The stunt--designed in part to boost sampling for the serial drama, which can be hard to join mid-flight due to tangled plot lines--begins June 16. The move also keeps "24" in circulation before it goes on hiatus this fall until the launch of season six in January.
As the popularity of "24" grows even this late in its life cycle, Fox has also moved aggressively to boost sampling through off-net distribution, hoping that the tactic will in turn bring more viewers to the on-air broadcasts. Episodes are now available on both iTunes and MySpace.com.
Season five of "24," which featured story lines such as a Presidential assassination and a submarine missile attack, saw a 12 percent ratings jump in the key 18-to-49 demo over the previous year. The drama, starring Kiefer Sutherland, also moved into television's top-15 shows in the demo.