It looks like the clock really has run out for Jack Bauer and "24," at least on the small screen. Variety is reporting that Bauer's days hunting terrorists on television are all but over once the currently airing eighth season wraps up. Good riddance, I say. As a fan of the franchise since the very first season, I cannot stress enough how far this show has fallen. I'm not going to say that this was ever a very realistic series or a particularly serious one or anything like that, but it was fun. It was clever. It was entertaining. Today, it is none of those things.

It's said that "24" is going to make the leap to movies, which sounds fine to me, but I really think the franchise could thrive in comic books. IDW has published a few less-than-stellar "24" miniseries and one-shots in the past, but there's much more paneled potential than we've seen thus far. The visual nature of comic books works brilliantly with the built-in split screen motif that "24" has all but abandoned in recent years. Really, it's a creative match made in heaven.

So, listen up, "24" producers. Pull the plug on the TV. Put Bauer in theaters. Fine. But take a look at successful television-to-comics translations like Joss Whedon's "Buffy" and look at the results - if you treat your franchise with respect and imagination, you'll see a resurgence in overall enthusiasm for "24." Give it a spin and let's see what you come up with.[Via Variety]