LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- Jack is back.
Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly announced today that "24" will indeed return as a 12-episode event series in early May run through the summer.
As for specifics, Reilly says it will still take place over the course of one day, skipping hours as needed. "You may go 7 AM, 8 AM, 10 AM," he explained. "Then 10, 11, 12, 3. It will be dictated by the plot." He would later add, "We're getting just about a who's who of Hollywood coming in the door right now wanting to participate in this."
As for subsequent seasons, Reilly said "these event series are going to be standalone events. The idea is to give the audience something where they say that is an appointment show and there's going to be a beginning, a middle and an end... but some of these - and this includes '24' - could have franchise ability. There could be sequels. I don't know if they would be yearly but certainly reloading something that comes back 18-24 months later [and] people are even that much more excited to see it."
Other highlights from Reilly's press call:
-- "Fall" and "late fall" in its schedule will be split by its ALCS and World Series coverage. In other words, "Almost Human," "Raising Hope" and "Enlisted" will likely premiere in November.
-- "New Girl" will air in the post-Super Bowl slot alongside one of its five new comedies.
-- "The Following" once again will air for 15 consecutive weeks at midseason.
-- "Glee" will split its upcoming season into two blocks. "We're going to come out with a fall season of 'Glee,' put it on hiatus for a little bit, give 'Rake' a tryout. Then 'Glee' will be back in the spring, relaunching with I think a creative twist in terms of where we're going with the creative evolving. And then that will play right into the summer as it's done once before."
-- "Gang Related" will premiere in early May and also go into the summer where it will be paired with one of its two event series ("24" or "Wayward Pines"). Reilly would later indicate "24" would be the first out of the gate so presumably that's what it will be paired with. "Wayward Pines" then will launch in late summer after "24" completes its run, creating a bridge into the fall season.
-- Reilly didn't comment on "American Idol" beyond Randy Jackon's recently announced exit and that they'll "likely" be back to three judges next season.
-- [UPDATED!] During the actual presentation that afternoon, Reilly said they would launch their midseason drama "Rake" following its coverage of the NFC Championship on Sunday, January 19. It's not clear if he was referring to the game itself - which airs in primetime starting at 6:30/5:30c - or the Thursday that follows.