’24’ Season Eight: 10 Things We Know So Far

’24’ Season Eight: 10 Things We Know So Far

Starbuck is coming to CTU! EW.com’s Michael Ausiello broke the news that Battlestar Galactica‘s Katee Sackhoff is joining 24 for season eight, where she’ll play a new member of the revamped CTU. And Fox just issued an official press release about season eight, with casting news and a few details on storyline. Put it all together, and here’s a round-up of 10 things we know about next season, which premieres on Jan. 17, 2010, so far …

1 – Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) lives! How do we know Jack survives that deadly bioweapon from season seven? Because, duh, he’s Jack Bauer. And because the Fox press release confirms Kiefer’s return. And because The Insider has these photos of Kiefer filming.

2 – Grandpa Bauer? Take a look at those Insider pics again. Kiefer’s carrying a little girl – an adorable little girl, who looks a lot like Jack and his daughter Kim, who we know has a kid. Add it all up, and methinks you can go ahead and buy that “World’s Greatest Grampy” mug for Mr. Bauer.

3 – Kim’s (Elisha Cuthbert) back, as are Agent Renee Walker (Annie Wersching), President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones), Paul Wesley as Kim’s hubby Stephen and geek goddess Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub, who’s been posting on Twitter about the new season).

4 Freddie Prinze Jr. has been tapped to play Davis Cole, the new head of field ops for CTU and a character described as a wannabe Jack Bauer.

5 – Oh yeah, CTU lives! A new “upgraded” CTU, according to Fox, will be run by Brian Hastings (Forrest Gump star Mykelti Williamson), an “MBA-schooled and razor-sharp head honcho.”

6 – The plot for season eight sounds like it may be more global in scope than season seven’s storyline was. “I can tell you that it’s grounded in a political shift that’s taking place in the world, that I actually think is probably the most realistic thing we’ve ever done,” says Sutherland of the scripts for the first few episodes. “It’s going to be centered in one of the most realistic circumstances, because some of our stuff – let’s be fair – has been kind of far-fetched. But this one I think is quite possible, so I’m very excited about that.”

And according to Cherry Jones, season eight “has to deal more with the state of the world – not just the state of us.”

7 – Sackhoff’s character is Dana Walsh, a data analyst who has a secret past and is dating Davis Cole.

8 – The new season is set in New York City and production has already begun.

9 – President Taylor has a new Chief of Staff, Rob Weiss, played by The Starter Wife‘s Chris Diamantopoulos (who’s married – trivia alert – to Ugly Betty‘s Becki Newton).

10 – Another new character: Meredith Reed (Kissing Jessica Stein‘s Jennifer Westfeldt, whose boyfriend – trivia alert – is Mad Men star Jon Hamm), who Fox describes as “an ambitious journalist with ties to the unfolding situation.”

And more new cast members: Slumdog Millionaire‘s Anil Kapoor, who plays Omar Hassan, “a Middle Eastern leader who comes to the U.S. on a peacemaking mission”; and John Boyd (The Notorious Bettie Page), who’s new CTU systems analyst Arlo Glass.

The official Fox press release on 24 season eight:
Katee Sackhoff, Freddie Prinze Jr., Mykelti Williamson, John Boyd, Jennifer Westfeldt and Chris Diamantopoulos have joined the cast of 24 for the series’ eighth season. The Emmy Award-winning drama starring Kiefer Sutherland returns for its next astonishing day with a two-night, four-hour premiere beginning Sunday, Jan. 17 (9:00-11:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Season Eight will unfold in New York City amidst the shadows of the Statue of Liberty and the United Nations. In this new day, CTU has been upgraded and is run by MBA-schooled and razor-sharp head honcho BRIAN HASTINGS (Williamson, Forrest Gump). COLE ORTIZ (Prinze Jr.), an ex-Marine who wants to follow in JACK BAUER’s (Sutherland) footsteps, runs the division’s Field Operations. Expert data analyst DANA WALSH (Sackhoff, Battlestar Galactica) collaborates with systems analyst ARLO GLASS (Boyd, The Notorious Bettie Page) inside CTU. ROB WEISS (Diamantopoulos, The Starter Wife) serves as PRESIDENT ALLISON TAYLOR’s (Cherry Jones) new chief of staff, and MEREDITH REED (Westfeldt, Grey’s Anatomy) is an ambitious journalist with ties to the unfolding situation.

As previously announced, Sutherland, Jones, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Annie Wersching also return. In addition, Bollywood icon Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire) makes his American TV debut as OMAR HASSAN, a Middle Eastern leader who comes to the U.S. on a peacemaking mission.

And, in one more bit of 24 news, here’s a list of the show’s stars who’ve thrown their hats in the ring for possible Emmy nominations:
Kiefer Sutherland, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series; Sutherland, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for 24: Redemption; Carlos Bernard, Colm Feore and James Morrison, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series; Robert Carlyle and Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for 24: Redemption; Cherry Jones, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Annie Wersching, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series; Rory Cochrane, Kurtwood Smith and Jon Voight, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series; and Elisha Cuthbert and Sprague Grayden, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

What do you think about season eight? Do the new cast members and new NYC setting have you counting down the days to the show’s return? And what about the Emmys – which 24 stars earned them during season seven and which ones, eh, not so much?

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