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Too Much TV on DVD?

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Too Much TV on DVD?

Old 10-31-05, 03:47 PM
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Too Much TV on DVD?

I'm a reporter for the LA Times working on a story about TV shows on DVD. The past year or so has seen a flood of new titles, including many shows that were all but forgotten before their DVD re-release. Question: Are there too many shows on TV right now? Why or why not? Is a shakeout on the way? What series haven't been released yet that should be?

Answer in this thread, and those who are interested in being interviewed personally drop me an email at [email protected].

Thanks!
Old 10-31-05, 03:51 PM
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Of course not. It's not like anyone's forced to buy them.

I'm not big on TV shows in general and have only bought two season sets thus far--Boomtown and Lost. TV just doesn't hold the same replay value as movies for me 99% of the time.

However, others love them and can watch them over and over and thus have tons of shows.
Old 10-31-05, 03:57 PM
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How could there possibly be too much? You don't have to buy or watch everything. All the shows coming out means that there is an ever-increasing possibility that all the shows I would want will eventually come out.
Old 10-31-05, 04:04 PM
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I'm of the opinion that there's been a gap getting wider and wider between "quality" tv-on-dvd (Lost, HBO, F/X, Twilight Zone etc.) and season box sets that people buy simply for nostalgic (Dukes of Hazard, Miami Vice, I Love Lucy etc.) or kitsch (Married with Children, Brady Bunch, Saved by the Bell etc.) value without any real intention of actually watching them. This generalization, of course, does in absolutely no way apply to every viewer, just a simple observation. Personally, yeah, I think there's way too much TV on DVD being released but like others posted above, I'm not purchasing most of them, so it doesn't affect me at all *shrug*

Last edited by Dan1boy; 10-31-05 at 04:20 PM.
Old 10-31-05, 04:07 PM
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I think there are also too many posts on this board personally.
Old 10-31-05, 04:10 PM
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I guess the market will tell, but I can't believe some of the obscure series that are coming out on DVD, such as Baa Baa Black Sheep, Hart To Hart, White Shadow. Companies can release whatever they want, but I can't see demand for some of these being high enough to make any money. I guess they do not have to sell all that many to turn a profit.
Old 10-31-05, 04:18 PM
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They're releasing (or have released) The White Shadow? I'm so there.

I don't think there is too much TV on DVD, and I don't think there ever can be. That is like asking if there are too many movies. I know I'm eagerly awaiting certain shows and certain seasons. It seems to me that the process of putting shows on DVD is important because we will eventually get to the point where this content needs to be digitized for distribution over a high speed network anyway.
Old 10-31-05, 04:31 PM
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Until the short-lived series "Now and Again" or the classic series "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" make it to DVD, I will always be open to more TV-on-DVD.

To me, though, as long as there's a market for it, then why not put it out there. While the market for thirty-five year-old Columbo episodes is probably relatively small, there has been a market for them (including me).

Given the popularity of these nostalgia shows such as "I Love the 80s" or the humor derived from merely making mention of a show (a common tactic on "Family Guy" for example), putting out these older titles might well be the smart move from a business standpoint.

I think about the shows I watched in sydication or late at night when I was a kid (I was born in 1971). There were shows I adored that I haven't seen in a good many years. Having some of them available again has been what I consider to be a highlight of the DVD format. Granted, some of these shows aren't as entertaining to me as they originally were, but a good many of them are even better than I remembered ("The Dick Van Dyke Show" is timelessly funny, for example).

And having DVD sets of shows that were canceled before their time is another good use of the format, in my opinion. I mean, I loved "Wonderfalls", for example, but the majority of the country disagreed with me. The DVD format has allowed me to get nine full episodes I didn't get when the show aired.

Having the DVDs available has allowed me to discover shows I truly enjoy but would otherwise have missed. For example, I bought the first seasons of shows like "Gilmore Girls" and "Angel" without having watched them on television in their original run, and I loved them both. I had always heard good things about both, but I was unwilling to jump in after having already missed the first few seasons. DVD allowed me to catch up (or come close to catching up) and add to the ratings for the then-currently airing seasons.

