Fox is eyeing to transform the terrorism-based Kiefer Sutherland-starrer into a criminal justice thriller.
Deadline has the scoop that a new version of the award-winning drama 24 is in development at Fox. The show is being adapted to suit a criminal justice arena with a woman in the lead role. This will be a dramatic shift away from the terrorism-based format it had adopted for all eight seasons of the original show starring Kiefer Sutherland.
Deadline details that this new addition to the 24 franchise reportedly “centers on a female prosecutor who uncovers a legal conspiracy and has to work against the clock to save a death row inmate facing imminent execution whom she had helped prosecute but may be innocent.” There is word that this will be a part of a 24-based anthology, with new worlds and situations tackled every season, which would align with what Fox bosses teased for the franchise in August.
“The same kind of ticking-clock format but apply it to something else. It will have the same urgency but may not be set in the CTU, it will have same style and urgency but in a different venue,” according to then-Fox Entertainment president David Madden.
For the uninitiated, episodes of 24 took place over a one-hour period as events played out in real time. The show’s narrative centered on the efforts of the fictional Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU). Sutherland portrayed the CTU’s most capable agent, Jack Bauer, as he tracked terrorist plots throughout a day. The show employed split-screen methods to show concurrent actions by Bauer, government officials, and conspirators and often employed plot twists to enhance the drama and create a constant frenetic environment in each episode.
When the original show was on the air, 24‘s real-time format set it apart from other procedural dramas, winning multiple Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG Awards (among others) for writing and acting. 24 has since been brought back in its original incarnation with the 24: Live Another Day limited event series with Sutherland returning. 24 was most recently reincarnated as 24: Legacy, starring Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, Kong: Skull Island), a spin-off that only 12 episodes.
This as-yet-unnamed 24 show will be the latest attempt to reignite interest in the franchise, discounting other media such as web spin-offs and video games. Perhaps a drastic change of setting and character is exactly what the show needs, considering the prevalence of crime dramas…pretty much all the time. People move on from procedurals of old. Bastions like CSI crumble, although it is worth noting that Law & Order and Criminal Minds remain. Anyway, between arty fare like True Detective and teenage murder mysteries like Riverdale, plus all the superheroes solving crimes on TV and in film, a new 24 show based in a legal setting would fit right in. And especially because of the show’s format, it might even stand out.