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Channel Surfing: "24" to End, Kiefer Sutherland Speaks, ChloeGate at "Big Love," Elizabeth Mitchell Talks "V" Return, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

It's official: the clock has run out on FOX's serialized drama series 24. On Friday, FOX announced that Day Eight of 24 would be the series' last, with a two-hour series finale planned for Monday, May 24th. "This has been the role of a lifetime, and I will never be able to fully express my appreciation to everyone who made it possible," said Kiefer Sutherland in a statement. "While the end of the series is bittersweet, we always wanted 24 to finish on a high note, so the decision to make the eighth season our last was one we all agreed upon. This feels like the culmination of all our efforts from the writers to the actors to our fantastic crew and everyone at Fox. Looking ahead to the future, Howard Gordon and I are excited about the opportunity to create the feature film version of 24. But when all is said and done, it is the loyal worldwide fan base that made it possible for me to have the experience of playing the role of Jack Bauer, and for that I am eternally grateful." By the time that 24 ends its run in May, the 20th Century Fox Television-produced series will have aired 194 episodes, earning it a spot among the longest running action series on television. (via press release)

Los Angeles Times' Denise Martin and Maria Elena Fernandez, meanwhile, had interviews with Kiefer Sutherland and executive producer Howard Gordon about the 24 cancellation. "Everyone concurs that we want the show to end as close to peak form as possible," Gordon told the LA Times."If they said tomorrow that you have a ninth season, it's not something we'd be up for because we realize Jack's story in the real-time format has been told. Jack is a wonderful character who can live past the 24 real-time franchise. As far as doing this high wire act...this is far as we can take it." Fans can take comfort in that the final episodes are leading up to a heart-stopping finale. "What I do like about the ending and what I can say about it is that it's very definitive about where Jack is going to end up," said Sutherland. "It can be perceived as a cliffhanger on some level, but there's no questioning his options. That's something we've never been able to do in the context of this series." (Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker)

Elsewhere, Variety's Michael Schneider has a Q&A with Sutherland. "Billy Ray is in the process of writing it right now," said Sutherland about the 24 feature film. "I'm very excited about the idea. He's a fantastic writer. I know he's been working with Howard recently. I'm very excited about the opportunity, and singularly because it's a two-hour representation of a 24-hour day. So for the first time, it will be very feasible in this 24 hours to go from England to Russia, or from China to Japan, depending on where they choose to set it. Before on the TV show, the crisis had to come to us, because the best we could do was get across town. And the two times we ever put Jack Bauer in a plane, it just didn't work." While, across town, the Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd offered a Q&A with executive producer Goward Gordon, who said the film could be released "as early as next year depending on how things come together." (Variety, Hollywood Reporter)

And The New York Times' Mike Hale takes a look at whether 24 was a victim of its own success... and its reliable formatting: "It’s essentially a superhero cartoon with a topical overlay, a cartoon that was well done from the start but was so rigidly formatted that it had no way to grow... It was the demands of the format that doomed the show (though eight seasons is nothing to cry about). Repetition set in early, there was a limited stock of villains and it was impossible to up the ante on destructive threats, or absurdly byzantine conspiracies, year after year." (New York Times)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello had an interview with Big Love's Chloe Sevigny, in which the Golden Globe winner expressed regret for her comments about the HBO drama series' fourth season, which she had called "awful" in a recent interview. "I feel pretty terrible," Sevigny told Ausiello. "I feel like what I said was taken out of context, and the [reporter] I was speaking to was provoking me. I was in Austin [at the SXSW festival] and really exhausted and doing a press junket and I think I just… I wasn’t thinking about what I was saying. You know, after a day of junkets sometimes things slip out that you don’t mean, and I obviously didn’t mean what I said in any way, shape, or form. I love being on the show. I have nothing but respect and admiration for our writers and everybody involved with the show. It’s been the greatest opportunity of my lifetime so far — the best role I’ve ever played, the best part I’ve ever had the opportunity to portray. So I love the show. I think it’s the greatest show on television. I think it’s the weirdest show. I think it is very complex and the content is amazing and it’s just very ironic that this statement would come out and blow so out of control. Because I feel absolutely the opposite. It is difficult being on a show for several seasons and having no control and having things go in different directions where you didn’t think they would go. But that’s also the most exciting part [because] they keep the character really fresh and there’s new scenarios that they come up with." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

[Editor: The Onion's A.V. Club writer Sean O'Neil, meanwhile, hit back at Sevigny, issuing audio from the interview itself, which can be heard here.]

