The beginning of the end for classic shows?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Joe Lugoff, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    I worry too about the "changing of the guard" when it comes to studio execs and middle managers and for every person such as the cluelessI feel there are plenty other thirty-ish monochromophobes out there that graduated from the University of PC who would think it an abomination to release a series like "The Untouchables".
     
  2. Jonathan Peterson

    Jonathan Peterson Second Unit

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    I wonder if companies should do what Get Smart did, order through mail. That way they would produce only what was needed.
     
  3. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Well, if it meant getting shows that will almost certainly never see the light of day through the conventional process, e.g. "The Rebel", "T.H.E. Cat" and "Hong Kong", I'd be open to the mail order route, even if it meant a 30-40 percent price increase. Heck, it's my biggest hobby--I just want the shows I love, uncut and reasonably restored.
     
  4. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I just did a quick comparison at TVShowsonDVD.com to see if our perceptions were real or imagined. I looked for 50's & 60's releases in August both last year and this year. I tried not to double up on shows where a release was mentioned early in the month and then a further update was given later in the month (like box art, mention of "extras", or a rerelease like "Best of"). Again, I didn't go into great detail, so these numbers may be off a bit, but I think it's fairly close.

    In August of last year I counted 24 out of 240 entries that were "classic" related (remembering that for this exercise "classic" equates to any show from the 50's or 60's). August of this year gave us only 7 out of 200 entries. So we've got a major decrease for sure. I'd hope we could see a pick up, but at this point it appears our perceptions and concerns are validated by the numbers.

    Gary "I did see that Universal announced one December release this past week, so maybe there's still hope for LITB S-3 before the year's out" O.
     
  5. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    it's not just classic shows, but basically all shows period (well, besides current series) getting the shaft. This time last year, we were overflowing with announcements, now we usually get one or two shows a day announced on TSOD and many times it's just artwork showing up or something. Doesn't matter if 50's/60's or 70's/80's/90's is your thing, the companies have been slacking all around as of late, with pretty much only current shows really getting a shot on DVD. Doesn't matter if your fave show was from 1961 or 1991, the companies are slacking all around.
     
  6. Phyll

    Phyll Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe a new cable company will start showing these oldies again and then dvd sales of the shows would pick up. I would like to see My Three Sons and the Courtship of Eddie's Father. Or shows I haven't seen in so long I have forgotten about them. Bring on the Man From Uncle, the Fugitive and Hawaii Five-0. Maybe in the future there will be a way to watch these shows on tv by ordering them or something. And yes, I think the older shows on dvd should be by mail order because they don't seem to do that great where I live unless they are on sale for $20. Maybe the studios are expecting the older shows to sell like the newer ones and that won't happen. I think the newer shows should have to wait five years to come out and that would give the older shows a fighting chance. I noticed though that some of the newer shows are not doing that well and they get second and third seasons released. I do blame some of this on the big companies for botching things up a bit. The consumers do find out about edited dvds, double-sided discs freezing up etc and that had to take a bite out of sales. I didn't buy a few dvds because I knew they were edited and I could tape them off cable with about the same results picture wise. That has to make these companies a bit hesitant about releasing classic dvds when there are so many issues to consider-if they can find a decent copy, if they can even license it, distrubution costs etc. Even so, I really miss these old shows. These are shows that you can watch with your family and not be embarrassed.
     
  7. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I can't dispute your claim, Jay. It does seem like the tvondvd market has slowed down across the board. Again, this isn't surprising based on the overall economy and the advent of HD/Blu Ray DVD.

    Gary "Im just glad we at least got a solid 3 or so years of classic tv releases before this slowdown came" O.
     
  8. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I think it may pick up again. I'm beginning to agree with The Digital Bits' assessment that HD & Blu-Ray DVD is going to remain a niche market, like LaserDiscs were, and that standard DVD will be the generally accepted format for at least the next decade. I think once we're finally past the "what's going to happen when the new format is released" wait-and-see period, we're going to see a lot more classics films and TV-on-DVD being released again. Call me an optimist.
     
  9. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Wish I were as optimistic as you, John.

    Gary "where the heck are the announcements for HGWT S-4, BIG VALLEY S-2, LITB S-3, and RAWHIDE S-2?" O.
     
