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Why are tv shows so slow coming out on DVD?

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Why are tv shows so slow coming out on DVD?

Old 07-09-06, 10:33 AM
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Why are tv shows so slow coming out on DVD?

Why are tv shows so slow coming out on DVD, especially from the 1970s to 1980s? There are tv shows that are consistently getting released, but there is a much more massive amount of tv that is not getting released on DVD. It's such a small percentage of what's getting released. The demand for it seems greater than what is released. What reasons do think that tv shows are not released faster?
All I can think of is:
1. Is it problems with rights?
2. Is remastering onto DVD really a pain in the ass for tv shows from 1970s to 1980s? I don't know the remastering process, but is remastering a full-screen/mono audio tv show as hard, or easier or the same as remastering an anamorphic DD 5.1 movie?
3. the less something is released, the more it's wanted, so people will end up buying GOLDEN GIRLS because of that marketing ploy
4. Is it realistic that companies will not make a profit or lose money even if they release some of the most short-lived or obscure shows? It seems that every show have fans that will spend money.
5. Do companies feel the fans will be dissapointed if there are no extras, thus delaying TV shows on DVD to search or create extras?
Old 07-09-06, 01:31 PM
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In the case of shows that already have one season, it's pretty likely the studio is either A: waiting for sales to slow a bit, so that the next season won't end up competing with the previous season, or B: they're waiting for the season to sell enough copies to be profitable, so they can begin work on the next season.
Old 07-09-06, 02:09 PM
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What's more frustrating is the incredibly slow pace of Law & Order releases.
Old 07-09-06, 02:34 PM
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In the case of shows that already have one season, it's pretty likely the studio is either A: waiting for sales to slow a bit, so that the next season won't end up competing with the previous season, or B: they're waiting for the season to sell enough copies to be profitable, so they can begin work on the next season.
Or sales weren't high enough to begin with to warent another release (like what is going on with 'Everwood' right now)...

And secondly, most companies don't like releasing 'complete series' sets unless they know there is a huge audience in for them. Most of the time a series that only lasted a year or less isn't remember that well and with each year fewer and fewer people remember it. But there are some shows, likes "Bird's of Prey" (WB circa 2001) that people do remember, but they arn't released because some studios (notibly Warner Brothers) don't believe in single release TV...
Old 07-09-06, 02:41 PM
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It pisses me off that I have to wait every year for All In The Family seasons to come out
Old 07-09-06, 02:45 PM
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I wish Paramount would release Robbery Homicide Division... Of course, it's highly unlikely that will ever happen.
Old 07-09-06, 02:50 PM
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What shows are you waiting for in particular that haven't been release or are slow?



Paul
Old 07-09-06, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666
3. the less something is released, the more it's wanted, so people will end up buying GOLDEN GIRLS because of that marketing ploy
Golden Girls is actually a very strong seller on DVD with the older crowd. It seems to do much better than other 80's sitcoms that are simply collecting dust (Who's the Boss?, Growing Pains).

I really wish WB would release Birds of Prey. I had no idea that they were against single-season shows beings released. They could have easily dumped out a quickie release when Catwoman or Batman Begins came out to help cross-promote the releases.
Old 07-09-06, 04:16 PM
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What about Odd Couple? Anyone know what the hold up is with them?
Old 07-09-06, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RonG617
What about Odd Couple? Anyone know what the hold up is with them?
Season 1 is coming August 14th... That fast enough?

http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=6007
Old 07-09-06, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
What's more frustrating is the incredibly slow pace of Law & Order releases.
AGREED.

I hate to be a dick, but I know how TV production works, especially currently. It's SO EASY to put a show onto DVD and produce it, it's not even funny. It disgusts me to get some of these DVDs from Universal (they're an easy target I suppose), which has NO EXTRAS, and takes them 12 months or something to release? Please, it takes someone maybe a week or two to put that together and then a few weeks to mass-produce.

The problem lies generally in rights. When a show is broadcast on TV you pay certain royalities for music, tv, movie, and other clips you use. The problem is that these rights do not extend to DVD releases. This is part of the reason why so many shows ditch their music (Quantum Leap, Dawson's Creek) and others are forced to be sold at fairly high prices (Freaks & Geeks originally).

