news of the project evoked, “Wow! Can’t wait!” or, “Seriously? Again? Just how desperate is Fox?” As a member of the latter camp — why not let the man find a nice beach somewhere instead of dragging this out into “Expendables” territory? — it’s safe to note that the two-hour premiere is ably executed and effectively paced, which is to say, like sundry past seasons. For Fox, along with comfort-and-catharsis-seeking viewers, that’s probably enough.

Set in London, an opening sequence in which Kiefer Sutherland’s signature, much-politicized hero takes on a group of CIA-station operatives quickly demonstrates Jack hasn’t lost his knack for mayhem during his hiatus from TV. But his arrival creates headaches for the station chief (Benjamin Bratt) and the only agent with a brain in her head (Yvonne Strahovski), who, naturally, is in the process of being drummed out of the service when the chaos begins.

It gives away nothing to say the plot hinges on the fact the U.S. president (William Devane, promoted from his earlier stint as Secretary of Defense, and invariably classing up the joint) is visiting London, representing a ripe target for a terrorist attack. Moreover, there’s the little matter of Jack’s history with both him and his daughter/Jack’s former girlfriend, Audrey (Kim Raver), which is only one of the several degrees of difficulty — a few of marginal value — producers introduce into the proceedings.

As usual, “24” draws some of its kick from its references to real-life concerns, from “enhanced interrogation” techniques to drone strikes. That said, showrunner Howard Gordon upped that bar with his Showtime series “Homeland,” and whatever its patina of seriousness, “24” ultimately works best as James Bond-type fare, with Mary Lynn Rajskub once again on hand as Jack’s Moneypenny and Q rolled into one.

The opening two episodes are characteristically entertaining, and snap along pretty briskly (the first is in real time), but it’s hard to escape a sense of creative malaise around all this. Essentially, the limited series became the consolation prize for a proposed movie that never came to fruition, while offering Fox — coming off a season where its ratings have experienced their own countdown — a highly promotable title heading into the upfronts and summer.

So while Jack might continue to nobly hammer away out of a sense of duty and inherent goodness despite receiving a cold shoulder from an ungrateful nation, this “24” revival seems motivated by more pragmatic and mercenary considerations: trying to wring a few more nuggets out of a played-out goldmine.

TV Review: '24: Live Another Day'

(Series; Fox, Mon. May 5, 8 p.m.)

Production:

Filmed in London by Teakwood Lane Prods. and Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television.

Crew:

Executive producers, Howard Gordon, Evan Katz, Manny Coto, David Fury, Robert Cochran, Brian Grazer, Jon Cassar, Kiefer Sutherland; producer, Iain Smith; director, Cassar; writers, Katz, Coto, Cochran, Fury; camera, Jeffrey C. Mygatt; production designer, Jonathan Lee; editors, Joe Hobeck, Jordan Goldman; music, Sean Callery; casting, Debi Manwiller, Amy Hubbard. 120 MIN.

Cast:

Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kim Raver, William Devane, Benjamin Bratt, Yvonne Strahovski, Tate Donovan, Michael Wincott, Gbenga Akkinagbe, Giles Matthey

More TV

  • SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases

    SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases 'The Magicians' Season 5 Clip (Watch)

    In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, Syfy shares a clip from “The Magicians” Season 5, and Amazon sets the Season 4 premiere of “The Expanse.” CASTING Julie Gonzalo and Staz Nair have joined the cast of “Supergirl” for its upcoming fifth season. Gonzalo will portray iconic DC character Andrea Rojas aka Acrata, a polished businesswoman [...]

  • Doom Patrol -- Ep. 101 --

    'Doom Patrol' Renewed, Season 2 to Stream on DC Universe and HBO Max

    “Doom Patrol” has been renewed for a second season and will soon be available outside of DC Universe. At San Diego Comic-Con, series executive producer Jeremy Carver and star Diane Guerrero announced not only that the show will be back for another season but also that it will be available on HBO Max, the upcoming [...]

  • Teyonah Parris

    Teyonah Parris Cast in 'WandaVision' at Disney Plus

    “Mad Men” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” actress Teyonah Parris has been cast in Disney Plus’ “Wanda Vision” series. She will play an adult version of Monica Rambeau, a child character introduced in the film “Captain Marvel.” The announcement was made at Marvel’s Comic-Con presentation. The forthcoming Disney+ series about Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth [...]

  • Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx - NOS4A2

    'NOS4A2' Renewed for Season 2 at AMC

    AMC has renewed “NOS4A2” for a second season. The news was announced during the show’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con and ahead of the Season 1 finale. Season 2 will consist of 10 episodes and is slated to air in 2020. The series, which is based on the 2013 Joe Hill novel of the same [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Signs Netflix Deal With Expanded Coverage

    SAG-AFTRA and streaming giant Netflix have agreed to a new three-year contract with expanded coverage for union performers. Netflix has previously employed SAG-AFTRA members under the union’s standard master contracts for television and film and had been signing on a production by production basis. The union announced Saturday that the new deal recognizes performance capture as covered work [...]

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show photocall,

    Cara Delevingne Says Her 'Carnival Row' Character Is Pansexual, Explains Defending Taylor Swift Against Justin Bieber

    Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom’s love affair may be at the center of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series “Carnival Row,” but the British actress doesn’t want viewers to assume her faerie character is heterosexual. “I’m a pansexual faerie,” Delevingne told Variety during an exclusive one-on-one interview at Comic-Con adding that there are other queer [...]

  • 'Russian Doll' Star Charlie Barnett Joins

    'Russian Doll' Star Charlie Barnett Joins 'Arrow' Final Season

    “Russian Doll” standout Charlie Barnett is joining the “Arrowverse.” Barnett, who is having a busy year having also appeared in Netflix’s “Tales of the City,” comes on board in the series regular role of John Diggle, Jr., son of David Ramsey’s character. News of his casting was announced at the show’s farewell Comic-Con panel where things [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content