Still Waiting for The Bob Newhart Show, Odd Couple

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Rob Keil, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. Rob Keil

    Rob Keil Agent

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    Both of these shows, which are considered sitcom classics by just about everyone, still remail unreleased and I know of no future plans for either on DVD.

    I believe Fox owns the DVD rights to both the "Bob Newhart Show" and "The Odd Couple". I suspect Fox will not move forward with either of these until they feel that 1970's sitcoms (other than M*A*S*H) can sell. The disappointing sales of "Mary Tyler Moore Show" season 1 is probably at fault. But that was years ago, prices have come down, and the TV-DVD market is more mature now.

    With other 70's sitcoms like "What's Happening", "Soap", "All in the Family", "Sanford & Son" , "Barney Miller" and "Good Times" seeing season set releases (and apparently selling), it seems clear that there is room in the marketplace for these 2 obvious classics of the genre, yet they remain in the vaults.

    Anyone have any other thoughts on this?
     
  2. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    You are correct about Bob. As an MTM production, the fate of The Bob Newhart Show rests on Fox's being able to resolve its problem with The Mary Tyler Moore Show on DVD.

    The Odd Couple is owned by Paramount, so its release is just a matter of time.
     
  3. Cathy Suzan

    Cathy Suzan Stunt Coordinator

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    Sadly, a season 1 release of any show today doesn't guarantee any future releases, with only a few exceptions. Perhaps if these season sets weren't so costly, they may sell better, and we would all enjoy our favourites. THE BOB NEWHART SHOW was a wonderful classic as was THE ODD COUPLE and THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW. But if it is released and the retail price is almost 50 dollars, it might live and die at season one. Of course, i doubt that it will be released on DVD, what with the whole MTM sales fiasco. There are many television shows old and new being released. The question is: Will they have multiple releases or will they die.
     
  4. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    As Randy has stated, sadly we are at the mercy of Fox for the Bob Newhart Show. This is another show that I would buy all seasons.
     
  5. Rob Keil

    Rob Keil Agent

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    Randy-

    Thanks for your clarification on the Odd Couple being a Paramount property. I somehow had gotten the idea that Fox bought the DVD rights years ago although it was originally a Paramount television production.

    Hopefully the other Paramount 70's sitcom sets for "Happy Days" and "Laverne & Shirley" will sell well. Like these, "The Odd Couple", was also a Garry Marshall/Paramount/ABC newtork show. I am hoping you are right that it is only a matter of time.

    I agree that Mary Tyler Moore is the obstacle holding back The Bob Newhart Show, since it was also an MTM production made at the same time and owned by Fox. Maybe if Fox had priced MaryTyler Moore in the $39 range like M*A*S*H, this would have been a viable DVD product and paved the way for other great 70's sitcoms.

    Sadly, other MTM properties that conceivably could be held up by this marketing problem include "WKRP", "Newhart", "Rhoda", "Phyllis", and others, if my sources are correct.
     
  6. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    My money's burning a hole through my wallet while waiting for all 5 seasons of THE ODD COUPLE!
     
  7. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    For those of us who are not new to the game and have been collecting for 20+ years, these prices are amazingly cheap. Compare the prices of current DVD season sets to:

    16mm film prints

    1 episode cost anywhere from $15 to $75 for a 1/2 hour show, more if its network with commercials


    Commercially released VHS tapes

    Columbia House charged about $25, including shipping for 4 1/2 hour episodes

    Blank VHS tapes

    Cost about $20 in 1978, down to about $15 by the early 80s. For 2 hours of time at optimum speed.

    So for me, paying $30 or $50 for a full season of a show, complete, uncut and in great quality is like hitting the lottery.
     
  8. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    All of that is correct, except for WKRP. Its holdup has little to do with being an MTM production and everything to do with the exorbitant cost of clearing the music rights for a season set. There have been many discussions about this aspect of that show, including a major article I wrote last year, so you might want to search the archives for more info.
     
  9. Jonathan_Clarke

    Jonathan_Clarke Second Unit

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    I've been waiting for the Odd Couple myself. The scary thing about this show is the first season is on film and low on energy. That might translate into low sales.
     

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