It's official: Jack's back! Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly announced on a conference call Monday that the network is bringing back action series 24, with Kiefer Sutherland reprising his role as CTU agent Jack Bauer.
24: Live Another Day, which will likely premiere in May 2014 and run through the summer, according to Reilly, is being promoted as an event series and will consist of 12 episodes rather than the traditional 24.
"It will go in chronological order of the day, but it'll skip hours," Reilly told reporters.
When asked whether the new version could eventually morph into a full-fledged series, Reilly demurred. "It could be an annual event," he said. "There could be sequels. I don't know that they would be yearly."
Since 24 went off the air in May 2010, showrunner Howard Gordon (Homeland) has been mulling a movie based on the series, which never got off the ground. "As they got into the feature film, I think they all agreed 24 being compressed into two hours is not 24," Reilly said.
Aside from Sutherland reprising his role as Jack Bauer, no other casting announcements have been made.
"The response to 24 is unlike anything I have ever experienced as an actor before," Sutherland said in a statement. "To have the chance to reunite with the character, Jack Bauer, is like finding a lost friend. ... Make no mistake, my goal is to knock your socks off."
After 24 finishes its run next summer, Fox will premiere a second event series, M. Night Shyamalan's Wayward Pines, based on the bestselling novel Pines by Blake Crouch. Matt Dillon stars as Secret Service agent Ethan Burke, who arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan's investigation only turns up more questions. Wayward Pines will air through the summer and into the fall, Reilly said Monday.
In other news, Reilly confirmed that Randy Jackson will be exiting American Idol, but would not comment on the statuses of the other three judges — Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. He did, however, say that it's very likely that the panel next year would consist of only three judges and that the upcoming 13th season would feature some "new twists" to the show's format.
"Our new season begins Friday morning after the finale," Reilly said. "Everything at this point is on the table."
Fox also plans to premiere The X Factor and Glee two weeks early to avoid conflicts with baseball playoff games later in the fall. Glee will go on hiatus midseason, when it will be replaced by new series Rake. According to Reilly, the plan is to air Glee uninterrupted through the summer upon its return next spring.
Are you excited for more 24?