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Cosby Show S#1 DVD set uses syndication prints [merged w/ complaint letter thread]

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Cosby Show S#1 DVD set uses syndication prints [merged w/ complaint letter thread]

Old 07-16-05, 09:03 AM
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The Cosby Show season 1 DVD set uses edited for syndication prints.

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/thecosb...dvdreview.html

TITLE: THE COSBY SHOW - SEASON 1

I’d like to quote a line from the press release in my hand right now. Had I a scanner, I would scan a copy of this and place an image for your viewing, however, that’s not possible. Anyway, it states: "The discs will feature all original NBC network versions, including the pilot episode, which are approximately two minutes longer than the syndicated versions." Sounds great – with many releases swapping the original airings for edited syndicated versions, it’s great to see a production company outright mentioning that their airings were the original, as-intended, versions.

Unfortunately, there appears to have been a miscommunication/change of plans/deception that occurred between the writers of the press release and the people in charge of the set itself. You see, upon opening the set and playing an episode, to my great surprise, the episode – as well as every subsequent one on the disc, ran between 21:50 and 22:00. Seemed a bit short for “original NBC network versions,” so I timed several season 1 reruns that have been airing on TBS in order to compare runtimes (hence the delay in the review). The runtimes turned out to be the exact same – the DVD version matches, frame by frame, the TBS airing – which use the syndicated prints. In a subsequent e-mail to SitcomsOnline.com DVD Review Director pavanbadal, UrbanWorks DID confirm that the episodes were syndicated prints; however, no explanation was given as of the time this review was posted.

Sets with syndication cuts bother me even more than episodes with music replacements. At least with music replacement, the episode is still there, it just sounds different. With edited episodes, entire sections of episode are lopped off, occasionally causing awkward cuts and strange gaps in the continuity of the episode. However, had UrbanWorks marked the box saying that the episodes were edits, which would have been fine? Wouldn’t have been happy, but it was fine.

What gets my goat – what REALLY gets my goat – is the fact that the press release sent with the set went so far as to promote “original NBC network versions…which are approximately two minutes longer than the syndicated versions,” and then they INCLUDE THE SYNDICATED VERSIONS. It’s not just that the episodes were edited – that’s bad enough. But – for the release sent to all parties connected to the set, including promotion outlets for the set – to say that the episodes were something they obviously aren’t…its outright deception and the person who made the judgment call – on whichever end the problem occurred on – should be ashamed.

The lie aside, syndicated episodes are incomplete, and are amazingly disliked by the entire TV DVD community. While it’s nice to get good-quality, commercial-free, bug-free versions of our favorite shows – fans want their favorite shows COMPLETE. It gets even stranger when you take in to account the set running time published in all reports about the set – 575 minutes. A quick bit of math gets you ~24 minutes (give or take a few seconds). 22 minutes [the runtime of the episodes] times 24 episodes gets you the runtime you see at the top of the review. I thought that, perhaps, the reunion was factored in, however, that gives you 615 minutes.

I don’t know what happened along the way to cause the syndicated episodes to be used, but the fans of this show – many whom have already pre-ordered the set – would appreciate some sort of official explanation (or at least a plausible rationalization). The press release, as well as the published runtime, both at retailers AND ON THE BOX, indicate that the episodes will be NBC airings (the PR directly, the retailers and box based on the runtime and simple math). In addition, the “special features” consists of nothing more than the Cosby retrospective that aired on NBC in 2002, and a trailer for future release of the spin-off. There’s really no content available on the set that’s not available in syndication (the episodes) and eBay or tape trading (the retrospective). So, to market a set with those contents for $50 MSRP is just… sad.
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Old 07-16-05, 09:35 AM
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That is crappy, especially with the ads stating something that isn't true.
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Old 07-16-05, 09:51 AM
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I assume the poster is correct, and if so this is really bad. Count me out anytime they use syndication cuts.
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Old 07-16-05, 10:27 AM
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This will suck if its true. Does anyone know how credible sitcomsonline is? I hope its not true that they would promote the episodes as being uncut (especially on the box) and then give us the cut ones. I'll wait until I hear other sites report on this before I preorder.
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Old 07-16-05, 11:57 AM
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Is there any chance that another region might release the show with the original print?
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Old 07-16-05, 01:16 PM
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I wasn't planning on getting this anyway, but if I ever bought one of my favorite TV series and found I was getting edited for syndication versions, I'd be demanding a refund immediately. That simply is NOT acceptable.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by marty888
I wasn't planning on getting this anyway, but if I ever bought one of my favorite TV series and found I was getting edited for syndication versions, I'd be demanding a refund immediately. That simply is NOT acceptable.
Full agreement
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Old 07-25-05, 10:23 PM
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I have the original Cosby Pilot and the TBS Pilot on tape. I synched them up with the episode times according to Best Buy - and these are indeed the syndicated episodes.

I know the syndicated show cut a joke out about Denise pooring a whole bottle of kethcup on her eggs during one of the first season episodes (the fish ep. I think). So if that's not on there then I'll know for sure that it's edited.

