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Kiefer Sutherland says ‘Touch’ isn’t an effort to bury Jack Bauer

January 8, 2012 | 11:04 am

Kiefer Sutherland return to TV and Fox in 'Touch'
People, let's all just clear the air now: Kiefer Sutherland is not (I repeat, not) trying to escape the shadow of driven "24" hero Jack Bauer.

The actor, who appeared at the Television Critics Assn. press tour to promote his new series "Touch," was, understandably, peppered with numerous questions about his past life as the up-against-the clock special agent and whether his latest turn on Fox was an attempt to get audiences to forget about those eight years of adrenaline.

"Touch," created and written by Tim Kring ("Heroes"), centers around a father's relationship with his mute 11-year-old son, who has the ability to predict events and make connections.  In the process, the show often explores the relationship between spirituality and science.

When he was sent the script after playing Bauer for eight years, Sutherland was doing a theater production and wasn't ready to tackle another TV project, he recalled.  

"I really wanted to spend some time apart from the amazing experience I had on '24' and try some different things," he said. "I was at page 35 [of the script], and I went ... 'I’m in real trouble,' because it was just so beautifully written."

OK. Whatever. But is this an attempt to get away from Jack Bauer?

Sutherland offered this: "It's nice diversion from '24,' yes. But the choice, and reason I made the choice, was because it spoke to me."

"The one parallel I can bring from the two characters," he added, "is that Jack Bauer was asked to save the day, and there was always going to be casualties. And Mark [Bohm] is never going to have the perfect idyllic relationship with his son. They both never completely win. For whatever reason, it's something I’m drawn to as an actor."

Settled? Not quite. Later in the panel,  Sutherland would find himself , once more, uttering the words: "It's not because I wanted to get away from '24.' "

What a relief, because now we really want to know what the status is on the "24" movie!

"Hopefully, we will be shooting at end of April, beginning of May," he said.

A preview of "Touch" will air Jan. 25. The series premiere is March 19.


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Photo: Kiefer Sutherland in a promo shot for 'Touch.' Credit: Fox.