Assessing the studios

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Michael Alden, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    Paramount looks like they are really pushing to get some great product out there with upcoming releases of Hawaii Five-0, Untouchables, Streets of San Francisco, Fugitive (we hope), more Perry Mason and Wild Wild West.

    Meanwhile, Warner's big announcement is . . . What I Like About You! No comment necessary but there must be some reason this show manages to stay on the air. If anyone knows how, I'd love to hear it. Their classic series like Maverick, Sugarfoot, Bronco, 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Bourbon Street Beat, Surfside 6, Roaring 20s, Gallant Men, Dakotas, Alaskans, etc, just sit.

    MGM is now like a red-headed step-child. They did scant little on their own and first they tried a deal with Sony which yielded a couple of releases (Rat Patrol, Green Acres S3) and now they are trying Fox, which thus far has just put out Addams Family. Patty Duke Show as well as the entire Ziv library are dormant.

    Sony is the most unpredictable of the bunch. But of all the studios they seem to be the only ones willing to take a chance on short-run, obscure series releases (Walking Tall, Tabitha, Blue Thunder). Bare-bones sets and they seem to be the ones who most often screw it and use edited episodes.

    Universal, the kings of one and done. Don't know what their sales expectations are but whatever they are, they're too high. They put out a bunch of series and just gave up on most of them. At least now they are sub-licensing shows so maybe there's hope yet if they start to do more of it.

    Fox, the best if you are into modern shows, not so great if you aren't. Other than their Irwin Allen sci-fi series, their vintage releases see them living off their acquisitions of MTM and Four Star, although Big Valley being the only Four Star color show seems to be the only one of interest to them. It would be nice if they actually looked to do something with other Fox shows but at this point they haven't.
     
  2. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    As far as the majors are concerned, I have to agree with you on Paramount. Classic/vintage shows have, at least, a fighting chance with them and they have not been adverse to releasing black & white shows which the other major studios, for the most part, have avoided. A few misfires aside (the color episodes of "Gunsmoke"), their product looks and sounds good. I was somewhat surprised that Paramount released the Steven Hill "Mission Impossible" season 1 episodes over the better known Peter Graves episodes, but that just goes to show you that Paramount is willing to take more of a chance on vintage shows than the other major studios.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Overall, I'd say that's a pretty accurate and fair assessment. Although I think that Universal's biggest problem is that they're so slow in releasing their shows that it makes it seem like they've abandoned them.
     
  4. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    Fox stinx!! They have practically no respect for their pre-1980 TV material! Why are Peyton Place, The Green Hornet, Dobie Gillis, Burke's Law, Room 222, Honey West, Adventures in Paradise and Judd: For The Defense lying in vaults while short-lived shows from recent years are put out and other shows like Buffy and X-Files are repackaged ad nauseum??
     
  5. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Well said, Michael.

    Doesn't Fox own Ironside, which was licensed to Shout! Factory?
     
  6. Ben King

    Ben King Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I'd got along with most of Michael's assessment.

    Paramount seem to be taking a very aggressive (and very welcome!) approach to archive TV titles on DVD.

    Warners do some good work, but I dislike their "wait-a-year to see how the first season sells" policy (Dallas, The Waltons). Both shows are now on a more regular schedule but if they do the same with Knots Landing and Falcon Crest, it'll take years to complete the series!
     
  7. Mary_P

    Mary_P Second Unit

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    "Ironside" is a Universal property.
     
  8. ChrisCook

    ChrisCook Screenwriter

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    Charles Ellis, I wish Fox would release "Dobie Gillis". I don't know how many "Gilligan's Island" fans (though I'm not one of them) would be interested in this sitcom if Fox were to market it towards them. Might not be a bad idea. But that one really needs to come out of the vaults.
     
  9. StacyV

    StacyV Second Unit

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    It's on the air only in syndication. That show was canceled months ago. If syndication's what you meant in terms of why it's on the air, I can only assume that the people who make those decisions feel it would do better than other shows you mentioned.
     
