Best of Route 66

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bob Hug, May 23, 2007.

  1. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Bob, I'm glad you resurrected this thread. I had an Amazon.com coupon that was burning a hole in my pants pocket so I decided to use it on this set. I can tell you pretty much anything you want to know.
    First off, these are double-sided discs. Which I figured had to be the case. So that might turn a lot of folks off immediately. I've never had the trouble some people have with double-sided dvds so it wasn't a huge letdown.
    Secondly, the reviewer is correct about the transfer quality. These episodes look immaculate to my eyes. They include some commercials too, which is always a bonus. The running time seems correct but since I don't know the series as well as some fans might, I will not swear they are uncut. I believe they are, I just can't swear to it 100% without knowing more than I do.
    Thirdly, there's no way I can see this as an "official" release. It is packaged beautifully and the menu's and art are fine. But there's just no way it's an official release from my perspective. Nevertheless, its a fine set and with my coupon it was actually a steal for me. I didn't have any of the series on tape or dvd, so while this was a gamble, I feel it was worth it.
    Gary "why in the world Sony is sitting on this show and 'Father Knows Best' is still a major mystery to me" O.
     
  2. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Gary, I know that you probably will not know the anwer to this, but I'll ask it any way with the hope that someone out there might . . . . . if the episodes look as good as you and the Epinions reviewer say they are, from whom/where did Roxbury Entertainment obtain the masters? The fact that commercials are also included (as they were on Image's "Naked City" box sets) suggests, but in no way concretely proves, that Sony just might have licensed these episodes to Roxbury, perhaps as a way to test the viability of the series on DVD, without them (Sony) having to take any upfront risks. If the transfers were substandard, i.e., ripped from Nick at Nite, etc., I'd easily dismiss this as a bootleg, but it doesn't seem to be the case. This is just one weird release that I wish someone had more information on.
     
  3. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Bob, I'll look at my set when I get home and see if I can glean anything from the box. But you're right. While my first instinct is to say this is a bootleg, I will have to admit I have no idea how Roxbury got such quality transfers that do indeed seem to have been remastered. It's somewhat of a mystery to me. Maybe your thoughts about Sony are correct, although it just doesn't seem like them to license out just to "test the market." But these are not ripped off tv, that much I'm sure of. Someone got a hold of these reels. Don't know how or when, but these were not taken off Nick@Nite or anything like that.
    Gary "the plot thickens" O.
    P.S. It just occurred to me. Didn't someone a year or so ago mention that they had a friend who was a tv station manager. They said the station manager had acquired the rights to 'The Fugitive' and was going to let this person come in and make copies right off the reels for their own private use. At least that's how I remember the story going. Wonder if it could be something that started like that, but then it mushroomed into people cleaning these prints up and then selling them (maybe with or without Sony's permission). But it is hard to imagine that Roxbury would be putting this out so publicly without Sony's blessing.
    P.P.S. Just to be clear, I'm not saying this is a bootleg. I don't know one way or the other. I just don't want to say either way because I honestly don't know.
     
  4. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    There are literally thousands and thousands of 16mm and sometimes 35mm film prints that are circulated in the collectors circles. My guess would be that someone at this company somehow came up with 16mm or possibly 35mm prints of these 11 episodes and decided to bootleg them. Just because something is a boot doesn't necessarily mean it's being done by some guy selling 4th generation off-air dubs. If someone has access to nice quality film prints and they use a good quality film chain, a boot can look quite good.
     
  5. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Gary--are the prints on this release as good as those for the "Naked City" episodes released by Image? Also, have you viewed any of the segments? I'd really like to get your impressions on the series itself.

    After reading that this is Sony's second most requested show for release to dvd and then reading that at tvparty.com the R66 set is a big seller, you have to wonder what is going on in the minds of studio execs at Sony. Honestly, does anyone even remotely like this company anymore--for anything?
     
  6. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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  7. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    That's where I got mine. A nice book though weighted towards episode synopses overwhelmingly. Still, each episode plot description is outlined in considerable detail. Just wish there was an author written critique or commentary to go with them.
     
  8. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Interesting post at Billy Ingram's "TV Party!" blog . . . . .
    "Dan Wingate, who works in the TV DVD division of Sony, tells me that Sony relinquished the rights to Route 66 (and Naked City) some time ago so perhaps that new DVD collection of Route 66 episodes aren't bootlegs after all (Naked City has been available on DVD for some time). This was a concern from an earlier Blog posting."
    If the above is correct (and appears to affirm Gord Lacey's comments in post #11) and Sony no longer has the rights to "Route 66," who now owns the rights? Have they reverted back to Herbert Leonard Enterprises, Inc. or Lancer-Edling Productions (production company for "Route 66"), or does some other entity (Roxbury Entertainment) own them? Perhaps "The Best of Route 66" is a "private label" release along the lines of the "Sky King" release (http://www.skyking.com/videos.htm).
    The TV Party! blog post is also cause for speculation about the remainder of "Naked City" . . . . . if it's out of Sony's hands, will we see more?
     
