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August 08, 2017 at 01:35 PM EDT

The clock will keep ticking on 24, if Fox has anything to do with it.

Fox chairman and CEO Dana Walden said the network is exploring new ways to continue the franchise, even though it released star Corey Hawkins out of his commitment for future installments.

“We are really exploring what the future might be, perhaps as an anthology storytelling franchise,” Walden told reporters Tuesday at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills. “We felt really good about a lot of the last season. It was a hard decision to make, whether to bring it back or not. We let Corey out of his obligation so he could do his Broadway play. It felt like the right thing to do, to take the pressure off around upfronts.”

But Fox continues to believe there is still time left on the franchise.

“It felt like, where we left off, we can continue telling stories about those exact characters,” Walden continued. “It felt very close to the original. Our goal is to make something that generally extends the life of the franchise. Viewers got a taste of 24 again. It had the urgency of real time. It whetted their appetite.”

Walden said the network has met with longtime franchise producers Howard Gordon, Brian Grazer, and Joel Surnow about the next evolution.

Last season, the new iteration of 24 with Hawkins averaged 6.08 million viewers and a 1.6 rating in adults 18-49. Former star Kiefer Sutherland was an executive producer on the show.

“As well made as 24:Legacy was, and we did think it was well made, telling that story that was so close to iterations that people had seen, begged a kind of comparison and made people think, ‘Oh it’s the same thing and Kiefer isn’t in it,'” Fox President David Madden told reporters. “And obviously Kiefer was not available to us. We said that kind of ticking clock urgency can apply to all sorts of venues so we’re exploring a couple different avenues right now. We’re not locked into one yet. But Howard and Brian are really excited about it. 24 will be back on our air.”

The network seemed less committed to bringing back Prison Break but Fox execs aren’t ready to close the book on that franchise that returned to middling ratings this spring.

“We’re always interested in new angles and stories that come out of our library,” Madden added. “If the producers thought about how to explore a new iteration of it, we’re be excited to talk about it.”

 

 

 

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