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

But the ticking clock will remain

Tim Surette

The clock isn't up on 24, yet. But if the show does come back, it probably will look a lot different.

At Fox's executive panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, the network bigwigs discussed the future of 24 and it sounds like one of the big parts of the show that fans have become familiar with over 10-plus seasons won't be back.

Brace yourselves, because 24 may be losing the CTU and terrorism storylines.

"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. "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." When a reporter followed up and asked if that meant terrorism might not be part of the next iteration of 24, Madden confirmed.

24 without terrorism or the CTU, the counter-terrorism unit that birthed Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland)? Yes, it sounds crazy, but Fox has already had early conversations with 24 producers about a possible next season.

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"We're really exploring what the future might be, you know we've talked about it previously that perhaps it will live in a more anthological storytelling franchise," Dana Walden, chairman and CEO of Fox said. She continued, "Our goal [with 24: Legacy] was to do something different that genuinely extends the life of the franchise, so it felt like viewers got a taste of 24 again, of that incredible storytelling device and the urgency of real time, and we whetted their appetites and now we're exploring where the next version will live."

Walden said Fox execs have been meeting with 24 producers Howard Gordon, Joel Surnow and Brian Grazer, and they already have "a really exciting idea that I thought was very compelling."

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Fox also announced the singing competition The Four, which is like a king-of-the-court version of American Idol (which scooted over to ABC) in which the competition starts with four contestants, and as contestants are eliminated, new singers are added from viewers at home who send in their audition tapes.

In addition, Maya Rudolph got the call as the first star of Fox's live musical version of A Christmas Story. She'll play Ralphie's mom on the holiday special.

Walden also revealed that Peter Krause (Six Feet Under) will star in Ryan Murphy's upcoming 911, a drama centered around emergency call operators. Angela Bassett was previously announced as a star.