What a year it has been for fans of groundbreaking television returning to their former glory. Seven years after it aired its final episode due to low ratings and forced cancellation, Arrested Development is returning with 15 new installments in under two weeks time. 24 bowed out after eight seasons on air, and rumors of a feature film had been swirling since it ended. Following Arrested‘s lead, the creative heads behind the suspenseful drama ultimately decided to opt out of a movie and instead bring the series back in episodic form. Are you getting this? 24 is coming back for more!
FOX is labeling the return of 24 as an “event series,” meaning it will come in a smaller, yet still impactful package. 24: Live Another Day will retain the 24 DNA by telling a season-long story that takes place over the course of one day in Jack Bauer’s life, however this time around the trek will be truncated into 12 episodes instead of the usual 24. FOX chairmen Kevin Reilly spilled the following: “It will go chronologically over the day, but it will skip hours. It will be dictated by the plot…The spine of the original 24 episodes was about 12 hours. Those were when the big events occurred, and then there were little events and connective tissue in between. So [we're] taking the best 12 [of the 24].” He added, “A lot of who’s who in Hollywood wanted to participate in this,” so fans can expect some surprise special guests to pop up over the course of the season in addition to fan favorites (Chloe must return!). No plot details have surfaced yet, but the official PR states the new season will find Jack “several years following the events of the final season.”
Wondering why the movie never came to fruition? Reilly confessed that the producers realized that “24 compressed into two hours is not 24.” It’s that simple.
Will this limited event series mark the real end of 24? Reilly wouldn’t say, but he did acknowledge the series’ “franchise-ability;” he won’t promise a new season of 24 every year, but depending on how the upcoming 12 new episodes perform in the ratings he is leaving a door open for a potential sequel of sorts.
24: Live Another Day is slated to premiere May 2014 and serve as a summer series for FOX. It is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Teakwood Lane Productions. Howard Gordon, Brian Grazer, and Kiefer Sutherland will executive produce, along with an additional team to be announced.
DAMMIT, as Jack Bauer would say. According to Deadline the anticipated movie based on the long-running FOX political drama 24 has been delayed. In December things finally started to line up for the big screen adaptation: 20th Century Fox was overseeing Mark Bomback’s tweaking of Billy Ray’s original script, potential directors were being scouted, and star Kiefer Sutherland was publicly enthusiastic about slipping into Bauer’s shoes once more. The plan was to begin production in April, when Sutherland was on break from shooting the upcoming FOX show Touch. But things quickly unravelled shortly after 20th Century’s proposal for the film was addressed. In addition to budgetary concerns, the studio has ultimately decided to hold off on starting production on the 24 movie this year because it believes that there won’t be enough time to complete the project before Sutherland is forced back into Touch (assuming the Tim Kring drama is picked up for a second season). In other words, they don’t want to rush it.
Though this news is unfortunate for 24 fans all over, it’s not devastating. Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer is still producing, Sutherland is still on board to reprise Bauer, and Bomback/Ray’s script is “ready to go,” per Deadline. So 24 the movie is on track to get made, it’s just a matter of when, again.
Update: Sutherland guested on The Tonight Show on Thursday and addressed the recent delay, saying that he’s still determined to get the ball rolling on production of the film sooner rather than later. Video sits after the break. (Click here for more…)
At the center of Touch is Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland), a widower and single father, haunted by an inability to connect to his mute 11-year-old son, Jake (David Mazouz). After multiple failed attempts at keeping Jake in school, Martin is visited by Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a social worker sent to evaluate Jake’s well-being. Everything changes when Martin discovers that Jake possesses the gift of staggering genius – the ability to see things that no one else can and the patterns that connect seemingly unrelated events. Jake is indeed communicating. But it’s not with words, it’s with numbers. Martin meets Arthur Dewitt (Danny Glover), a professor and an expert on children who possess special gifts when it comes to numbers. Now, it’s up to Martin to decipher the meaning and connect the numbers to the cast of characters whose lives they affect.
At the TCA winter press tour, Heroes creator Tim Kring shared his enthusiasm about his upcoming FOX drama Touch. “I can’t say enough about [FOX entertainment president] Kevin [Reilly]’s support. It was a script that I thought was a challenging one for a network to want to do to, I frankly didn’t think it would be done at a network. And Kevin read it and believed in it instantly and has absolutely been its tireless champion within the company. So I’m hugely indebted.”
