Why is Jack Bauer not in '24: Legacy'?

Source: FOX
Source: FOX

It's been over 15 years since 24 — the television drama that gave us a look at 24 hours in the life counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer — first premiered. The show went on to last eight seasons and brought lead actor Kiefer Sutherland an Emmy. So given its success (and our affinity for reboot culture), a new version of the thriller, 24: Legacy, will be premiering Sunday on Fox, after the conclusion of the Super Bowl. 

But there's one central component missing in 24: Legacy: Sutherland will not be reprising his role as Bauer on the show. The actor is now the lead in Designated Survivor, which is still on winter hiatus and is scheduled to return in March

Source: Fox/YouTube

At the ABC Television Critics' Association party in August, Deadline spoke to Bauer about the possibility of his return to the role of Bauer. "There are absolutely no plans for that," he said.

Given that he's currently leading another TV drama, it would seem unlikely that he'd come back to the 24 universe. For those with a faint hope for a Bauer appearance, however, 24 and 24: Legacy executive producer Howard Gordon didn't dismiss the chance outright.

"I think it's just sort of a possibility downstream reflecting just my own personal fantasy," Gordon told Deadline.

Despite not appearing on the show, Sutherland is an executive producer for the new 24 series.

Here's a synopsis on what to expect in 24: Legacy, courtesy of Fox.

Six months ago in Yemen, an elite squad of U.S. Army Rangers, led by Sergeant Eric Carter, killed terrorist leader Sheik Ibrahim Bin-Khalid. In the aftermath, Bin-Khalid's followers declared a fatwah against Carter, his squad and their families, forcing them into federal witness protection. But a recent attempt on Carter's own life makes it clear to him that his team is now exposed.

To thwart further attacks, Carter enlists Rebecca Ingram, who quarterbacked the raid that killed Bin-Khalid. She's a brilliant and ambitious intelligence officer who has stepped down from her post as National Director of CTU to support her husband, Senator John Donovan, in his campaign for president of the United States. Decades of sleepless nights and missed anniversaries landed her at the top. With the White House within their grasp, can she truly embrace a new role as first lady? Or will her love of the action draw her back in?

Together, in this fast-paced thrill ride, Carter and Ingram uncover a sophisticated terrorist network that will force them to ask: "Who can we trust?" As they battle Bin-Khalid's devotees, they are forced to confront their own identities, families and pasts.

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Eric Eidelstein

Eric Eidelstein is a freelance Arts writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He has previously written for Complex, Indiewire, and other outlets.

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