Any News On These Universal Shows Getting Released

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MCCLOUD, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I don't think anyone disputes the fact that Timeless has given us some good non-western choices. I think what this comes back to is the feeling that in the non-western dramatic genre, the well is pretty much tapped for Universal owned properties that Timeless could do but a number of titles in the Univeral owned sitcom genre that *could* have been released remain untapped and Timeless is the only label that would have any legitimate reason for tackling them. Those of us who aren't enthused to hear about more westerns, I think again are only expressing the hope that Timeless might at some point show some awareness of what else there is to explore for release and its more a comment on current policy than past policy when there was without question a great level of diversity in titles chosen for release across dramatic genres even with a high volume of westerns.

    Even if this doesn't happen, Timeless would still stand tall for doing so much good for the hobby with what they have released, and I will also go on record as congratulating them for being alone among labels in making sure that once they start a title, they see it through to completion if its a multi-season one. I think the only title they have done where we have not seen a full run release is The Loretta Young Show, which admittedly does present some problems in that area. But all other titles, including even the long-stalled second volume of "Lawless Years" finally came through and that says a lot about their consideration for those who have bought their titles in the past.
     
  2. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    One should remember that there is a demographic, relatively small perhaps and not so coveted by most manufacturers anymore, i.e. older men, who are very, very supportive of westerns on home video. Some of the most consistent releases and sellers for the studio's MOD programs have been western movies. The audience is out there and have the money to invest in it and studios are recognizing this, having previously put all their efforts into teen and twenty-something consumers, a pattern followed by most companies since the mid-60's.

    No matter how beloved the genre may be for the person in charge of Timeless, at some point they would have to abandon even his preferences if the releases were not making any return on their investment. Unless he is another Howard Hughes who once bought a Las Vegas TV station because he said they were not showing enough westerns! My guess is that as obscure as some of those Timeless western releases have been, they have tapped into that specific demographic and proved relatively successful.
     
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  3. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Understood Jack, but since this discussion has turned into where we would like see Timeless put their focus in upcoming releases, I just wanted to express mine as well. And that is for them to keep the current path and release the following westerns first, The complete Rebel, the remaining Tombstone Territory, and possibly a few other westerns and detective/police dramas. Personally, I enjoy some comedies. However, I have found that very few work for me if I did not sample them in syndication growing up. The nostalgia factor i suppose.

    This is all about personal preferences. I don't believe anyone is against others getting their desired titles, but we would all kind of like to see ours get out first, if possible since who knows if/when the door might shut on some of these older shows.

    Example, you were fortunate to have WBA release one of your favorites in F.B.I pretty quickly, and now they are up to season five. On the other hand, I had to patiently wait for Dr Kildare, which finally released season 1. I am very much hopeful they will continue. I'm happy for you that you have been able to enjoy F.B.I. through these years, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I would have preferred Dr. kildare come out first.

    We have very little control over what gets released and when. We are happy when others get their titles, but we are even happier when we get our own. Human nature.
     
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  4. Scott511

    Scott511 Stunt Coordinator

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    For what it's worth, a friend of mine a few months back emailed Jeffrey Nemerovski V.P. Of Business Development at CBS Home Entertainment. He asked Mr. Nemerovski about Project U.F.O. along with several other series. Nemerovski actually took the time to reply about the show and said CBS no longer has any rights to Project U.F.O. He thought it was around 2001 or 2002 when they sold the rights. He had no idea who the current owner is.

    Obviously I have no idea if the exec. is correct, but it appears some people at CBS are under the impression they have no claim to the series anymore. The response surprised me, as I too thought CBS owned Worldvisions catalog of titles.
     
  5. shoeshineboy

    shoeshineboy Second Unit

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    I'm in agreement with most sentiment expressed here, and also glad that the former Timeless owner was such a vigorous patron of westerns. There is also some evidence that what many of us hope to see -- greater variety, and especially 60s BW comedies -- are not big sellers. Big corps with major properties like TBH and Green Acres (in color) stalled production on underwhelming or bolder expectations; smaller outfits have stumbled in releasing the likes of Dickens/Fenster, Hazel... While our demands are many, the marketplace and profit potential formost of these shows is thin, to say the least. The real shame, IMHO, is that there will never be a large enough market to see the release of great comedy/musical variety programs that were a big part of that era.
     
  6. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Timeless focus has been 1) Westerns and 2) Crime Dramas. Can't really think of too much else they've released outside of those genres, other than Loretta Young Theatre and the Mickey Rooney Show (Hey Mulligan). Even shows like Buckskin or Pistols 'n' Petticoats or Sara, which all take place in the old west don't seem to interest them.

    MPI does variety shows and sitcoms. While they have done some short lived variety shows, I'm still waiting for them to do the same with sitcoms. So far, only popular sitcoms that had decent runs.

    Shout is all over the place with sitcoms, dramas, cop shows, doctor shows, etc. Not sure if they know what they are focused on. Which is good in that you have no idea what they may decide to do next.

    Smore was great while it lasted, putting out shows no one else would think of touching, like 2 seasons of Mr. Peepers. Unfortunately, I don't think they have the money any more to be much of a factor.

    Yes, I too wish there was a sitcom, 60s drama version of Timeless. Would love to get good quality copies of a lot of those short run series of those 2 genres. Doesn't look like it will happen but the only thing for sure is that nothing is for sure.
     
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  7. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    "Going My Way" was a general drama show and wouldn't fall in the usual Timeless category of western or crime drama. We can also add "Medic" to that.
     