Series star Kiefer Sutherland was also on hand to shed some light on how he landed the lead role and what exactly drew him to a show involving “global unity” and interconnectedness among human lives. Kring admits that he did not write the Martin Bohm character with Sutherland in mind. Additionally, Sutherland wasn’t so much interested in returning to TV after his long run on 24 which only concluded two years ago. But when he read the pilot script he was going to make an exception here. “I remember getting to Page 35 and thinking, ‘Shit. I’m in real trouble here,’ ” Sutherland shared. “The character is so vastly different [from that of 24's Jack Bauer], the tone of the piece is so vastly different. And that’s part of its appeal.” He continued, “I had to read the script twice to make sure that all the things that were affecting me were affecting me on a personal level as opposed to trying to manage a career. Does it happen to be a nice diversion from 24? Yes. I just couldn’t turn this down because it spoke to me on a really profound level.” He added, “My choice to do this had nothing to do with trying to get away from 24. It was because I want to spend hopefully the next seven or eight years sinking my teeth into something interesting.”
Sutherland made a comparison between his iconic 24 role and the new shoes he’s about to fill. “The one parallel between the two characters is Jack Bauer was asked to save the day, and there was always going to be casualties. Martin will never have an idyllic relationship with his son. With both characters, they’ll never completely win, and that’s something I’m drawn to as an actor.” At one point he described the father/son relationship between Martin and Jake as “really beautiful.”
After discussing how and why he positioned himself in the lead role, Sutherland described the logistics of Touch. “Some characters will be woven over [multi-episode] arcs, but Tim and I both learned – he from Heroes and me from 24 — that there is great value in a procedural drama. So every week there will be a set of circumstances set about by Jake that will put Martin in a situation to deal with someone new, and that situation will be resolved. There will be a beginning, a middle and an end, in theory, to every episode.”
Later, it was revealed that Kring’s son is autistic and that he is an inspiration for the show. Touch will explore the facets of autism and “Tim feels very responsible to stay true to [autism] in that regard,” says Sutherland. “So we’re not go to be making stuff up to explain stuff. We’re going to deal with the medicine and what doctors know.”
Before the panel could conclude, critics asked Sutherland about the current status of the 24 movie. He confirmed rumors that shooting will begin “at the end of April, beginning of May.” He teased that the movie is “relatively a direct continuation” of the series finale that aired on FOX in May 2010. We’re talking maybe six months from the end of that episode.” As previously reported, the movie will cover a 24-hour period in about two hours, so obviously it will not be told in real-time like the show was. Last, it was recently announced that Mary Lynn Rajskub’s Chloe will factor into the movie.
Touch premieres March 19. FOX will be airing a preview later this month on January 25 at 9PM.
24: The Movie is happening people. Here’s the latest scoop. According to Deadline, writer Mark Bomback (Unstoppable, The Wolverine) is tweaking the script originally penned by Billy Ray (State of Play) and he will be turning it in to 20th Century Fox by the end of this year. Imagine Entertainment honcho Brian Grazer is still producing, but director Tony Scott is no longer attached to the project. It’s being reported that Fox and Imagine are currently narrowing down a list of five potential directors. And here’s the best bit of news: the studio hopes to start shooting the flick as early as April 2012. That is when Sutherland’s schedule opens up; he is currently working on the upcoming FOX drama Touch.
Bauer is back.
The politically charged FOX drama 24 went off the air in May 2010 and with it went one of TV’s most iconic characters, Jack Bauer. Though Kiefer Sutherland is set to reprise the role in a 24 feature film, a new Jack Bauer is prepared to emerge onto the TV landscape…in India. News broke that Anil Kapoor, best known for his role in Slumdog Millionaire, will step into Sutherland’s shoes to play the lead in an Indian version of 24. In addition to starring in it Kapoor will also produce though his Anil Kapoor Films Co. and with 20th Century Fox TV Distribution. According to Deadline, preproduction on the show will begin in India in 2012.
Kapoor, someone who 24 fans should immediately recognize as season 8′s Kamistan President Omar Hassan, had this to say about the development of a new 24. ”It will be a great honor for me to play Jack Bauer. Kiefer has created an iconic character which has inspired me to bring the franchise to India. This will be my first foray to Indian television and I look forward to duplicating the standard of excellence Fox has so successfully created.”
