The inevitable was made official on Wednesday night with Fox’s cancellation of 24: Legacy. But despite the silent clock running out for the reboot, 24 could still return in the future on Fox – but as an anthology series.
While 24: Legacy will not be back for a second season, Fox is already talking with 24 producers — including Howard Gordon and Brian Grazer, who are said to be very involved — for a new anthological take on the franchise. Network brass remain confident that 24 will return for a new incarnation that would be built around 24’s famous real-time storytelling device. It will not, however, be a version of Legacy, meaning stars Hawkins and Jimmy Smits would not be involved.
After the season (now series) finale in April, I gave Legacy a lukewarm review, largely because it wasn’t 24 – it was a show with the ’24’ tag slapped onto it, one familiar character (Carlos Bernard reprising his role as Tony Almeida) and the all-seeing CTU government agency rearing its head once again.
24 returning as an anthology series could be quite interesting, if only for this reason – these anthology seasons could take place before, between, or after the eight days of 24 we’ve seen, which could (theoretically, at least) lead to the return of familiar characters. Furthermore, Kiefer Sutherland wouldn’t even necessarily need to bring back his Jack Bauer character.
One season could focus on what happened at CTU: Seattle between Bill Buchanan and Michelle Dessler. One season could focus on then-Senator David Palmer and his sanctioning of Operation Nightfall. Another season could focus on what went on at CTU: LA between either Days 4 and 5 or Days 5 and 6, when Jack was living as Frank Flynn and when he was being tortured in China.
There are plenty of possibilities for a 24 series not involving Jack Bauer that still feel like 24. The seasons will just need to be placed in between the existing seasons on the show’s timeline, allowing them to slot right into the storylines we already know and love.