GABRIEL BOUYS—AFP/Getty Images
By Victor Luckerson
March 6, 2014

Correction appended, March 6

Jack Bauer’s return to television is fast approaching, and it seems no one is more excited about it than advertisers. The premiere of the upcoming TV miniseries 24: Live Another Day will command as much as $500,000 for a 30-second commercial, according to Variety. That’s a larger sum than any primetime show this season except NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

The 24 reboot, which debuts May 5, will consist of 12 episodes that generally adhere to the real-time format of previous seasons. Episodes following the premiere will still net between $325,000 and $350,000 for their ads, Variety estimates. For comparison, The Walking Dead, which has been TV’s top scripted show for several seasons, currently commands about $326,000 for a 30-second spot.

The unusual timing of 24‘s premiere is part of a larger trend of networks shifting away from the September-May season structure. The slow summer months used to be chocked full of reruns, but when Breaking Bad managed to double its ratings with the July premiere of its final season, it helped proved people are willing to ignore the nice weather outside for a good enough show. Broadcast networks are now readying their own summer dramas to compete with cable. Last June CBS premiered the science fiction drama Under the Dome and the show notched impressive ratings, averaging 15 million viewers over its 13-episode run. Given the huge asking price for 24 ads, Fox likely has even higher hopes for Bauer and company.

Correction: The original version of this story mis-stated the cost of commercials airing on the Walking Dead. It costs $326,000 for a series of multiple spots.

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