Whether or not Kapoor’s 24 finds a way to air in the US, I have no doubt that loyal fans of the show (including myself) will figure out how to preview it here. Man do I miss that ticking clock and the CTU ring.
24 fans, I’ve got even more good news for you. Less than one month after Kiefer Sutherland confirmed a summer 2012 release for the film adaptation of the FOX show, 24 executive producer Brian Grazer tweeted, “Got off the phone Keifer yesterday [4/4] and we are very excited about producing the ’24′ movie for next year.” Grazer co-owns Imagine Entertainment with Ron Howard; the TV production company backed the show for all eight seasons. Good to know that Grazer is on board for the flick.
In related news, TVLine recently interviewed Elisha Cuthbert about her new ABC comedy Happy Endings and they managed to squeeze in a question about her future involvement with 24. When asked if she would reprise Jack’s daughter Kim Bauer for the film she said, “I would do it, for sure. It’s such a part of my career — and I would only hope that they would want Kim Bauer to be a part of it.” She concluded, “I’d be thrilled to go back to Kim anytime, but as of now I haven’t heard anything. So I don’t know!”
On Monday Kiefer Sutherland told the ladies of The View that the oft-rumored but anticipated 24 movie will come out “summer 2012.” Hop after the break to hear him say it.
Just like Mitch Hurwitz and the Arrested Development movie, it’s good to know that Sutherland still has the project in mind.
The trials and tribulations of Jack Bauer have come to an end, so what’s next for the incredible actor who played our nation’s hero for eight years? In a surprising move, Kiefer Sutherland has decided to test the Internet waters in an upcoming web series produced by Sutherland, Chris Young, Joseph Gomes, and Maura Mandt. It’s called The Confession and Sutherland stars as “a hitman who has a theological discussion with a priest (played by English actor John Hurt) about why his victims deserved to die.” The series, written and directed by Brad Mirman, was shot in New York during the snow storm last month over nine days.
Sutherland shared with EW his excitement about this new project. The origin story: “It came about in such a different way,” Sutherland said. ”I was meeting a couple friends of mine, who wanted to introduce me to Chris Young (of Digital Broadcasting Group). I know so little about the internet, but that’s what a lot of friends do for work. Most of that stuff being produced for the internet is comedy, very much like Jackass kind of material, which is great but didn’t appeal to me. Chris started talking about wanting to do a drama, but his criteria was so different. A drama in five-minute episodes! It was one of those things, like a puzzle over the course of the lunch. It can’t be that complicated to figure out a story in five minutes, right? I couldn’t, and it frustrated the crap out of me. So I went home that night, still thinking about it, and it stayed with me for three days. I was falling asleep when I literally got this idea of a confessional.”
He thinks that creative content distributed over the Internet is the wave of the future. ”None of us were paid what we normally get paid,” Sutherland admitted. “Everybody found their own challenge in it, and that was the reason to do it. All of us believe very strongly that the internet is the future, the largest network in world, with the ability to reach a big audience.” (Click here for more…)
24 fans, the wait for a feature film just got a bit longer. According to EW, 20th Century Fox has turned down the 24 movie script penned by Billy Ray (State of Play). The show’s long-time executive producer Howard Gordon commented on the matter. ”As far as I know, it is in suspended animation,” said Gordon. “There is talk about re-approaching it. I understand [director/producer] Tony Scott is meeting with Kiefer [Sutherland] to talk about ideas. People are still talking about it.” He continued, “I was disapppointed [Fox] passed on the script but I’m certainly hopeful that the movie will get made at some point. Anecdotally, I’ve heard from people who are really missing the show and I do think there is more life in Jack Bauer.”
Back when FOX the network announced that season eight would be the last for the series, star Kiefer Sutherland shared his excitement over the possibility of making a 24 movie. “We wanted to create a definitive end for Jack Bauer,” said 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. 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.”
Although the script was thrown out, this isn’t all bad news. At least we’re receiving assurance that Gordon, Sutherland, and Tony Scott are still in talks about it. The wait for it got longer, but there’s still hope a 24 movie will get made. No word if Billy Ray will be replaced with a new screenwriter.