So while it can get expensive to buy everything I want to buy, that downside is something I would consider slight. I'd always rather have more choice than less.
Old 10-31-05, 04:35 PM
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The day that they release "My Mother The Car" on DVD is the day that there will officially be too many TV on DVDs.
Old 10-31-05, 04:46 PM
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Are there too many shows on TV right now?
Absolutely not
Why or why not?
Because that, to me, is like asking if there are too many movies on DVD. While not everything may have the market potential of Friends, it shouldn't matter if it's a lesser known show. Just because it's not a show you're interested in doesn't mean there isn't a hard core fan base out there wanting that show on DVD. I think it's arrogance to declare there are too many because it seems you assume you are the authority on what people want or don't want, and nobody is that authority.
Is a shakeout on the way?
Maybe in a way there has been. Studios have failed to follow up on certain TV shows and have left us dangling with season one sets with cancelled or indefinately delayed plans for season two. In that regard, MAYBE you might argue there are too many TV shows on DVD, because I feel a studio should finish what they started before jumping to many other shows, but again, I don't think that's much of a valid argument. The studios need to think again how they marketed the show and try to figure out a way to make the remaining seasons successful. It appears Mary Tyler Moore was a hit on DVD once Fox realized they can't arbitrailly charge 50.00 for a 30 year old show when most shows that old are priced at about half that, and once they realized that, season two was a hit, and they saw an increase in season one, and now we are getting season three.
What series haven't been released yet that should be?
Wonder Years. Music rights be damned. (I want the ORIGINAL music even if it means paying some extra per set!) That show has been one of the most requested for years and would make money.

Last edited by calhoun07; 10-31-05 at 05:14 PM.
Old 10-31-05, 04:53 PM
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I've all but given up watching TV shows over the air now, I just don't want to schedule my life around when the networks decide to air a show I'm interested in, so all of my TV show watching comes from the DVDs. Just for that reason there can't be too much TV on DVD, because if it's not on DVD I won't see it.

Now there's more TV sets available on DVD than I can afford to buy right now, but I like the knowledge that they're there (theirs my chair) for me when I want them. Also there's some obscure or nostalgic shows (Airwolf is a guilty pleasure of mine) that wouldn't be released if studios were just releasing the "quality" shows.

That's just from my standpoint as a consumer though. From a business point of view, there may very well be too much TV on DVD. Stores are only willing to devote so much space to TV series, so some titles may never see the light of day on a store shelf and will only be available online. I don't know enough about the business side of things to know how much it costs to put together a set and how many copies they need to sell to make it profitable, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the less popular titles getting released these days don't meet that quota and future seasons of those shows won't get released. So in that sense I guess that yes, I do foresee a shakeout coming, I just wish there wasn't one. Every show has somebody out there who absolutely loved it, and I'd like for those fans get a chance to own it to watch over and over.
Old 10-31-05, 05:06 PM
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TV on DVD

These are some interesting and useful thoughts. To follow up what one poster wrote, about studios that dump one season of a show and then never follow up with the other seasons .... what are some prime examples of that?

and what other series, beyond "wonder years," are crying out for DVD-ization? "WKRP"? others?
Old 10-31-05, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottECollins
These are some interesting and useful thoughts. To follow up what one poster wrote, about studios that dump one season of a show and then never follow up with the other seasons .... what are some prime examples of that?
Newsradio is the show I am most anxious about when it comes to releasing one set and not following up. The first box contained seasons one and two.
Old 10-31-05, 05:12 PM
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By the way, since you found this forum I would assume you're already aware of them, but just in case you aren't you should consider talking to Gord Lacey or David Lambert over at TVShowsOnDVD.com. They're two very knowledgable and intelligent people who could provide valuable insight for an article like this.
Old 10-31-05, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottECollins
These are some interesting and useful thoughts. To follow up what one poster wrote, about studios that dump one season of a show and then never follow up with the other seasons .... what are some prime examples of that?
Larry Sanders, Twin Peaks, and Everwood are the ones that sting me the most. There's also recent examples with Happy Days and Mork and Mindy.

Last edited by calhoun07; 10-31-05 at 05:15 PM.
Old 10-31-05, 09:41 PM
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There can never be enough TV on DVD, unless you count reality TV.

I have a 12' screen so DVD = Better. No commercials = Better.
Old 10-31-05, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Slayer2005
I have a 12' screen so DVD = Better
Holy crap, I want to watch the Super Bowl at your house!
Old 10-31-05, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottECollins
These are some interesting and useful thoughts. To follow up what one poster wrote, about studios that dump one season of a show and then never follow up with the other seasons .... what are some prime examples of that?

and what other series, beyond "wonder years," are crying out for DVD-ization? "WKRP"? others?
Barney Miller is another - only season 1 was released so far.

