Sutherland has signed on to star in the Fox drama pilot Touch, in which he will play a man who discovers that his autistic son can predict the future. Word of Sutherland's interest in the pilot, written by Heroes creator Tim Kring, first emerged last week. But there was a big snag: Sutherland's Broadway commitment — the actor currently stars on stage in the play That Championship Season — threatened to derail any immediate TV possibility.
But the 24 star knows a thing or two about time management. (This is a guy who managed to schedule jail time during a 24 hiatus, after all.) Insiders say that Fox and producer 20th Century Fox TV have agreed to figure out how to accommodate Sutherland's Broadway schedule should Touch be picked up to series.
No one expected Sutherland to return to TV so quickly, having spent eight seasons as Jack Bauer on 24, a role he may still eventually reprise on the big screen. At least one Fox insider called Touch one of the best scripts he's read all year — a sentiment expressed by others outside of Fox, as well. Sutherland was likely drawn to that, and the fact that former News Corp. boss Peter Chernin is an executive producer on the show.
Sutherland represents one of several high-profile TV veterans looking to make a return to the small screen this pilot season, a list that also includes Sarah Michelle Gellar and Tim Allen.