How do you feel about CBS/Paramount dvd releases?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan^H, May 3, 2010.

  1. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    There was a time when I thought they could do no wrong. But lately not so much.

    They are notable for their "split season" releases, and I don't mind too much except for the fact that they can come to a halt quickly. I'm still waiting for more Love Boat(among many others).
    They also seem to jump around quite a bit. Constantly looking for the next big seller.
    Will we see more of :
    -Beverly Hillbillies
    -Love Boat
    -Hotel
    -Happy Days
    -Laverne and Shirley
    -Mork and Mindy
    -Gunsmoke

    And more recently

    -Barnaby Jones
    -Vegas

    It just doesn't seem fair the final season of Sabrina is being released less than 5 months after the last release, and their older catalog titles(like the ones I mentioned) are nowhere to be seen.



    Big plus for their Tales from the Darkside sets though. I just picked up season 3 the other day.
    And I do love their packaging.

    What are your thoughts about them?
     
  2. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Screenwriter

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    Have you forgotten Taxi?

    After a 4 year abandonment (which was started in the "golden age" of Paramount releases), Taxi was finished up within a three month span. The announcement for Taxi S5 was made before S4 even hit the shelves.

    Same thing happened to Cheers. a long wait between seasons 8 and 9, but when they came back to the series, the final seasons were quickly released.

    Plus, it all comes down to one thing... Sabrina must be selling, because they continue to release the DVDs. Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, the Hooterville shows... well, unfortunately, they didn't sell enough for CBS/P to keep releasing them at this time.

    Even The Lucy Show is hanging by a thread at this point.

    Mork and Mindy could easily be finished off, though... only one season to go.
     
  3. LeoA

    LeoA Screenwriter

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    Between the stalled series, syndicated episodes, replaced music, and split season releases, I can't stand them.

    I'll buy a product when it's done right like season 1 and 2 of Petticoat Junction (Which is sadly now in the stalled category with no plans to continue), but I fall squarely into the cannot stand it category when it comes to CBS/Paramount.

    Even when they do things right like Petticoat Junction, they still always seem to fall short of pefection. Every season 2 episode has the show introduction being cut short a second or two, which didn't happen with the season 1 release. Someone screwed up and it was never caught.

    Any company that butchers a great show like My Three Sons is a company I'll never like or defend, so I have no loyalty or fondness towards them.

    Instead of being happy today that a show I like has been announced for release, I'm wondering how they're going to screw it up.
     
  4. jdee28

    jdee28 Screenwriter

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    I have no love or respect for CBS/Paramount. Their releases of The Fugitive and My Three Son, with the original music underscores altered, are a complete and utter disgrace. These releases single-handedly killed any enthusiam I had over the TV shows on DVD hobby.
    Butchering shows over music is a common practice at CBS/Paramount. With The Odd Couple, they just deleted scenes containing music they couldn't clear. With Cheers, they just substituted other songs for ones they couldn't clear, like dropping "The Monster Mash" from one episode.
    From their handling of music clearances. to the the years that go by between season releases, not to mention their whole split-season approach to milk loyal fans of as much money as they can, CBS/Paramount just leaves way too much to be desired.
     
  5. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    Where CBS/Paramount falls down is their treatment of music. Even though I'm VERY tired of the continued vilification of Mark Heyes, who was simply doing a job to the best of his ability on "The Fugitive," their fear of using music they plainly own is baffling in the extreme. It's the CBS lawyers and execs who should get the angry words, not Mark Heyes.

    The point still holds even though Heyes' cues for the most part don't equal what they replaced. Most of them would likely have worked, though, were it not for some awful music editing that set gains at room-shaking levels. When the volume is correct, they generally work, though again the originals were better.

    I have to give CBS/Paramount top marks for video remastering, however. With the exception of "Cannon," which seems to have been directly dubbed from film to DVD master with no cleanup at all, CBS/Paramount's video editing has been impeccable. "Mission: Impossible," "Jake and the Fatman," "The Invaders" and "Barnaby Jones" are bright and clean, while "Hawaii Five-O" almost jumps off the screen. Who knows what they had against "Cannon."

    So, video gets top marks (except for "Cannon"). Music gets a C- at best.
     
