New, Jack Bauer-less 24 Season Could Be "Total Reset" for Characters

It might be more than just Jack who's absent from the next season.

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We already knew 24 might return for another season without lead character Jack Bauer, but we've now learned it might also do away with every existing character in the series.

Fox chairman and CEO Gary Newman revealed the news in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, where he reiterated that the potential lack of Keifer Sutherland's Jack Bauer wasn't due to a lack of trying.

"Obviously we would love to have Kiefer and we went to him first," Newman said. "It isn't something he wants to do at this point, but he encouraged us to continue and look for a way to bring the show back."

The cast of season five, aka the best season
The cast of season five, aka the best season

That way might involve rebooting the entire show, at least in terms of characters (or what few are still alive). "Honestly I don't know whether we'll see any old characters or not," Newman added. "It would not surprise me if it's a total reset in terms of the characters."

That's far from a guarantee that the slate is being wiped clean, but it does show Fox's potential willingness to rely on the established formula. Whether the show can work without the existing ancillary characters--let alone Jack Bauer and Sutherland's first-rate shouting voice--remains to be seen.

Even if a new season of 24 moves forward with new characters, at least some of the existing behind-the-scenes talent will still be involved. Longtime producer Howard Gordon is supervising the project, with Manny Coto and Evan Katz (both of which worked on recent seasons) writing the script.

Reports of a new season of 24 have circulated since the conclusion of the recent 24: Live Another Day miniseries, and may end up on Fox as soon as next year. Counting Live Another Day, there have been nine seasons of 24, plus a made-for-TV movie that served as a bridge between the sixth and seventh seasons.

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