We’ve known for a while that Fox has a 24 spinoff in the works, but when it was originally announced, Howard Gordon wanted guest spots from actors like Kiefer Sutherland and Yvonne Strahovski. In the time since, those plans have been scrapped and both Sutherland and Strahovski are out. Despite the huge changes that are being made to the 24 franchise with 24: Legacy, Kiefer Sutherland says that he feels the spinoff is definitely going to work. Here’s why:
I have said from the beginning that the real star of 24 is the idea. And I mean that wholeheartedly. For me, and you have to understand for the writers, to write for the same character in that format for nine years, I would have told you was impossible… but they managed to do it.
Speaking in a recent Q&A with TIFF’s Cameron Bailey, Sutherland actually seems pretty optimistic regarding the chances of the spinoff’s success. We’ve seen a lot of shows live past their respective prime (ahem Bones) and end up producing episodes that are lesser quality than those from earlier seasons. But when 24: Live Another Day came back, years later, it earned good reviews on Fox. Although rebooting with new characters is an even bigger risk than simply returning after cancellation, clearly Sutherland believes that the concept was what made 24 successful rather than his performance.
He goes on to say the lack of Jack Bauer shouldn’t really affect the overall quality of the new series, which will follow a military hero coming home only to be back in the middle of things when it seems he may be able to thwart a major terrorist attack.
I think the freedom that they are going to have for creating new characters but keeping the same formula is going to be pretty extraordinary.
Since he has so many nice things to say about the franchise continuing on, you would think that Kiefer Sutherland might want to pop up for an appearance. However, he’s been vocal about the last set of episodes being the end of the road for his character. And that’s okay. It’s not like Sutherland is totally done with TV, after all.
In fact, Kiefer Sutherland is heading to ABC, where he gets to play the President in a brand new series for ABC. That series, called Designated Survivor, will give Sutherland the opportunity to play the lead in another thriller, but will presumably give him the chance to flex his acting muscles in a different kind of roll. Designated Survivor has already been ordered straight to series and will feature a member of the US Cabinet who ends up as the President after an attack leaves those above his paygrade dead. Sounds like something I would definitely at least try out when it premieres next season.
We’ll let you know when we learn more about 24: Legacy, as well as Designated Survivor. In the meantime, you can catch the full Q&A on the next page.