In the name of racial diversity, another major TV network has announced that it will exclude white actors from participating in the casting process of a major series reboot.
Entertainment Weekly reports Fox network is developing a spinoff of the hit show 24, and producers have ruled out replacing former leading man Kiefer Sutherland with another white actor, according to Fox Television Group co-CEO Dana Walden.
Speaking to reporters Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Los Angeles, Walden confirmed the network has ordered a pilot for 24: Legacy in an attempt to revive the hit show, which previously starred Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer.
While Legacy will feature the return of “real-time, pulse-pounding, fast-paced format with split screens and complex interweaving storylines,” producers are seeking someone “as different from Jack Bauer as possible” to replace Bauer, per Walden.
“We wanted it to be as different from Jack Bauer as possible, and that was the original thinking, to have this be a diverse lead,” said the co-CEO.
While producers on the potential show would prefer to cast a black actor in the lead role, Walden did not rule out the possibility of filling the slot with a Latino actor.
“Whether that’s African-American or a Latino actor, we’ve been really excited about some of the people we’ve been seeing throughout our internal process,” she said.
24: Legacy will revolve around military hero Eric Carter’s return to the U.S. and the trouble that follows him. Carter reaches out to ask CTU for help in saving his life and stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil.
Walden also revealed Legacy will deal with sleeper cells radicalizing Americans and will feature an entirely new cast.
It’s a new CTU, a new cast of characters. It’s a completely different story in terms of the special ops groups that we’re focusing on. It’s a very contemporary feeling story about the potential to activate new sleeper cells in the United States and radicalizing Americans. It’s a whole new story. There are nods in the pilot to prior CTU agents, there are a couple photos that will feel reminiscent of the original, but no ongoing [returning] characters.
The original thriller debuted in 2001 and ran for nine seasons on Fox.
CBS Entertainment announced early this week it will exclude white actresses from trying out for the role of Nancy Drew in an upcoming reboot of the classic mystery series.
Of an industry-wide push to cast more racially-diverse performers, Adi Hasak, creator of NBC’s Jennifer Lopez cop drama Shades of Blue, said on Friday, “the white man’s 15 minutes are up.”