The day I thought would never come is here. It’s official: 24 Season 8, the season that’s currently airing now, will be the final season for the show. Over the past few weeks there have been whispers that the 24 creative team would jump ship from FOX to NBC in order to salvage a ninth season. With star Keifer Sutherland’s contract running up this year, along with other members of the production team, it would have been an extremely expensive ordeal to bring the show back again. With ratings lower than usual and the narrative becoming somewhat stale after eight seasons on the air, 24 has decided to call it quits after this season.
Says Sutherland (who plays Jack Bauer): “The writers are producing the equivalent of 12 films a year, which is unheard of, and [executive producer] Howard felt to do a ninth would be potentially damaging. 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.”
And that brings us to the 24 feature film that’s in the works. It’s happening people, so there’s no need to bring out the tissues just yet. 20th Century Fox is backing the movie, with Billy Ray (State of Play) writing the screenplay. Says Sutherland on how the series finale will tie into the movie: “We wanted to create a definitive end for Jack Bauer. Since we do have the intention to make the feature film, it would lead into that and certainly set that up.” In fact, since a 24 movie loses the restrictions of the story unfolding in real time, the creative juices must be flowing for Sutherland and co. “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,” Sutherland adds. “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.” Hell yeah, me too!
But as far as the series finale is concerned, Howard Gordon and Sutherland are contemplating either a happy or tragic ending for Jack Bauer. “We go to a very definitive, very complex place.” I am a long time 24 fan; hell, I’ve been watching this show for eight years now. As sad as this news may seem, think of it like this: How many bad days can Jack Bauer experience? I mean, we don’t want him to die or anything… It’s time for Jack Bauer (and us) to finally receive closure.
Sutherland released this official statement of gratitude: “This has been the role of a lifetime, and I will never be able to fully express my appreciation to everyone who made it possible. While the end of the series is bittersweet, we always wanted 24 to finish on a high note, so the decision to make the eighth season our last was one we all agreed upon. This feels like the culmination of all our efforts from the writers to the actors to our fantastic crew and everyone at Fox. Looking ahead to the future, Howard Gordon and I are excited about the opportunity to create the feature film version of 24. But when all is said and done, it is the loyal worldwide fan base that made it possible for me to have the experience of playing the role of Jack Bauer, and for that I am eternally grateful.”
Executive producer and showrunner Howard Gordon followed up: “Kiefer and I have loved every minute of making 24, but we all believe that now is the right time to call it a day. I echo his sentiments of gratitude toward the show’s amazing creative team, as well as the studio and network who have always believed in us and shown us unbelievable support.”
Need more proof? 24′s Mary Lynn Rajskuub (Chloe O’Brien) tweets: “Just found out we got the word officially. This is 24′s last season.” Executive producer and off-and-on director Jon Cassar shared this tweet: “News from the 24 set,the crew has been told that 24 has come to an end. There will b no season 9. Its been a great run, thanx all 4 watching.”
Actor Keifer Sutherland suffered a ruptured cyst late last week and is headed to the OR for a minor operation to fix things up. And since he’s the star of 24, the production team was forced to hault production until his return. Fortunately his predicament involves a quick procedure, so Sutherland should be back to shoot the remainder of Day 8 within a matter of a few days. Says his publicist: “While Kiefer Sutherland is frustrated to miss even one day of work, he and FOX decided together that it would be best to complete this minor elective procedure now.” I think Jack Bauer can handle it.
According to Rodney Charters, director of photography on 24, the show will try its best to somehow incorporate Apple’s still unannounced tablet device, pending Apple’s cooperation. Charters tweets: “Hmmmm looks like we may get an iSlate into Jacks hands for Ep 20 getting giddy with excitement” and later updated with: ”Got a bit too excited probably more likely Episode 22 but Apple provided fingers crossed.”
As exciting as this proposition sounds, it all hinges upon the actual existence of such a tablet. We will know by tomorrow. Oh, and it better be announced. Because if it isn’t, you can be sure Jack will stationed outside the keynote doors waiting to interrogate Jobs (re-created for visual purposes above).
It’s great to be a fan of TV these days. So many great shows to watch and discuss. This past week the TSA (Television Critics Association) Press Tour brought out TV’s stars, showrunners, and executives who talk to the press about what’s to come in the future. Below is a list of a handful of shows and clues to how their futures will pan out.
