Fox’s decision to bring 24 back in May 2014 for a twelve-episode season might never have happened if executive producer Howard Gordon hadn’t been able to reunite the series’ original crew. No, not Tony Almeida, Chloe, and President Palmer (though you never know): Gordon means the original writing staff. When the plans to bring Jack Bauer to the big screen fell apart, Gordon started thinking about doing another season on TV. “Then one day over dinner with Kiefer, I said, ‘You know what? I’ll do it [as a TV show], but only if we can get the old team back.’ And as it happens, everyone is coming off a show or has got a deal wherein they’ve got some time. Some of them are on Homeland, so they can come in and pinch-hit,” Gordon told Vulture at the Turner upfronts. (His new thriller Legends, a 24-meets–Bourne Identity series with Sean Bean as an undercover FBI agent, will air on TNT next summer. And, like Bauer, Bean’s character is “known for going rogue and not playing well with others.”)
Gordon said he’s in talks with many of the series’ original writers, including stalwarts Evan Katz, Manny Coto, David Fury, and Chip Johannessen (currently an executive producer on Homeland). Robert Cochran, who co-created the show with Joel Surnow, will also likely return. “It’s thrilling to have it out there, but right now we’re at the very beginning of the process,” says Gordon, noting that the project is in the very early stages. “I’m really just happy we have time to get the scripts right instead of the usual mad dash to September. It’s almost civilized,” he said. In addition to the writers, Gordon is hoping to recruit back some still-standing members of CTU. (All who will be revealed as moles?) As for how the real-time element will work — will they still cover 24 hours, but only in … 12? — Gordon said that’s still being worked out. “Once upon a time, we did do a couple of two-hour blocks, and it worked just fine.” In this age of multitasking, perhaps it only takes Bauer a half-day to save the world.