Jack Bauer is officially back: FOX has confirmed its plans to bring "24" back to its airwaves next year.
The show will return in the summer of 2014 as an event series called "24: Live Another Day." Kiefer Sutherland has signed on to play Jack Bauer again, with the story picking up several years after the last season, which aired in 2009. There's no word yet on any other casting.
"Live Another Day" will run for 12 weeks and keep its real-time format, but FOX Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly says it may skip hours here and there.
"As [executive producer Howard Gordon] would design the season, the spine of the 24 episodes was really about 12 hours. Those were where the big events occurred, and then there were little twists and connective tissue in between," Reilly told reporters on a conference call Monday (May 13). Each episode of "Live Another Day" will still unfold over the course of an hour, but viewers won't see as much of the in-between hours. "It may go 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m.," Reilly says, depending on how the story comes together.
Reilly says the return of "24" grew out of the network announcing it was making a push into limited-run series, and Gordon and the "24" team's frustration at trying to design a feature film based on the show.
"As they got into the feature film, I think they all agreed that '24' compressed into two hours is not '24,'" Reilly says. "Talking about it over the last couple of years, they kind of got their juices flowing again, and when we announced this new [miniseries] franchise, a little light bulb went off for Howard. He said, 'Wait a minute. Why are we killing ourselves trying to crack a feature when this is the perfect format?'"
"Live Another Day" will probably be paired with another scripted series in the summer of 2014 -- Reilly mentioned the drama "Gang Related" as one that might hold until then. Another limited series, the thriller "Wayward Pines," is currently set to launch in the late summer next year and carry into fall.