On Friday, following a joint decision by 24 star and executive producer Kiefer Sutherland, executive producer and showrunner Howard Gordon, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Imagine Entertainment, and Fox Broadcasting Company, it was announced that this season would be the end of 24, after eight seasons on the air. The decision to end the series didn’t come as a big surprise as there have been rumblings about the series’ demise for awhile.
In a recent interview with Variety, Sutherland said that much of the decision came down to the fact that Gordon felt it was going to be very difficult to come up with a good story for season nine. The actor also said, “He and I both felt that the opportunity of making a movie, and doing a two-hour representation of a 24-hour day — which would not be restricted by time — was something that was appealing to he and I both.”
Looking back, Sutherland’s found the experience of making the series very rewarding in many ways and calls it “the greatest learning experience I’ve ever had as an actor, and singularly the greatest opportunity I’ve every had.” He noted the great friendships that he’s made and credits 24 with making him a better actor.
He said, “I’ve been able to work five days a week for eight years. I can’t begin to describe what that does for your confidence and your ability to break down a script, break down a scene, find intention. That’s something I know I will take with me, and I’m very grateful for.”
Though this TV series is coming to a close, Sutherland would be very open to doing another series in the future. Citing memorable shows like The West Wing, The Sopranos, The Wire, and Californication, Sutherland called television “an unbelievably exciting place to be,” despite the current commercial climate.
In terms of the 24 movie, Sutherland said, “Billy Ray is in the process of writing it right now. I’m very excited about the idea. He’s a fantastic writer. I know he’s been working with Howard recently. I’m very excited about the opportunity, and singularly because it’s a two-hour representation of a 24-hour day… Before on the TV show, the crisis had to come to us, because the best we could do was get across town. And the two times we ever put Jack Bauer in a plane, it just didn’t work. So it alleviates a huge hurdle that real time writing presented for us.”
And finally, the actor talked about the mood on the set as the cast and crew film the final episodes. He said, “It’s going to get sadder and sadder. But I think it’s going to be tempered by a sense of accomplishment. These people have worked unbelievably hard. I can’t say enough about our crew… I absolutely believe that creatively we finish [the show] in a really strong place, a much more definitive place. It’s going to be pretty clear what Jack Bauer’s plight is.”
Click here to read the complete interview. The two-hour series finale of 24 is schedule to air on May 24th on FOX.
What do you think? Would you like to see Kiefer Sutherland return to TV someday? In what kind of show? Another high-action thriller or something else? Any shows on TV today that could use his talents?
Image courtesy FOX.