24: Kiefer Sutherland confirms season eight

Jack Bauer's got another day from hell ahead of him, as it's confirmed 24 is returning next year.

Jack Bauer in 24

Web-based newspaper The Huffington Post is reporting that Kiefer Sutherland has gone further to confirming his continued appearance in 24 for at least an eighth season. Admittedly, this has been pretty much a certainty for a while now, with fans already speculating about day nine, bless ‘em. This is (to a degree, see below) good news, despite the fact it ruins any ‘would they/could they kill him off” tension that the next twelve episodes of Season 7 could’ve generated. Still, I guess you can’t have it both ways.

Speaking to the press in Hong Kong, on the Far East leg of a promo tour flogging the upcoming 3D animated movie Monsters Vs. Aliens – where he plays General W.R. Monger (do you see what they did there?) – Sutherland confirmed that 24 Season 8 would start shooting in May, and that Jack would indeed be back.

It wasn’t that straightforward, mind – as it rarely is with the uber-serious Sutherland minor. Well, he couldn’t just say “Yeah, I took the cash,” could he? Oh, no, instead we get the actor-ific simile: are you ready? And I quote… “If I was going to liken 24 to a girlfriend, 24 has been really good to me. And I need to be really good back.” Seriously, Kief, who was asking you to liken a TV show about increasingly unlikely counter-terrorism scenarios to a girlfriend? Really? Whoever it was, tell ‘em they’re as mad as you.

Could it possibly be that you’re trying to make this all sound a little bit more serious than it really is? Look, I love 24 as much as, if not more than, the next bloke (unless I happen to be sitting next to Simon, when it would be a close run thing) but even I’d admit that after 180 hours saving The Western World at the expense of his own happiness and the life of virtually everyone who’s ever tried to help him, or sold him a doughnut, Jack’s starting to look a bit jaded. How he’s going to look after hour 216 and the much-mooted movie, I dread to think.

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The geek in me wants glorious pieces of TV like 24 to go on forever, even if some of the thrill is gone, in favour of comfortable pyjamas and reading in bed. However, after watching the eminently enjoyable – but scarily unlikely, disjointed and occasionally downright lazy – seventh outing (I just ‘la-la-la’ from time to time and try not to think about the more outlandish elements) in my more compassionate moments, I begin to think it may be kinder on the old gal for Sutherland to move on and find a new beau.

You never know, 24 may end up being happier in the arms of another man, or woman. Now there’s a thought.