January 14, 2014 11:07AM
By Bill Carter
New York Times News Service
PASADENA, Calif. — The Fox network made a series of program announcements Monday, including the starting dates for two of its most anticipated projects: the return of the former hit “24” and an update of the famed “Cosmos” series.
At the winter press tour here for journalists covering the television business, the network announced that “24” will begin its comeback season May 5 at 8 p.m. ET with a two-hour premiere as part of a summer run in the cable model with 12 episodes instead of 24 as in the past. “Live Another Day,” as the sequel is being called, will move to 9 p.m. a week later. Kiefer Sutherland will return as agent Jack Bauer joined by former castmates Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kim Raver and William Devane.
The new version of “Cosmos,” subtitled “A Spacetime Odyssey,” will begin March 9 at 9 p.m. It is meant to be a companion to Carl Sagan’s much-honored series, “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” which was first shown on PBS in 1980. The new series will use Sagan’s former producers and writers, Ann Druyan and astronomer Steven Soter, who will work with “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. The host of the 13-part series is astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Fox also described the special episodes of two of its comedies that will follow the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. The comedy “New Girl” will follow immediately after the postgame show with an episode that takes the cast regulars (along with a returning cast member, Damon Wayans) to a party hosted by music superstar Prince, who will appear as a guest star. The hour will be filled out by the new Fox comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” fresh off its double wins at the Golden Globes, with a special episode that will somehow work in as guest stars Fred Armisen (who had a funny cameo in the show’s pilot) and former Super Bowl quarterback Joe Theismann.
In another announcement, related to the star of “Nine-Nine,” Andy Samberg, Fox has made a deal with his comedy company, “Lonely Island.” He and his partners, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, will develop projects for websites like Hulu and Roku with an eye toward expanding those that succeed into series for either the Fox network or its sister cable networks.