Sutherland to jail, but '24' OK


"24" star Kiefer Sutherland will serve 48 days in jail, but that is not going to affect production on his hit Fox series.

After reaching a deal with prosecutors, Sutherland pleaded no contest Tuesday to a charge of driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit a week ahead of his Oct. 16 arraignment.

The Emmy winner was charged Sept. 28 with two misdemeanor counts of DUI stemming from his Sept. 26 arrest after a traffic stop. Sutherland was on probation from a 2004 DUI conviction.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office on Tuesday recommended a 48-day sentence for the actor to be served in two installments -- 18 days for the probation violation beginning Dec. 21 and 30 days for the DUI charge to be completed by July 1.

The schedule allows Sutherland to serve his time when "24" is not in production -- during the Christmas break and after the show wraps its seventh season.

"I'm very disappointed in myself for the poor judgment I exhibited recently, and I'm deeply sorry for the disappointment and distress this has caused my family, friends and co-workers on '24' and at 20th Century Fox," Sutherland said.

Sutherland's plea deal quickly resolves the matter and avoids shutting down production on "24," on which he also serves as an executive producer. Had he gone for a continuous jail time, he likely would have served less time, which is often the case in misdemeanor cases. Instead, he opted for two stints, which means he will serve the entire sentence.

Said Fox and 20th TV, which produces "24" with Imagine TV: "He told us that even if he had to sacrifice more time in custody in order to protect the show and the jobs of those who work with him, he would do so. From what occurred today, it is evident he is a man of his word."

Sutherland's sentencing is set for Dec. 21, the same day he is scheduled to report to jail.

Leslie Simmons contributed to this report.