Fox skeds ’24’ DVD encore

Box set includes deleted scenes, alternate endings

Auds will get another chance to relive the second-worst day of Jack Bauer’s life, as 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s second season “24” DVD collection drops Sept. 23.

Release date is timed to coincide with the season three premiere of “24” on Fox. Last year’s first-season “24” DVD was a surprise hit for the home entertainment company, and net execs believe the release helped turn the show’s second year into a solid hit for the web. (Airing behind “American Idol” the second half of the year didn’t hurt, either.)

This year’s collection will boast a much wider array of special features than last year’s set, including an extra disc with several bonus featurettes.

Besides the season’s 24 episodes, the box set includes two “Making of an Episode” features, 44 deleted scenes, commentary on selected segs and alternate endings.

Unlike last season, when the DVD was planned late in the season, “24” producers had time to plan out this year’s collection — hence the extra bonuses.

“This time we had easily six more months to prepare,” said exec producer Joel Surnow. “We did it right. The DVD crew was here day and night and really got inside the show. It will be an embarrassment of riches for fans who really get into the show.”

“24’s” second season revolves around former Counter-Terrorist Unit head Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), who’s called on by the President (Dennis Haysbert) to stop a terrorist plot and prevent a nuclear war. Like its first season, each episode of “24” plays out in real time.

Producers have remained mum about their plans for season three — including the fate of the President, who appears to have been wounded in season two’s final episode.

Surnow said he believed the DVD would help feed even more viewers into the show’s third season.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people who didn’t see the first season, then got the DVD and got really interested in the show,” he said. “It feeds on each other.”

Surnow also said he didn’t expect the DVD to affect the show’s eventual sale into off-net syndication.

“This becomes the backend,” he said.

Fox Home Entertainment is pricing the second season “24” DVD at $69.98 in the U.S. and $99.98 in Canada. “24” comes from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV; Robert Cochran, Brian Grazer and Howard Gordon also exec produce.