24: Legacy is no more. According to the Hollywood Reporter, FOX has cancelled the Corey Hawkins-led reboot but that doesn’t mean they’re done with the franchise. While 24: Legacy will not get a second season, a brand new chapter in the 24 franchise is reportedly under development. The even newer 24 will take an anthological approach using the series’ “real-time” structure to craft season-by-season storylines.
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FOX is working with 24 producers, Howard Gordon and Brian Grazer, in developing the new series. The network is apparently very confident in this approach and thinks it will make it to air. In this brand new 24 reboot, each season will be a contained story with new stories and characters being the focus of each iteration. There are no plans for Legacy stars Corey Hawkins or Jimmy Smits to reprise their roles in the new 24 or even appear.
This complete abandonment of 24: Legacy is not all that surprising. While the reboot series started off strong with critics and viewers, it quickly diminished. 24: Legacy had around 17.6 million viewers when it premiered after the Super Bowl but by the end of its first season it was averaging around 6 million. Even though Corey Hawkins was a great lead, 24: Legacy couldn’t support him. It is hard to blame FOX for completely moving on from the reboot.
It is, however, pretty easy to blame FOX for trying to start things up again. A 24 anthology series might sound like a good idea but only in a world where 24: Legacy never happened. From the reports it sounds as if the new 24 won’t be taking anything from the original or Legacy but the real-time structure. It seems like it won’t even take place in the same universe as the world with Keifer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer or Hawkins’ Eric Carter. This just seems silly. If FOX wants to attract fans of the original it shouldn’t completely ignore the world that was created.
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On top of that all Legacy proved that more 24 is not a good thing. One of the big problems with 24: Legacy was that it repeated too many of the same big story beats and twists as the original 24. It was much more a remake than a reboot. In its nine-season history, 24 fell into a lot of similar tropes and twists and Legacy just kept up that uninspired trend. If nothing else 24: Legacy proved that the franchise is out of gas and needs to be slowly retired rather than just brought out again and again just because it is a recognizable name. There is nothing more to explore when it comes to the world of high-risk and -reward espionage and government conspiracies.
Given that fact, it’s likely that the new 24 will leave everything about the original two series behind. The anthology moving away from an action spy thriller is probably the only chance for the series to be somewhat original but it still doesn’t make much sense. All the new series will have in common with the past two series is the name. The reason that 24 worked, when it did work, was because of the character of Jack Bauer and the twists, when they were surprising. The real-time structure was a very small part of what made 24 work and to pretend otherwise is a bit of an insult to those fans who still have loyalty to the 24 name, even after Legacy.
But what do you think? Would you watch another brand-new 24? Should the series keep being resurrected or is it time for it to be over once and for all? Does an anthology series sound like a good idea to you?
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(Image courtesy of FOX)