  8. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    Lol!!!! That describes my pastor.....he's a Gunsmoke freak!
     
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  9. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    Despite the overwhelming support for Timeless concentration on the western genre, I still stand my original point. It is great that Timeless has put out such great westerns that would normally otherwise not see the light of day, but I do not understand why they, by and large, refuse to touch sitcoms, or some other genres save for a very small handful of other shows. Okay, the owner "reportedly" is a big fan of westerns. And? I'm sure he also want to make money and there is money to be made on untouched sit-coms like He&She, Love on A Rooftop, and My World and Welcome To It to name a few or dramas like The Defenders and Mr. Novak. I guarantee that if a new distributor would show up who released 75% sitcoms, someone would be saying, "Hey, how come they don't put out any westerns".? It's all just a matter of preference.
     
  10. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Well let's be fair about one thing. If you're going to be critical of Timeless, then it should *only* apply to the available titles in the catalog they were licensing titles from for their previous releases. In this case, I'm not going to fault Timeless for not releasing titles from libraries they were never doing westerns or other titles from. My regret is strictly with Universal sitcom titles from the same era as all the other Universal titles they licensed (western and non-western) they put out. No label IMO should ever be criticized for not going after a show from a library they never had access to.
     
  11. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    But they did make money, he was able to focus on his preference, there were plenty of titles in the western genre that they found to release, and there are only so many titles they can invest in at one time. End of story. For those that wish they released more sit-coms it is unfortunate, but for those that are fans of westerns, it has been a gold mine.

    Your original point is a personal one. For those that like the western releases, it has been a personal one. Yes, we have all already agreed it is nothing more than personal preference.

    Maybe with Shout! taking over and as they finish what they already had in the pipeline they will switch to another genre. Then you can be one of the fortunate one's and possibly I will not. As Jack stated, they have access to the Universal library to choose from. But until then my preference is that they continue with their current focus as long as possible.
     
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  12. Silverking

    Silverking Stunt Coordinator

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    Well Timeless have a limited budget I imagine, & go for things that have proven to work for them.

    As Jack has pointed out,they can only put out shows they are able to licence & I don't think the comedy shows listed above were ever part of the package they did licence from Universal which seemed to be Revue productions.

    I note recently they have been issuing old sci-fi/horror movies so maybe that is the direction they are going.
     
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  13. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Not me because I wouldn't have to, we have Timeless for that. But I would welcome any new distributor of primarily sitcoms for those looking for such titles. I'd welcome any new distributor period regardless of genre.
     
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  14. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    As I indicated in my post above, it isn't just the personal preference of the owner at play, there is a built-in audience and customer base for westerns of all types, i.e. the potential to make money based on genre alone. Sitcoms are a crapshoot no matter how you look at it. We all have our personal wish lists, but in looking at it objectively, even a seemingly obscure show like FRONTIER CIRCUS stands a better chance of succeeding in the marketplace than LOVE ON A ROOFTOP or HE AND SHE. It may not be fair, but the reality is that westerns have a generally loyal following no matter their individual recognition or inherent quality. Sitcoms as a whole do not.
     
  15. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    In recent years, perhaps this can be seen in the type of tv shows released on bluray.

    It seems like many current (and some older) sci-fi and/or fantasy influenced tv shows have been regularly released on bluray, while numerous current and past generic procedural cop type shows have not been released on bluray.

    I suspect there may be a large enough loyal hardcore audience for sci-fi and/or fantasy tv shows willing to buy bluray season sets, in contrast to a larger more diffuse casual audience for generic proceduaral cop shows who may or may not be interested in buying the dvd or bluray season sets.
     
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  16. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    "Broadside" (1964-65) was a Revue production so that would have been available to Timeless. Being the spinoff of an established series like "McHale's Navy" would have helped it from a marketing standpoint IMO. You also have the filmed episodes of "TheJack Benny Show" that have been part of the syndication package for decades for which the tape masters are still around (if we're not going to see a restoration project that would put the integrated comercial spots back into those shows, then we might as well at least have a legit DVD release of the episodes that have played in syndication for decades).
     
  17. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    'The typical man on the street' doesn't know about the smaller companies' output and why, but we do, so it'd make good sense since Universal isn't really doing anything MOD-wise.
     
  18. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    What's that got to do with anything that's just your opinion, certainly not held by every Janssen fan. Most stuff put out these days is really crap, I'll take this oddity over that anyday. Maybe you can surmise, if a show like Delvecchio might be a victim of the flames. It was rumored for a Madman release some years back, if there's the infamous too costly/inferior print issue that might explain why it's not happened so far for yet another Universal title.
     
  19. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    No one knows what went up in smoke and what didn't. Universal had that package on A&E of Delvecchio, Mrs. Columbo, City of Angels, O'Hara US Treasury and I believe Ellery Queen was the fifth show. Not sure. But since that came out, perhaps the tapes on all of those exist. Although Ellery was run on Encore so perhaps another set was made. Bottom line is no one really knows as Universal doesn't say anything to anybody.
     
  20. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Yes, Ellery Queen was also part of that rotation of shows on A+E. We had three episodes of "Mrs. Columbo" released as bonus features in the "Columbo" releases (all of those I believe were done prior to the fire; though many people like me would have shed no tears if they'd all burned!) and one episode of "Delvecchio" was on the single DVD "Brilliant But Cancelled" (but minus opening titles and it looked like a 16mm print frankly!)
     

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