New ‘24’ series just like old ‘24’ series

Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Although the new “24” limited series carries the title “24: Live Another Day” in marketing materials, on screen it’s just the same old “24,” not only in title but in just about every imaginable way.

While the format has been altered a bit in Monday’s two-hour premiere (8 p.m., Fox) — this new season is 12 episodes instead of 24 so some hours will be skipped — everything else about the show is same-old, same-old. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) remains the righteous hero, always right when every other government intelligence operative is wrong.

You’d think with a few years away and an opportunity for a do-over that the show’s producers, returnees from the 2001-10 series, would find some ways to change up the formula. But other than the shorter season and London setting, the story beats and types of twists are nearly identical.

This sameness highlights how the show’s format, revolutionary when it premiered more than a decade ago, has become formulaic and a little stale.