  10. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Excellent assessment, Michael. Paramount is easily the undisputed king of classic TVonDVD at this point. I mean hands down champion! All the other majors are looking at second place, because first has been taken.

    I have to give Warners a little love if for no other reason than their animation. But you are correct that they have a bunch of classics sitting in the vaults.

    Sony is pretty sad because they seem to be allergic to their black & white catalog. And that's a crying shame if for no other reason than "Father Knows Best" (and there are other reasons - but that's the biggie they are sitting on, IMHO).

    Fox only gets some points from me because of their IA releases and "Big Valley." They still could do better with their classics library.

    Universal is fairly far down the totem pole with me right now. They are, as many have rightly said, the king of one-and-done. And that needs to change in a hurry. Of course they also had the two-sided disc problems...

    Then there are the smaller independents like Image, Rhino and Shout Factory, who have all done great jobs. Hope we see them get more series!

    Gary "Paramount really has pulled away from the pack with these latest announcements - can't see any other studio catching them at this point" O.
     
  11. JeffWld

    JeffWld Stunt Coordinator

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    Paramount inherited an incredible volume of TV product via mergers and acquisitions. As good as they have been to date, they really have the potential to stay far ahead of the pack if they want to exploit their incredible back library. Let's hope they take advantage of the opportunities that are available to them.
     
  12. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    Doesn't Paramount own The Mod Squad via the Spelling/Worldvision catalog?
     
  13. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    Indeed they do. Now that they seem to be dipping into the Worldvision catalogue with Streets of SF and Fugitive (supposedly), Mod Squad and Invaders would be the next 2 most likely candidates for them to look at.
     
  14. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    Finally cancelled? I don't really pay very close attention to the weblets or "expansion networks" so I didn't know that. I just remembered seeing it, maybe last year, and thinking how on earth is this thing still on. WB actually has done some pretty promising sitcoms (Grosse Pointe, Maybe it's Me, Do Over, All About the Andersons) but those usually don't even manage to make a full season's shows and so they never get a chance to develop into something.
     
  15. 70sTVlover

    70sTVlover Stunt Coordinator

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    Universal have terrible customer service, they can never give you a straight answer
     
  16. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    A single repackaging does not qualify as 'ad naueum'.
     
  17. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Thanks for correcting me. For some reason I assumed it was owned by Fox, and I don't know why.
     
  18. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    I'm willing to cut Universal a little slack now that they did "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" justice by using single sided discs--just hope they continue on with the series because what I'm really clamoring for is "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour". I'm still miffed though that they abandoned "The Night Gallery".

    When the folks at Warners puts their minds to it they come up with some nice releases. I'm particularly fond of the "Adventures of Superman" sets, eventhough I elected to stop at S4. I'm quite sure they would release nice sets for "The Dakotas", "Surfside 6" and "Bourbon Street Beat", keeping with the spirit of those shows in regards to packaging and dvd menus--but gosh, what a long shot we're talking here.

    Paramount does receive high marks for me as well and though their releases are just above threadbare, they did fine by me where "Have Gun Will Travel" and "Rawhide" are concerned--just wish they wouldn't leave me hanging on the remaining seasons, particularly HGWT. And of course, I'm very excited at the prospect of the QM shows finally seeing the light of day. I feel much more confident about "The Invaders" and "The Fugitive" in particular now.
     
  19. ChrisCook

    ChrisCook Screenwriter

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    "Land of the Giants" is getting one complete series release in 2007. I hope it sells well because I would love to see something similar for "Dobie Gillis".
     
  20. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    Universal was foolish with regards to Baa Baa Black Sheep and Sony was for SWAT. Both were only 1 1/2 to 2 seasons. They should have just released the entire series and have been done with it. With no music rights issues this could have been done on the cheap.

    And speaking of cheap. Universal should have released these older shows at a much lower price point. They are selling it for a list of $39.99. That is insane. It should have a list of $19.99 or less. I would be you would get a lot more sales that way. And this price point should have been done by the other studios also.
     

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