Real-time thriller 24 returns but without Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer 24

Kiefer Sutherland’s days of stress and drama in 24 are officially over. American television network Fox has ordered a pilot for 24: Legacy without Jack Bauer.

Featuring a brand new-cast with the show’s producers currently seeking an African-American actor to take over the role from Sutherland’s Jack Bauer.

The real-time storytelling and split-screen action will continue, like the original television series. Each episode still representing one hour of an eventual day.

Regarding the plot to 24: Legacy. Variety’s reports:

24: Legacy will revolve around a military hero’s return to the US and the trouble that follows him back – compelling him to ask CTU for help in saving his life, and stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil.

It’s going to be surreal without Jack Bauer in the new revival. Kiefer Sutherland made the original show so thrilling for viewers. Sure, the various attempts from the bad guys were ridiculous but the appeal of 24 was the drama in how the CTU agent saves America from destruction.

After eight seasons and a made-for-TV movie, Jack Bauer returned once again – and suffered through yet another hectic day – with 2014’s 24: Live Another Day.

Though he won’t appear on screen, Sutherland will serve as executive producer along with longtime 24 runners Howard Gordon, Manny Coto, Evan Katz and Brian Grazer.

Jack is back! In 24: Live Another Day

24 Live Another Day

It has been four years since the real-time television series 24 was last broadcasted and after several attempts to turn the popular drama into a film, the temptation to continue the Jack Bauer story was hard to resist for the producers and network.

Kiefer Sutherland returns as Jack Bauer, an ex-CTU agent whom after saving America countless times in the past eight seasons of 24, has gone into hiding in the final episode of ‘Day 8’ to avoid detection from Russian and American agents out looking for him.

So what’s in store for Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day? Well, the new ‘limited event television series’ will still feature that famous ticking clock and split-screens, but events in time will jump forward in between certain episodes. There will be just twelve episodes compared to the usual twenty-four.

As for the premise, four years after dishing out his own brand of justice and evading capture, Jack Bauer finds himself on the run in London (once again), he attempts to thwart a global disaster. Meanwhile, Jack’s closest confidante Chloe O’Brian has been aiding and abetting the federal fugitive.

Yes, fans favourite Chloe O’Brian played by Mary Lynn Rajskub is back, along with several characters from the show including Kim Raver as Audrey Raines (Jack’s love interest in season 6) and William Devane as President James Heller.

Joining the cast in 24: Live Another Day are Michael Wincott, Gbenga Akinnagebe (The Wire), Yvonne Stahovski, Benjamin Bratt, Tate Donovan, Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones) and the excellent Stephen Fry.

The new setting of London is a masterstroke and it’s going to be fascinating how the producers will showcase the city in a new light against the backdrop of conspiracies, WikiLeaks and threats.

It’s refreshing to hear from 24 executive producer Howard Gordon, saying how much we miss the ex-CTU agent:

Jack Bauer has always been an exciting, thrilling character, and I confess that I’ve missed him. I think the audience has too. The character has evolved through the years, and this new and exciting event series format is perfect to tell the next chapter of his story and continue to reflect how the world is changing. Fans can rest assured that the Jack they know and love will be back.

As for Kiefer Sutherland, the actor added it was an honour to replay the character once again:

The response to 24 is unlike anything I have ever experienced as an actor before. To have the chance to reunite with the character, Jack Bauer, is like finding a lost friend. The story ideas from Howard Gordon are exciting and fresh, and will not disappoint. Great thanks to 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and the FOX network for this opportunity. Make no mistake, my goal is to knock your socks off. See you soon.

I am really looking forward to 24: Live Another Day and after watching the trailer, you can never underestimate how truly awful your day has been when compared to Jack Bauer!

Jack Bauer lives for a brand new day

Jack Bauer 24 rooftop

Kiefer Sutherland will return to the role as a counter-terrorism superhero following the news that Fox has revival the real-time thriller show 24 in a new 12-episode format.

