It’s been suspected for awhile that 24 could be in its final season but the word is now official. The FOX series is ending after eight seasons on the air.
A high-action show, 24 follows a day in the life of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), a sometime government agent who gives his all to stop terrorists and uncover conspiracies and corruption. This season, the cast includes Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Anil Kapoor, Annie Wersching, Chris Diamantopoulos, Cherry Jones, Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Westfeldt, John Boyd, Katee Sackhoff, and Mykelti Williamson.
The ratings have been in decline for awhile but, like most shows that have been on the air for a long time, the production costs have been rising.
Word of the show’s cancellation started to seep out earlier this afternoon. Director and Executive Produer John Cassar tweeted, “News from the 24 set, the crew has been told that 24 has come to an end. There will b no season 9. Its been a great run, thanx all 4 watching”
The official word came down that the TV series is ending by mutual decision of executive producer Sutherland, executive producer and showrunner Howard Gordon, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Imagine Entertainment and Fox Broadcasting Company. The current season will continue to air on schedule and finish off with a two-hour finale on Monday, May 24th.
Of the series’ end, Sutherland tells the LA Times, “We’ve done eight years we’re very proud of, and we’re very excited about going into the film world with this… It’s very sad, the only thing tempering this from being all-out heartbreak is the fact that we have this sense of accomplishment. That’s the only thing holding people up. Because, for me, and all these people who’ve been with us since the beginning, it’s a very special thing and it’s very sad to see it end.”
There was talk of another network possibly taking the show on, most likely NBC, but that seemed unlikely considering the show’s age and costs. Sutherland tells TV Guide “that was never a real possibility for me.”
Instead of another season, Jack Bauer and company (depending on whoever survives the final episodes) will move directly into feature film mode. Sutherland says, “The hour-by-hour, episode-by-episode dynamic that made for such a thrill ride on television tied us down creatively. In real time, our characters can’t move around. But in a two-hour representation of a 24-hour day, all of a sudden, Jack can get on a plane and fly from South America to Russia to England, and still have time to save the day in Washington.”
A script that would take Jack to Europe has been in the works for awhile and shooting could begin as early as this summer.
For now, fans are left to wonder how the final hours of the 24 TV series will wind down. It’s safe to say that Jack will live to see another day. Sutherland says, “What I do like about the ending and what I can say about it is that it’s very definitive about where Jack is going to end up. It can be perceived as a cliffhanger on some level, but there’s no questioning his options. That’s something we’ve never been able to do in the context of this series.”
Gordon says he toyed with how to end the show for years and didn’t count on the emotional impact that writing it would have on him. He says that the script was two days late and he just didn’t want to let it go.
That finale script includes a role for Eriq La Salle. The actor, best known for his role on ER, will play a “regal and charming UN Secretary General” in the final pair of episodes. You may recall that this was the role that was being cast recently with an alert from casting that these would be the final episodes.
What do you think? Are you sorry that the show’s ending or do you think it’s time for it to end? Will you see the movie?
Image courtesy FOX.