It's been four years since he last saved the world — so we're overdue for a little Jack Bauer, right?
Yes, Kiefer Sutherland's counter-terrorism hero is back this summer with an all-new miniseries, "24: Live Another Day." At Fox's winter press tour today, we got a premiere date (May 5 at 8 p.m.), along with lots of scoop about what to expect when the clock starts ticking again. Here's the latest intel:
All the action in half the time
Rather than the 24-episode format of previous seasons, the "24" miniseries will run for just 12 hours — and the producers are thankful for that. "The more time you have, the better you can craft each episode," executive producer Howard Gordon ("Homeland") says, adding that cranking out 24 episodes each season "was a marathon. It was really, really punishing." The miniseries does keep the real-time element of the original and will still take place over the course of one day, but they "might be able to jump forward a couple hours in a different environment," teases exec producer Manny Coto.
Chloe is back, too (among others)
Sutherland's not the only one reporting for "24" duty: Mary Lynn Rajskub reprises her role as quirky computer geek Chloe… but she and Jack aren't on the same side anymore. "Here, they are actually pitted against each other," Sutherland says, with Gordon adding that Chloe is "someone who's been quite damaged" and has "joined the free information movement," in an apparent nod to Edward Snowden and Wikileaks.
Also returning to "24": Kim Raver, as Jack's love interest Audrey (last seen in a hospital), and William Devane, as former Secretary of Defense (now President) James Heller. As far as familiar faces, Sutherland says "that's it… for now." Exec producer Evan Katz joked that the writers couldn't even remember where they left off with certain characters: "We looked at each other and said, 'Is he dead?'… Sometimes we have to check Wikipedia."
Jack's on the run
When the miniseries begins, Jack is still "a fugitive of the highest order," per Coto, and he's being tracked by "Chuck" and "Dexter" alum Yvonne Strahovski, playing a CIA agent who's been on the hunt for Jack for years. But if you're expecting a "Homeland"-style romance between the two, forget it: "The dynamic resembles Carrie and Brody in no way at all," Katz states, likening their relationship more to "The Fugitive." (Also joining the franchise: Benjamin Bratt, as the head of the CIA operation that's trailing Jack.)
Get your passport ready
After eight seasons of domestic action, "Live Another Day" finds Jack across the pond in London, where the miniseries will be filmed. (Shooting starts in a couple weeks, and they're about halfway through writing the scripts.) Instead of just following the President, Sutherland notes, "we're following the President and the Prime Minister of Great Britain." "We liked placing Jack in a different political and social context," Coto says, with Gordon adding that "Jack wanting to go home and not be able to go home is the emotional backdrop."
Don't count out a "24" movie
Rumors have swirled for years that Jack Bauer's story would continue as a feature film — and Sutherland says this miniseries doesn't necessarily rule that out. "The script for the film is very, very different," he says, noting that the film version is "an ongoing situation… there's always an opportunity to do that." Hear that, terrorists of the world? Don't get too comfortable.
"24: Live Another Day" premieres Monday, May 5 at 8 p.m. on Fox.