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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Gary OS, Jan 12, 2012.
GE was never the parent company of CBS.
I think though, there is a tendency to oversimplify such scenarios by saying it was always the fault of the "suits" for the decline in these shows. Yes, there was certainly interference from executives as is to be expected, but to be honest, Irwin Allen himself has to take just as much of his share of the blame for rejecting better quality scripts on both Voyage and TT because *he* was more into going with the monster format, or the large gimmick format. Irwin was certainly the reason why for instance, we never saw decent female guest stars on Voyage after S1 because he had a general prejudice against using them on Voyave. We have also seen Gene Roddenberry for years say the "suits" were responsible for nixing the idea of the Enterprise not having a female first officer, but in fact NBC didn't want to see Roddenberry use the casting couch to give a choice role to his mistress. The bottom line is that the production companies and the producers themselves share just as much as the blame for why the quality declined in these shows.
So funny yet so absolutely true. What's even funnier is that the majority of the public actually thinks that 50 years later things are any different. There are thousands upon thousands of beautiful actresses in Hollywood and just as many who have talent. Anyone who thinks the road to stardom still doesn't go through producer's couches is very naive.
I know that NBC was even experimenting with color on some other series as well. Sam Benedict did a color episode for one. If I'm not mistaken, so did It's A Man's World as well. More well known is the one color Perry Mason episode.
Yep... so just *where* did I get that little bit of misinformation?!? Probably jumped to a conclusion based on those GE sets being a factor in the adoption of color by CBS after roughly 5 years of none (other than a few specials). Thanks! - I fixed it...
CBS did buy a TV set manufacture in hopes of being able to market CBS color TVs in 1951. IIRC it was the company that made Air-Kings (Hytron Electronics). There was a line of CBS-Columbia B&W TVs for a while in the 50s, but from what I heard they were somewhat inferior sets (feel free to correct me if I am wrong).
I believe CBS's color efforts were slowed down by their pursuit of a color TV technology that would have been incompatible with black and white sets. The compatible NBC technology was obviously going to win that format war, and it delayed CBS's full participation in the early days of regular color programming.
I remeber seeing -on YouTube?- a color version of the first episode of Laramie, in color, when the series itself only went to color in its third season. In the same vein, I know that the pilot of "Lancer' was in black and white, while the series itself -which began in 1967 or 68- was in color.
For decades, rumors have persisted that the pilot episode of the 1955-56 Irish McCalla "Sheena, Queen of The Jungle" was shot in color but if it was, no color version has ever surfaced (unlike the rest of the series, it had a more recognizable guest cast in John Banner and Robert Shayne). I also read that one episode of "Burns And Allen" was filmed in color but it has never been seen again that way. I can often find it frustrating when I see B/W kinescopes of programs that originally aired live or on videotape in a color format. A B/W kinescope of a color show gives off a different kind of look than a kinescope of a live or tape B/W show that often looks poorer by comparison.
What's interesting is, depending on how the kinescope was made, it might be possible to restore the color. The BBC stumbled upon this a few years ago. What they thought was video noise or specks was actually part of the color signal. They've been able to restore several episodes of Doctor Who back to their original color (or close to it).
I wish Kevin Segura's "Livefeed" process that was used on the 1956 Elvis Presley appearances on Ed Sullivan for kinescopes was used more in general because I was astonished at how it came close to literally recreating the original videotape style "Live" look of the broadcast. It's too bad that hasn't caught on in other projects like kinescopes of sports broadcasts or other variety specials.
Much as I hate it for watching movies if you have any of the newer flat screens with the advanced motion settings you can pretty much achieve that same look. Just turn it off otherwise.
The color Sheena pilot isn't a rumor, it exists. I watched it at UCLA a year or two ago. NBC is the king of chucking out or erasing the color tapes and keeping kinescopes. All of the Hullabaloos exist but only 3 in color. They did this with a lot of shows, too many to list here. Amazing that they would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce shows and then look to save money by getting rid of a $300 reel of tape.
Timeless have the 'Larmie' colour first episode on one of their compilation discs, not on the season sets though.
'West Poin't & 'The Lawbreakers' - I'm considering ordering these two items as a 'blind buy', never having seen (or actually heard) of either of them. Anyone remember them or know if they are worthwhile ? I checked IMDB but info there is very sketchy. I did hear that 'Lawbreakers' recreated true crime events & uses the actual victims or cops rather than established performers.. Consequently it comes across as very amateurish with inept & clumsy acting & unintentionally funny. Any opinions anyone ? Chris
Both these will be blind buys for me as well, but I feel confident both will be to my liking. The thing that intrigues me about Lawbreakers is that it was filmed on location most of the time from what I'm told. That alone makes it worthwhile for me. I think - and of course I could be wrong - it will be enjoyable to see that "real life" aspect of these crimes. Anyhow, that's the main reason I'm buying this one. West Point was a must have for me the day it was announced simply because it has a Christmas episode.
Gary "you may be right about the acting - but I'm willing to take that chance" O.
I have a very vague memory of seeing a single episode of SEA HUNT in color. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
Both will be blind buys for me as well, West Point, because from what I've read, has a very good guest starring cast. Lawbreakers, because Lee Marvin hosts the show, and anything he was involved in, is a definite plus in my book.
All the more reason for me to be frustrated that no one is there who has the finances to do for Sheena on DVD, what's been done for Steve Canyon. The show was iconic for its time and unfortunately its never gotten enough credit in that area. The recent Pionners of TV didn't accurately note that McCalla was the first true superheroine on TV long before Lynda Carter.
From my limited understanding of the process it can only be done for kinescopes made in PAL. It has to do with the way color (or colour, if you will) information is transmitted - just enough of the information gets caught on the edge of the kinescope film. I've never heard of color recovery from an NTSC kinescope but perhaps it will be possible in the future.