Gleeks rejoice! Glee has been renewed for a second season. FOX’s President of Entertainment, Kevin Reilly: “We’ve loved Glee ever since it was a pilot script, so it’s been an incredible thrill to watch the show take root and see audiences embrace these characters in such a huge way this season. The show is a true and rare gem in television. We couldn’t be more proud of what Ryan Murphy and the Glee team have created so far, and can’t wait to see what they come up with for Season 2.” In related news, the Glee execs will be holding a nationwide audition to fill in three new roles for season two. “Auditions will be open to amateur individuals as well as professionals between the ages of 16-26, and all hopefuls will be able to submit auditions online. Additional details will be announced soon [via] fox.com/glee.” Reilly adds that “the winners will be revealed in the first episode of the season.”
Glee returns Tuesday, April 13 on FOX. (Celebrate the news by watching a Glee flashmob after the break.)
Modern Family, the funniest new comedy of the season, has been given the green light for a second season! ABC also renewed Cougar Town and The Middle. Ugly Betty, Better Off Ted, and Scrubs are still in limbo. ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson says “I’m not going to lie. The numbers are not encouraging.”
Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9PM on ABC.
What’s going on with Fringe? Last we heard ratings dropped due to its competitive timeslot. It airs at the same time as Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, The Office, 30 Rock and Supernatural. FOX’s Reilly on the matter: “I wish the ratings were higher, but frankly, we’re going to keep it right where it is, because it’s doing a job for us.” On the future of this season: “We’re going to bring on Past Life, give this a breather, then going to play I think ten episodes in a row in the back half of the season, to really try and blast this when the other guys are in repeats.” So he definitely feels a good vibe around the show. But what does the future hold beyond season 2? “They’re in a creative groove with it. We have a great relationship with the producers. They’re delivering a quality show and it’s got an audience…The audience hasn’t entirely left it behind; they’re just watching it on their DVR. So I don’t know. We’ll just have to see what happens in May.” Fringe resides in the wait-and-see category, but I have a strong feeling it will be coming back for many more seasons.
Fringe returns Thursday, January 14 on FOX. (Look after the break for an exerpt from an IGN interview with Fringe creator J. J. Abrams.)
Oh, Heroes. Season 1 was fantastic. I even enjoyed watching seasons 2 and 3 on DVD. Unfortunately most of its original audience lost interest by season 2 due to lack of creativity, among other criticisms. Though the outlook for a potential season 5 looks bleak, Greg Grunberg (Heroes’ Matt Parkman) is very confident that the show will get renewed. “We wrapped yesterday and the [final episode] is nowhere near a series finale. It is cliffhanger-y and exciting, but it is nowhere near an end to a series that people are so invested in. It does not tie everything up in a neat bow… I don’t have any doubt that the show will be back.” He adds, “We will wrap it up properly in the next season and get to 100 episodes. At least that’s what I would like to see happen. They take so much care in writing the show that I would hope we get the chance to end it right. Lost announced an end [date] and I think that helped both the people working on the show and the people watching it. They see the finish line and I think it gives them something tangible to invest in and be excited about. It’s like it’s a movie and they want to see the end of it. That’s what I hope happens with our show.” Heroes is one of two “DVD shows” for me. I watch every season on DVD when it comes out. It’s the DVD sales and the international popularity of the show that keep it alive, so we will wait and see how it all plays out soon.
Heroes airs its season finale February 8 on NBC.
FlashForward’s long hiatus has just gotten a little longer. Its return is being moved from March 4 to March 18 so that it does not have to compete with TV juggernaut American Idol. When it does return it will air back-to-back episodes in a two hour event. It will run straight to its finale on May 27 with new episodes every week. Note that the finale will also be two hours in length. And we are all looking forward to the April 29 episode, aren’t we?
FlashForward returns March 18 on ABC.
As we all start getting pumped for 24 season 8 to begin, talk about a potential season 9 is already making waves. Keifer Sutherland (24′s Jack Bauer) told reporters that he is “absolutely open” to making another season if the fans want it. Sutherland: “I’ve always said that as long as people wanted us to make it , and people were really interested in watching it, I would be interested. There are a lot of components involved. Right now my focus is on finishing season 8.” FOX’s Reilly: “Collectively, we just made a decision to launch the season [first] and then sit down in the next four to six weeks. But my sense is Kiefer will want to keep it going.” Executive producer Howard Gordon: “The way I’ve looked at it is that every single season [finale] could have been a series ender. We just want to take it across the line credibly and then let the [other part] take care of itself. As long as Jack’s not dead, anything is possible.” Hell yeah! Sounds like season 9 is a definite possibility. And don’t forget a 24 movie is in the works after the show ends.
