Hill Street Blues abandoned?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Andrew!A, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Disney won't release Song of the South to DVD...although it has appeared in various regions on LD & VHS. Song of the South is an acclaimed film which has been noted for its use of mixing animation with live action. It won an Oscar for Best Song (Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah) and an honorary Oscar for James Baskett for his portrayal of Uncle Remus. It also brought to lie numerous folktale characters such as Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear.

    Disney won't release the film because they claim (and I'm not sure this has ever been in any "official statement") that the film represents a negative stereotype of blacks. While many feel this isn't even true and that Disney has released other ethnically-sensitive material such as Peter Pan and Dumbo, SotS could be given "Disney Treasures" status and be given an educational introduction explaining the depiction of black lives during the reconstruction by a noted film historian or prominent black entertainer.

    This all just came to mind when I read the line of your post that I quoted above. Disney is definitely a companay that understands how to best present its material to make a profit. There is a rather sizeable market clamoring for SotS...yet they keep it locked-away in "Vault Disney" with many of this generation never having had a chance to see it (except though illegal--or complicated--means).
     
  2. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

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    The "Song of the South" situation is quite a different animal. Could Disney make some money off this release? Sure, some. But it's not worth the headaches to them. There has been quite a lot of condemnation of the film from prominent black people. Are they being overly sensitive? I have no idea, I haven't seen the film since I was seven. But the fact is, though racial insensitivity exists in other Disney films, the general feeling is it is not as conspicuous in any of those as it is in "Song of the South." And Disney just doesn't want that publicity.

    With no such public relations issue, "Hill Street Blues" will live or die on sales, simple as that.
     
  3. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Second Unit

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    What Mike says. I fail to see the point of comparison here.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Guys: Lets not read too much into this. When Scott made his point about no hidden agendas on the part of companies to hold back release of certain titles, the example of Disney & SotS, just came to mind. When he wrote:


    it just rang true with me that Disney is a profitable company which regularly mines its vault, but has yet to release SotS to the consternation of film-lovers to whom it makes no sense. I EVEN USED A WINKIE SMILIE! [​IMG]

    When Scott responded seriously that he hadn't read the lengthy thread and asked for the "Cliff's notes" version of what's going on, I gave it to him. I understand there is little ethnic controversy with Hill Street Blues although I suppose some Italian-Americans might be offended by Joyce Davenport's references to Frank Furrilo as "pizza man"! [​IMG] Look! Another wink!

    A comparison which COULD be made is that in both instances (and in other cases where TV series are stopped mid-stream) the question is left on the table as to why the company holding the rights to the show/movie just don't go ahead and release it to please those fans (however few there may be) who are clamoring for it. As some have argued...it's all about profits--whether there is controversy attached or not.
     
  5. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Second Unit

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    But there is no question on the table as far as Song of the South goes. We know without a doubt why Disney doesn't release it as far as I can tell from your Cliff's Notes on it.

    What I was addressing was a couple of comments that "Studio X can make a profit on Product X but they won't release it and use slow sales as an excuse." That's absurd. By no stretch of the imagination can I think of any reason why Studio X would do that. If Studio X believes a product will turn a profit, Studio X will release that product.
     
  6. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    You would like to think so and it sounds like common sense. But unfortunately this is not always the case at all!! Sometimes Studios would rather not go through the trouble of wasting time on something that would return a small profit when they can use that time to work on something else that would return alot more moola. You may not like it and find it hard to believe but it is true.
     
  7. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    But can you blame them for that? If we change "DVDs" to "Nails" and say that a company can make more money selling 1/2" nails than 3/4" nails, can you blame them for making more 1/2" nails? Maybe they just make 3/4" nails a few times a year, or they decide to stop making them because there's no need for 3/4" nails anymore, and sales were down.

    People that invest in these companies want to see a return on their money, and whether they're making nails, or DVDs, they expect profits. There are also people's jobs that depend on the titles they release. If they release a bunch of titles that lose money, or come in a lot lower than expected they'll be looking for a new job. Sure, we could write emails saying how much we loved the DVDs they put out, but that won't help them.

    But here's some good news; the market is slowing down, and there aren't as many big money-makers left. That means the studios will be more willing to go after the titles that they'll make a bit of money on, rather than the titles they'll make lots of money on. There's a better chance the lesser-known titles will be released, but if they don't meet expectations (and no one is expecting them to sell like Seinfeld, or Simpsons), then they won't continue releasing them.

    Gord
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Agreed as well - I don't know why we always have to explain how businesses work in any of these kinds of threads. People assume that the studios are being 'evil' because they aren't putting out a product that we want. What amazes me is that people always say stuff like "Don't the studios realize how much money they'd make if they did....." - I'm pretty sure the studios know what they're doing.
     
  9. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    Gord: I can't blame them for that, but what i do blame them for is they should know going in when they release a certain title of where it should fall in the market place. If they are not happy with what it would make don't release it.

    It is not hard to have a department that can determine where a title is likely to fall in the profit range ahead of time. Sure sometime's your gonna have research that doesn't help, but usually you can be pretty close. I think sometimes they know that going in with a particular release and just hope it sells better than projected and if not they get out. I see that as being not fair to the consumer who invests in something early on that he would not have otherwise if he knew it wasn't going to be completed. When the studio realizes going in they probably won't be completing the run. That is where i have the problem with the studios.
     
  10. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Do you really think it's easy to determine how well a release will sell? I'd rather them at least give something a shot...How do you know that any of these abandoned series were "long shots" that the studios gave a chance to?

    I'd definitely rather see them give something a chance to sell well (and fail), then to have them give up on it at the "research" level.
     
  11. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    I totally understand your point here... [​IMG]
     
  12. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    I think sometimes there are certain shows that should be released no matter what profits are. Groundbreaking Shows like HSB... you think if your the one holding the rights you owe it people to get it all out there. We are all huge fans and are just royally dissapointed. To bad their isnt a hire up in fox that is a HSB Fan or this probably wouldn't be happening.

    I think the reason remington steele ended up getting released, wasn't there some hire ups that were fans and they kept pressuring for a favorite of theirs to get released and it eventually happened. There have been shows that have sold better than remington and cancelled, yet they finished the run and i am glad they did great show. So sometimes you get lucky [​IMG]

    I guess bottom line is we don't know for sure if HSB is entirely dead so i am gonna stop harping on it now and look forward to St. Elsewhere!
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    But can you imagine your boss asking you to work for the next 3 months without pay?
     
  14. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    lol.. the funny thing is with what i make he kinda allready is but for longer! [​IMG]
     
  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    ^^LOL
     
  16. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    Then sell the rights to release HSB to another company that would like to sell it & would be willing to do the production & the promoting of the DVDs. This makes you some pure profit! This, of course, assumes that there is another company that would like to sell HSB. Or does the entire corporate world think that HSB is a $$$$$ LOSER! [​IMG]
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    If the original studio couldn't sell it, why would anyone else want to invest in it? and plus, not only would they have to pont up the money to produce it, but they'd have to pony up the $$ for the rights in the first place. Sounds like a bad investment from the get go.
     
  18. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Second Unit

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    The point is that it IS a money loser. It's been proven.
     
  19. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    well, a company like Image or Anchor Bay would probably see what HSB sells and think it's not a bad idea. Fox, OTOH, is all "well, this isn't The Simpsons"
     
  20. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    has it actually been proven as a money loser, or that it just doesn't give Fox the 20-fold profit that Simpsons or Family Guy gives them?
     

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