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Season eight could be 24’s last

Variety is reporting that 20th Century Fox and Fox appear ready to bring the long-running hit 24 to a close after the current eighth season:

Studio and network execs declined comment — but it’s believed that the final decision will be made in the next day or two. Move is not a huge surprise, but still reps the end of an era for Fox.

Ratings are down this season, but still respectable.  The problem lies in the show’s production cost:

But the cost of producing “24” has continued to increase, while ratings have dipped. A one-time critical darling, “24” has also received its share of knocks from critics this season.

The studio is said to be considering shopping “24” to other nets — but given the thriller’s age and price tag, it’s believed that the interest from other outlets will be limited.

Even if this does turn out to be the show’s last season on television, there’s still potential for a big-screen version which has gained momentum in recent weeks.