"24" halts production

Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:10pm EST
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By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The Fox drama series '24' has shut down production so that star Kiefer Sutherland can undergo surgery for a ruptured cyst.

The rupture happened earlier last week, but production continued through Friday with scenes that did not involve Sutherland, who also serves as an executive producer on the real-time drama.

Filming then was suspended until late this week, when Sutherland is expected to return to work.

"While Kiefer Sutherland is frustrated to miss even one day of work, he and Fox decided together that it would be best to complete this minor elective procedure now," the actor's publicist said in a statement, which did not provide further information about Sutherland's condition.

Added producing studio 20th TV, "We hope to resume production shortly and do not anticipate any disruption in the broadcast of this season's episodes."

Sutherland has been very conscientious about his duties on the show. During the 2007-08 season, he opted to serve his full jail sentence stemming from his September 2007 drunk driving arrest in two installments to prevent any disruption to the series' production schedule.

The current eighth season of '24' is drawing a lot of attention because it could be the long-running show's last.

<p>Actor Kiefer Sutherland arrives at the 62nd Annual Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles January 30, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>