  6. younger1968

    younger1968 Cinematographer

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    i have enjoyed my hawaii five-o releases with the images being very crisp. It is disappointed when other shows are digitally re-mastered, like Falcon Crest, Dallas, Knots Landing. The images from these dvds are not very good.

    My favourite show for re-mastering is Star Trek. I love what was done with star trek. It makes watching the old dvds of the show before re-mastering obsolete.

    I agree with the previous writer about Cannon and it not being re-mastered. I still like the show, but, the images are very rough.
     
  7. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    Generally I feel very good about them (The Fugitive snafu aside), they have been treating us with many classics where other major studios lately have failed this 'duty' miserably with very limited releases. Their remastered shows look great though Cannon looks only marginally better than the new poor R2 Kojaks, but I hope they (CBS) realize people are still buying them regardless.
    They have a few shows started now that I hope they'll follow through with, stuff like Hotel, Barnaby Jones, Vega$ and Bonanza. And of course picking up with more Streets oSF again as soon as possible, maybe eventually giving The Magician its long-awaited DVD debut.
    I don't mind those split volumes that much, a strange decision for sure that seem to irritate most fans, and it is funny now all of a sudden to get Have Gun Will Travel in volumes. I naturally would prefer all complete season sets, too.
     
  8. Robert13

    Robert13 Supporting Actor

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    Really? I had heard from the producers of the dvd that The Lucy Show was one of their big sellers. It took a year for them to announce Season 2 because they were waiting for sales numbers. The people working on these sets are fans who have been doing this in their spare time. Hence, all the great bonus features. Plus, it won best tv-on-dvd award last year. So I don't think it's hanging by a thread. In fact, pre-orders for Season 2 have already been very successful. Let's face it, CBS/Paramount didn't have the confidence in this release until the fans spoke up and started a letter writing campaign. They took notice, released Season 1 and realized Lucy's fans extend beyond I Love Lucy.
     
  9. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    I'm with Henry. CBS is just about my favorite label for TV releases, with Shout coming close behind.
    I understand the frustration of some fans with The Fugitive score and other titles issues with music subs or cuts, but I see this as more of a fault of the greedy and clueless RIAA and music industry. CBS is far from the only studio that has had to deal with this stuff. I also can't blame them for not continuing to lose money on titles that don't sell, or for fast tracking titles that do. The more stuff they release that makes them money, the more often they will take a chance releasing lower profile titles I actually care about or continuing lines that don't sell as well.

    I've been cutting back massively on DVD and Bd purchases this year, but the one exception was the CBS sale at DD last month. I finally got to snag Barnaby Jones and some others, and now I'm kicking myself for not grabbing more titles while I had the chance.
     
  10. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    CBS is such a mixed bag it's hard for me to gauge how I feel about them. A lot of it depends on which aspect of their Classic TV on DVD releases I'm focusing on. If I'm thinking about the quantity of vintage shows they've released from their vaults over the last decade then they get high, high marks. Every other studio comes in 2nd as far as the number of 50's and 60's releases go. But if I'm thinking about the amount of music subs, or weird censoring, then they go straight to the bottom of the heap.

    I could forgive them for a few music subs here and there if it was about a huge pop song that would cost big bucks to license out. But when they gut an entire underscore for no good reason at all it's beyond ridiculous. They destroyed two classic shows doing this, and the sad thing is it was unnecessary in one instance for sure (The Fugitive), and probably unnecessary in the other (although I don't know that we've ever been told the real reason for the subs in My Three Sons). The blame can't be placed exclusively on the "greedy and clueless RIAA and music industry", as was mentioned above, when it comes to CBS/Paramount's handling of The Fugitive. They owned 95%+ of the music they subbed but they were too lazy to figure that out. It's on them and not the music industry. So I can't give them a pass there.

    They also are notorious for stalling classic shows out. They surely have left more 50's and 60's shows at the altar than any other studio. In that sense they are a major tease.


    Gary "I have to rank Shout as first at this point in time when it comes to vintage releases" O.
     
  11. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    If the show is selling I don't think they would purposely stale it for no reason. It makes more sense that a stalled show = one that is not selling well. Streets Of San Francisco is one of my personal favorites and the fact that no more volumes are forthcoming is frustrating- but apparently it was not a good seller. I can't expect CBS to continue taking a bath on it just because I, and a few others, want it.
    The best I can hope for is that they fast track the stuff that does sell, because the sooner they get that stuff finished- and get the money from it- the sooner they will give these other runs another shot.

