TICK TOCK

Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Comp­ton,” 2015) stars as a U.S. Army Ranger work­ing to stop a ter­ror­ist at­tack in the pre­miere of “24: Legacy,” air­ing Sun­day.

The Hamilton Spectator - - THE SPEC TV - BY KYLA BREWER

The Su­per Bowl may be the most ex­cit­ing event of the year for foot­ball fans, but they aren’t the only ones with some­thing to cel­e­brate. One of the most ex­cit­ing tele­vi­sion se­ries in his­tory is about to re­boot, and mil­lions of TV view­ers ea­gerly await the pre­miere. Fol­low­ing the big game, “24” fans get their first taste of a brand new edi­tion of the iconic ac­tion se­ries that aired from 2001 to 2010, and was re­vived briefly in 2014.

How­ever, the leg­endary Jack Bauer (Kiefer Suther­land, “Des­ig­nated Sur­vivor”) is not the star of the new edi­tion. Corey Hawkins takes over as the lead in “24: Legacy,” which pre­mieres Sun­day, Feb. 5, and con­tin­ues Mon­day, Feb. 6, on Fox and Ci­tytv. The se­ries again fea­tures a real-time for­mat as Sgt. Eric Carter (Hawkins) bat­tles ter­ror­ists, but, with 12 episodes in­stead of 24, there are time jumps in­cor­po­rated into the sea­son.

TV view­ers may rec­og­nize the Juil­liard-trained Hawkins as Heath from AMC’s rat­ings win­ner “The Walk­ing Dead.” How­ever, it was the ac­tor’s role as Dr. Dre in the 2015 biopic “Straight Outta Comp­ton” that at­tracted the at­ten­tion of “24: Legacy” cast­ing di­rec­tor Lisa Miller Katz. Con­sid­er­ing the pop­u­lar­ity of the orig­i­nal “24,” and of Jack Bauer in par­tic­u­lar, Hawkins has big shoes to fill.

His char­ac­ter, Carter, is a U.S. Army Ranger who led a suc­cess­ful mis­sion to take out ter­ror­ist leader Sheik Ibrahim Bin-Khalid. Six months later, it ap­pears that Khalid’s fol­low­ers have tracked down Carter and his fel­low Rangers, prompt­ing him to go into hid­ing and en­list the help of Re­becca In­gram (Mi­randa Otto, “Home­land”), for­mer na­tional di­rec­tor of CTU.

In­gram seems to be the Chloe (Mary Lynn Ra­jskub, “Mr. Show”) to Carter’s Jack: a per­son with skills and re­sources who can help him from the in­side. In­gram stepped down as di­rec­tor of CTU to sup­port her hus­band, Sen. John Dono­van (Jimmy Smits, “NYPD Blue”), dur­ing his bid for pres­i­dent of the United States, but she re­turns to CTU be­cause she has faith in Carter’s abil­ity to thwart a loom­ing ter­ror­ist at­tack on U.S. soil.

“Carter was the youngest squad leader in the his­tory of the Rangers,” she ex­plains in the show’s trailer. “He doesn’t fail, be­cause the bat­tle isn’t over un­til he wins.”

Hawkins, Otto and Smits make a for­mi­da­ble core cast, but fans of the orig­i­nal”24” are un­doubt­edly most ex­cited to see a fa­mil­iar face: Tony Almeida, played by Car­los Bernard (“Scoundrels”).

“Car­los Bernard has done an amaz­ing job por­tray­ing this dark and conf licted char­ac­ter, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with his return to the show,” said ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers Evan Katz and Manny Coto, in a joint state­ment.

One of the show’s orig­i­nal char­ac­ters, Almeida ap­peared in sea­sons 1 through 5, as well as 7 and 9. His char­ac­ter proved so pop­u­lar, he was fea­tured in “24: Soli­tary,” a short film about his time in prison that was in­cluded in the DVD/Blu-ray for 2014’s “24: Live An­other Day.” Once a top CTU an­a­lyst, Almeida went rogue af­ter his beloved wife, Michelle (Reiko Aylesworth, “Hawaii Five-0”), was mur­dered.

It re­mains to be seen whether Almeida will be the re­boot’s big bad, or if the events will of­fer him the chance to re­deem him­self. Re­gard­less, his return is highly an­tic­i­pated all around, but don’t ex­pect to see him right away. He shows up later in the sea­son, so fans will have to stay tuned.

Tony may be the only orig­i­nal cast mem­ber re­turn­ing, but there is an­other link to the orig­i­nal. New­comer Coral Peña por­trays CTU com­puter an­a­lyst Mar­i­ana Stiles, cousin of the late, great Edgar Stiles (Louis Lom­bardi, “The So­pra­nos”). Other cast mem­bers of note in­clude Anna Diop (“The Mes­sen­gers”) as Carter’s wife, Ni­cole; Ash­ley Thomas (“The Night Of”) as Carter’s brother, Isaac; Dan Bu­catin­sky (“Scan­dal”) as CTU com­mu­ni­ca­tions an­a­lyst Andy Shalowitz; Char­lie Hof heimer (“Mad Men”) as for­mer sol­dier Ben Grimes; and Raphael Acloque (“The Dan­ish Girl,” 2015) as Jadalla bin-Khalid.

Corey Hawkins stars in “24: Legacy”

Mi­randa Otto as seen in “24: Legacy”

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