Kiefer Sutherland: “It wasn’t a question of whether or not “24″ was coming back … but when”

Monica Gleberman | May 12, 2014

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“24: Live Another Day” staring Kiefer Sutherland is a thrilling new event series set to restart the ticking clock on the groundbreaking and Emmy Award-winning drama “24.”

The high-octane saga reunites the Emmy Award-winning team of executive producer Howard Gordon; star and executive producer Kiefer Sutherland; co-creator Robert Cochran; executive producers Evan Katz, Manny Coto, David Fury, Brian Grazer; and director Jon Cassar. It also will retain the real-time, pulse-pounding, fast-paced format with split screens and interweaving storylines.

The series once again will follow the exploits of heroic agent Jack Bauer (Sutherland). Originally premiering November 6, 2001, “24″ was nominated for 73 Emmy Awards, winning for Outstanding Drama Series in 2006. Over eight seasons, Sutherland garnered seven Emmy Award nominations and one win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Sutherland said it was only a matter of time until Bauer hit the small screen again.

“It wasn’t just a question of whether or not 24″ was coming back, I think it was more specific towards when is it, because I think people were anticipating a movie. And then with regards to where, that’s always amazed me. I’ve never had another project that I’ve been a part of that has had that kind of international success, where arguably through Europe, Asia, and even parts of Africa, that was equally successful as it was in America, which I think is a really rare thing for an American television show. So, I’ve always been surprised by that. It’s also something I’m quite proud of,” said Sutherland.

When it was announced that they would be bringing Sutherland back in his beloved role, fans all over the world began tweeting, writing in letters, and posting online about their excitement. Sutherland said he thinks its because his character is someone that most people can relate to. “Obviously, the circumstances are massively exaggerated, but I think all of us on some level feel a connection to a character like Jack Bauer because this is a guy who’s facing insurmountable odds and yet he goes into the fight regardless. And I think life kind of makes us feel like that too. Life is tricky,” he said. “And I think the fact that he doesn’t always win. In the context of the first season, he managed to save the president, he managed to get his daughter back, but he lost his wife. A guy goes and gets a promotion at work and he’s very happy for a few minutes, but then realizes he doesn’t have time to take his son to football practice anymore,” Sutherland continued.

“And I think there’s a kind of reality in that not winning that makes Jack Bauer incredibly relatable. And this is also a character that is—I’m so sorry—after 9-11 I think there was a real feeling of helplessness, and I think Jack Bauer, as a character, was kind of dogmatic and regardless of the circumstances was going to push forward. And I certainly found that comforting, and I certainly felt very helpless after 9-11 and there was kind of a great refuge for me in that character.”

Although Sutherland said he is excited to get back in Bauer’s shoes, it might just be a short-term thing because he hasn’t thought about doing a possible season two just yet.

“I would never say no, because it’s just too easy for something to happen. But it is not something that I’m thinking about and it’s not something that I think Howard or anybody else is thinking about. I think once we realized we were going to do this and we actually started the process of obviously the writers with the scripts, Jon Cassar and myself doing our pre-production, we became so focused on trying to make these the best 12 episodes of “24,” period, and we have four episodes left to do. I feel very, very strong about the first eight episodes that we have completed. Now, we just need to really bring it home. And then we’ll see where we’re at. I would never want to say, “No, I absolutely will not do that,” because I don’t know.”

“24: Live Another Day” is a 12-part event miniseries premiered on May 5, with a but can now be seen on FOX Monday’s from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

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Photo: Fox
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