“24: Legacy,” the new version of “24,” has launched and fans are having to face the battle to save the world without Jack Bauer. The hero of this series is being played by Corey Hawkins.
Executive producer Howard Gordon knew that Kiefer Sutherland created such a long shadow with Bauer it was going to take some work to make fans accept the new “24” hero. That work started with the first idea for the series.
“It’s like if it’s a big lump of clay at that point before he’s really a character, you say these headlines distinguish him and would make him different than Bauer because we were very, very aware of that,” Gordon says. “We didn’t just want to do it because someone said let’s cast a black guy or Asian guy or a Hispanic guy. It was very much, ‘Who is this character?’
“And it took a very long time to find him and we’re still finding him. But it really was about who Eric Carter is from the inside out.”
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The hero of “24: Legacy” is a military man who is on the run because members of his unit are being tracked down and killed. Producers liked that their new hero wasn’t already a trained agent and would have to bank more on his military roots.
All they could do was create the character and wait to see if fans embraced the changes. They had a hint that fans of “24” were at least willing to give the new hero a shot.
What better place to test the waters than the San Diego Comic Con?
Miranda Otto, who plays the outgoing head of CTU in “24: Legacy,” got to hear from fans when she attended the annual convention.
“The first time we went, they didn’t get to see anything that we had already done. There were a lot of questions about Jack Bauer and focus on that,” Otto says. “But at the next one that we went to and we actually got to show half of the first episode, suddenly it was all about Corey.
“Everybody just embraced him in the role and totally went with the new cast, and it was exciting to see.”
The work Hawkins is doing as the hero of “24: Legacy” can be seen 8 p.m. Mondays on Fox.
Court of public opinion
The plot of the new Hulu series “National Treasure” sounds like it was inspired by the legal battles and allegations Bill Cosby has been facing in recent years.
In the series, which will be available on the streaming service starting 12:01 a.m. March 1, Robbie Coltrane plays Paul Finchley, a national treasure in England because of being part of a popular comedy duo. His life is turned upside down when he’s accused of a long history of sexual abuse.
Julie Walters, Andrea Riseborough and Tim McInnerny star in the production written by Jack Thorne. The writer understands why Americans would make the comparison, but the real inspiration was British comic Jimmy Savile.
After Savile died in 2011, a series of stories was released regarding the comic’s dark side that included abusing disabled people.
“He behaved like the devil, basically. We didn’t want him to be the person that was at the center of our show, because the crimes were so astronomical and devious that it would just dominate everything,” Thorne says. “There are a series of actors, comedians, public figures who, subsequent to Savile, have been arrested, and some have been jailed for historic sex crimes. And it was those sorts of figures that we decided to put at the center of our story, where there was less evidence and where the situation had an ambiguity to it.
“Cosby, if the allegations are true, also behaved in a manner that just tips over into true and total darkness.”
The producers opted to cast Coltrane, an actor better known for dramatic work such as the series “Cracker,” because it would be easier for the audience to accept his way of handling the serious side of this story.
More episodes: Fox has ordered second seasons of “Star” and “Lethal Weapon.”
Ha-ha: Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director and editor Louis C.K. will debut two new stand-up comedy specials exclusively on Netflix. The first of the specials was filmed in Washington D.C., and will premiere April 4 on Netflix.
Try it: During the month of March, the hosts of hundreds of podcasts including “Stuff You Should Know,” “Planet Money,” “Missing Richard Simmons” and “Crimetown,” will encourage listeners to introduce a friend, relative or co-worker to a new podcast, and show them how to listen if they don’t know how. Listeners will be asked to share stories of why they listen and their favorite podcasts using the hashtag #trypod.