Kiefer Sutherland

"I will be looking for you at the bar," Kiefer Sutherland told guests at Fox's upfronts on Monday, prompting much laughter. What was he thinking?

What would normally be a friendly sentiment within the context of a network's advertiser lovefest carries additional meaning these days for the legally challenged 24 star. Sutherland already served 48 days in jail for a 2007 drunk-driving charge and is currently facing third-degree assault charges stemming from an incident earlier this month involving Jack McCullough, a fashion designer, at a New York City nightclub.

Sutherland also raised eyebrows with comments that seemed to indicate that perhaps the end of 24 is nigh.

"I don't know how many more times I'm going to have the opportunity to say this," he said, expressing his gratitude to the fans and sponsors for sticking with the show through its seven seasons. "You have allowed us to succeed, and you have allowed us to fail," he said.

Fox announced Monday that 24's eighth season will debut in January 2010.