Could the clock be running out on Jack Bauer and company? Rumors are rapidly spreading that this could indeed be the final season of 24.
In approximately real time, 24 follows the exploits of heroic (and frequently tortured) Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) as he tries to save the country from all manner of terrorism. The current season features Mary Lynn Rajskub, Anil Kapoor, Annie Wersching, Cherry Jones, Chris Diamantopoulos, Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Westfeldt, John Boyd, Katee Sackhoff, and Mykelti Williamson.
Once a huge ratings draw for FOX, viewership for 24 has declined over the years. At the same time, costs have risen. This season’s averaging a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 9.83 million viewers.
Word is that FOX is preparing to end the veteran drama and the decision will be made in the next few days. Kevin Reilly, FOX’s President of Entertainment, has been unsure of the show’s future for awhile and as recently as last week said, “It’s a very tough call. It’s a huge part of our legacy, and there’s not a lot of shows that could do a 9 share against the Olympics. Tremendous sales asset for us still; a show we’re so very proud of creatively. So it’s not an easy call.”
The studio is supposedly shopping the series to other outlets to see if there would be any interest. Considering the price and the age of the series, a move like that doesn’t seem likely.
THR recently mentioned the prospect to Angela Bromstad, NBC’s President of Primetime Entertainment. She didn’t feel it was likely given the cost but didn’t rule out the possibility either.
If 24 closes after eight seasons, fans can take consolation that the characters will, as expected, continue in movie form. Twentieth Century Fox recently hired screenwriter Billy Ray to write a feature film version. According to Variety, his idea is to take Jack Bauer to Europe. That idea is apparently already a hit with the executive producers and the studio.
If this is indeed the final season of 24, the studio likely wants to have enough time to promote the rest of this season as the final episodes of the season. It would also give the production team enough time to tweak the final episodes if needed.
What do you think? Do you think 24 will end this season or do you think that it could realistically move to another network?
Image courtesy FOX.