Seriously, what would 24 be without Jack Bauer? He is the main reason the show is so damn popular, and when 24 returned for a brave but excellent twelve episode series last year, it proved that even after a long break, 24 is still popular, still thrilling and can still make for some of the most exciting TV out there.
But, the big question is can the series continue without Bauer? I would prefer to say no, but I have to admit that new agent with attitude Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) did a pretty fine job of following in Jack’s shoes in Live Another Day. I could watch a few episodes with her as the main character, but an entire series? Not really, but during their press tour at the Television Critics Association, new Fox CEOs/ Chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden discussed the possibility of 24 returning, and have played with the idea of Bauer not returning.
Said Newman, “We have no current plans although we’re in discussions with the creative team there. We would love nothing more than to do another 24.”
However, to contradict that statement, Walden said “We’re thinking 2016 [for the debut],” when asked when they aiming to bring the series back.
Positively she added “We heard a really great pitch for the series. Howard [Gordon], Evan [Katz], and Manny [Coto] are all very busy working on development right now. And we don’t want to rush it. 24 is a series where we’ve really taken our time with to develop it. We didn’t want it to be a business agenda, or a development agenda. We want to make sure that the time is right and the story is right. And we were so happy with the last [return to television]. It set such a high bar.”
So far it is all sounding pretty concrete that 24 WILL be returning, which should please fans. However, the idea of 24 without Bauer just doesn’t feel right. Kiefer Sutherland has been quoted saying he will not return to play Bauer, yet he said that before Live Another Day was made, so personally I feel if the deal and story are good enough, Sutherland will always return to play Bauer.
Walden said, “We have discussed this with him, we talk to Keifer all the time. He’s a great creative partner. It’s a possibility that he won’t be in this installment, but he’s very supportive.”
Thankfully it sounds like Walden and Newman understand that bringing 24 back without Bauer could be damaging to the show, and the following statement proves they are being cautious, and planning to test the waters by not taking Jack out of the show altogether, but reducing his screen time.
“We’re not talking about continuing the show without him,” Walden elaborated. “We’re talking about whether there is one installment that he’s not in. And I think if the storytelling is exciting enough with the real-time element that that show really owns. So many of the production elements that that show really owns. I look at so many of the surrounding elements around Keifer in that last installment and I think it can work. There is a point where Jack Bauer could come into this story and there is a way that this could be the one installment without him.”
So my thoughts are that IF 24 returns, Kate Morgan could go on a rogue mission to save Jack Bauer from the Russians. That would be cool wouldn’t it?