MUMBAI: It was first reported in May last year that American broadcast network, Fox, was considering a 24 limited event television series based on a concept by EMMY Award winning writer, Howard Gordon. Not long after, Gordon had issued a statement saying, “Jack Bauer has always been an exciting, thrilling character, who 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 be rest assured that the Jack they know and love will be back.”
Indeed, the much-loved lead protagonist of 24 will be back with 24: Live Another Day, scheduled to premiere on AXN on 9 May, within the same week as its US telecast.
AXN India programming head Arpit Mankar, confirmed the development. Having aired all eight seasons of 24 as well as the television film, 24: Redemption in India, the channel had acquired the rights to broadcast 24: Live Another Day and anymore 24 series if produced early on this year.
Coming to the limited series, it is set and shot in London and follows the exploits of agent Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), four years after the events of season 8, as he once again risks life and limb to thwart a global disaster.
Tracking the federal fugitive on the run are CIA head Steve Harris played by Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order); resourceful but ruthless CIA agent Kate Morgan played by Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck, Dexter); smart and sophisticated CIA computer techie Jordan Reed played by Giles Matthey (Jobs); and sharp but arrogant field operative Erik Ritter played by Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire).
Calling the shots is James Heller played by William Devane (The Dark Knight Rises), now president of the United States. Heller is flanked by his chief of staff, Mark Boudreau, played by Tate Donovan (Damages, Hostages), who is married to Heller's daughter and Bauer’s former flame, Audrey, played by Kim Raver (Revolution).
Meanwhile, Bauer’s confidante, Chloe O’Brian, played by Mary Lynn Rajskub (Firewall), is now working underground with high-profile hacker Adrian Cross played by Michael Wincott (The Crow).
The guest stars on 24: Live Another Day include Golden Globe Award winner Judy Davis (Life with Judy Garland), Golden Globe Award nominee Stephen Fry (Alice in Wonderland, Bones) and Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones). Bauer has just a day to prevent an unthinkable terrorist attack that could change the world forever...
What are AXN India’s expectations from the limited series? “We expect the show to get new viewers. There are two reasons for this: a) 24 now is a more recognised brand in India, thanks to the local version. b) We expect the younger generation of today to tune-in to the show since the 24 franchise launched way back in 2001 when they were too young to consume TV. We are targeting both the 24 loyalists who we believe are in the 25-44 yrs TG as well as the 15-24 yrs TG who would possibly be watching it for the first time. We expect both males and females to tune in. They will surely want to watch this cult show,” said Mankar.
What about advertising? A 30-second advertisement spot for 24: Live Another Day sells for half a million US dollars in the US. So, “This credibility definitely helps from a sponsorship point of view as brands are assured of loyal viewership, in terms of both reach and time spent. Our sales team has had a very encouraging response from key categories and brands. AXN’s marketing campaign will be 360 degree covering TV, online, OOH and print,” shoots Mankar.
Starting 31 March, Monday to Thursday at 9:00 pm, AXN India will air all episodes of season eight of 24 as a catch-up marathon before 24: Live Another Day makes its adrenaline-packed debut on 9 May.