    I really hope Barnaby Jones didn't bomb, because I would like to have at least another full season of it before it gets put on ice for a while.

    As far as comparing CBS to other studios for TV releases- I would take them over Fox, Warner and Sony any day.
    The recent WB TV/Animation chat was painfully funny as it consisted of almost nothing but "no plans at this time" whenever a vintage show was asked about. Over at Universal I'm still waiting for more seasons of McMillan & Wife and others with no continuation in sight. I'm not a big fan of the split seasons style releases, but I would be thrilled at this point to be able to get further McMillan or McCloud or Kojak in a split season. The music issues are a frustration, and it does look like in the case of The Fugitive it was CBS that was clueless- but then they did seem to at least put forth an effort to make amends. I appreciated the replacement set and never expected them to go to the trouble.
    Putting aside audio for a second, the Video on just about all the releases I have has been superb.

    For that reason, as well as the very broad selection of titles and genres and eras, I've been overall very happy with them- despite the occasional missteps.

    Everyone else's MMV of course.
     
  12. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    What a perfect world it would be if money wasn't the only thing worth doing things for. Imagine a place where we got entire seasons of our favorite shows without altered music, lovingly restored and chock full of bonus features, all in handsome collectible packaging. Unfortunately the studios are a business like everything else.
     
  13. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    Universal is my favorite(followed by CBS). They have proven themselves time and time again. The Aitrwolf situation(releasing seasons 2, and 3 after the first one bombed), The Incredible Hulk(all 5 seasons within a very decent timeframe) and their continued deluxe treatment of complete series sets(single sided discs, nice packaging).
    Sony...well, you never can tell with them. They are bad news, but maybe someday they will turn around.
    Fox, are they still making classic tv on dvd?
    WB is dead. Not even sure why they are trying to continue with their classic releases. Give it up already.
     
  14. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Screenwriter

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    I like Universal by proxy.

    They abandoned a lot of stuff in 2005-2007 (Leave it to Beaver, the Jack Webb cop shows), but now some of it is getting a new life through Shout Factory.

    Still haven't quite forgiven them for the music butchering done to Quantum Leap, though. At least they learned by the fifth season that you don't screw with "Georgia on My Mind".
     
  15. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    My take on them is mixed as are most here. They've done a good job in releasing some of the 50's/60's shows and their remastering is mostly very good. However, as Gary and some others have mentioned, after the Fugitive fiasco, my opinion of them changed considerably. I realize that they released one volume of "restored" music but, after hearing about "My Three Sons, their stock didn't rise much, to me. I'm a very cautious buyer with them as as result of the music edit issues.

    Prior to the Fugitive, they were indeed on a pedestal as those ads claimed. After that, they fell off the pedestal, imo.
     
  16. Guest

    they have gotten my business I have mannix,the untouchables,the fugitive,cannon,petticoat
    junction and barnaby jones just to name some off
     
  17. ToddR2

    ToddR2 Stunt Coordinator

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    What Gary said. CBS/Paramount have lost a lot of currency with me, due to their treatment of The Fugitive, My Three Sons, and to a lesser extent, The Odd Couple. They are still one of the best of the majors, about neck and neck w/Universal-by-proxy (Thanks, Shane). Image Entertainment is still head and shoulders above all others when it comes to vintage TV on DVD, IMO.
     
  18. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    CBS DVD have done an excellent job with the Region 1 and 2 DVD sets for Friday the 13th - The Series, Hawaii Five-O, The Invaders, Mannix, Mission: Impossible and Tales from the Darkside. It's just a shame that Hotel and The Streets of San Francisco have stalled.
     
  19. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    I know it's said about Streets but I didn't have that feeling about Hotel, in any case, they'd probably split it in volumes now with so many episodes in the next season. Hopefully stalled doesn't mean abandoned forever, of course.
     
  20. Tina_H_V

    Tina_H_V Supporting Actor

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    I sincerely hope CBS/P does not abandon The Mod Squad. I also hope The Fugitive's Final Season comes to pass before 2011 does.
     

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