The Runway – Your 2016 Pilot Survival Guide: FOX Dramas

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24

24: Legacy

Logline: Revolve around a military hero’s return to the US and the trouble that follows him back – compelling him 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.
Cast: ,
Creators:  (Writer / EP), (EP), (EP) (EP), (EP)
Studios: 20th Century Fox TV, Imagine , Teakwood Lane Productions

24: Legacy is our first reboot, and Fox’s strongest candidate for a series pickup.

We open in a D.C. setting among ambitious politicians and the counter-terrorism unit. The pilot loses no time in introducing its new Jack Bauer: Eric Carter, a war vet trying to live an ordinary life. His past catches up to him when terrorists seek him out after killing most of his friends. Carter goes on the run, and soon finds himself burdened with preventing a large-scale terrorist attack on American soil.

24: Legacy isn’t trying to break new story ground. This setup is familiar. We’ve seen several protagonists with wartime backstories this pilot season alone (MacGyver, Lethal Weapon, and oddly, Zoobiquity). Pairing Carter with his female handler Rebecca Ingram rounds up what I like to call the “Bourne Setup” (see Taken).

In spite of this initial familiarity, it’s hard not to be won over by the pilot. It’s comforting. Its USP is its cold-blooded efficiency. It does what it does really, really well. The tension never lets up. The plotting is intricate (discernible A through E stories). The writing is far better than the pilot for 24: Live Another Day, which hesitated to spend too much time away from Jack Bauer.

We’ve got a ticking clock strong enough to power an entire 24-hour period. A compelling central mystery. Effective cliffhangers. High stakes that are relatable. Two central relationships in deep trouble. Several characters’ lives in jeopardy. Future betrayals have been setup. An excellent end of show cliffhanger that feels organic and earned.

Considering Fox’s stated goals for the fall, it’s hard to imagine 24: Legacy not getting picked up to series.

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