  9. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Very interesting news indeed. I'm inclined now to believe that the "Best of" release is legitimate, however I'm still perplexed as to why this set is only available (to my knowledge) at Amazon. And if Sony no longer has the rights to "Route 66" why isn't Image Entertainment getting involved in releasing this series to DVD--unless having R66 in the hands of H. Leonard Enterprises poses yet a bigger obstacle than if owned by Sony? I think it's time for me to send another letter to Image.

    P.S. Just sent Image a letter of inquiry. They've been good about responding to me before so I'll post the reply when it comes.
     
  10. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    It doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever that the owners of this series (whoever they may be) wouldn't try to strike a deal with an independent releasing company like Image that has a proven track record and solid distribution channels. Perhaps the owners of "Route 66" don't have the confidence that the show will sell all that well and are simply giving Amazon an "exclusive" to test the waters. The reality is that there appears to be no marketing on this release (it sort of just appeared one day at Amazon) and, outside of a few viewer reviews, no mention of it on any web site related to DVD releases. I'd really love to know what Roxbury Entertainment is and/or who's behind them . . . . . it just seems strange to me that such a classic is being treated in such a bizzare way.
     
  11. Elena S

    Elena S Supporting Actor

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  12. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Looks like DMGI has the rights for digital downloads; unless I missed something, I didn't see DVDs mentioned. Also, they have some strange episode totals. They claim that "Dangerous Assignment" has 50 episodes, yet the series has already been released on licensed DVDs from Critics Choice and there were only 39 episodes. They're also claiming a strange number of episodes for "The Adventures of Robin Hood" which had 143 episodes; they're claiming 113 episodes (a typo maybe?). Virtually all of the other series mentioned (I Spy, Daniel Boone, My Favorite Martian, The Invisible Man (50s version), The Cisco Kid, Peter Gunn, and Hopalong Cassidy) have had some form of official DVD release, so either the DVD rights have expired on these series and DMGI is picking them up, or the rights are for downloads.
     
  13. docdoowop

    docdoowop Second Unit

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    What are these guys about? Is this a cable channel? Are the shows they've the rights to produced for DVD? [​IMG]
     
  14. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Well, I just sent a letter to DMGI as well and hope to receive a reply in the next day or two.

    When I delved into this, I was thinking along the lines of what Bob wrote, that DMGI has rights to digital downloads only. The July 2nd blog entry that states that DMGI has "announced a number of new long term digital distribution agreements for classic televsion content...including Route 66..." I took this to mean that this series will eventually become a part of their cable channel line-up.

    At the DMGI site it was mentioned that they had a big distribution deal going on with Shout! Factory but it appeared that it involved music only and no mention was made of specific classic tv series.
     
  15. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Supporting Actor

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    Upcoming releases at ccvideo.com is showing: ROUTE 66: 1st Season Vol 1 for Oct 23, 2007 release. $39.98. The ROX in the item number must be Roxbury Entertainment and is their only release listed at Critic's Choice.
    http://www.ccvideo.com/item.cfm?itemid=ROX002017
     
  16. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    Now that actually looks legitimate. I'm very glad I held off on transferring them from my Nick masters. Excellent news if this is a reality.
     
  17. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Great, great find Bob! Unbelievable if this is true. I'm still trying to figure out what possessed Sony to let the rights to this classic get away from them. And now Critic's Choice is going to release the 1st Season! Un-freakin'-belivable!!!
    Gary "go CC, go!" O.
     
  18. silverking

    silverking Guest

    With classic TV in the doldrums lately this is spirit lifting news ! Well done to the folks who dug this info out.
    Critics Choice are somehow connected to Deep Discount aren't they ? CC seem to at least have some interest in releasing old shows & are becoming a major player in the classic TV field. They have done a good job with Sergeant Preston, Hopalong Cassidy, Jim Bowie,Dangerous Assignment but Route 66 is their highest status acquisition so far.
    Roll on October.
     
  19. Tom.W

    Tom.W Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you, Bob! This is great news! I saw the post about DGMI too, and figured it meant downloads on in2tv or itunes ala Man from UNCLE, I SPY, etc.

    But as with these shows, the rights release is indicative of multimedia distribution. I don't know if other people are having trouble with in2tv, but it's extremely buggy in my experience. So thanks to Critics Choice for what appears to be a quality dvd release. Based on their track record, I'm optimistic about the chances for a complete series release of Route 66, a true gem and a classic sixties drama.

    Now we have R66 and Real McCoys to look forward to.
     
  20. docdoowop

    docdoowop Second Unit

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    So I assume this will be 15 episodes, since the first season contained 30. I would hope this will be discounted at sites other than Critic's Choice, since $80 a season is prohibitive.
    I also hope the entire run gets to DVD, as it's not until the 97th episode ("Where Are the Sounds of Celli Brahams", season 4) that the boys filmed here.
     

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