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Though 24 the TV series ended Monday, Kiefer Sutherland will return as Jack Bauer for the planned feature film adaptation. ((Charles Sykes/Associated Press))

The action-packed, groundbreaking TV spy drama 24 starring Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland has ended its eight-season run.

The tumultuous show concluded with a two-hour series finale that left Sutherland's oft-alienated hero Jack Bauer a fugitive — an expected ending after producers confirmed earlier this year that a feature film adaptation is in the works.

"To go out on what we believe is a very strong high note was really important to us, and we still get to go make this film that we’ve wanted to do for a long time," Sutherland told Entertainment Weekly recently.

Premiering in November 2001 — in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — 24 helped jumpstart the serialized drama genre with its innovative storytelling concept. The series was presented in purported real time, with each season's two dozen episodes depicting 24 hours in the life of Sutherland's federal agent, Bauer, and weaving together multiple storylines.

'Most amazing group of people'

Many times, 24 was denounced for its brutal violence, high body count and torture scenes, as well as for regular portrayals of Muslim terrorists.

However, the multiple Emmy Award-winning series also earned praise for its consistantly strong, high-profile actors (such as Cherry Jones, Jon Voight, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dennis Haysbert, Robert Carlyle and Anil Kapoor) and for notable characters — including not one, but two consecutive African- American presidents as well as a female president.

Sutherland, who has called his turn as Bauer "the role of a lifetime," recently revealed that he became emotional after filming his final scene for the series.

"I had something in my head that I wanted to say to the crew because this was the most amazing group of people," he recalled in an interview.

"I unfortunately, as I was going to speak, locked eyes with our head gaffer … and, literally, my voice faltered…and my lip went."

Sutherland, who was one of the executive producers of the TV series, will also be a producer on the forthcoming film.