September 12, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

The Simpsons

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
Hank Azaria, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith
guest performer
Pierce Brosnan, Richard Gere, Stephen Jay Gould, Lisa Kudrow, Edward Norton, R.E.M., Ben Stiller, Reese Witherspoon
Cartoons/Animation, Comedy

It’s hard to cultivate those family ties when you’re spending months at a time pretending you’re dead or being held captive by Chinese spies. So it’s no wonder it’s taken us until the forthcoming Season 6 of 24 to meet Jack Bauer’s estranged dad, Phillip Bauer. Fox announced today that he’ll be played by Six Feet Under‘s James Cromwell (pictured), whom I always enjoy thinking of as the corrupt and murderous police captain in L.A. Confidential. (”Have ye a valediction, boyo?”)

Also joining the cast is my favorite comedian, Eddie Izzard, in the role of Darren McCarthy, a villainous accomplice. (But to whom?) I wouldn’t get too attached to Darren, as Izzard is starring in The Riches, a drama series debuting in the spring on FX, in which he and Minnie Driver head up a family of suburban con artists. So he might be a little too busy for more than light duty over at sister station Fox.
Today’s announcement, as reported here on Zap2It, has a comprehensive summary of the new Season 6 cast members named so far, who their characters are, and what little we know about the situation and time frame relative to the shanghai-ing of Jack at the end of Season 5. Read at your own risk.

One more bit of stunt-casting: This season of fellow Fox series The Simpsons will include the show’s 400th episode, which will be a parody called ”24 Minutes” and will include Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub as their 24 characters. I say they should cross over in the other direction and make 24‘s Season 6 villain Montgomery Burns. That would be… ex-cellent.

addCredit(“James Cromwell: Jim Spellman/”)

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