Premiering after Super Bowl LI, 24: Legacy centers on ex-Army Ranger Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins), who teams up with the outgoing director of the Counter Terrorist Unit, Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto), to thwart an a terrorist attack on American soil. But Rebecca’s already hectic day will get even more complicated when Tony, a former CTU agent she has encountered in the past, enters the picture.
“Tony’s dark past comes back to haunt Rebecca in some way,” executive producer Manny Coto tells EW about the fan favorite’s appearance. “What’s fun about it is that it’s not just, ‘Hey, I’m Tony Almeida.’ There’s a previous relationship — not necessarily a romantic relationship — with one of our characters.”
In the original series, Tony was Jack Bauer’s (Kiefer Sutherland) friend and co-worker before being killed off in the season 5 premiere. He was then resurrected as a foe in season 7 and made his last appearance in 24: Solitary, a special featurette included on the 24: Live Another Day Blu-ray set (that scene featured Tony plotting his escape from jail). Yes, the character has a lot of history. But Coto says the only thing newcomers will need to know when Tony shows up in 24: Legacy is “this is just a character who has a certain dark past we need to explicate.”
“He seemed to be a character we hadn’t seen in a while and we thought at a certain point in the season — after the season had gotten its own legs and was off running — that it would be fun to bring in someone from the old seasons,” says Coto.
Coto says the EPs didn’t specifically revive Tony in order to attract more viewers, but he wouldn’t mind if that happened. “By [the time Tony arrives], the show will have been running for awhile,” he says. “If they’re not into it by then, there’s nothing we can do.”
He adds, “We think what’s going to attract people to this show is first, this fantastic actor [Hawkins], who is one our leads and Miranda Otto, and the story and plot, which kicks off like a rocket with this charismatic cast. Hopefully, Tony Almeida and whatever else we throw at it will be icing on the cake.”
24: Legacy premieres Sunday, Feb. 5 (after Super Bowl LI) before moving to Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.