'24: Legacy' Is Very Connected To The Original

by Kayla Hawkins
Guy D'Alema/FOX

This year's coveted post-Super Bowl timeslot is going to the latest TV reboot to bring back a fan-favorite property for another run: 24: Legacy. So on a scale from Fuller House (faithfully recreated) to Training Day (totally transformed), how does 24: Legacy connect to the original? Well, according to producers, the show takes place in the same "universe" as the original 24, which means a few different things. First of all, the more superficial details like the show's signature ticking clock will be back, as will the conceit that the episodes are happening in real time over the course of one jam-packed day (or in the case of the new series' 12 episodes, half of one day).

At San Diego Comic-Con, executive producer Manny Coto said that 24: Legacy is not a reboot, but rather "an expansion of the 24 universe," which means it won't have to rely on coyness to work in references to the original. The old characters still exist in the new version of this world, so the new characters could easily mention Jack Bauer or reference events from the original series without it feeling forced. However, the key roles will filled by new faces. Beyond the obvious new lead, Corey Hawkins' ex-Army Ranger Eric Carter, Miranda Otto plays the former head of the CTU — though she didn't appear in the original 24 — and Jimmy Smits portrays a presidential candidate. Those roles were critical to the original 24, so Otto and Smits have a lot to live up to.

Luckily, they will be joined by at least one familiar face. As you can see in the trailer below, Carlos Bernard returns as Tony Almeida in 24: Legacy.

Tony, who also appeared in 24's revival season in 2014, was an agent who, like many of the characters, went through a pretty profound arc over the course of the show's seven seasons. He began the series as a respected agent, lost everything — including his family — and was even thought dead for a period of time. The original series ended with him going away to prison for attempting to exact revenge on the man who killed his wife and unborn child, but 24: Legacy is bringing him back.

Creator Evan Katz told reporters at the 2017 Winter Television Critics' Association press tour that they always wanted to bring Tony back and that he'll have some kind of preexisting relationship with one of the new characters. My guess is with Otto's Rebecca, since she can be seen recruiting him in the trailer.

Though there's plenty of potential for even more 24 connections, don't expect to see them right away, or for them to overwhelm the new story that Legacy is telling. As Katz said at the TCA tour, "There may be an intersection with original characters down the line, but right now we’re committed to our audience growing a bond with our cast and getting to know them." So when 24: Legacy premieres, you'll recognize its world, but it's the brand new people inhabiting that world that will get your attention.