CBS/Paramount Stalled Shows - An Analysis

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    In the wake of Mannix season 5 being announced, I thought I might look at some of CBS/P stalled shows and give my own opinion as to why each has stalled and the likelihood of CBS re-starting releases. Keep in mind these are only my opinions.

    Let me start by saying that I am thrilled (albeit surprised) that Mannix Season 5 is coming out so soon. Mannix is one of my favorite shows and its nice that sales have been so good that CBS wishes to continue releasing it. Now for the other shows:


    The Untouchables - This one confounds me. Sales of season 3 had to be extemely low for them to give up on it with only one season left. Chance of resuming release = Medium


    Cannon - Given two seasons and obviously sold poorly - Chance of resuming release = Low


    Barnaby Jones - See Cannon above only with one season - Chance of resuming release = Low


    Beverly Hillbillies - Another one I have difficulty understanding. This was a top 5 TV show during most of its run and has a very dedicated fanbase. I can't believe it sold that poorly. It wasn't topical (i.e. - Maude, All in the family) so it doesn't look dated. This one is a head scratcher. Chance of resuming release = High


    Happy Days - See above Hllbillies. Chance of resuming release = High


    Mod Squad - Must have sold very poorly and too topical. Looks very dated . Chance of resuming release = Low


    Love Boat - Very popular in its time and great guest stars. Must have simply been poor sales. Wouldn't give up on this one just yet. Chance of resuming release = Medium


    Love American Style - Too dated and topical. Chance of resuming release low.


    As far a the b/w series go (Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Bilko), I feel that CBS has simply given up on all b/w series perhaps due to the fact they just do not fit with their demographic and look too old for the age groups that buy a lot of DVD"S Chance of resuming any of these releases = Low


    I know I missed some but you get the point . I just feel by and large that CBS has basically given up on most series pre 90's presumably for demographic reasons. Face it, many poeple buying a ton of DVD's are 20-40 amd they reallt have little interest in shows like Cannon or Bilko.


    Again, only my opinions!
     
  2. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Frank, I think you are spot on in terms of the reason, in general, that we are seeing less and less b/w and older color shows being released by CBS/Paramount. It's an absolute fact that the demo age is way too young for most of the older series to really thrive. Some make it because they are iconic. Others have rabid, although smaller, fan bases that really get the word out and buy multiple copies to encourage further releases. But by and large your point about demographics is something I've got to believe plays a part.

    As to the specific titles and where you'd rank them as to possible future releases, it really is a guessing game. I'd agree with some of your assessments and disagree with others. As one example, I think Happy Days is probably very low on the list, but only for one basic reason: Music Rights. As it is they couldn't even release the 2nd Season with its original theme song, and many of the tunes have been replaced in the different sets. It's just a shame but it's clear CBS isn't a company that's going to pay for many pop songs. They are notorious for replacement music and/or cut scenes involving pop songs. If Happy Days is to continue, it will almost assuredly be cut up and I'm not for that.


    We are seeing a revival of Rawhide, so all is not totally lost when it comes to the b/w titles. But things don't look great. Mannix is good news, but it was on the long range schedule so it's not a complete shock to me. Still, like you, I hope this is a signal that we can expect other stalled shows to be put back on the schedule.



    Gary "The Untouchables has been close to being finished up a couple of times in the last year or so, but at the last second it's been pulled off the schedule - I have no idea why" O.
     
  3. Jeff*H

    Jeff*H Supporting Actor

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    Welcome to the HTF, Frank. You raise some good points with your analysis, but I think you also left a few others out of the consideration set:

    • Licensing issues
    • Previous public domain and/or bootleg releases that may have negatively impacted sales (this may apply to "Beverly Hillbillies" and "Bonanza", among others)
    • Syndication presence over the decades (or lack thereof)
    • Difficulty getting major brick-and-mortar retailers to stock classic TV titles in recent years
    • Price points (particularly where split seasons of some shows are concerned); some titles have more price elasticity than others, I suspect
    • Economic factors at time of release (i.e. the recession and unemployment result in less discretionary income for potential consumers)
    • Ongoing sales over time of the first releases of a title (some shows are 'evergreens' and will continue to move product from the first season or 2 at a solid rate years later, whereas other shows may move very few units of the first seasons at any point in the DVD's retail life)

    Anyhow, a few more things you may wish to consider.

