Kiefer Sutherland wasn’t looking to return to prime time. After ending an eight year run as Jack Bauer on Fox’s “24” in 2010, doing another television series was the furthest idea from his mind.
“I really wanted to set some time apart from this amazing experience I had with ’24,’” Sutherland said Sunday at a TCA panel for his upcoming Fox series “Touch.” So he did Broadway. And he shot a film. Then one day he got a call from an old friend who urged him to read the pilot script for “Touch.” “I said, ‘I’m not really ready to do that yet,’” Sutherland revealed. But he read it anyway. “I was on about page 35, and I went, Sh-t, I’m in real trouble here,” he joked.
Sutherland said the emotional resonance he felt reading the drama’s “beautifully written” script from “Heroes” creator Tim Kring is what ultimately drew him in.
“The character was so vastly different and the tone of the piece was so vastly different [from '24']“, Sutherland said. “It was unbelievably appealing because it was so different, and emotionally, I responded to it in such a strong way that in the end I realized that if they would have me, this was something I wanted to do.”
In “Touch,” Sutherland plays Mark Bohm, a blue collar widower and single father struggling to relate to his mute 11-year-old son. But everything changes when he discovers that his son has the ability to see things that no one else can and the patterns that connect seemingly unrelated events.
Although Bohm varies greatly from the butt-kicking Bauer powerhouse, Sutherland still noted a key similarity between the two. “One parallel that I can actually bring from the two characters is that Jack Bauer was asked to save the day and there were always going to be casualties. So it was never a perfect day,” he said. “Mark is never going to have the perfect, idyllic relationship with his son. So there is a weight with both characters in which they will never win.”
Maybe Mark will never win, but at least he’s afforded one luxury in battle that Jack never had. “He actually gets to sit down,” Sutherland laughed.
Fox will air a sneak peek of “Touch” on January 25 before its scheduled premiere on Monday, March 19 at 9/8c.
Watch The Trailer For “Touch”: