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'24' Prequel Series About Jack Bauer's Origin Story In Development At Fox

The network is also eyeing a legal series that incorporates the show's real-time format.

The following events will occur before the rest of us ever met Jack Bauer. 

Two new series set in the “24” universe are currently in development at Fox, the network announced on Thursday at the summer Television Critics Association press tour. 

The original series starring Kiefer Sutherland as the time-sensitive counterterrorist agent aired for nine seasons, not to mention a TV movie, before the spin-off “24: Legacy” came and went in 2017 with little fanfare. 

One of the two “24”-related shows eyed by the network will explore Bauer’s origin story with a new actor presumably taking the reins from Sutherland, who will reportedly executive produce and is “very excited” about the project. 

“We obviously love the show. The mechanism of telling the show, set in real time, is unique to ‘24,’ and we think it still has a lot of power and a lot of legs. Ever since the show left the air, we’ve talked about how do you reimagine ‘24’?” Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Gary Newman said. “The times are fraught now; these are emotional times.”

Original series creators Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran and executive producer are attached to the project. 

“Security continues to be a big issue,” Newman continued. “In terms of the prequel, people love Jack Bauer and you would tell a story that I think the audience would very much love and see how that character becomes who he was, and it’s set in the same world of security, which I think continues to be very relevant.”

The other series in the works will put a legal spin on the franchise’s signature countdown clock with the story focused on a plot about an impending execution. 

“The idea of moving that franchise from terrorism and security into the legal world is something we’ve discussed since Season 3” with Cochran and Surnow and longtime executive producer Howard Gordon, Newman said. 

“We have to look for an arena where the stakes are high,” he said. So they’ve settled on a prisoner facing execution, “and there’s just 24 hours left from when the execution is taking place.”

Whatever direction the powers that be decide to go in, remember, at least it likely won’t involve a cougar.

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