The new series, entitled ‘24: Live Another Day‘ will adopt the same 24 ‘hourly’ episodes from the past eight seasons, but will be condensed to just twelve episodes.

It’s been three years since the popular Fox drama was axed, following a run of 192 episodes between the year of 2001 and 2010.

Following the exploits of CTU agent Jack Bauer, played by the Emmy Award-winning actor Sutherland, the drama was widely thought to have run out of steam by the end of its final season.

Plans for a 24 spin-off movie never materialised while Sutherland’s other Fox drama, Touch, was cancelled after a two-year run.

Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said 24 show runner Howard Gordon, whose credits also include Homeland, was “really energised” by the idea of a rebooted 24.

“They always had this idea of someday doing a feature film. I think they all agreed that ‘24‘ compressed into two hours is not 24,” said Reilly.

“What they’ll be able to do is go in chronological order of the day, but skip hours… Now we’ll get the best part.”

Sutherland said: “The response to 24 is unlike anything I have ever experienced as an actor before.

“To have the chance to reunite with the character, Jack Bauer, is like finding a lost friend. The story ideas from Howard Gordon are exciting and fresh, and will not disappoint.”

Gordon, whose other credits include Homeland, the US adaptation of hit Israeli drama Prisoners of War, said: “Jack Bauer has always been an exciting, thrilling character, and I confess that I’ve missed him.

“I think the audience has too. The character has evolved through the years, and this new and exciting event series format is perfect to tell the next chapter of his story and continue to reflect how the world is changing. Fans can rest assured that the Jack they know and love will be back.”

Such fantastic news that Jack Bauer is back. 24 is one of my favourite television shows and I look forward to hearing Kiefer shouting “Dammit!” once again.

Adam Buxton’s Bug series coming to Sky Atlantic

Comedian and former BBC 6 Music presenter Adam Buxton’s live music video show, Bug, is to be adapted for a new television series for Sky Atlantic.

The eight-part series will be a music video extravaganza that celebrates the most brilliant, compelling, thought-proving and weird music videos in the world today.

Building on the enormous success of five years of the live Bug shows, Adam Buxton will present these famous and not so famous videos, and examine the various comments they prompt and provoke among the esteemed members of the online community.

The series will celebrate innovative and ground-breaking videos, include special guests from the world of music videos and highlight the funniest comments on the web.

Each episode will also feature an original music video made by Adam and a host of the finest directors working in the industry today.

Adam Buxton commented: “I tell people that Bug is like going round to a friend’s house and having them open up their laptop and show you interesting and amusing things they’ve found or made, except not as tedious and shit as that sounds.”

Sounds great and as a fan of Adam Buxton since the good old Channel 4 days when he and Joe Cornish presented a late Friday night comedy on the weird and wonderful, not to mention their ultra-successful BBC radio show, I am looking forward to this new Bug show on Sky.

This video on Buxton reading YouTube comments still make me laugh.

Clock stops on 24 Movie

For the past eight seasons of 24, when the frustration got to Jack Bauer, the CTU agent would often shout “Dammit!”

In this situation, Kiefer Sutherland is reported to be furious at 20th Century Fox, which has called a halt to the movie version of his hit television show over budget and star salary issues.

According to Deadline, the problems includes scheduling issues around Sutherland’s shooting and promotional time for new television drama Touch, trouble locking in a director plus disputes over budget and salary.

While the movie has been developing for ages and faced other issues such as multiple script drafts, it all looked like the production would be on track to shoot around next month, with writers Billy Ray and Mark Bomback cracking a story that would, assuming the first movie is a box office success, play out across a trilogy.

And while there was no deal making taking place, Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua had apparently been in real talks to take on shot calling duties. Now, though, depending on the source, it’s either dead in the water, or on hold until everything can be worked out. But chances are, it seems unlikely to be shot before the year is out.

