’24: Legacy’ EP’s Dish on the New Series and the Return of Tony Almeida

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In just under a month, the real-time format series 24 returns to Fox in the form of a reboot titled 24: Legacy starring Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton).

The new series follows military hero Eric Carter after he has returned home from a successful mission to terminate a major terrorist to find himself and his family are now being targeted. Carter turns to the only person he can trust, Counter Terrorist Unit Director Rebecca Ingram (Homeland’s Miranda Otto) who helped coordinate his mission overseas.

Executive Producers Evan Katz and Manny Coto, who both served as producers on the original series, recently dished on what was originally a brand new concept that later evolved into the reboot for 24. 

“No one was actually asking us to bring 24,” Coto told EW. Originally the show’s concept had been developed as a thriller based on the team of Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden. Coto and Katz wanted to explore what would happen if one of those soldiers was forced into witness protection after he’s returned home to find himself now the target. “The more we talked about it, the more we realize this would be really energetic and alive if it were in real time,” Coto added.

The trailer for the series has managed to capture the same pulse-pounding feel and flavor as the original series, however. The series will flip the script in more ways that one. Instead of having the series follow an experienced field agent at home, Legacy will focus on the ex-army ranger Carter and his sort of crash course thrust into the day of a CTU Agent. Rather than having the Federal Agent/President dynamic like past seasons of 24Legacy will instead be co-led by Carter and Ingram, the military hero and director of CTU. Coto offered up an explanation as to why the creative decision was made to switch up the dynamic:

“We have nine seasons of 24, so the challenge was not to do something completely new, but to do variations on what we’ve done and not go down the same road, because we’ve done everything. That’s why we don’t have a president this year. We have someone who is running for office and who is dealing with the challenges of that and it’s a different dynamic.”

But those aren’t the only changes to the series. In the wake of 9/11, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) became an answer to many American’s fears and gave them hope that someone was out there sacrificing it all to protect them. The series began with a relatively small threat of an assassination but later evolved into plots involving weapons of mass destruction and biological weapons. Legacy will attempt to scale things back a bit while at the same time upping the fear factor as it will tackle a much more relevant topic to today: homegrown terrorism. Katz explained homegrown terrorism  “is very much what’s on people’s minds”.

Even though Legacy will attempt to stand out and on its own from the original series, it will still connect back to the original in a pretty major way as later in the season it will feature the return of the former head of CTU turned terrorist Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard). Coto stressed that new viewers won’t need to have seen the previous series, however, Tony’s troubled past will come into play:

This is just a character who has a certain past we need to explicate. And Tony’s dark past comes back to haunt Rebecca in some way.”

The return of Almeida is very exciting for long-time fans of the original 24, especially considering the fate of his character was left hanging in the balance. Tony was last seen in prison on the special features for 24: Live Another Day in a short film pleading for his release from prison so that he could make up for his sins. The short film closed ominously as Tony looked through a pair of spyglasses (slipped to him by the DOJ), mapping his escape route out of prison. Chances are he’s out and involved one way or another with the threat in the new season. But Almeida isn’t the only character from the original series who’s fate is left in question. The last we saw Jack Bauer, the main character of all 9 seasons, he was being lifted off in a helicopter to go rot in a Russian prison. Not exactly the most satisfying finish for such an incredible character.

Sutherland has always been an advocate for the series continuing beyond the character of Jack Bauer. In fact, he was the first person to ever say that the real-time format was the real star of the show. While I completely agree with him, the one major problem with for 24: Legacy is that you can’t ask returning fans of 24 to invest in the new characters if you aren’t going to resolve the storylines of past characters, namely Jack Bauer. But so far the series does look promising. The return of Tony gives hope the series will eventually feature the return of Jack. Currently, Sutherland is tied up starring on ABC’s Designated Survivor so it won’t be happening during Legacy’s first 12-episode run. But that’s a good thing. If anything, Legacy should follow the same formula as The Force Awakens. First get your audience invested in the new characters and then start bringing back the original characters which will also hopefully include Chloe O’Brien played by Mary-Lynn Rajskub.

Long-time fans of the original series are in luck, however, as Carlos Bernard won’t be the only returning star from the original series. Jon Cassar, the director who polished the style and tone set in the first season and directed some of the series biggest and best episodes is currently listed at the helm of four episodes for Legacy.

The clock resets Sunday, February 5th after the Superbowl.

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SOURCE: EW

‘Frontier’ Trailer Puts Jason Momoa in the Fur Trade

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Before Khal Drogo becomes the King of Atlantis, Jason Momoa is going to have to breach the violent European run fur-trade industry as a part-Irish, part native American in the new Netflix Original series Frontier.

Co-created and directed by Brad Peyton (San Andreas),  the six-episode series hits Netflix on January 20th.

The official synopsis reads:

The series is an action-packed adventure drama following the chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade in the late 18th century. Told from multiple perspectives, the series takes place in a world where business negotiations might be resolved with close-quarter hatchet fights, and where delicate relations between Native tribes and Europeans can spark bloody conflicts.

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SOURCE: NETFLIX

The CW Renews ‘Arrow’, ‘The Flash’, ‘Supergirl’, ‘Legends of Tomorrow’, and More

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This morning at the TCA press tour, The CW officially announced renewals for it’s seven of it’s most popular series including Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Jane The Virgin. Freshman series No Tomorrow and Frequency, however, did not make the cut.