24, Day 8 premieres Sunday, January 17 on FOX.
As for the future of V…no one knows yet. ABC’s McPherson was not keen on running such a short first “pod” of episodes this past fall, but due to production issues the show was forced to limit itself to four initial episodes. ABC plans on airing uninterrupted episodes of V starting in March which will run to its finale in May so that they can “turn [it] into an event.” As long as there’s more Ana, I’m hooked!
V returns March 30 on ABC.
Check back here for the latest news in popular network TV series; I’ll make sure to update when they are renewed or cancelled and when their premieres and finales are televised.
Go behind the scenes of the upcoming season of 24 in this short, action packed featurette. Jack Bauer’s eighth day of intensity begins January 17 in a 2 night, 4 hour event on FOX.
The new season of 24 is almost upon us and what better way to get ready then check out the latest stills and character shots. Of course you’ll find Kiefer Sutherland (Bauer), Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe), Annie Wersching (Renee), and Cherry Jones (President Taylor) there. You’ll also discover some new players including Katee Sackhoff, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Anil Kapoor. Catch my favorite shot of the bunch after the break.
24 Season 8 premieres Sunday January 17 in a 4-hour, 2-night event on FOX.
24, Day Eight looks AMAZING. New location – New York City, new and reinstated CTU, Kim Bauer, and an exciting new cast.
These leaked trailers are slightly different from each other, so make sure you check both of them out. I just gotta say this: 24 trailer + Run This Town = PURE GOLD. Enjoy.
Comic Con: Day Two was jam-packed with great stuff. Let’s get right to it…
10:30AM-11:30AM – Meet The Guild Panel (Room 5AB)
The Guild is a very funny and highly inventive web series created by Dr. Horrible’s Felicia Day. The panel opened with a Guild music video directed by Jed Whedon. It was great; it actually made nerds (or people who play World of Warcraft) seems very, very cool. The music video will be available as a free download on Xbox Live in August. After the music video played, the entire Guild cast came onto the stage, that is, Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, Jeff Lewis, Amy Okuda, Robin Thorsen, and Vincent Caso. To everyone’s surprise, the cast came out wearing detailed costumes of the characters they play in the show. After a quick introduction, series director Sean Becker unveiled the first episode of Season 3 of The Guild. It was freaking hilarious! It’s great to see The Guild back in action. In the final scene, Star Trek: TNG actor Wil Weaton made a surprise cameo as the leader of a nemesis guild. After the episode, Wil Weaton joined the cast on stage. There was a breif Q&A and then the guild dispersed. Season 3 looks to be the best one yet. If you haven’t heard of The Guild, check out their website (www.watchtheguild.com) or download the first two seasons for free on Xbox Live. It’s great for WoW fans and non-fans alike.
11:45AM-12:45PM – FlashForward Panel (Room 6A)
One word: AMAZING. FlashForward, known to many as “the next Lost” is going to rock everyone’s world this September on ABC. The premise is simple yet compelling: The world wakes up to what seems like a totally normal day. While everyone is going about their business, something strange happens. Every single person on Earth falls unconscious and blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. During this period of time, everyone sees a flash of their own personal futures, six months into the future to be precise. Some people’s future are dark and sad, some are happy and funny, and some people have no future at all. During this short period of blackout, something unknown attacks cities all around the world creating blazing fires and explosions all over the place. Many people are injured and killed during this time. At the panel we were shown three scenes from the premiere episode, as well as a trailer covering where the series plans to take us. This footage is Comic Con exclusive and has never been seen before. The main character of the show is played by Joseph Fiennes, an FBI agent who has the most interesting flash forward of them all: he sees clues (undefined and currently meaningless) as to what may have happened on that fateful day, thus leading me to believe that there is some sort of over-arching conspiracy theory to the cataclysmic turn of events. His partner is played by Star Trek’s (and yes, Harold and Kumar’s) John Cho. Also joining these two cast members on the panel were actors Christine Woods and Courtney B. Vance, and executive producers and writers Brannon Braga, Marc Guggenheim, and David S. Goyer. While they did not reveal any spoilers, they did give us some information to ponder. The writers already have an end game to the series; they know exactly where it is going and how it will finalize. They say it could take as short as three seasons or as long as five seasons to tell the entire story. Of course, all of this will depend on ratings and viewer reactions. It was revealed (after being long rumored) that Lost’s Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) will be joining fellow Lost alum (Sonya Walger, who played Penny) as an important character in the show. He turned out to be a surprise guest and he joined the panel with the others. From the three scenes I watched during the panel, I can tell you that this new show has major potential to be huge hit this fall. As sad and depressing it is that Lost will be airing its final season this year, it is equally uplifting and exciting that such a great new show will be taking its slot on ABC this television season. The season premiere airs on September 24; don’t miss it.
