Kiefer Sutherland of '24'
This current day, tied for the eighth longest of Jack Bauer's life, may be his final day on FOX.
According to Variety
, FOX and 20th Century Fox TV are prepared to end the long-running, Emmy-winning hit after this spring. The trade paper says that 20th Century Fox TV will still have the option of shopping the series to another network if FOX doesn't move forward, but the price-tag on the drama is said to be prohibitive.
This was already the last year of star Kiefer Sutherland
's deal with the studio, but all involved parties had publicly said that they'd be willing to move forward with a ninth season if the right storyline came up.
Instead, the trade paper says that an official announcement may come later this week.
Ratings have been down for "24" this season, both in head-to-head competition with the Olympics, but even in more recent episodes. Critical reception for this season has also been less than uniformly enthusiastic.
Even if FOX and 20th Century Fox decide to end the show's small screen run, "24" is poised to make the leap to the movies. The long-gestating feature film version of the franchise got a boost last month when Billy Ray ("Shattered Glass") was hired to write a screenplay with a plot that's believed to transport Jack Bauer to Europe.
Stay tuned to HitFix for an official announcement on the future of "24" whenever it's made.