The issue of gun control has been a regular topic in the news — and everyday conversations — over the last few years, as the number of mass shootings and firearms incidents rises. The discussion has led to more scrutiny in terms of violence on TV, which is seemingly the worst possible timing for the debut of FOX’s “24: Legacy.”
In the original “24,” Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) was regularly getting into gun fights, killing people and torturing suspects for information while tracking terrorists — acts that might not be as acceptable on TV as they once were. It’s a concern FOX is very aware of as they prepare to mount “Legacy,” a continuation of the series featuring new characters.
“Unfortunately, we still live in a world where there’s terrorism. We still live in a world where events happen, ISIS exists,” says David Madden, president Fox Broadcasting Company entertainment. “Fortunately with ’24,’ we work with [creator] Howard Gordon. We work with one of the most thoughtful and sensitive and careful people when it comes to portraying these geopolitics.”
Still, given that this is “24,” it’s hard to tell the story without violence and gun fights, though Madden assures, “We’re going to try to tell it in a thoughtful and modulated and complicated and humanistic way.”
As Chairman and CEO of Fox Television Group Dana Walden explains though, “What we focus mostly on is that our shows not be gratuitously violent, that violence fits within the world of the storytelling and that overwhelmingly what we’re doing feels like entertainment and not gratuitous or something that feels like a documentary, that these are entertaining shows.”
While an argument can be made that some of the violence featured in the original run of “24” was gratuitous, Madden is quick to assure this is a new show for a new time.
“Jack Bauer was one character and Corey Hawkins playing Eric Carter is new to this world, so he has whole different worldview in terms of these situations than Jack Bauer,” he says. “You will see some gun play, but I think you will see it expressed in a proper way.”
“24: Legacy” premieres in 2017 on FOX.
Additional reporting by Andrea Reiher.