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Kiefer Sutherland is so tethered to the character of 24's Jack Bauer that I fully believe there are people out there who think the actor is responsible for stopping a terrorist attack in the last decade. So it makes sense that the upcoming companion series 24: Legacy has everyone in the mood for more Jack. Sutherland has been wishy-washy about reprising the role, but he has apparently revised his stance to one that won't make TV fans cheer too hard. Here's his take on the possibility of Jack Bauer being gone forever.

I know never to say that. It doesn't mean that we can't make the [long-in-the-works 24] film. It's a character that I love until the day I die. [But] there is absolutely no plan. [And] it will not ever be a series again.

Dammit, Kiefer Sutherland, why you gotta get all point blank when shredding through people's hopes and dreams like that? Pragmatic fans have come to begrudgingly accept the fact that the actor, while grateful for his years as a quasi-superhero, is not whole-heartedly into returning to the world of 24, with its hectic production schedules and exhausting stuntwork. Still, it's almost impossible to shelve those thoughts entirely, especially with 24: Legacy putting CTU back in our lives on a weekly basis.

24 jack

So yes, there is still a chance for Jack Bauer to come back to us, but it apparently won't happen on the small screen. One would think that popping into the upcoming spinoff for a single episode would be an easier time than an entire film, but it's possible Sutherland doesn't want a cameo and would only be interested in returning if there is a full-blown story attached. (I also doubt fans would be overly impressed with a limited cameo.) And according to AdWeek, he still thinks that Jack was second banana to 24's concept, saying "the star of that show was the idea of putting a time restriction on it." But time restrictions don't save the world!

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Kiefer Sutherland, who will serve as an executive producer on 24: Legacy, does have some other kind of important stuff keeping him busy, as he's leading another broadcast dramatic thriller. ABC's Designated Survivor stars Sutherland as a man who gets vaulted into the job of President of the United States following a vicious terrorist attack, and the show has been getting some major pre-premiere love from critics. If this show turns out to be as successful as 24 or some of ABC's other primetime hits, Sutherland might not even have time to play Jack again, on either the big or the small screen. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

For what it's worth, though, 24: Legacy may indeed bring other characters back, even if Jack isn't one of them. Plus, Designated Survivor will have its own little 24 reunion, as actor Mykelti Williamson (who played CTU's Brian Hastings in Season 8) signed on for a recurring role. It's not the same, of course, but it's something.

Get ready for more full-throttle Kiefer Sutherland when Designated Survivor makes its terror-filled debut on ABC on Wednesday, September 21, at 10:00 p.m. You'll be waiting a little longer for 24: Legacy, which won't kick off on Fox until the midseason. For everything else coming sooner than that, check out our fall premiere schedule.