Industry article on shows that are abandoned due to slow sales

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MattHR, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Here's a link to an article from HomeMediaRetailing.com about shows on DVD that are abandoned after slow/declining sales:

    http://www.homemediaretailing.com/ne...rticle_ID=9257

    I'd imagine someone from here (Gord?) prompted this article. They typically don't come up with (important) topics like this themselves.
     
  2. RoryR

    RoryR Stunt Coordinator

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    Shame about Boy Meets World although I ditched Season 3 after the pathetic extra - not too sad to not see 4-7 its just the collectionist in me who is annoyed.
     
  3. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Collectionist? I think you just coined a new term!
     
  4. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Kinda crappy article and nothing we didn't already know. I guess, though, at this point, there isn't a whole lot of new information to be had on this topic.
     
  5. Jonny P

    Jonny P Supporting Actor

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    Too bad about "Airwolf"...

    I think one thing to factor into this is the time of year these items are released.

    Releasing items in May and June will not yield the same sort of sales as items released in November or December.

    This is a slow time of year for retail sales in general.

    Add to that the fact that collecting shows takes a certain amount of effort. You really have to work hard to stay on top of a collection (watching for release dates and the like). Most consumers don't do that.

    It is frustrating to read news like that. However, I do think some of these shows that have been abandoned may one day be "revisited" by their respective studios.
     
  6. MarkWK

    MarkWK Agent

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    I think part of the problem with this is that the studios base the DVD sales on what their top sellers do (i.e.Friends, etc). I don't think that you can do a valid comparison of a studios top rated/selling show against a mid level show that didn't have quite the ratings during the first run. If you want to compare sales of Friends vs. Cheers for example seems to be more in line with what should be done.
    Mark
     
  7. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    The DVD 18s that Universal loved so much could have been a factor for shows like Airwolf. Who wants to pay a premium for 10 episodes on a 2 sided disc. It looked like a cheap set. I bet a number of them were returned too. Returns on a nitch product means less profit.
     
  8. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    Why don't the majors simply assign the DVD rights of their "slow-sellers" to indie outfits like MPI, Image, and Anchor Bay? I'm sure they would market them much better, with more extras, lower prices, et cetera.
     
  9. Jonny P

    Jonny P Supporting Actor

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    Yeah...except "Miami Vice: Season 1" was their top-selling title last year, and it was on those same DVD-18s.

    I will admit it was poor form for them to include pics from the later "USA Network" seasons of "Airwolf" on the box. [​IMG]
     
  10. Jonny P

    Jonny P Supporting Actor

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    That concept was alluded to in the other thread. [​IMG]

    Sometimes, the smaller outfits do a really nice job. At the very least, some of those companies can make profitable product without generating as many sales as one of the larger companies.

    Personally, I think studios have taken a "shotgun" approach to releases trying to see what sticks.
     
  11. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    True. But it can't hurt to have an industry publication address some of these issues once in a while. Sometimes us HTF members seem more knowledgeable about these issues than people within the industry.
     
  12. Derek K.

    Derek K. Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm still waiting for the remaining seasons of 'Taxi'!
     
  13. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    That's really great logic that they use. So, using some analogies to this thinking:

    I don't want to go a second date with this woman because she's only 33% as attractive as the best looking woman I ever went out with.

    I won't sell Sharp brand televisions in the store because I only sell 20% of the amount of Sonys.

    I won't have veggie burgers on the menu because I only sell 1 for every 10 beef burgers I sell.

    You could go on but the stupidity of it is astounding. Every show has a different audience and different sales expectations. It really is comparing apples and oranges. Just because 2 sets are both of TV shows doesn't mean they have anything else at all in common. This is what happens when people listen to marketing morons who know nothing other than numbers written on a ledger sheet. It's why the whole entertainment industry is so screwed up these days. All the decisions are made by been counters, not by creative people.
     
  14. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    gee, that's just great. It proved what I was trying to point out in another thread right. Night Court only sold 6% of what Friends did, no wonder they treat all their sitcoms like crap. FRIENDS IS THE TYPE OF SHOW THAT COMPANIES ARE BLESSED TO HAVE ONE OR TWO SHOWS TOPS LIKE!!!! Sony doesn't judge shows based on Seinfeld sales, but more realistic comparisons like Good Times and All In The Family. Warner needs to realize that Friends is in it's own league, it is unfair for shows like Night Court to be abandoned because it's not selling in that level.
     
  15. Bill>Moore

    Bill>Moore Second Unit

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    I've been fortunate not to have lost any TV show sets to this release cut-off. I'm still wondering about a couple of shows though. There's only one more volume to release (of 2) for "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep/Black Sheep Squadron," but I'm hoping I'll get to see the remaining two seasons of "The Partridge Family" and the remaining 7 volumes of "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" (Vol. 2 is due in July).

    It really would be nice if smaller or indie companies could be given the rights to do releases. I seem to recall reading in one of the HTF chats a year or two ago where it was mentioned that if Fox chose not to release Voyage, they'd pass on the rights to a third party for release. Fox is releasing the show so far, but allowing others to release the show would be nice for the fans.
     
  16. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    Guys, what gives you the idea that the studios expect to sell the same number of Night Court DVDs as Friends DVDs? Each title receives it's own budget and sales expectations. They may draw from similar titles that they've released, or other studios, but no one would think that Night Court or Murphy Brown would sell as well as Friends. The article is just drawing comparisons between popular releases and ones that haven't continued, but the studio doesn't do that.

    The problem is when they set a budget based on selling X number of sets, and the set only does X-5000. Now they have to create a budget based on X-5000 units, plus the normal calculated falloff between season 1 and 2. This means they'll have a smaller budget for season 2, and if they can't make the numbers work then they don't release the next season.

    Now we know we know why BMW was scrapped though:

    Gord
    P.S. They came up with this story on their own, they just contacted me for information.
     
  17. RoryR

    RoryR Stunt Coordinator

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    I wasn't suprised they compare to Friends and such - but by the low figures.
    Who's The Boss - 1.5% of what Seinfeld 1 & 2 got. Different studios, but 1.5% of what WTB got must be in the region of 5-10% of what 'Charmed' sells - it is clear, some shows just don't sell.

    Does the 'season 1 - 2' drop always happen? I can't imagine it does for a show like Scrubs, or many of the current-pace releases (Desperate Housewives...).
     
  18. RoryR

    RoryR Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't like the word completist - so collectionist is a 'dedicated' collector.

    You heard it here first!
     
  19. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    well, the analogy with Friends seems to make sense. Warner is probably the most notorious company when it comes to abandoning sitcoms, the only two shows besides Friends that are still getting regular releases are Full House and Fresh Prince, two shows that are completely played out in reruns. Sony is definately notorious for abandoning shows too, but they do have a much higher percentage of sitcoms that they have followed up sets with, and unlike Warner (Everwood, Murphy Brown, Without A Trace...) and Paramount (Happy Days, etc...), they actually take risks and follow riskier sets up. Nobody thought there was a shot in hell we were gonna see Charlie's Angels season 3, but Sony did so, Warner and Paramount drop a show, and they drop it for life. Which is funny, they should take a look at Fox and MTM/NYPD Blue and see how well those shows are actually doing for them now and give these shows another chance. Warner is too hardheaded instead of going "Well, it worked for MTM, maybe season 2 of Night Court will see gains?"
     
  20. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm sure there's always an exception to the rule but if you look at some of the best selling sets (The Sopranos, Seinfeld, The Simpsons for example), it's the first season of a series that is the biggest seller. I guess people want to start at the beginning but then for whatever, they don't continue picking them the other seasons as they're released.
     

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