24 was one of the biggest and most influential shows of the 2000s. Perfectly capturing the immediate post-9/11 American paranoia of international terrorism and conspiracies from within, the action-filled drama made a television icon of central character Jack Bauer and reinvigorated the career of actor Keifer Sutherland.
Eventually, however, time ran out on 24, despite maintaining relatively healthy ratings right into its final season. A mini-revival took place in 2014, and despite also attracting over eight million viewers at its high point, nothing has been heard from Jack Bauer since, leaving fans with an unresolved cliffhanger.
Speaking with GQ, Sutherland said that he believes “the story is unresolved” and that he misses the show, adding that his time as Jack Bauer “was an incredible experience.”
I have learned that you’re just better off not to be definitive about your answer of whether you will do something or not do something. I love playing that character… If something were to be written that made sense to me and that I thought was going to contribute to the franchise, then I would be behind it, even if my participation in that were to be limited.
The final episode of the limited event Live Another Day in July 2014 saw Jack Bauer hand himself over to Russian agents in exchange for the freedom of long-term ally and friend Chloe O’Brian. With tension between the U.S. and Russia now at their worse point since the height of the Cold War, Fox may believe that bringing back 24 could again be a ratings winner.
The rocky road for 24 revivals
However, much of the material would likely need to be changed for today’s audiences. The show was highly controversial during its initial run for its depiction and frequent endorsement of torture and damaging stereotypes of Muslims. Members of the U.S. military even met with the show’s creators and appealed to them to tone down the violence.
Fox also attempted to produce 24 without the involvement of Sutherland back in 2017 with 24: Legacy, starring Corey Hawkins as Eric Carter, an ex-Army Ranger. Despite guest starring Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida and having the endorsement of Sutherland, the show wasn’t popular with fans, with viewership collapsing throughout its single 12-episode session.
Despite the failure of Legacy, Fox has always maintained that it is open to continuing the 24 franchise in the future, having announced back in 2018 that production was underway on a prequel series that would have told the origin story of Jack Bauer. That same year, Fox announced another spinoff that would be a legal thriller existing in the 24 universe.
However, the legal thriller was turned down in February of 2019 and the prequel scrapped by 2020. At the time of writing, despite interest from Sutherland, it seems Fox has no definitive plans to bring back 24 for one more day.