    Regards,

    Jeff
     
  4. LeoA

    LeoA Screenwriter

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    I think Petticoat Junction has a shot.


    They clearly thought it was something worthwhile when they did HD transfers of two seasons at once the first time around. And the subsequent color seasons are those most familiar to fans of the show. Season 3 introduces the familiar Bobbie Jo and the next season adds the beautiful Meredith MacRae to the cast whom everyone associates with the Billie Jo Bradley character.


    So I wouldn't be shocked to actually see sales of the show increase compared to season 1 & 2 (Which were excellent and in many ways the best seasos of the show, but they were just unfamiliar to many people) if they take a crack at season 3 and 4.
     
  5. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    If "Barnaby Jones" remains stalled out, blame it perhaps on how the complete first season was only a half-season worth of shot shows (as it was a mid-season replacement). This one rankles me the most because it has the dubious distinction of lowest percentage of a show's run released to DVD in the form of one half of seven and a half seasons of episodes. I would have rather hand two seasons of Barnaby than two of Cannon!
     
  6. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I have to agree with Jeff about Bonanza (which was never in B&W btw) and Beverly Hillbillies. The numerous PD copies, some of which are still readily available at Target and Wal-Mart, must have killed sales of the real thing.


    I also feel that diminishing returns put Family Ties to an early grave. Notice how quickly the first few seasons came out on dvd--then they just suddenly stopped. I guess Season One sold very well, the others were rushed into production, and by the time 5 came out the sales had declined too far for them to continue. The most popular series, Happy Days, Love Boat, Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies have a long way to go, but it's hard to understand why they don't finish off the shorter ones so they can re-release them as Complete Series sets that seem to sell well over time. I mean, one lousy season more of Mork and Mindy...Season 4 probably won't sell all that great, but the complete series set would.
     
  7. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I think the best hope for Happy Days and a lot of the others lies with Shout! Factory. Now that they have a working relationship with CBS/Paramount (Shout! did Webster, which had no cuts or music replacements, but they're also doing some Nickelodeon shows like Rocko's Modern Life, and fans of those shows have told me some real horror stories about censorship and editing at their slimy orange hands), and they've picked up shows other studios abandoned, notably Sony, I wouldn't put it outside the realm of possibility. But apparently they only license shows on a title-by-title basis, so we'll see what happens.


    If topicality is a factor in poor sales, that may have hurt Family Ties as well.
     
  8. brian MC

    brian MC Auditioning

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    You could also add The Streets Of San Francisco to the list of stalled releases.I hope the rest of the seasons will eventually get a release!
     
  9. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    Love American Style was mishandled. They should have put segments on other shows DVDs as bonus features. Why not let Frank Sutton's various bits appear on the Gomer Pyle USMC discs? Splitting the first season up so that it came out to $72 for both volume limits the show from impulse purchase to entertainment investment.


    Happy Days has a bigger issues now that the cast members are ticked off that they've received practically nothing from the use of their image on dvds and slot machines.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/19/news/companies/happy_days_fraud_claim/index.htm?hpt=C1
     
  10. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jeff*H



    Gary "and please don't anyone ask how I know these things - you'll have to either believe me or not, but I promise I'm not making this stuff up" O.
     
  11. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    Sort of both good and bad prospects there for Barnaby Jones, which is a show I'd love to see more of also bearing in mind it originally had an eight year successful run on TV so it's not like we can say it's a smaller title ala The Magician with Bill Bixby. Would love to see that one too by the way and if Shout have a Paramount deal now who knows, but we also shouldn't make it sound like people older than 30-40 have no money to burn and just kids buying DVDs these days. If studios thought that we'd never seen any of the shows we have.
     
  12. phenri

    phenri Second Unit

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    I feel the same way about Barnaby Jones. I bought it because I watched it growing up. I was very impressed with the episodes and it is much better than I remember. A season you enjoy with only 13 episodes really leaves you wanting more. My wife was impressed by it as well. Whenever I tell her about upcoming releases, she always asks me about Barnaby Jones.


