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'24' Resets the Clock

July 27, 2008 9:15 AM

At the "24" panel at Comic-Con, fans of the show seemed to be delivering a message to the show's producers: All is forgiven.

Actually, for the die-hards, there might not be anything to forgive. While critics roughed up "24" a bit following its last season, the crowd in San Diego didn't seem at all concerned with the past. Indeed, none of the fans who asked questions of the producers and star Kiefer Sutherland even brought up the issue of whether the most recent season slipped in quality.

Instead, they cheered wildly when shown a clip from the upcoming two-hour stand-alone TV movie "24: Exile."

They cheered even louder at the sight of Carlos Bernard, who plays Tony Almeida on the show. Maybe it's because when we last saw Tony, he was, um ... dead.

"Perhaps it's a measure of our desperation that he's back," admitted executive producer Howard Gordon, who wouldn't tease how they plan to revive Almeida—especially since we last saw him lying dead in Jack's arms. "He's died on the page four times."

Mr. Sutherland also answered one of the biggest burning questions fans of the show have had: How come Jack Bauer never seems to have to use the little FBI agent's room?

Turns out, producers once shot a scene in which Jack went into a bathroom and came out "much happier nine seconds later," Mr. Sutherland joked. But network execs ordered it cut, he said.

So now, he and the producers have decided that whenever the action on the show cuts to the White House, "Jack is in the bathroom, or maybe having a drink or getting something to eat," Mr. Sutherland said.

—Josef Adalian

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