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Sutherland and Gordon are open to more 24 - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2010 9:24PM
Kiefer Suterhland at the 24 session of the Winter 2010 TCAsThe final panel of a very eventful FOX day was for the upcoming eighth season of 24, and there were a number of questions that were hanging in the air. How are they going to deal with Jack Bauer running around New York City? Is the show something that people still want to watch when real life is scary enough? But the big question was: Is this Bauer's last roundup?

First, the hats: FOX gave critics Yankees and Mets-ish looking baseball caps to commemorate the season.The caps were fitted, and they were HUGE; they were too big for even my 7.5-sized melon. But I took 'em anyway, because they looked cool.

The reporters pretty much got at the question of another season right away, and as far as Kiefer Sutherland and executive producer Howard Gordon is concerned, they'll keep doing the show as long as FOX wants them to.

"This is one of the greatest gifts of my life, doing 24. So I'm open to it," said Sutherland. "Right now, my focus is on finishing season eight."

"It's certainly a possibility," said Gordon, who explained that it's always been FOX's option whether to continue or not, even when Sutherland had years left on his contract.

So, there you go. If FOX wants to do it, the others are on board. But isn't it about time for Bauer to retire? How long can Kiefer be running and shooting his way through America's finest cities? Sutherland thinks he can do it for a while, but he does realize that "I'd have to think that Jack Bauer is a little slower now. But a kind of adrenaline kicks in (during the action sequences)." It's something he's been doing constantly for eight years now, and it seems he's in no mood to let it stop, despite how horrified he was to see how much he's aged since season one.

One thing that you'll see from Bauer that we haven't seen in a while: a smile, in this year's first hour. "It felt weird to do that," said Sutherland. He recalls the last time Jack smiled was in season three, when he had Nina captured and he smiled at her. "That was a few episodes before I got to shoot her," he joked.

Most of the panelists for season eight were newcomers, including Freddie Prinze, Jr., Mykelti Williamson, and Katee Sackhoff. Sackhoff feels that the role she plays, who initially is office-bound "is the closest character to myself that I've every played." Don't worry, Battlestar fans, Katee will eventually kick ass on the show. We just don't know when or where, and Gordon would only allude to the fact that her character of Dana will only be office bound.

As usual, Mary Lynn Rajskub was utilizing her deadpan humor during the panel. On CTU techie Chloe coming back after having her baby and being behind: "When I get there, all the protocols have changed. Whatever a protocol is."

How does the show negotiate New York and all of its quirks? Will Bauer be delayed by a subway signal problem? "In this 24-hour period, New York City is functioning perfectly," joked Sutherland. New York and its energy will be a character on the show, but it sounds to me that trying to get down 6th Avenue during rush hour won't be much of a problem for Bauer.

Gordon and Sutherland addressed the terrorism/ torture issues, but only lightly. "On some level, there's a cathartic aspect to (the show), a wish-fulfillment aspect," says Gordon, figuring people are so scared they love seeing terrorists get theirs. Sutherland thinks Bauer is as "apolitical" a character as he's ever played, and that Bauer has changed his mind about the use of torture, mainly via his interactions with Renee Walker.

Because of all of this, though, do people feel safer when they fly with Sutherland? "I'm shocked to hear people who I'm flying with tell me they feel safer with me. They obviously don't watch the show, because everyone I know gets killed."

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I'm betting that the series goes on in some format for four more seasons after this one.

January 13 2010 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kim

I really hope that there will be more "24." Kiefer has made this show a must-watch for me. I haven't missed an episode since the beginning. I love Kiefer. I'm also really excited for his new bio, "Kiefer Sutherland: Living Dangerously." It comes out this week and it talks all about Kiefer's great success and his problems with the bottle.

January 12 2010 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shawn Jones

Where can I get one of those hats? I want the Mets one!

January 12 2010 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
malren

I just don't care anymore. I've lost all interest in 24. The plot devices needed to carry off the gimmick are so ridiculous that I can't enjoy the action sequences. It's one huge bad cliche of bad tv writing and I think I just don't care enough to watch it. If they announced that this was the last season, I may have watched just to see how Jack's story ends, but if they are even *considering* another year?

Yeah, I'm out.

January 12 2010 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chrissthomas

"Swenson...swanson..."
"Check the brief case"
"Sampsonite..I was way off"

Anyways, I think FOX needs to kill Bauer this year. The show is amazing because of Kiefer but the show is known for mind blowing twists. I think they only trick up their sleeve they have left in that arena is to kill Jack. Even if they announced his death I still think they would blow people away to actually do it and would get the biggest ratings ever the whole season as people tune in to see how he dies. They can then bring in another huge name (ahem...Lou Diamond Philips...ahem) and create a new lead and redevelop the show. I think it would work brilliantly.

January 12 2010 at 6:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christopher Swenson

Why oh why won't they get rid of Chloe. I don't know if the woman can't act or if the part is really written the way she plays it (or a bit of both) but I cringe every time she shows up on screen. They've managed to kill everybody else off but her. I don't even know why I enjoy this show as much as I do. It's ridiculous and contradicts it's self every few episodes, but my butt is on the couch every year. I'm hoping they give it another season or two then let it go.

January 11 2010 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Christopher Swenson's comment
Chris

How dare YOU sir. Chloe is awesome.

January 11 2010 at 11:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

What's wrong with you? I have to admit, I liked blonde Chloe better, but she's still the only person with Jack's back. What's wrong with you?

January 13 2010 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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