'24' TV Series: Kiefer Sutherland Almost Didn't Get Jack Bauer Role

By Johanna King, Parent Herald December 01, 12:39 pm

The pilot episode of the Fox hit television series "24" officially premiered 15 years ago and now former Fox chairperson Sandy Grushow has opened up about a few of its secrets in celebration.

Among the secrets that Grushow divulged is the fact that the iconic role of Jack Bauer almost didn't go to its eventual portrayer Kiefer Sutherland. Grushow admitted that he was initially hesitant to bring in Sutherland for the part.

"Kiefer's career had stalled ... and I just knew that suddenly we were going to a lead that would cost, I assumed, $100,000 per episode, notwithstanding that he was pretty cold in the market at that point," Grushow explained, according to The Wrap.

Another reason why Grushow was having mixed feelings about hiring Sutherland to play Jack Bauer was because of the actor's daughter, who lived in Los Angeles, meaning the show would have to be shot there. "Suddenly we were talking about a show that would cost about $350-400,000 more per episode," he admitted.

Grushow had also intended on cutting the costs in the production of the series, having considered moving to Canada so they could take advantage of the tax breaks. "We talked about casting an unknown in the lead, thereby budgeting about $40,000 per episode for the Jack Bauer role," he said.

Ultimately, Grushow pushed through in casting Sutherland and go full steam ahead with making "24," as he knew from the very beginning that the show had promise despite its financial risk. And he realized this the moment he read the "tremendous" script for "24's" pilot episode, according to Digital Spy.

"It's a great example of how fragile these things are and how many twists and turns they take along the way. They could go south a thousand different ways," Grushow said.

The upcoming spinoff series "24: Legacy," which will be topbilled by Corey Hawkins, will premiere on Feb. 5 in the US. Watch the trailer below:

Also, check out Sutherland sharing a secret of his own in the video below:

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