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‘24' Continues Direct to Video

25 Oct, 2003 By: Jessica Wolf

LOS ANGELES--DVD's popularity has not only created a vast aftermarket for sales of TV shows on disc, but it also offers a new business model for TV series' creators.

Joel Surnow, creator of hit real-time drama “24,” and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment are in the early stages of creating a series of direct-to-video projects that will carry the “24” brand and real-time concept, Surnow said during his keynote speech at last week's TV DVD Conference hosted by Video Store Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and the Digital Entertainment Group.

“There's a whole new business to be made out of direct-to-video TV programming,” Surnow said.

Surnow and Fox Home Entertainment are cooking up a potential series of feature-length or even miniseries-length programs that will follow “24's” real-time concept and hit DVD without ever airing on broadcast television.

“It's still in the very initial stages,” Surnow said. “But we are looking at ideas like a two-hour hostage situation or a rescue drama or an emergency-room story.”

The programs would not necessarily feature the same cast and crew of “24,” Surnow said, but will run on their own production schedule at the same time “24” is filming.

“24” as a concept is really built for DVD, Surnow acknowledged, in part because it is the type of show people don't want to wait a week to see the next episode of.

“I know people who have told me they would TiVo four episodes in a row and wait to watch them back-to-back instead of watching the broadcast,” Surnow said.

DVD, in particular, has been a boon to his show, Surnow admitted. He attributes much of “24's” more than 25 percent growth in viewership for the second season to the fact that the complete set to the first season came out before season two aired and saw such success on DVD.

“The DVD sales also helped justify the kind of money we have to spend to make the show,” Surnow said.

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