I'm still going to buy this to replace my vhs tapes, but this really sucks. I've never wrote a company to complain about their dvds before, but this will be the first.
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Old 07-26-05, 12:59 AM
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I wasn't going to buy these anyway since I very rarely want sitcoms on dvd. Still, that's really bogus if true. If you can't release something to dvd properly, don't even bother.
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Old 07-26-05, 09:08 AM
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I can't believe they did this.

One of the biggest sitcoms ever, and they released it with syndication prints? That's inexcusable.
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Old 07-26-05, 09:16 AM
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Unfortunately Joe Average Shopper most likely doesn't know anything about chopping shows up for syndication. Even if he does know, he doesn't care. I've tried to explain it to my customers until I'm blue in the face when they ask me why they should buy something like The Simpsons or Seinfeld on DVD when it's shown 2 or more times a day on TV.

Because of that ignorance, willful or not, the set will sell in huge numbers and the studio will probably not care to make any correction.
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Old 07-26-05, 09:38 AM
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Entertainment Weekly reviewed it this week with a very nice review and grade (B+ I think) with no mention of syndication prints. Kinda pissed me off, but then again are we 100% sure this is true? I haven't seen any other confirmation.
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Old 07-26-05, 09:53 AM
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I wonder what the Jello Pudding Pop King has to say about this?????
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Old 07-26-05, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee Harvey Oswald
I have the original Cosby Pilot and the TBS Pilot on tape. I synched them up with the episode times according to Best Buy - and these are indeed the syndicated episodes.

I know the syndicated show cut a joke out about Denise pooring a whole bottle of kethcup on her eggs during one of the first season episodes (the fish ep. I think). So if that's not on there then I'll know for sure that it's edited.

I'm still going to buy this to replace my vhs tapes, but this really sucks. I've never wrote a company to complain about their dvds before, but this will be the first.
Thanks for the verification.
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Old 07-26-05, 01:37 PM
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If true, this is simply unacceptable. I have this set pre-ordered, and have been looking forward to it for a while. Will definately voice my opinion should this be true. I wonder if it will be true of the Roseanne sets as well. We shall see.
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Old 07-26-05, 02:01 PM
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Definite disappointment. I was going to pick this up for my sister for Christmas. She is a huge fan, despite not seeing any first run. So she would never know the difference since she only knows the syndication versions, but I would, and they won't be getting my business.
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Old 07-26-05, 04:07 PM
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I was going to buy it BECAUSE it had the original cuts. Thanks for the heads up. I will NOT be buying this now.
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Old 07-26-05, 04:12 PM
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Wasn't planning on picking this one up, but now Im definatly not going too...
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Old 07-26-05, 05:02 PM
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One of the main selling points for buying the shows on DVD is to get the original broadcast cuts. This is very stupid of the company that released this. Something like this happened with the first season of Nero Wolfe. A&E shortened the episodes when replaying them and put those cuts on the set instead of the original versions of several episodes. Thankfully they replaced the entire set when it was caught.
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Old 07-26-05, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
One of the main selling points for buying the shows on DVD is to get the original broadcast cuts. This is very stupid of the company that released this. Something like this happened with the first season of Nero Wolfe. A&E shortened the episodes when replaying them and put those cuts on the set instead of the original versions of several episodes. Thankfully they replaced the entire set when it was caught.
Wow! That's the only time I ever heard of an edited TV DVD set being replaced with the correct version.
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Old 07-26-05, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
Thanks for the verification.
I shouldn't say that I'm 100% sure that it is the syndicated episodes, I have about the first half of the first season's original airing along with all the syn. episodes on tape - so until I actually see the dvds myself or have confirmation from legit sources I probably shouldn't say they are the syndicated shows.

However, like I said the syndicated pilot synchs up w/the episode times on Best Buy, which is about 2 minutes short of the original airing.

Last edited by Lee Harvey Oswald; 07-27-05 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 07-26-05, 07:49 PM
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Wow, I was considering picking this up, but if they're edited down then it's a definite no-go. I was definitely getting A Different World, but if the same issue applies there, screw them.
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Old 07-27-05, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee Harvey Oswald
I'm shouldn't say that I'm 100% sure that it is the syndicated episodes, I have about the first half of the first season's original airing along with all the syn. episodes on tape - so until I actually see the dvds myself or have confirmation from legit sources I probably shouldn't say they are the syndicated shows.

However, like I said the syndicated pilot synchs up w/the episode times on Best Buy, which is about 2 minutes short of the original airing.
OK. I appreciate your clarification.
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Old 07-27-05, 10:33 PM
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Glad I'm not a Cosby fan, otherwise I'd be extremely pissed about this.
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Old 07-28-05, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
This has happened SO MANY TIMES now that you really have to conclude it is the result of deliberate policy by some studios.

Now the question: what do we do about it (besides whining here)?
Sit down and enoy some Jello?
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