Fox confirmed Friday that after eight seasons, 24 will air its series finale on May 24. Star Kiefer Sutherland told EW.com that producing a ninth season for another network like NBC was not an option because he and executive producer Howard Gordon were ready to call it quits.
“The writers are producing the equivalent of 12 films a year, which is unheard of, and Howard felt to do a ninth would be potentially damaging,” said Sutherland. “We both felt strongly that there has been a demand and an interest in a 24 film, which would be a two-hour representation of a 24-hour day, so we felt it was time to move in that direction.”
Sutherland promised the series finale would tee up the 24 movie that’s in the works at 20th Century Fox. Billy Ray (State of Play) is writing the screenplay. “We wanted to create a definitive end for Jack Bauer,” explains Sutherland. “Since we do have the intention to make the feature film, it would lead into that and certainly set that up.
“Something we’ve dealt with in the series is how the crisis always has to come to us because we don’t have time to move anywhere in a real time world,” he continued. “In a two-hour (movie) representation of the 24 world, planes, trains, and automobiles all of a sudden become a factor because you are not required to go scene by scene in real time. That’s something I can say I am very excited about.”
As for the actual series finale, Gordon told EW.com that he and Sutherland considered everything from a happy to a tragic ending for Jack Bauer and ended up with episodes that take some risks: “We go to a very definitive, very complex place.”