1:00PM-2:00PM – The Big Bang Theory Panel (Ballroom 20)
TBBT panel was exciting for all fans of the brilliantly humorous show made for geeks and non-geeks alike. The panel included executive producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, and all main cast members including Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons (Emmy-nominated), Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, and the beauiful Kaley Cuoco. After a comedic reel of season two highlights, the panel took questions for the audience. Not much was revealed about the current plot for the new season. It was confirmed that Jim’s Sheldon will not have a girlfriend in the foreseeable future. Very funny and entertaining panel.
2:15PM-3:00PM – 24 Panel (Ballroom 20)
Day 8 here we come. 24 has survived on air for a magnificent seven seasons, and season 8 looks to be yet another exciting and pulse-pounding adventure for Jack Bauer and company. The panel included Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chole O’Brien), new cast members Freddie Prince Jr., Battlestar Galactica’s beautiful Kattie Sackoff, and Slumdog Millionaire’s Anil Kapoor, showrunner Howard Gordon, other executive producers, and composer Sean Callery. I watched an exclusive, never-before-scene clip of the first episode of season 8. Jack is back and better than ever. Season 8 starts off shortly after last season’s cliffhanger. Jack is healthy, thanks to his daughter Kim, and he is in a current state of restfulness (quite a change from last season). While not much was divulged about the upcoming season, some tidbits of information was leaked out. The over-arching theme of this season is “peace.” The season starts out with a peace-making event in the UN between the President of the U.S., (still Alison Taylor) and the leader of Iran. There will be an assassination attempt at this event, and that is where the action beings and when the blood starts pumping. There will be tons of crazy explosions and things blowing up (duh!). Elisha Cuthbert will return as Jack’s daughter, Freddie Prince Jr. will play Cole Ortiz, Kattie Sackoff will play Ortiz’s love interest, and Anil Kappor will play the representative from Iran. This season of 24 will take place in a new location–New York City. The main ensemble will be working in a brand new (and re-instituted) CTU, which by the way looks so awesome! Kiefer made it clear that this season will truly bring things full circle, back to season one. Everything that has happened in Jack’s life thus far will culminate in this season. He also mentioned that a 24 movie is something he and the staff have thought about as a future franchise for the 24 universe. Look forward to a reinvented 24, coming in January 2010.
4:00PM-5:00PM – Dollhouse Panel (Ballroom 20)
Creative genius Joss Whedon presented the unaired episode thirteen of Fox’s Dollhouse titled “Epitaph One.” It starred Felicia Day and show star Eliza Dushku. It was awesome. For those of you who have yet to see season one, do yourself a favor and purchase the season one DVD which includes the unaired episode. The panel included Joss Whedon, Eliza Dushku, and special guests (other cast members) Fran Kranz and Dichan Lachman. Joss is a very funny man and an ingenious visionary. His latest creation Dollhouse will enter its second season this fall, picking up right from where it left off in last season’s finale. On the brink of cancellation, Fox decided to keep Dollhouse and give it another shot for better rating with a second season. Thank goodness for that. He has many surprises and twists ahead hidden away in mind. He says the show will take a new direction in season two that will continue the same story from season one but will also shed new light on the characters and relationships. Let it be known: Eliza Dushku is smoking hot in person. Just take a look for yourself in the gallery below.
All in all, Day Two was a great one. So many new shows to look forward to, and so many classics making bold returns. Tomorrow: the final Lost panel, among others! Enjoy the image galleries here as you await my reporting from my final day at Comic Con. Cheers.