CW President Mark Pedowitz released a statement:

“Over the past several seasons, The CW has built a schedule of proven performers, from our lineup of DC superheroes, to critically acclaimed comedies, to sci-fi dramas. Early pickups of these seven series now allow our producers to plan ahead for next season, and gives us a solid base to build on for next season, with original scripted series to roll out all year long.”

Renewals for midseason series such as The 100, The Originals, iZombie, and newcomer Riverdale have yet to be announced.

The renewal of Arrow comes as a relief to fans of the series. After struggling with two misfires, both the disappointing season three and the atrocious fourth season, the continuation of the emerald archer’s crusade was uncertain earlier this year. The star of the series, Stephen Amell told EW:

“I do really believe that this season is sort of a throw-down-the-gauntlet year for us, where we’re either going to do what we do and do it well or it’s the last year. If we find that magic formula — which is not magic, it’s just hard work and playing to your strengths — then the show could go on for a really long time.”

Although the fifth season has been a bit of a rollercoaster in terms of quality, it has managed to improve greatly over the fourth season but that isn’t saying much considering just how bad last season was.

The grounded, gritty, street-level crime drama has evolved greatly since it’s introduction back in 2012. From the introduction to superpowers and magic to the spawning of the largest shared television universe in history, Arrow has given The CW it’s most successful endeavors with the mega crossover events featuring the heroes of ArrowThe FlashSupergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow teaming up to face a threat together.

Next year the series will continue to evolve and reinvent itself as the series will drop the flashback component, which will now have caught up with the present day storyline. Back in October executive producer Wendy Mericle told CBR News:

“What’s interesting about Season Five, just having been there from the beginning and knowing Marc (Guggenheim) and Andrew (Kreisberg) and Greg (Berlanti) as well as I do, the show was conceived in many ways as a five-year thing. Those flashbacks will be gone after this season. I think it is going to be a different… not a different show, but it is going to have to be reinvented in Season Six, because we’re closing a chapter for sure.”

The end of the flashbacks will free up some of the budget and allow the producers to focus on telling a great story without worrying how to tie the drama back to Oliver’s time away from Star City. Although the end of the flashbacks doesn’t mean we won’t ever have any again as we have now seen the series most recently flashback to season one in sort of a retcon move to add new layers to Oliver’s first year as a vigilante.

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SOURCE: IGN

Watch The ‘Stranger Things’ Live Stream Q&A

It’s happening! The creators of Stranger Things, The Duffer Brothers and Executive Producer Shawn Levy as well as the cast including Winona Ryder, David HarbourFinn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McClaughlin, and Noah Schnapp  are now live on Instagram and Facebook answering questions as part of a Q&A from today’s SAG screening.

‘Star Wars Rebels’: “Ghosts of Geonosis” Clip

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Ahead of tonight’s mid-season premiere of Star Wars Rebels, Lucasfilm has released a clip from the episode revealing the Rebels debut of Saw Gerrera voiced by Forest Whitaker. The clip gives us a preview of Kanin, Ezra, and Captain Rex as they attempt to rescue Saw from Geonosis.

Star Wars Rebels returns with a special hour-long two episode mid-season premiere tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on DisneyXD.

‘Stranger Things’ Q&A Live Stream Later Today (UPDATED)

Since the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things became a pop culture phenomenon, the creators of the series, The Duffer Brothers, have done their best to stay out of the spotlight and focus on the second season of the series set to debut later this year. Until now the Duffers have only done a few interviews including one with CBS, another at the White House, and a Samsung live event as well. Fans who are eager to hear more from the creators are in luck as later this afternoon, The Duffer Brothers along with the cast will be answering questions as part of a Q&A from today’s SAG screening.

I’ll have a link to the live stream up later today.

UPDATE: As promised, here is the link to watch the live stream which is currently happening on Facebook and Instagram.

New ‘Riverdale’ Promo Teases Murder, Sex, and Chaos

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The CW’s subversive take on the beloved comic book series Archie, is set to premiere this month coinciding with the characters 75th anniversary.

Riverdale reimagines the story in modern day and sports a relatively unknown cast with the exceptions of 80’s and 90’s stars Molly Ringwald and Luke Perry. The latest promo dropped by The CW teases the teases the murder mystery, sex, and chaos while telling us things aren’t quite what they seem in the sleepy town of Riverdale.

The series stars K.J. Apa, Cole Sprouse, Camilla Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Murray, Casey CottShannon Purser, Luke Perry, and Molly Ringwald.

Riverdale premieres January 29, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the recent, tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom — and nothing feels the same… Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is still the all-American teen, but the summer’s events made him realize that he wants to pursue a career in music — not follow in his dad’s footsteps—despite the sudden end of his forbidden relationship with Riverdale’s young music teacher, Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel). Which means Archie doesn’t have anyone who will mentor him — certainly not singer Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), who is only focused on her band, the soon-to-be-world-famous Pussycats. It’s all weighing heavily on Archie’s mind — as is his fractured friendship with budding writer and fellow classmate Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she’s not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty’s nerves – which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice (Mädchen Amick) aren’t the only thing holding her back. When a new student, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), arrives in town from New York with her mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols), there’s an undeniable spark between her and Archie, even though Veronica doesn’t want to risk her new friendship with Betty by making a play for Archie. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch)… Riverdale’s Queen Bee is happy to stir up trouble amongst Archie, Betty, and Veronica, but Cheryl is keeping secrets of her own. What, exactly, is she hiding about the mysterious death of her twin brother, Jason? Riverdale may look like a quiet, sleepy town, but there are dangers in the shadows…

SOURCE: THE CW (via Television Promos)