Sunday, July 22, 2007

As if Jack didn't have enough to deal with

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - The United States will have a female president next year—on the Fox TV series "24."

Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones will play President Allison Taylor when the show about the exploits of counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) returns in January for its seventh season, the network announced Sunday.

Jones' term will coincide with Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid, but Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Liguori said fiction and real-world politics will not intersect.

"It's a dramatic decision. ... The president is a very important piece of '24," Liguori told The Associated Press. "We've had a broad array of presidents on the show; why not a female president?"

The series has been an Oval Office groundbreaker before, with Dennis Haysbert playing President Palmer, the nation's first black president.

Asked whether Fox would scrutinize scripts for potential election-year political content, Liguori said that, as with any show, "24" will be looked at "from a dramaturgical perspective, not a political perspective."

Series co-creators Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran and fellow executive producer Howard Gordon have always kept real-life politics from the show, he said.

I had rather hoped that 24 would have learned its lesson from last season.

At least we'll have Torchwood on BBC America.