24 is Coming Back on Fox as a Female-Led Legal Thriller

Fox is planning another 24 revival series, this time with a female lead, mixing its urgent spilt-screen action with the legal drama genre.

Fox is continuing to stoke the fires of its 24 television franchise. The original groundbreaking thriller series, centering on Kiefer Sutherland’s counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer, which dominated the television medium during the 2000s, has had multiple revivals in the years since its 2010 conclusion. However, the network is planning a radical reinvention this time around as a legal drama.

According to Deadline, the latest 24 revival will not only see the franchise showcase a female lead for the first time, but will attempt to import its iconic split-screen-centric suspense away from gun-blazing action and the occasional session of torture and into the arena of statutory criminal justice. The untitled would-be series from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV is being written by repertory 24 executive producers Howard Gordon and Brian Grazer (of Imagine), joined by franchise newcomer Jeremy Doner, a former producer of AMC-to-Netflix crime drama The Killing. – The rumor is that the revival will be anthological, shifting to new characters and stories with each subsequent season.

The news essentially confirms what manifested as rumbling during August’s summer TCAs, in which Fox president David Madden hinted at revival plans that would use “the same kind of ticking clock format and apply it to something else.” Indeed, the report references “sketchy” details that depict a series centering on a female prosecutor who stumbles upon a conspiracy that apparently proves the innocence of a death-row-facing inmate that she initially helped prosecute. Thus, the typical 24 race-against-the-clock format will be applied to this non-24-type endeavor.

Should it move forward, the untitled would-be revival series would become the third post-mortem revival of 24, starting with 2014’s 24: Live Another Day, which saw Sutherland return as Jack Bauer, bringing the action to London. In January 2017, the revival series, 24: Legacy attempted to move the franchise away from Jack Bauer, focusing on a new protagonist in ex-Army Ranger Eric Carter, played by Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins, who took an extended hiatus from his role as Heath on AMC’s The Walking Dead to field the role. However, it made little impact in the ratings and was met with cancellation after the season ran its course.

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It does seem that Fox, with this revival plan, is attempting to convert 24 into a hybrid of the Law & Order/CSI/NCIS branding dynamic with more of a peak television-era anthology spin. Thus, it will be interesting to see if this strategy can effectively harness the enthusiasm that once existed for 24 while avoiding the clear franchise fatigue that sunk Legacy.

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