Another problem is studios have very low expectations and belief in TV-on-DVD. Many consumers will not buy a series until it comes out in full. This is the cause of the cancellation of many series (Boy Meets World), because the studio is not making a sizeable enough profit for them to warrant further editions.

Basically, unless your show is making huge (or even decent) money on release, there's no way it's going to make it through it's full run.

That being said, where the hell is Law & Order?
Old 07-09-06, 05:18 PM
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1. A few shows are held up for music rights
2. A few shows have a legal issue where one party owns the prints/episodes but another party owns the concept(name, characters, etc.) like Batman or Hawaii Five-0. This has supposedly been settled for The Addams Family.
3. In the 50s and early 60s a season would run 36-39 episodes. For an hour long show this would make for a more expensive dvd set for a season of a show that is not as well remembered(it's the 30min. shows that have run over and over in syndication and more entrenched in our culture). Studios may feel there are not enough people/fans willing to pay the higher price. This is probably the reasoning behind the split season box sets. Although you pay the same, maybe even more, people seem more willing to plunk down $30 twice than $60 once.
4. A lot, probably the majority, of classic shows are in really poor shape and require major restoration. Especially those that have not run consistently in syndication. Not always, but usually, when a show was resyndicated new prints would be made keeping the material from becoming totally degraded. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was syndicated once 35 years ago and it was those same old washed out prints that sci-fi channel showed in the late 90s. Rat Patrol was resyndicated several times and brand new prints were made as recent as the mid 90s.This can get expensive on shows with 39 hour long eps. per season with multiple seasons. Cost may override demand. A studio could restore 20 classic movies for the cost of a single season of a show. The color episodes of Gunsmoke look abysmal. That is why Paramount is going with a series of "Best of" box sets instead of restoring all the episodes. Plus there were 20 seasons.
5. Complete episodes may no longer exist after 40 years of syndication. Some fans think this is bull and the studios are just too lazy to do the work and put out a good product but I don't find this outside the realm of possibility.
6. It's not worth the studios time to listen to all the gripes and deal with all the returns because they didn't spend a fortune restoring an obscure show to pristine quality or tracking down the 3-6 minutes of every episode removed a half century ago for syndication.
7. WB seems to have a high standard of quality, higher than mine at least. They say the lion's share of the classic Hanna-Barbera catalog is in poor shape and requires major clean up. They look pretty darn good on Boomerang on my digital cable.
8. TV has been around for approx. 55 years. That's a lot of product. They just haven't gotten to it yet. I'm amazed at the amount of stuff, and some of the stuff, that they've managed to pop out over the past 8 years.

Long story short: Time and money. Mostly money.
Old 07-09-06, 05:29 PM
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I suspect Law & Order is slow in coming out because it makes big fat profits in syndication.

A lot of the older shows just don't do so well on DVD. If things like the Mary Tyler Moore Show only do OK, then some sitcom that lasted for one season in 1973 doesn't stand a chance.
Old 07-09-06, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulNJ21
What shows are you waiting for in particular that haven't been release or are slow?



Paul
Quark,and Wizards and Warriors spring instantly to mind.
Old 07-10-06, 03:30 AM
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The purchasing audience is going to be a lot less for a TV show than a movie.

I would think a release of a TV show from the 90's or better would be more profitable than the 50's-60's. They are going to be it much better condition and probably already in digital format instead of film. Also the "rights", (music, photo, dvd, etc) were probably taken care of in the original contracts knowing the possibility of future video releases.

Older shows may have been sold several times with different rights going with each sale. So as someone said different rights may be owned by different companys.

I believe the audience for the 50-60's shows is getting smaller every year for the simple fact that the people that remember these shows are dying off faster than younger people are discovering them.

My children and their friends are in their twenties and late teens and absolutely not watch anything in B&W.
Old 07-10-06, 04:17 AM
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Another factor is that the business of selling complete seasons of TV shows isn't all that old. There have been a handful of shows with select episodes that have been sold in small amounts over the years, but only in the last 3-5 years has it been a big deal. Contrast this with the business of selling/renting movies which has been strong for more than 20 years. I think the studios are still learning about what sells and what doesn't when it comes to TV.
Old 07-10-06, 10:24 AM
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I have never understood the whole way they put out the TV on DVD shows. Most shows they should just do a 3 disk best of set of all the great episodes. There are so many shows they were good/very good that I grew up with that I would love a best of set with a nice documentary.

