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Fox's 24 returns in shorter form, tailored for today's TV habits

Published on May 5, 2014 11:50 AM
Kiefer Sutherland will reprise his role as Jack Bauer in the revival of TV show 24, which returns in a limited-run series. -- FILE PHOTO: MIO TV

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fearless counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer returns to TV today after a four-year absence as Fox revives Emmy-winning thriller 24 in a limited-run series, a format the network bets is better tailored for today's viewing habits.

As audiences shift toward recording shows to watch later on digital video recorders and have less patience for committing to months-long traditional TV series, Fox believes a short run of 24: Live Another Day will encourage viewers to skip the DVR and watch the show as it airs.

The rebooted 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland as Bauer, will be told in 12 episodes, half the length of its preceding eight seasons.

That is a formula inspired in part by cable television's ability to draw respectable ratings by cutting the length of a show's season, said Joe Earley, chief operating officer of Twenty-First Century Fox's Fox Broadcasting arm. "It was clear the audience could not only commit to that run, but that also in between they would be able to catch up in their busy lifestyles and VOD (video on demand) and DVR choices. There's a nice palatable number of 10 to 12 episodes," he said.

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