Fox developing two “24” spin-offs

Fox has officially confirmed that it is developing two 24 spinoff series. 

One of the two spinoffs will be a prequel and will follow Kiefer Sutherland’s character, Jack Bauer. The second will be a legal thriller that will be set in the 24 hours ticking down until a prisoner’s execution.

“We feel [the 24 format] still has a lot of power and a lot of legs,” Gary Newman, CEO of FOX, said at TCAs. “Times are fraught now, these are emotional times. Security continues to be a big issue. In terms of the prequel, people love Jack Bauer and (we) would tell a story that I think the audience would very much connect with — of how he became that character. It would be set in the same world of security.”

Sutherland isn’t likely to reprise his role as Bauer in either project but is backing them both as producer. 

“He’s involved as a producer on both shows,” entertainment president of Fox Broadcasting, Michael Thorn said. “He is part of the fabric of those shows. Our hope is that like James Bond has had different versions of James Bond or Jack Ryan has been played by different people we can expand it to feature other signature characters. But I know that’s not easy, because Kiefer is an incredible actor that broke the mold with Jack Bauer. And so it’s a high bar.’”

As for the legal thriller, Thorn added that Sutherland “loved the idea.”

“The idea of moving the franchise from terrorism and security into the legal world is something we talked about as far back as season 3 or 4 of 24 where, from time to time, there would be discussions of spinoffs. You have to look for an arena where the stakes are high and time matters. [The legal version of 24] deals with an execution of a prisoner and there are just 24 hours left until the execution is supposed to take place. So the stakes are high and it potentially has a lot of the same values of the original 24. Regardless of the political climate, the time’s always right for a show of that type.”