  10. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Just for the heck of it, I checked TVShowsonDVD.com's release list for the remainder of the year. In terms of releases from the 1950s/1960s, here's what I found between now and the end of the year:

    October releases:

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents, season 2
    Addams Family, set 1
    Bewitched, season 4
    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, season 2 - set 1

    November releases:

    Adventures of Superman, seasons 5 & 6
    Get Smart, complete series
    Gunsmoke, Director’s Collection (yes, this crept into the 1970s, but it's basically a 1950s/1960s show)
    That Girl, season 2
    Perry Mason, season 1, set 2

    December releases:

    Mission Impossible, season 1
    Andy Griffith Show, season 8
    Gomer Pyle, USMC, season 1
    Hogan’s Heroes, season 5

    Also, it hasn’t been reported at TVShowsonDVD.com yet, but the original “The Hardy Boys” from the 1950s “The Mickey Mouse Club” is being released in December as part of the Walt Disney Treasures series. Also, it's less than stellar a/v, but Alpha Video releases quite a bit of rarer television shows from, primarily, the 1950s every month.
     
  11. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    And early 2007 brings "I Love Lucy Seasons 7, 8 and 9" (aka "The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.")

    But that's it -- the end of the line. There will be nothing after that! (I hope that drastic statement makes a fool out of me and there's a flood of new announcements in the near future.)
     
  12. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I'm worried about them finishing classic shows. Paramount gave us Rawhide S1 and Wild Wild West season 1 but will we get anymore? Rawhide had a S2 ep pn there and that worries me. Warner gave us the Excellent Cheyenne series with Clint Walker, but will there be a season 2? There's so many example of Unfinished Buisness. Where's Have Gun Will Travel S4 ?
     
  13. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Paramount claims that "Incident of the Roman Candles" is a bonus S2 episode but every guide I've seen for "Rawhide" lists this as the final entry for S1--but it bothers me just the same as it reminds me of Universal and what they did with "Night Gallery". As for HGWT, it's easy to forget that it was fully 1 year between the releases for S1 and S2. Though if S4 is not announced by the end of the year (S3 released 1/06) I'll be getting concerned.
     
  14. ScottDombrowski

    ScottDombrowski Second Unit

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    Wow, you guys are really pessimistic! Granted, I do think that some of the Universal series may have been abandoned (Adam-12, Dragnet, McMillan and Wife, McCloud, Quincy, Kojack, Black Sheep Squadron), although with their announcement of Airwolf-Season 2, I'd still say it's possible we'll see some of those. As for The Big Valley, Cheyenne, The Wild, Wild West, and Rawhide, I think it's way to soon to say one way or the other. The earliest of those (Big Valley) was released in mid-May with the others being released in June, I believe. I would hardly expect another release before the end of the year. Fox (Big Valley) seems to space their regularly released series out by anywhere from 6-8 months, so I'm thinking maybe a January or February release for Big Valley. Warner Brothers (Cheyenne) seem to have a slower release pattern than Fox, at least for older titles. They've only been releasing 1 set per year of The Waltons, so I might expect the same for something like Cheyenne. Then there's Paramount (Rawhide and Wild, Wild West). I don't think there's anything to worry about with WWW being released in it's entirety. It has a big fanbase, and I would bet that it sold very well. Rawhide, I'm not sure about, but I still think it's way too soon for an announcement for Season 2. I do wonder what happened with Have Gun Will Travel though! I think some of the studios may be putting off releasing some of their less high-profile releases like the ones mentioned above during the holiday season, so they don't get lost in the crowd since there are usually quite a few big movie releases, gift sets, etc. As for 2007, I predict we'll be seeing, aside from more of the above titles, at the very least more of the following:
    Leave It To Beaver
    Gunsmoke (probably more collections)
    Bewitched
    I Dream Of Jeannie
    The Addams Family
    The Partridge Family (heard a rumor that Season 3 will be released)
    The Flying Nun
    Family Affair
    Flipper (supposed to be coming)
    Here Come The Brides
    Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea
    Land Of The Giants (coming)
    All In The Family
    The Jeffersons
    The Odd Couple
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show
    The Bob Newhart Show
    The Facts Of Life
    The Rockford Files
    Columbo
    The Waltons
    Dallas
    Hart To Hart
    Magnum P.I.
    Simon and Simon
    Murder She Wrote

    I know I'm forgetting others, and I know there are MANY shows still missing in action, but it still doesn't seem quite so bad. I also absolutely do not believe that any slowing down of TV on DVD releases has much to do with HD-DVD/Blu-Ray. If you frequent enough websites like this one, you might start to think that standard DVD is on it's way out, but I think standard DVD will be around for many years to come. I also think that even though, unfortunately, some great series will probably end up abandoned, there's still always going to be some great little surprises from the independents and even the majors. This is all just my opinion, but I guess I'm just feeling a little more hopeful that most about classic TV on DVD. Keep the faith everyone!
     