TVGuide.com's Natalie Abrams has an interview with V's Elizabeth Mitchell about what's coming up on the ABC sci-fi series when it returns tomorrow and hints that Erica will have a lot of violence in her future. "I think as long as her son is safe, she's kind of cool as far as all the stuff with Tyler goes," said Mitchell. "She really didn't seem to mind too much that he had a girl in [his room]. She just wants him to be physically safe and he's not obviously. He's in great jeopardy; she just doesn't know it yet. Hopefully, she will be finding out more and more. Obviously, that will lead to a great deal of violence." (TVGuide.com)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Mayim Bialik (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) will guest star--and possibly recur--on CBS' The Big Bang Theory, where she will play a love interest for Jim Parson's Sheldon, whom he meets on an online matchmaking site and is described as "the female version of Jim Parson's theoretical physicist." She's set to appear in the season finale, which airs May 24th, and could return next season. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Pilot casting updates: Christine Woods (FlashForward) has landed the female lead in NBC comedy pilot Perfect Couples; Teri Polo (The Wedding Bells) has joined the cast of TBS' hour-long period comedy pilot Glory Daze; Jason Wiles (Persons Unknown) has been cast in ABC drama pilot Boston's Finest; Jayne Houdyshell (Conviction) and Joe Nunez (Prison Break) will star opposite Will Arnett and Keri Russell in Mitch Hurwitz and Arnett's FOX comedy pilot Wilde Kingdom; Vinnie Jones (Chuck) has been cast in a potential recurring role in NBC vigilante drama pilot The Cape (also cast: Ryan Wynott and Martin Klebba); Gabriel Morales (The Perfect Game) has come on board ABC comedy pilot It Takes a Village; Tessa Thompson (Veronica Mars) has joined the cast of supernatural drama Betwixt; Amber Seyer has been cast in Amy Sherman-Palladino's untitled Wyoming drama project; Gabriella Wright (The Tudors) has landed a role in espionage drama Nomads; and Matt Barr (Harper's Island) has been cast in drama pilot Hellcats. (Hollywood Reporter)

David James Elliot (JAG) has replaced Desperate Housewives' Neal McDonough in ABC drama series Scoundrels, which launches in June. No immediate reason was given for McDonough's departure from the series, which is based on Kiwi drama series Outrageous Fortune. (Futon Critic)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that former ER star Eriq La Salle has been cast in the final two episodes of FOX's 24, where he will play "the charming and regal UN Secretary General." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Fresh off his season-long arc on FX's Damages, Martin Short has signed on to star opposite David Krumholtz's on FOX comedy pilot Tax Man, in which he'll play Mike Babbit, the IRS Fresno office's obnoxiously loud boss. (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC has finally announced a launch date for the Alyssa Milano-led romantic comedy Romantically Challenged, which will launch April 12th at 9:30 pm ET/PT, right after a 90-minute installment of Dancing with the Stars. Six episodes have been completed of the series, which was created by Ricky Blitt. Elsewhere, FOX announced that Glee will return on April 13th at 9:28 pm ET/PT, following an episode of American Idol. (Variety)

FOX has ordered a pilot for an untitled Jamie Foxx-created sketch comedy show that will be executive produced by MadTV's Fax Bahr and Adam Small and will star Affion Crockett. Project hails from Fox Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television-based Tantamount. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

AskRachel said…
I think that a lot of what Chloe Sevigny was saying about this season of Big Love was true but I was shocked by her lack of support for the show. I don't blame her for being critical or questioning some of the decisions the writers made but to call it "awful" (even if she was tired or whatever) was pretty lame. Did she think the show was "awful" when she was accepting her Golden Globe?

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