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24: Day 8 - Sutherland previews new season at Comic-Con

24, Day 7

Story by Jack Foley

THE eighth day of 24 will focus on theme of peace and will involve an assassination attempt that would jeopardize a historic summit between a Middle Eastern President (played by Slumdog Millionaire‘s Anil Kapoor) and President Taylor (Cherry Jones).

The storyline was partially unveiled at San Diego’s Comic-Con panel, when star Kiefer Sutherland and show runner Howard Gordon offered fans an insight into some of the things they can expect from the show’s next season.

The action will also be set in New York for the first time, and will include returning series regulars along with new actors such as Freddie Prinze Jnr.

Whether it will be the show’s final season, however, was unclear. Fox renewed 24 for a further two seasons back in 2007, off the back of the show’s critically maligned sixth day.

But Day 7 proved to be one of the best seasons yet and performed well in the US ratings, despite failing to match the show’s peak performance figures.

Sutherland, however, suggested that a ninth day could follow, even though he’s no longer contractually obliged to do it. He also refused to rule out the possibility that a movie might follow the end of the TV run.

In a back-stage interview with Hitfix.com, Sutherland said: “I don’t know with regards to The Last Season or anything, I really don’t. It is the last season that I’ve been contracted to do 24, but I really don’t know. We’re so focused on making Season Eight. But obviously the requirements would be that the writers felt that they could really bang it out.”

He continued: “I think we’re all very away of wanting to protect what we believe is a very strong and important legacy that is 24.

“All of those things. Again, the choices to do or not to do it have nothing to do with my contract, have everything to do with whether or not an audience still wants to watch it and cares and whether or not we feel we have something to offer.”

Commenting on the forthcoming season 8, however, he said: “For me as an actor and Jack as a character, the desire for Season Eight is to protect all of the things that would make living worthwhile and also live within the context of what he morally accept himself doing or not doing.”

In a separate interview with Empire Online, meanwhile, Sutherland dismissed rumours that the long-mooted 24 movie was imminent.

“There has been a lot of work done researching ideas for a film or a potential film franchise,” he explained. “But the energy that’s required to make the 24 episodes a year… we agreed that we would put any serious planning for a film aside until we were finished with the series.

“So outside talking about ideas for a film it hasn’t gone any farther than that. But there are certainly some cool ideas and we’d love to make it.”

The eighth season premiere of 24 is currently due to air on Fox on Sunday, January 17, 2010.

Read our verdict on the Day 7 season finale