The clock is always ticking on 24, but apparently it's not actually clicking on the franchise because Fox isn't letting it die. The network is working on a new installment of the series, and as previously reported, it's going to be a lot different. Now we know how.

The new 24 envisioned by Fox will be led by a female character, a first for the franchise that has been dominantly macho. Kiefer Sutherland made "Dammit!" a household phrase as TV icon Jack Bauer for eight seasons, and Corey Hawkins was the protagonist for 24: Live Another Day, marking the first season 24 went forward without Bauer.

This new 24 would also be drastically different in subject matter from the rest of the franchise, which made its money in counter-terrorism and chasing down bad guys who threaten the good ol' U.S. of A. The new 24 would be set in the justice system and follow a prosecutor who uncovers a conspiracy against a death row inmate she helped convict and races against time to save him from execution.

The Next Version of 24Probably Won't Involve the CTU or Terrorism

The race against time is essentially all that Fox is keeping from the old 24, as the real-time countdown will continue in the new iteration. Fox is also thinking about turning the franchise into an anthology that follows new characters and problems with each season, with everything tied together by the ticking clock mechanic.

Fox has been toying with ways to keep one of its most famous franchise's alive, and earlier this year briefly outlined its ideas. "We want to take that same kind of ticking clock, incredible urgency, real-time storytelling format and apply it to something else," Fox president of entertainment David Madden said at this year's Television Critics Association summer press tour. "So the next version of 24 will probably not be CTU ... it will be some other venue using that same style but exploring [something] different."

I've asked this before and I'll ask it again: Is 24 really 24 without Jack Bauer? And now I add: and without stopping terrorists?

Kiefer Sutherland, 24Kiefer Sutherland, 24