If 24 decides to call it a day at the end of the eighth season, it won't be because the producers wanted to put an end to it, or Kiefer Sutherland wanted out, or they've run out of stories to tell. It'll be, simply, a business decision.
"It's our last contractual season of 24," Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly told iF Magazine. "There are a lot of moving parts, so we're not sure what will happen after that."
But he's not saying Kiefer's quitting it, or the producers are quitting it. In fact, he says, everyone's committed to the show, and a ninth season--or a film--is not out of the question. "We don't have any of them looking to jump ship," he said. "It's going to come down to a business decision. It's not an inexpensive show on the network books and we also want to finish strong. This is not a show we want to prop up. It will be a whole creative and business decision and something we'll have to deal with over the next few months."
While it's no secret that Fox has 24 signed on for this season at the moment, some people close to the situation are surprised by the remarks. "I think it's a sign that the network is ready to play hardball," an executive, who did not wish to be identified--because he wants to see 24 continue--told The New York Times.
In fact, the newspaper reports, the current season's already seeing the effects of tighter belts and more prudent wallets. The show may be set in New York, but don't expect to see Jack Bauer walk the streets of the city. The plan is for street scenes to be shot back in Los Angeles--a stark difference from last season, where they shot on location in Washington, D.C.
That, or they'd shoot street scenes behind a green screen, much like a weather report. That doesn't look good.