September 12, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

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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