Fox has revealed plans for 24 without Jack Bauer.
Speaking to TV Insider, CEO Gary Newman attempted to dampen the post-Bauer 24 backlash by saying that Sutherland will be front and center of the next installment if he wants to be.
However, with the actor’s approval, the network is pressing forward with plans to further reboot the 24 franchise in “exciting” ways with a “different character”:
“If [Sutherland] wants to, he’ll be in it and it will be built around him. That would by far be our preference. I think the idea of real time is a powerful franchise. Rebooting 24 in another way, with a different character, is actually an exciting reimagining,” Newman says.
Co-chair Dana Walden says that with or without Bauer, the next 24 would air in 2016 at the earliest, and confirms that the producers have given a flexible pitch that could incorporate Bauer or go ahead without him, depending on Sutherland’s decision:
“We actually heard a great pitch for the show. We don’t want to rush it. The show’s writers made their pitch flexible enough that it could go in different directions depending on what Sutherland decides. “There’s a point Jack Bauer can come in and fit very organically in their story, but they were prepared to do something that would be the one installment without Jack Bauer.”