  15. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Before it's all said and done, I will at some point have purchased nearly 20 sets of classic era tv/dvd released this calendar year. No doubt about it, '06 has been the best ever for me and I'm grateful to have added these sets to my library. Would that 2007 prove to offer up similar treasures, but I'm still the skeptic because of my particular collector niche. Anyway, how I fared this year, in order of purchase:

    Have Gun—Will Travel S3
    Adventures of Superman S2
    The Time Tunnel vol. 1
    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea S1 vol. 1
    The Big Valley S1
    The Time Tunnel vol. 2
    Naked City (set 3)
    Rifleman (set 5)
    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea S1 vol. 2
    Adventures of Superman S3/S4
    Rawhide S1
    Daniel Boone S1
    Daniel Boone S2
    The Buccaneers

    Other '06 releases I intend to purchase:

    The Rifleman (set 6)
    Alfred Hitchcock Presents S2
    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea S2 vol. 1
    Mission: Impossible S1
    Gomer Pyle, USMC S1

    A big thank you to all the studios that made it happen--but please, keep 'em coming...!
     
  16. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    why are older posters so biased against Buffy like it epitomizes everything that's wrong about the last decade of tv, when you see that in actuality, most posters considered it one of the only shows in the past decade that will probably be a classic in twenty years (well, it's already on it's way now a decade in, judging from how the show has not lost any popularity here in the three years since the final episode aired). Not to rehash an old fight but that is the perfect example of a show being snubbed by posters because of the title, when those who've given the show (as well as Angel) a chance realize that it's actually not a bad show at all.
     
  17. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    I thought I was alone here!!! I think Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is going to be niche and something video purists are going to go for. The companies cannot agree on one format and I don't think people are going to buy both formats, especially since it just means people are once again going to buy the movie they just bought the "ultimate super duper extended directors cut edition" of two years ago. It reminds me of SACD/DVD-Audio from a few years ago. Audio purists savored the idea, but the labels couldn't agree on just one format and it became a niche market that died pretty quickly because most people didn't really feel the need to rebuy something they just bought on CD, and at the same time, the music industry was going into the iPod direction and you couldn't rip a SACD/DVD-Audio disc.

    I think DVD-Audio and BluRay are both going to be successful with video purists and movie buffs with the money to spend to buy TWO SEPARATE PLAYERS, but I think most people are going to stick with DVD for now until the companies finally agree on one new format instead of two.
     
  18. JeffWld

    JeffWld Stunt Coordinator

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    The older posters don't necessarily consider it "everything that's wrong about the last decade of tv", they just have a much broader perspective and don't believe it deserves the kind of fawning over that its received. The majority of the "older posters" are people who are more acquainted with the total history of broadcast television and have likely seen thousands of television series from 1948 to the present. In the grand scheme of things, "Buffy" doesn't even come close to being "classic" or "groundbreaking".
     
  19. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Second Unit

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    Poster here who has seen a lot of TV since his childhood in the 1950s would respectfully have to disagree with you here. Definitely in the Top 10 of all TV shows I have ever seen, and there have been a lot of 'em.

    In fact, I'm of the opinion that the best work being done in TV today is superior to that in most any era.
     
  20. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    well, I think we need to give the show time. I am not saying Buffy is the best show that's ever aired ever (though it's my favorite), but I do think Buffy is going to be able to stand the test of time, much like the great shows before it have. Just look at how the show has been off the air for three years and yet it still gets new convertees all the time. The show had it's share of inferior episodes that definately keep it from that (like most of the first season, and "Beer Bad" and some of season 6) but I do think that it's in a league with very few shows from recent memory that in 20 years people will still speak fondly of it (Angel and Freaks And Geeks are two others I think, I also wouldn't be surprised if Veronica Mars does too if it retains the quality for another couple seasons). I personally have known a lot of people who dismissed the show without seeing it from the title- assuming "oh god, that movie got a series?" and "oh, it's some teen crap"), and I'm not just talking twenty-somethings, but even my 43 year old sister, who then decided to watch the show for the hell of it and gave it a chance and became addicted. I was lending out my DVD's to my sister who is older than everyone on the show besides Anthony Head and James Marsters and she couldn't get enough of it after she gave it a chance.

    Buffy, best show ever? probably not. One of the best shows from the past 10 years? pretty hard to argue against.
     

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