    Seeing more seasons of this show would make me very happy!
     
  13. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    Would people put Arthur Hailey's Hotel and Early Edition in the same category as The Streets of San Francisco? I can't decide which of those three stalled series I'd most like to see re-started before the end of this year. I'd probably go with Arthur Hailey's Hotel as there are more series left of that series to be released. Would there be music clearance issues?
     
  14. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    If I had to pick three shows only that I would want unstalled it would be:


    1-Love Boat (Just to get us closer to the later years that were never syndicated!)

    2-Barnaby Jones (already explained)

    3-Streets Of San Francisco (for me this show is like FIve-O in terms of being enhanced by the location shooting and the city becoming the ambience of each episode just like Hawaii does with FIve-O)
     
  15. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    I'd like to get Season 5 of Happy Days for the Jump the Shark episode. But after that, it's just not that appealing. I've been catching the Ted McGinley era episodes on Hub and they're so painful. On a good note, Shout! Factory is putting out both of Ron Howard's car chase films he made with Roger Corman.


    sounds like Nash Bridges is also a legal victim since Don Johnson is suing the studio over profits.


    Be nice if they wrapped up Vega$ and the Untouchables at the same time.
     
  16. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I like Jack's thoughts about posting our Top 3 stalled CBS series that we'd like to see get off the scheid. And that's not an easy question for me because there are literally a dozen shows that CBS has been releasing and stalled out that I want to continue collecting! One thing is certain though, if I didn't know Rawhide was starting back up that one would be at the top of my list, but since it is here's my current top 3:


    1) Perry Mason (some will think it's not stalled yet, but I know it is* so it goes to the top for me)

    2) Petticoat Junction

    3) Barnaby Jones


    The tough one to leave off is The Untouchables, and the only reason I didn't include it is because I know that last season isn't the best the show had to offer. Still, I'd like to see it completed. And Gunsmoke is another I'd keep buying if released, but the hour long eps have been airing on Encore Westerns and if I really wanted those I could get them there. The fact that I've not been recording them tells me it's not really important to me. I'm happy with the first 3 seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies too, but I'd probably pick up another season or two if they were released. And if the studio hadn't raped My Three Sons of its backscore I'd be in for as much of that series as they'd release, but I refuse to support any more of those with the horrible new music. I could keep naming series they've stalled out, but you all get the point.


    Gary "CBS/P releases have been mixed blessings, to say the least" O.


    *Just to always keep my ducks lined up in a row, just because I "know" a show is stalled out currently doesn't mean that can't change tomorrow. From what I've seen over the last couple of years with that studio the release schedule is often fluid. Plus, any info I get isn't necessarily hot off the presses. So what I know the basic plan was yesterday isn't necessarily the plan today. Just saying that in case we get news right after I post this that Perry Mason Season 6, V. 1 is coming in July or August or whatever.
     
  17. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    1) Cannon (love those Quinn Martin Shows)

    2) Beverly Hillbillies (would really like to see the color ones released)

    3) Barnaby Jones (See Cannon above)
     
  18. Mr. Pacino

    Mr. Pacino Second Unit

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    "Cannon" was a very good show but the picture quality of the DVD´s let me speechless.


    It was so bad like a VHS cassette.


    I wonder why this show wouldn´t get remastered but other CBS/Paramount shows were ........


    Maybe this is the reason why the selling numbers are too low.......
     
  19. Theodore J. Mooney

    Theodore J. Mooney Supporting Actor

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    I don't care for seasons eight through eleven. The show was definitely lacking something after Ron Howard left.
     
  20. Theodore J. Mooney

    Theodore J. Mooney Supporting Actor

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    I wish CBS/Paramount would put out the the 4th and final season of Mork and Mindy. Granted, the season wasn't necessarily the best compared to the other seasons; however, it is THE season that brings the conclusion to this series. Plus, I am sure there are several fans that would love to complete their collection of this show. It's only one season here NOT three, four, or more.
     

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