Four Letter Nerd

24: Reasons for Optimism and Concern Regarding the Show’s Return

It’s official: Fox has ordered a pilot for a new series of “24,” which they are currently casting for and will be filming soon.

But the new series, “24: Legacy” intends to take the series in a mostly new direction. I mean, yes, it will still be CTU fighting against various terrorist threats on US soil. But many significant changes are in order for this iconic franchise.

24: Legacy

“24: Legacy,” the title for the new 24 pilot being filmed this winter.

Here’s a breakdown of, in my opinion, the reasons to be excited about the renewal of the great series as well as reasons to be concerned:

Reasons for Optimism

1. The 12 hour format

During its heyday, “24” did an amazing job keeping the show intense through the entire 24 hour run of each season. But this became harder and harder to replicate in the later seasons. So Legacy will wisely take on a shorter, half season format that has proven beneficial to many of the best shows on television today.

The recent “24: Live Another Day” worked very well with just 12 hours, so it definitely should work better for any future “24’s” going forward.

2. New Cast, meaning no Jack Bauer

How can the loss of Jack Bauer, the central character that made 24 what it was, be under Reasons For Optimism? Well, as we saw with the new Star Wars, new blood can bring new life into a series. And if properly cast, the same can happen for 24.

And I think enough time has passed between the shows original run and this new edition to allow for the unthinkable just 7 or 8 years ago (a Bauerless 24), to be a possible breath of fresh air for the franchise.

Reasons For Concern

1.  Seriously, no Jack Bauer?

I know, I know. I praised the decision just right above this section. But that decision is not without significant risks. Jack Bauer is 24. And how can the show move forward without him or, at the very least, some passing of the guard to whoever takes his place?

The initial press release indicated a co-lead was likely, with a male actor “as different as Jack Bauer as possible” who is going to be either an “African American or Latino.” And I am all for shows seeking diversity (because we all know the Oscars won’t give us that don’t we). But there is going to be a ton of pressure on whoever fills the large shoes Kiefer Sutherland’s Bauer leaves behind.

Will “24” moving on from Jack Bauer prove to be a needed change of direction for the franchise, or will it fall apart without its main protagonist?

2. How Original Can the Show Truly Be?

The press release that came out Friday claims “Legacy” is “a whole new story” for this restart of “24.”

“It’s a completely different story in terms of the special ops groups that we’re focusing on. It’s a very contemporary feeling story about the potential to activate new sleeper cells in the United States and radicalizing Americans. It’s a whole new story. There are nods in the pilot to prior CTU agents, there are a couple photos that will feel reminiscent of the original, but no ongoing [returning] characters.”

But hasn’t “24” always been about unknown terrorist in America terrorizing US citizens on home soil (otherwise known as sleeper cells)? And will the “nods” to previous characters be enough for long-time fans of the series before (much like I mentioned previously with Bauer)passing the torch on to a whole new cast of characters?

We’ll see how things turn out for “24:Legacy” as the cast comes together and we get closer to pilot season. And let’s hope that cast is ready to fill the large shoes left by the previous crew that manned CTU in the 24 universe.

(Here’s the article that served as the source for this one covering the press release last week)





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Jeff Merrick

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