In the current strain of TV revivals, Fox rocked one of the most high-profile returns with 24: Legacy, although some of its early buzz was disappointment over this being the first 24 iteration without Jack Bauer involved. Unfortunately, the post-premiere talk wasn't nearly as big, with the spinoff mildly pleasing critics and audiences, and the lack of clenched-fist excitement isn't a great sign for a potential Season 2. Here's how showrunner and executive producer Manny Coto explained the show's current spot on the renewal scale.
I'm sure Fox would have wanted the ratings to be higher, but the fan reactions have been greatly gratifying. My guess is it's a decision that will come some time in May, in concert with Fox's decisions on their overall programming for next season. But I'm hopeful! I think the show is really good and I think Fox loves the show, so we'll see.
Now, Fox definitely hasn't shied away from pulling the plug on much-ballyhooed projects in the past, and there have been many of those over the years. So it wouldn't be the weirdest thing in the world for execs to look at the surprisingly low ratings that 24: Legacy brought in as a sign that the franchise isn't necessarily supposed to live on without Kiefer Sutherland's terrorist-thwarting Jack Bauer steering the ship.
Having said that, it's still hard to believe that Fox would only go one-and-done with 24: Legacy, given it comes from one of the network's most successful series of all time. (I mean, even Joey lasted two seasons on NBC.) Admittedly, the dropping viewership is somewhat more discouraging given how big an audience 24: Legacy launched with in its post-Super Bowl airing. Then again, modern TV audiences are far more likely to hold off on watching a new show until it has already earned an additional season, since we've all been burned by the Cancelled Too Soon curse.
Plus, Manny Coto has some ideas about where Season 2 could go, and it's possible that already having stepping stones in place for the future could help Fox execs lean in that positive direction. Brief spoiler talk is coming beneath the picture, for anyone who hasn't yet watched 24: Legacy's season finale.
The 24: Legacy finale brought this latest half-day to a close on a relatively positive note for some characters, with Corey Hawkins' Eric Carter and his wife Nicole both still alive and together. But not everyone got such a grand exit, as Miranda Otto's CTU Director Rebecca Ingram survived one close call only to later take a fatal bullet to save Eric. So I think we all know one character who wouldn't be involved with Season 2, but here's what Manny Coto told THR about the potential narrative avenues he's contemplating.
We all know where we want to take the next season. I could say pretty confidently that it would probably be Eric as a CTU agent, and my guess is it would be in a place that's not necessarily the U.S. As a young agent, he's stuck somewhere. He's not getting the choicest assignments. It might be fun [to focus on] someone in some backwater CTU station who ends up stumbling on a larger plot that could bring down the country. My feeling for next season would be something where the country is at stake in a large way. It involves Jimmy Smits and the country and his presidency. It would hopefully go big, and be more along the lines of Live Another Day, and be larger than life and still explore relationships, like Eric and his wife. Are they still together? Are they not?
Manny Coto just offered fans a ton of speculative tidbits to simmer on while waiting to hear about a potential renewal. I'd love to see the 24 universe head to backwoods-y territories, where it could take on a more Fargo-esque vibe. Which will probably never happen, but still, ya know? And if anyone is offering up more Jimmy Smits in anything, particularly as leader of the free world, then I'll sign on in 24 different spots. (That only makes sense in this particular case, of course.) Here's hoping the fanbase's support and the writers' ideas are enough to secure more of Eric Carter's exploits in years to come.