LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The clock on “24” will keep ticking for two more seasons
Fox’s unusually late renewal for the Emmy-winning thriller will allow Jack Bauer to keep saving the day through the 2008-09 season, which will be the series’ eighth.
Series star Kiefer Sutherland already is locked to stay with the show through May 2009.
“We’re re-creating the series,” executive producer/showrunner Howard Gordon said. “It is going to be a real-time thriller. Beyond that, it’s an open book.”
“24” has had a roller-coaster ride the past couple of seasons.
It earned rave reviews for Season 5, which was capped by five Emmys last year, including best drama series and a best actor trophy for Sutherland.
But during its current sixth season, “24” has drawn criticism from fans about losing some of its creative footing.
Gordon said he felt those assessments were “unfair.” “On balance, it was a very successful season,” he said.
The upcoming re-invention of the series was something the producers have talked about for a while, Gordon said.
Aside from Sutherland, “24” will return with a new cast (some old favorites might return in different roles) and a new, non-Los Angeles location, with the producers even contemplating telling the story from two locations.
“24” joins Fox’s previously renewed series “House,” “Prison Break,” “Bones” and “ ‘Til Death” as well as the network’s Sunday animated comedy block.
Fox also has ordered a 13th season of the late-night comedy series “Mad TV,” which airs at 11 p.m. Saturdays.
The network’s recently picked-up new series for next season include three comedies: the Kelsey Grammer-Patricia Heaton starrer “Back to You,” “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s “The Return of Jezebel James,” and the Farrelly brothers-produced “The Rules of Starting Over.”
New dramas picked up include “Canterbury’s Law,” starring Julianna Margulies; the New Orleans-set cop drama “K-Ville”; the high-concept detective drama “New Amsterdam”; and the “Terminator”-themed sci-fi drama “The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”