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24 Adds Rick Schroder to Guest List

The 24 body count was upped again Monday, with the announcement that NYPD Blue alum Rick Schroder is coming on board for the Emmy-winning series’ sixth season.

Schroder, 36, plays CTU operative Mike Doyle, Jack’s go-to man in the field, when Day 6 begins Sunday, Jan. 14, on Fox in a two-hour season premiere, with the next two hours playing out Jan. 15 as part of a multinight “television event.”

The former child star (“Here we are, face to face, a couple of Silver Spoons…”) is the latest in a string of notable names who have joined the show during the off-season, replenishing the ranks of a cast that is inevitably depleted year after year by radiation poisoning, nerve gas, shootouts and massive (yet not apocalyptic—thanks, Jack) explosions.

Here’s a quick rundown of the new yet familiar faces you’ll be seeing around the counterterrorism watercooler in 2007:

  • Peter MacNicol: Ally McBeal‘s Biscuit plays Thomas Lennox, a high-ranking government official who may or may not end up butting heads with Kiefer Sutherland’s endlessly put upon Jack Bauer
  • Regina King: The Ray actress shows up as Sandra Palmer, a fierce advocacy lawyer and sister of two presidents—the late David Palmer and the incoming commander in chief, Wayne Palmer (D.B. Woodside, in an expanded role)
  • James Cromwell: The veteran character actor (L.A. Confidential, Six Feet Under) pops up as Jack’s estranged dad, Phillip Bauer
  • Chad Lowe:The Life Goes On Emmy winner suits up as “savvy politico” Reed Pollock. Sounds like a possible pain in Jack’s assignment log
  • Powers Boothe: Al Swearengen’s nemesis on Deadwood takes up a new profession, playing Vice President Noah Daniels, always a part that could go either way on 24
  • Kal Penn: As Van Wilder‘s Taj rises, so does Ahmet, a member of an Islamic group suspected of terrorist activities
  • David Hunt: The British actor and hubby of Patricia Heaton takes over the role of the villainous Darren McCarthy, a part originally intended for comic Eddie Izzard

Meanwhile, Jean Smart and William Devane return, respectively, as the now former first lady and the secretary of defense who apparently didn’t kill himself at the end of season five.

Mary Lynn Rajskub is also back as the plucky Chloe, who has had the fifth most face time of any castmember in the show’s history, having managed to stay alive since season three.

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