For example Growing Pains, Whos the Boss, Different Strokes and several 80's shows I am not going to buy every frickin season, and that is why the sales are not that great, thus forces them to re-evaluate if it is even worth it to for Season 2.

Show like Friends, Seinfeld, and Cheers are going to sell well cause they have huge fanbases, but there are alot of great shows that are not going to appeal to the masses that they just stopped producing after Season 1.

Give me Best of Episodes for about 75% of the sitcoms from the past 25 years, and I will buy them, keep giving me Season 8 of Whos the Boss, when the show was horrible at that point, and there is no way I am going to shell out $30-40 bucks for it.

I just believe they are doing it all wrong, and that is why the sales are stagnant.
Old 07-10-06, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by coli
I have never understood the whole way they put out the TV on DVD shows. Most shows they should just do a 3 disk best of set of all the great episodes.
That's how TV on DVD started. People complained. Full sets prevailed.
Old 07-10-06, 12:10 PM
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I guess I am lucky. While I'm dying for something like Wonder Years, Family Matters, and would ideally love to have child hood shows like Salute Your Shorts...the shows that I like are either out, or come out at a pretty good pace like Fresh Prince, 24, The Shield, Freaks and Geeks, The Simpsons, In Living Color, etc
Old 07-10-06, 12:11 PM
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It could also be demand. For shows in the 70's & 80's, they have been shown in syndication for years. Because of this, people might be more unwilling to pay form something that is either always on TV or they've seen the episodes enough that they won't want to pay for them.

I know Star Trek TNG is out on DVD but for me at least, it has been in reruns for years (and still is) and some episodes I've seen 3-4 times so I wouldn't consider buying the DVDs unless they were $20/season or less.
Old 07-10-06, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulNJ21
What shows are you waiting for in particular that haven't been release or are slow?
John Doe

I was hoping with the upcoming release of Prison Break that we might see John Doe released on DVD too.
Old 07-10-06, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by lordwow
That's how TV on DVD started. People complained. Full sets prevailed.


I agree, but that was the niche DVD audience, or I would call the real diehards. But to sell to the masses, I don't know many fans who are going to buy all 8 seasons of Growing Pains & Whos the Boss? But I guarantee if you put out a best of set, it would sell better than individual seasons.

I think there are two types of DVD TV markets: Fans who buy full seasons of The Sopranos, Buffy, Star Trek, Friends, and Seinfeld, those can all sell well as seasons. But then there is a huge chuck of good shows that would do much better as Best of sets that fans are not in love with, but really liked.
Old 07-10-06, 02:59 PM
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Married with Children releases are quite slow
Old 07-10-06, 07:53 PM
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Where is the original Addams Family?
Old 07-10-06, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by coli
I have never understood the whole way they put out the TV on DVD shows. Most shows they should just do a 3 disk best of set of all the great episodes. There are so many shows they were good/very good that I grew up with that I would love a best of set with a nice documentary.

For example Growing Pains, Whos the Boss, Different Strokes and several 80's shows I am not going to buy every frickin season, and that is why the sales are not that great, thus forces them to re-evaluate if it is even worth it to for Season 2.

Show like Friends, Seinfeld, and Cheers are going to sell well cause they have huge fanbases, but there are alot of great shows that are not going to appeal to the masses that they just stopped producing after Season 1.

Give me Best of Episodes for about 75% of the sitcoms from the past 25 years, and I will buy them, keep giving me Season 8 of Whos the Boss, when the show was horrible at that point, and there is no way I am going to shell out $30-40 bucks for it.

I just believe they are doing it all wrong, and that is why the sales are stagnant.

To each their own. There are some of those shows that are not blockbuster hits that I would love to own complete sets of. The problem with best of sets is they only contain episodes a select few thought were the best, and perhaps not what I thought of as the best. I never bought best of TV back in the days of VHS and I sure as heck fire would not start now on DVD.

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