But have faith – not only does 20th Century Fox fully realise what it has in this potential franchise (thanks to global audience of fans demanding for Jack’s return) – but the movie also has Brian Grazer on board as producer.

Hopefully Grazer can sort out these issues over budget disagreements and get Jack Bauer back on track via the big screen.

The Simpsons 500th Episode

So here we are at an unbelievable milestone for the most famous family on TV. After first airing on December 17th 1989 they have reached 500 shows! Now, whatever you think of the show, the family or Fox Television, this is quite an achievement.

While Family Guy may have taken the “most dysfunctional family” crown in many peoples opinion, that show has also been cancelled, twice! So to go this distance and by the sound of it the end is still not in sight, this is something you have got to give them credit for.

This is the longest running American sitcom, animated and prime-time show, with a multi hundred million dollar movie and awards galore. They are simply are HUGE… or should that be were.
(more…)

Kiefer Sutherland has the right Touch

Kiefer Sutherland is returning to the small screen with an ambitions new drama from the creator of Heroes.

Touch, Sutherland’s first television series gig since his long-running 24, revolves around Martin Bohm, a widower and single father who learns that his emotionally challenged son, Jake, can see hidden patterns that connect every life on the planet. Martin must then put the pieces together and help others across the world connect.

Check out the official trailer to Touch:

Written and created by Tim Kring, this new supernatural drama seems intriguing. So why is Kiefer heading back to television so soon after 24? The Canadian actor explains:

“[The script] had a profound effect one me. The reason I made the choice was because it spoke to me,” he says.

And in regard to comparisons to his new character to Jack Bauer, Sutherland explains: “The real driving force for my character is to communicate with my son. The rest of the stuff is really for the audience and how one thing can affect another. The one parallel that I can bring from the two characters is that Jack Bauer was asked to save the day and there were always going to be casualties.

“And this character Martin Bohm is never going to have the perfect idyllic relationship with his son. They’ll both never completely win, and that is one thing that I’m drawn to certainly as an actor.”

And, much to Sutherland’s relief, his Touch character isn’t running around the entire episode. “He gets to sit down and he gets to have an intimate conversation,” he says. “This is not a serialized show like 24 was. There’s a beginning a middle and an end. There’s almost an immediate result in a situation.”

It all sounds promising but what about the 24 movie? When will the initial shooting take place?

“Hopefully we will be shooting end of April, beginning of May,” Sutherland reveals.

Oh yes! Kiefer Sutherland is back and will be making his presence on the small and big screen this year.

The Beeb’s Formula One commentary team

With Sky revealing its dream team last year, it’s the Beeb’s turn to announce the line-up of talented presenters, journalists and experts that will form this season’s BBC F1 coverage.

On the television side, Jake Humphrey remains as the main anchorman. Joining him will be Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard. Expect the usual trio to talk about the latest rumours and news from the pit-lane and paddock this season!

Reporting from the view of the commentary box is the excellent Ben Edwards. His enthusiasm and commentating style is a popular choice with fans and media alike. And when the news was announced last year, his Twitter account gained new followers due to his popularity!

David Coulthard will join Edwards in the commentary box and it will be fascinating how the pair will get on covering the qualifying sessions and the race. Comparisons will be made with DC and Martin Brundle (who is now at Sky) plus the Eurosport era of Edwards and John Watson.

Former Jordan technical director Gary Anderson will provide technical analysis while Lee McKenzie remains as the pit-lane reporter.

As for Radio 5 Live, former ITV commentator James Allen is back behind the microphone. Jennie Gow, who will be reporting from the pit-lane, will join him on the radio waves.

With these new signings, the wealth of motorsport experience is impressive and it will be interesting which media coverage will gain the most listeners/viewers over the course of the season due to the split between Sky Sports and the BBC.

What’s my personal opinion? Both have an excellent team of reporters and with the promise of an expanded coverage available on radio, online plus a dedicated High Definition television channel, I and the million plus of Formula One fanatics are in for a treat this season.

