Kiefer Sutherland said he was most nervous to re-enter the world of “24” because of the challenge of making something as great as the original show.
Sutherland was joined by co-star Mary Lynn Rajskub and executive producers Mannie Coto and Howard Gordon at a screening of the final episode of “24: Live Another Day” at the Landmark on Thursday. “Live Another Day” is a miniseries set four years after the events of the eighth season of “24.”
“I think we managed to do eight seasons of 24 episodes each year, and we managed to get out with some dignity and we were proud of it,” Sutherland said. “All of a sudden I felt the pressure of, ‘Oh my God, if this is not as good or better than what we’ve done before then we’re in real real trouble.'”
Sutherland said although he thinks “24” can continue with a new cast, the limited-series “Live Another Day” will be his final involvement.
“I’m not coming back to do ’24,’ because there are other things I want to do,” he said. “And when they said ‘limited-series run,’ I meant it. But I’ve always felt, from season one on, that ’24’ is such a great idea that this can go on forever. I think if you create a new cast or other characters in the telling of this story, it will bring a freshness. And let’s face it, there’s only so many bad days one can have before the show becomes a mad comic.” Sutherland, however, floated the possibility of a cameo if “24” does continue.
“Live Another Day” follows Jack Bauer (Sutherland) in London, four years after he became an exile. Bauer once again risks his life to stop unthinkable terrorist acts.
Moderator Dominic Patten of Deadline asked about the risks in bringing back a TV show that had officially ended.
“We figured we’re tempting fate,” Gordon said. “To think that you can come back from a show that we’re very, very proud of its entire run, and having ended it and ended it very elegantly — to restart it again, I think we tempted fate in our minds and that’s what was animating us.”
Rajskub talked about her character Chloe’s development over eight seasons. “It’s been such a slow build and so many layers where I started out as a computer tech person who would recite the rules and then, over time, became this relationship that I don’t think anyone could have predicted.”
Sutherland said taking “Live Another Day” to the U.K. gave the show a unique international feel.
“It gave an incredible international scope to the show,” Sutherland said. “As much as the show has been supported by audiences in America, it’s been supported around the world and that was something we were really proud of and something that was really reflected in the writing for eight years.”
Gordon said he’s very proud of the ending they’ve created.
“There’s something that we’ll keep to ourselves. How the sausage is made is best left within the family,” Gordon said to audience laughter. “Endings are challenging.”
“We made some sausage,” Rajskub said.