shows that surprised you when they failed on DVD?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jay_B!, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    Night Court - it ran nine seasons and was part of the groundbreaking NBC Thursday schedule in the 1980's and has done fairly well on TV Land. I never expected it to sell as well as Cheers (which ran roughly the same seasons) but you'd think if Cheers was already up to season 8 on DVD, that Night Court would at least be moving up as well, instead of being grounded with season 1.

    Mad About You - it had crossovers with both Seinfeld and Friends... yet where's the devoted fanbase for this show?

    Charlie's Angels - Wonder Woman (which started around the same time and never got the ratings CA got) got its entire run out in a year, it's been 3 years and we're still waiting for season 3, and CA was a top 10 smash in it's prime and spawned two $100+ million grossing movies, yet season 3 is still being dangled like "it might come, it might not" carrot

    Without A Trace - currently it's kicking ER's butt in the ratings on Thursdays at 10, but ER is actually progressing further on DVD, Warner has grounded Without A Trace at season 1

    Everwood - it's a WB series and yet Warner is treating it like garbage on DVD when they usually are so great with shows on the (soon to be late) WB

    others?
     
  2. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Supporting Actor

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    Mad About You came out way too early into the TV Shows on DVD craze. It would have done much better if they had waited on it.

    I think the biggest problem right now is that the companies putting out these releases are no longer getting these sets in the Sunday circulars so most people who don't frequent online sites have no idea when things are coming out.

    Paul
     
  3. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    Mad About You and Murphy Brown. I'll explain more later.
     
  4. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    I don't see why Sony is afraid to give MAY one more try on DVD, when seasons 1 and 2 came out, TV-DVD was relogated mostly to cult hits and blockbusters like Friends.... I think if Mary Tyler Moore can find life and an audience in todays TV-DVD environment, though they couldn't three years ago, same can go for Mad About You.

    Hell, MAY has a Friends crossover in season 3 that they can really promote the hell out of.
     
  5. JeffO

    JeffO Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm stunned that Happy Days didn't do better. I would have predicted this to be one of the top 5 sellers of the 1970s shows.

    Jeffo
     
  6. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    But that was Helen Hunt and Leila Kenzle appearing on an episode of Friends only. Unless you're counting the one night where a blackout started in Mad About You affected the storylines of Friends and the random fourth comedy on Must See TV Thursdays that season (Seinfeld chose not to participate).
     
  7. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    oh ok, you're right.

    For some reason I could've sworn remembering Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow (as Phoebe, not Ursula) on a MAY episode too.
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I think Mad About You is a classic case study of timeslot success that worked to secure ratings on broadcast TV but don't carry over into TV on DVD.

    It was an OK show sandwiched between two better shows, and not up against great competition. So in the broadcast world it got very good ratings because it was inoffensive and it wasn't really worth clicking away from NBC for 30 minutes while it aired. Made nice background noise while people got a sandwich. The plots weren't so dense of the dialogue so sparkling that you had to pay really close attention for fear of missing something.

    But when people have to spend money to own it, and it doesn't have a great lead in or follow up on disc, a lot fewer people were interested. TV on DVD defies the law of intertia as it applies to couch potatoes. [​IMG]

    I think Night Court clearly suffered from the fact that the first releases were of the early seasons when hardly anyone had discovered the show and the ratings were lukewarm. The glory days of the series, the Night Court most people fondly remember, were roughly seasons three through seven or eight - basically the Markie Post years. I'm not surprised that the first couple of seasons underperformed or that the studio misread this as a lack of interest in the show.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  9. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

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    I think Joe makes a good point. There are shows that people want to watch, and there are shows that people are willing to watch. The latter aren't likely to do too well on DVD, though they often did very respectably when they were initially broadcast. And there are a few shows that never did much in the ratings, but have rabid fans. And these can do just fine on DVD. Thus, a show like "Caroline in the City" had ratings many times that of "Arrested Development," but would likely sell fewer copies than "Arrested" if it were released on DVD.

    (And to all you "Caroline" fans, I'm not picking on that show. I really never saw it. It was just an example that came to mind.)
     
  10. Dean C

    Dean C Second Unit

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    7th Heaven why did they fail on DVD?
     
  11. Sean D.

    Sean D. Agent

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    Diff'rent Strokes- I know they got season two out and I have been meaning to buy it, but i know this show was and still is pretty popular.
     
  12. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    I was surprised at this, considering that 7th was the #1 series on the WB for like eight seasons, yet shows like Buffy, Charmed, Angel, Roswell, Smallville, etc... were all hits on DVD. I think the answer truly lies in the fact that those other shows have devoted cult followings, while 7th is just something inoffensive that parents don't really object to their young kids watching.
     
  13. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Well Buffy, X-Files, Angel, Smallville and etc. all have dedicated horror and Sci-fi fan followings; drama is a harder thing to sell I guess. 7th Heaven has never had the dedicated fan following that other dramas enjoy. 7th Heaven was more like the show your parents made you watch lol.

    To succeed on dvd, the fans have to want to watch a show more than once. Some shows seem disposable in retrospect. Unfortunately, I believe that MAY and 7th are in that category; something you watch once, enjoy, but aren't dying to see again.

    And this kind of thing does kill me, because I love the primetime dramas. I'm pretty sure that Everwood didn't sell because of the above theory...you just watch it once and forget it.
     
  14. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    but then explain the DVD success of Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill? both of which are also WB dramas that don't really have the sci-fi aspect to it but yet they're both caught up on DVD, while Everwood's stuck in season 1.
     
  15. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    I agree. As good as these types of shows may be on a single viewing, they need to have a higher PFRV (Potential-For-Repeated-Viewing) factor in order to become collectible. That's why most dramas and mysteries (both TV and movies) do not sell as well as the as comedy, action and sci-fi genres.
     
  16. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Hell, I could come up with a longer list of shows for a thread titled Shows that surprised you when they became big sellers on DVD?
     
  17. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    The quality of Gilmore Girls is why it's a success on DVD. Just like other fairly low rated but relatively succesful TV DVDs (like Arrested Development or really anything on HBO). They may not have huge ratings but among people who buy TV DVDs, they're known to be quality TV and quality will always be popular for TV on DVD fans.

    There's no set formula as to why something is a success but a show that is known to be quality (or nearly anything cult/sci-fi[​IMG] ) will always sell.
     
  18. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    Laverne & Shirley.
     
  19. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    okay, well Gilmore Girls is an anomaly for the genre. But what does One Tree Hill have that Everwood doesn't? OTH sold well enough to merit a season 2 DVD, and maybe a season 3 DVD will come later this year (it's in progress.. may be the last season), yet Everwood's in season 4 and you have yet to see season 2 (which they could cash in with using Marcia Cross' likeness to sell) and 3.
     
  20. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    I think things like Night Court failed because there was just too much TV product out there, and people moved past the novelty and started to wonder if they really wanted to own that much TV. Sure, Night Court was good, but how many people really want to own every episode? How many times can the average person watch an episode of a comedy?

    I know that I've scaled way back in my TV DVD buys.

    Good point above about getting things in the flyers though. I'm sure that's a factor in sales.
     

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