Sky Sports’ new Formula One dream team

From next season, this will be the line-up of talented presenters and commentators that will front Sky Sports’ Formula One coverage.

From left to right: Former BAR F1 test driver Anthony Davidson; former BBC Radio 5 Live commentator David Croft; former BBC Radio 5 Live pitlane reporter Natalie Pinkham; ITV and BBC commentator Martin Brundle; Sky Sports‘ new anchorman Simon Lazenby; Sky Sports‘ presenter Georgie Thompson and former BBC pitlane reporter Ted Kravitz will be the main players as Sky become the joint British host – alongside the BBC – in broadcasting Formula One action in 2012.

The big headliners are that the former BBC Radio 5 commentary duo of David Croft and Anthony Davidson will be joining Martin Brundle in the main commentary box.

Croft will commentate alongside Brundle for every race, while Davidson will be used for each of the weekend’s practice sessions.

Sky’s pitlane reporters will be Natalie Pinkham and Ted Kravitz, with the latter also co-presenting a new Formula One magazine show on Sky Sports with Georgie Thompson.

Martin Turner, Sky Sports Executive Producer, said: “In Brundle we have the outstanding F1 broadcaster – on the track and in broadcasting, he’s proved it time and again.

“Working alongside him, David Croft is a passionate, experienced commentator and Anthony Davidson can bring great technical knowledge to live practice sessions.”

Sky also announced that Steve Rider, who fronted ITV’s Formula One coverage between 2006-2008, will be responsible for presenting a series of interviews and features with current and past drivers.

“Ted Kravitz has huge knowledge of the pitlane and paddock and he and Natalie Pinkham will get the information and access our viewers need,” added Turner.

“And guiding us through the coverage we have the experience of Simon Lazenby and Georgie Thompson. Each has hosted major sports events, from the British Lions to the Ryder Cup – they have trust and respect.”

This line-up seems like a dream and I am keenly excited to see how the new team and the new dedicated channel will offer to Formula One fans next season.

As for the BBC, Jake Humphrey will continue to be the main presenter alongside David Coulthard and Lee McKenzie. No news were available on who will be the main commentators for both the television and radio side.

It will be fascinating how Sky will improve the coverage of the sport as the past three years on the BBC have been excellent, thanks to the Red Button. With the news on this dream team, the challenge is set to become the main point of interest for motor racing fanatics in 2012.

Sky Sports and BBC to share UK coverage from 2012

From next year, the excellent BBC coverage of Formula One will be shared with Sky Sports. That means all the practice and qualifying sessions, plus the race itself can be only be seen on the pay channel, while only highlights will be available on the Beeb.

But at least the Radio 5 Live commentary will continue in all the Grands Prix next season.

Why the change? The BBC was forced to cut costs significantly and even though the coverage this season has been great with record numbers of television audience at every Grand Prix, the lost to ‘free-to-air’ broadcast is bad news for Formula One fans. There were rumours that it was heading back to ITV or possibly to Channel 4 and Five, but in the end it went to Sky.

I will certainly miss the in-depth analysis on the red button, plus the live broadcast on all the sessions available on the BBC Sport website. Can Sky Sports provide a better ‘show’? We shall see.

As for the deal, both the BBC and Sky are happy with the outcome.

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: “We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC.

“The sport has never been more popular with TV audiences at a ten-year high and the BBC has always stated its commitment to the big national sporting moments.

“With this new deal not only have we delivered significant savings but we have also ensured that through our live and extended highlights coverage all the action continues to be available to licence-fee payers.”

Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans and Sky Sports will be the only place to follow every race live and in HD.

“We will give F1 the full Sky Sports treatment with a commitment to each race never seen before on UK television.”

This is a sad day for true Formula One enthusiasts. Even though I have a Sky subscription (High Definition), I don’t think it is good value for money to watch twenty races next year, even with advert breaks!

Which means I have to resort to the radio and some kind of television feed available on the interweb to get my racing action.