Lots of good comments above (I say 'good' cuz they echo my own feelings) Of my personal DVD buying habits, I've cut down on movies that I feel iffy about and have been getting more TV sets lately. Partially because the prices on the TV sets have been dropping to a point where it almost becomes a no-brainer to try out some shows I'd never watched during broadcast. I can now investigate them at me leisure and decide to continue buying the follow-up seasons or not.

Do you know when your article will be printed? I get the Times so I want to make sure I don't glaze over it (bold the important stuff, dammit!)
Old 10-31-05, 11:21 PM
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Personally I live for TV on DVD. $15-20 gets me a 2 hour movie that'll last me a night. For only 2 or 3 times that, I get 13-24 episodes of my favorite, or newly discovered TV shows. That usually lasts me a week or two the first time I watch it.

I find myself revisiting these shows over and over again. Freaks and Geeks, Sports Night, Firefly, Wonderfalls and My So Called Life are some of the ones I watch the most. Oddly they most only lasted a season on the air (except Sports Night which made it to two) but they are infinitely rewatchable on my TV set.

They're great for a short distraction. If you're home eating lunch and no one's around, instead of flipping through the soap operas and whatnot on the air during the day, put in an episode of your favorite tv show. Same thing when it's almost time for bed and want to unwind for 30-45 mins. Without ads these shows run 22 mins for a half hour show and 45 for an hour show. So they're not quite the time investment of watching a movie on DVD before bedtime.

Lately I discovered Veronica Mars on DVD. My local UPN signal is unwatchable, but thanks to DVD I've enjoyed a brillant season of a great show in just under a week.
Old 11-01-05, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Tscott
Personally I live for TV on DVD. $15-20 gets me a 2 hour movie that'll last me a night. For only 2 or 3 times that, I get 13-24 episodes of my favorite, or newly discovered TV shows. That usually lasts me a week or two the first time I watch it.

I find myself revisiting these shows over and over again. Freaks and Geeks, Sports Night, Firefly, Wonderfalls and My So Called Life are some of the ones I watch the most. Oddly they most only lasted a season on the air (except Sports Night which made it to two) but they are infinitely rewatchable on my TV set.

They're great for a short distraction. If you're home eating lunch and no one's around, instead of flipping through the soap operas and whatnot on the air during the day, put in an episode of your favorite tv show. Same thing when it's almost time for bed and want to unwind for 30-45 mins. Without ads these shows run 22 mins for a half hour show and 45 for an hour show. So they're not quite the time investment of watching a movie on DVD before bedtime.

Lately I discovered Veronica Mars on DVD. My local UPN signal is unwatchable, but thanks to DVD I've enjoyed a brillant season of a great show in just under a week.


I agree 100%. Well said.


TV boxsets also helped me when i didn't have a way to look a Broadcast TV. All I had was an old Monitor with no tuner and no cable so TV boxsets of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, BBC show like AbFab and Thin BLue Line got played all the time in my house.


Now, if DC/Warner would release complete sets of Justice League and Lustice League Unlimited I would be very happy.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 11-01-05 at 12:32 AM.
Old 11-01-05, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottECollins
and what other series, beyond "wonder years," are crying out for DVD-ization? "WKRP"? others?
'60s Batman.

Is there too much TV on DVD? That's like asking if there's too much food in the grocery store.
Old 11-01-05, 10:47 AM
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There is obviously money to made in it, which kind of surprises me. Having a huge hard drive and a tivo seems to be something that would kill all the tv shows going to dvd, but it hasn't. I rarely buy tv sets.
Old 11-01-05, 11:08 AM
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I honestly find that some series are much better then i remember on dvd and some of the problems i had with them dissappear.
When watching it live comericals really can destroy the passing of a show.
As well the rerun weeks where you are left with a cliffhanger plotpoint and don't get to see the next episode for 3 weeks really hurts the story.
Watching a series one episode at a time at your own pace really ups the enjoyment level for me. Now as long as they keep the series prices reasonable(unlike the star trek ones) i'll keep investing in shows that perk my interest.
Old 11-01-05, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Having a huge hard drive and a tivo seems to be something that would kill all the tv shows going to dvd, but it hasn't.
There are a bunch of reasons why. Extras, being able to start from episode 1 (a show like ER can take forever to cycle back through wherever it is to the first season), syndicated cuts/censoring vs. the original episodes, higher quality video/audio, easier access (there's only so much space on a Tivo, after all), the availability of series that aren't airing anywhere at present...
Old 11-01-05, 11:36 AM
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I am waiting for Ed. But due to music rights I do not believe it is coming any time soon.

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