It’s only 9:15 a.m. Pacific and it’s already been a big day for “24: Live Another Day.”
We started with the news that Yvonne Strahovski was joining the cast.
That was followed by an announcement that “24: Live Another Day” will have a two-hour premiere on Monday, May 5.
Now? It’s time for the “24: Live Another Day” TCA press tour panel, featuring Kiefer Sutherland, Howard Gordon, Mary Lynn Rajskub and a bunch of other folks.
Click through for all of the highlights…
9:35 a.m. “Live Another Day” doesn’t start shooting for another couple weeks, but we get a rather badass clip package reminding us that Jack Bauer is, indeed, a badass.
9:37 a.m. “24” has done a lot of 24-episodes, but is this a more ideal length. “Yes,” Howard Gordon says simple. “The more time you have, the better you can craft each episode,” Gordon says. He’s hoping they will maintain the “24” quality, but he recalls the punishing marathon. “With ’24’ you could never actually see the other side of the shore,” he says, but now they can. Manny Coto says this allows them to jump forward a couple hours if necessary, since the mini-season will still take place over 24 hours.
9:39 a.m. “The script for the film is very, very different. The film is an ongoing situation and there’s always an opportunity to do it,” Sutherland says. The series just happens to have been the opportunity that came first. “If this ends up rebooting the show or causing a film to be made, so be it,” Sutherland says.
9:41 a.m. Gordon promises that the show has analogues for the Snowden Affair and the drone issue, but the season is really about the characters.
9:41 a.m. How are they experimenting with the form and how could that help with the movie? “We haven’t considered it in that context at all,” Coto says. Oh well.
9:42 a.m. Where are they in the writing process at this point? Evan Katz says they’re halfway through the writing.
9:42 a.m. How is Chloe’s return handled? “At the very beginning of this show they’re actually pitted against each other by virtue of a certain set of circumstances,” Sutherland hints. He calls it a meaty arch, saying that the circumstances at the start of the show have produced interesting dynamics. William Devane’s character is now president, incidentally. Going back to Chloe, Gordon says that it has always been the trick and challenge of the show to follow the characters. “What was exciting to us was that we found a place to emotionally locate Jack, physically to locate Jack,” Gordon says. Gordon says that Chloe has joined The Free Information Movement, or something.
9:45 a.m. Would Kiefer want to reenter the “24” world longterm. “There’s a lot of fantastic new characters,” Sutherland teases, saying that the star of the show is the concept. He suggests that like “Law & Order” or “CSI,” the format could exist without him. He suggests maybe a younger character helping his character in this series could be the hero of a potential reboot. Interesting.
9:46 a.m. Coto reminds us that at the end of Season 8, Jack was a fugitive and when we pick up, he’s still a fugitive and still hunted. He teases that Yvonne Strahovski’s character has been hunting for Jack and that’s the dynamic we’ll be following. In the eyes of the CIA, Jack is “a fugitive of high order.” Jack reenters with a mission and the CIA is determined to catch him. Chloe enters the picture and she has also been damaged over the past four years. She doesn’t work for CTU and she has turned against the government. Coto compares her to Snowden. Jack is after a secret, Coto teases. It will become “a large tableau set in London for some pretty crazy events.”
9:49 a.m. They chose London because they wanted to make it an event and to put Jack in a different social context. “It has to do with his exile,” Gordon teases. “We knew that elsewhere, anywhere-but-here, was where we wanted to set it,” Gordon says. Jack wanting to return home is the backdrop. Jon Cassar is in London setting things up now.
9:49 a.m. “There’s no Chloe without Jack. Let’s start right there. It was pretty surprising to me. It was a strange two month or so period where it was everyday on Twitter and me waiting to see if I was going to be included,” Majskub recalls. “It was really nice on Twitter and really strange. I have a lot of people who refuse to call me anything but Chloe,” she says. “It’s interesting, because I never thought that ’24’ would come back and I never thought it would come back in this format,” she says, claiming she’s looking forward to being called Chloe again.
9:52 a.m. Kiefer Sutherland was born in London, in case you didn’t know. “I’m anxious about it. Traffic there is very difficult. We plan to be shooting outside,” Sutherland says, teasing that they plan on blowing stuff up and he expects London to hate them for screwing up traffic. He’s excited to shoot with The Tower of London in the background and he thinks it’s a huge opportunity from a storytelling POV. In this 12-hour arc, we’ll be following both the President and the Prime Minister. A lot of the Special Relationship will be examined, when it comes to USA and UK.
9:54 a.m. How hard was it to find a way to incorporate Audrey and Heller and other familiar people? “President Logan is not in great shape,” Gordon says. “Sometimes we have to check Wikipedia,” Katz admits of not remembering which characters are alive and dead. They initially thought Heller was dead, only to be pleasantly surprised that he lived and could be President.
9:55 a.m. “It was nine years and I’m terrified. I used to get terrified between each season,” Sutherland says of the time he spent with the character and how he feels about returning. He refers to “the fear of starting up again.” “I’m very nervous. Without patting ourself on the back too hard, I feel we made eight very strong years,” Sutherland says, while admitting that there was something in each season they regretted, but they were still proud of what they did. He thanks the audience and says they owe that audience “the best we have to offer.”
9:57 a.m. The show will still be in real-time, even if hours might be skipped. Just in case you were worried.
9:58 a.m. “We didn’t design the story based on what the Internet feedback was,” Coto says of bringing Chloe back. He jokes that all of the Internet buzz about Chloe was coming from Mary Lynn’s Twitter feed. Katz and Coto agree that figuring out
9:59 a.m. Coto says that they don’t consciously think of giving the audience certain things they expect. “We approached it as ‘What could we do that we frankly haven’t done before and that would keep us interested as writers for a 12-hour season?’
10:00 a.m. Did “Homeland” inspire them at all? “The dynamic here resembles Carrie-Brody in no way at all. It’s completely and utterly different,” Katz says. Katz says it’s more “The Fugitive.”
10:01 a.m. You can watch “Live Another Day” without having scene Season 8 or without having watched “24” at all. “Those who have been with us for the last eight seasons are rewarded for their knowledge, but it’s not a requirement,” Gordon says. Sutherland says that the exposition is within a justifiable moment of characters catching up.
10:02 a.m. Why isn’t Joel Surnow part of this? “We tried to draw him in and he was putting on the 15th hole,” Gordon says, but he hopes that Surnow might have some involvement. Coto reminds us, once again, that the show is apolitical and while he has a Conservative background, they’ve been “baffled” at claims that the show itself is Conservative. “It’s not Jack’s job to adjudicate what’s right or what’s wrong,” Gordon says. Rajskub just read the second episode and she says, “It left me on the edge of my seat and wanting more.”
That’s all, folks! Back with the executive session in 30 minutes!