Friday, July 25, 2003

Bauer gets partner in new '24'

LOS ANGELES - The clock is ticking ...

Fans of Fox's 24, mark your calendars: The thriller returns for a third season with a commercial-free episode on Oct. 28, after the World Series.

The action will be set 2 1/2 years after last season's 24-hour day, which ended with President Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) being injured by a female spy from the first season.

Fox Entertainment President Gail Berman says Haysbert will be back for the fall season - but she wouldn't say how.

Is he still president?

Is he dead (and appearing on videotaped news clips)?

Jack Bauer (Emmy-nominee Kiefer Sutherland) will have a new partner to share the TV workload: "Chase," a young CTU agent. He will be played by James Badge Dale, 25, who played Simon in the 1990 remake of Lord of the Flies.

Jack's daughter, Kim (Elisha Cuthbert), finally will have a job - at the CTU spy agency, says 24 executive producer Howard Gordon.

He promises no more bizarre story lines for Kim this season.

"She's definitely grown up. Our goal is to tie her much more organically to the main story," Gordon says.

Yasbeck yanked

Blue Ash native Amy Yasbeck (Wings) has been grounded by the WB. She has been dropped from the new Like Family situation comedy.

Yasbeck has been replaced by Diane Farr (MTV's Loveline) as the single mom with a teenage son who move in with an African-American family (Holly Robinson Peete, Kevin Michael Richardson).

"In this role, it didn't work as well as we anticipated," says Warren Littlefield, the former NBC Entertainment president who is producing the comedy.

The swap was made because producers realized that Yasbeck's working mom character was too similar to Peete's, he says.

Yasbeck is married to actor John Ritter, star of ABC's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. They have a daughter, Stella.

More TV nostalgia

CBS celebrates its 75th anniversary with a three-hour special Nov. 2, plus one-hour clip shows featuring the casts of The Andy Griffith Show and the Dick Van Dyke Show.

Carl Reiner also has revived his Alan Brady character from Dick Van Dyke as a cartoon called The Alan Brady Show. It premieres 10 p.m. Aug. 17 on TV Land.

Wanda's world

Comedian Wanda Sykes, star of Fox's Wanda at Large sitcom, claims these are the most popular shows on the Al-Jazeera channel watched mainly by Arabs: 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, Kaboomtown and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

TV today

ESPN looks at Ted Williams' longtime friendships with Boston Red Sox teammates Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky on Teammates (8 p.m., ESPN).

Monk investigates the death of the world's oldest man (10 p.m., USA).


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Bauer gets partner in new '24'