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Fox Extends Jack Bauer and 24 Through 2009

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Three things make the following mutual saccharine shovel survivable: 24 really is a viciously compelling show that once swallowed becomes lodged in the viewer like a fishhook, Kiefer Sutherland is the stolid but not unfeeling fulcrum upon which it turns, and Fox deserves full credit for nurturing the show through the lean times until it attained the full-fledged hit status the “serialized thriller” now enjoys in its fifth year.

Now to the goo: Kiefer Sutherland has signed a new deal with Fox to executive produce and star in three more seasons of 24, with Jack battling terrorists and somehow surviving (unless he becomes a TERROR-BUSTING ZOMBIE) through the 2009 season. E! is reporting the acting part of the deal alone is in the $40 million range, making The Man Who Plays Jack Bauer (for which he as received a Golden Globe award and four Emmy nominations) the highest-paid actor in a dramatic series.

24jackbauer “The extraordinary support we have received … has made a difficult show like 24 succeed on all levels, and for that I’m truly grateful,” Sutherland said. He called his relationship with the show, “one of the most creative and rewarding experiences in my career … I am thrilled to extend my commitment to all my friends and colleagues at 24, and I’m looking forward to this expanded relationship with 20th Century Fox,” he added, referring to another aspect of the deal which grants the star his own production company and a two-year development deal with the studio.

Dana Walden, co-president of 20th Century Fox, gushed, “[Sutherland] is an extraordinary actor with amazing instincts, he’s fiercely intelligent and he has fantastic taste in material. When he told us he had ambitions to create and produce television series, we jumped at the chance to help him achieve that goal.”

“In his years on 24, Kiefer has demonstrated an incredible understanding of what makes for a compelling story or character, and he brings a passion to the process of making television that extends well beyond his own performance,” added Fox’s other presidential half, Gary Newman. “As the gifted producers of that show will tell you, he’s been instrumental in maintaining 24‘s exceptional quality over five seasons. We believe he could become every bit as accomplished a producer as he is a performer.”

Hey, maybe Sutherland-the-developer will come up with someting cool, but the main thing is Three More Years of Jack.

Allow me to assure you here and now: many and multi-ethnic will be the asses Jack kicks – sometimes they will be friends, just because; CTU will continue to have a rodent problem, with at least one mole per year scurrying treacherously about, pooping out pellets of pain against the good and noble; protocols will be scrupulously followed and disdainfully ignored, depending upon the weather, feng shui, and variations on the collective subconscious; women sincere and devious will come and go; agonizing decisions will be made on the nexus of life and death, typically adhering to a John Stuart Mill utilitarianism (Greatest Happiness Principle), but my friends, Not Always!

Tonight we find out if twitchy Charles Logan is indeed the worst rat bastard traitor scum president in the history of the union. I’ll be there.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    I’ll be there too, Eric. That’s one of the amazing things about 24: I refuse to miss it. I don’t remember too many other shows that commanded my attention like that (Twin Peaks did initially; Lost “lost” me with too many repeats, and I still tuned in to all The Shield episodes faithfully).

    Three more years of Jack! Now, the question is what will the next crisis be? My bet is Jack gets pulled out of LA soon (maybe even next year). Can you picture him a prisoner in China (they have their own problems with terrorists) and the Chinese gov’t releases him to help them fight a problem? Jack saving Shanghai? The possibilities are endless!

  • Audrey Toll

    Very good article. Having given up on TV long ago for intelligent entertainment, I’m not sure if you expressed the essence of the emotional and intellectual content of 24! Never, have I ever seen a show so exquisitly done in every single aspect from writing, editing, photography, music and as importantly…..the acting! I now have a new hero. Jack Bauer. I cannot say enough about Kiefer Sutherland. This is an outstanding actor and a very unusual man. I think this is the best show I have ever seen. To be so hungry for good writing, plot structure, heroism, stimulating entertainment…. I have not missed a show and have bought all 4 seasons, and treasure them.
    Thanks for writing this article. If/when this show goes off the air I will need a *24* step program for my addiction.
    Kindest regards,

  • Eric Olsen

    wow, thanks Audrey – I’m sure Fox and the 24 team will be very happy to hear every word of that.

    I was thinking about the Chinese angle too, Victor! That was left pretty unresolved. And once you’ve made the president the bad guy, how can you go much higher? I wonder if they’ll ever do anything with the UN?

  • Astrid Lamm

    That is wonderful news; thanks for the article; it definitely suspends the fear of seeing Jack being killed, at least for a while, though we cannot be sure for three years, even not with this contract. I wish Kiefer all the best and that he still finds some time for his private life also (for which he needs more time and less work according to recent published article in the rolling stone).

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    I began watching 24 from files a friend downloaded from the net. Episode 11, season 1, didn’t want to play but the hooks were so deeply sunk into me that I went out that evening and bought Seasons 1 – 4 on DVD. I’m just in the middle of season 4 and I have been careful not to watch any of season 5 on the tube. I’m expecting to buy the Season 5 boxed set and watch it before season 6 begins.

    There is a bit of repetition on the show. So many people get tortured, shot and killed that I’m no longer surprised when these things happen anymore. I also wonder if they are going to run out of sensational terrorist stories. Still, it’s compelling and highly addictive. When I saw the preview for The Sentinel, I honestly thought it might have been a 24 movie.

  • Somatoman

    For the better part of the last twenty years, I watched virtually nothing but news, sports, and documentaries. I saw the last 3-4 episodes of season 3. I’ve pretty much been a 24 junkie ever since. There is absolutely nothing to compare to it. Nothing.

  • Marie Miller

    Great article, Eric! I have Seasons 1-4 on DVD and can’t stop re-watching them. I’m downright twitchy waiting for Season 5 to come out on DVD … I made sure not to watch the show while it aired since I find watching it on DVD gives the already heart-stopping pace an even greater punch.

    As for future storylines, I would love to see Kim Bauer emerge as a force to be reckoned with as well … a mini, junior version of Jack, if you will. I think both the love and the tension of their father-daughter relationship could be used in so many ways. ‘Twould be great if we were to find out that Kim has been training as a field operative – without Jack’s knowledge – and at some point is key to the rescue of Jack during one of his missions. The tension of Jack being angry and worried about Kim’s career choice mixed in with his pride of her abilities would be a great sub-plot … and could create some very interesting catch 22 situations for Jack. ( But all of that is just the opinion of this one humble, dedicated fan. )

    Anyway, Eric, thanks again for the great article and the wonderful news.