The best, and worst studio for tv dvd releases

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan^H, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    755
    Here are my picks:

    THE BEST

    1. CBS/Paramount-The absolute best. Nice packaging, low cost per set, and attractive case art.

    2 Universal-They have proven themselves. When the chips were down, they continued the Airwolf releases, and going strong with Seaquest, Incredible Hulk, and Sliders.


    IN BETWEEN

    -Warner Brothers-A true puzzle. I can't get a read on these guys. They drop some titles cold turkey(Growing Pains) and release others on a slightly lengthy schedule.

    THE WORST

    1. Sony-Surprised? Didn't think so. Most 70's, and 80's titles have been abandoned for so long, most of us have given up hope.

    2. Fox-Wow! Truly horrible. One and done. Classics like ST. Elsewhere, and Hill Street Blues abandoned? Absurd. Let anpther company release these great shows. License them out!!!
     
  2. Jeff*H

    Jeff*H Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Real Name:
    Jeff
    I've raved about CBS-Paramount and how happy I am with their releases in other threads, they obviously get my number 1 vote.
    And I too am fairly happy with Universal. Despite the fact they were one and done on titles I don't happen to collect, I collected a lot of shows that they either completed or are close to completing: Magnum PI, Rockford Files, Emergency!, A-Team, Knight Rider, Hardy Boys, The Office, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers and Galactica 1980.

    Sony and Fox are huge disappointments, despite the releases of some very good shows. And I agree Warner Bros. is in the middle.
     
  3. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    3
    I think your preference for studios will depend on what era(s) you collect. As a vintage collector (primarily -- but not exclusively -- pre-1970s), I’d rank the major studios as follows:

    1.Paramount – simply put, no one comes even remotely close for vintage releases.
    2.MGM – often overlooked because they’re a smaller studio but have done things like “The Addams Family,” “Flipper,” “Rat Patrol,” and “The Outer Limits” among a few others. They just don’t have the catalog that the other studios do, but they have neglected the ZIV catalog which includes classic shows like “Sea Hunt” and “Highway Patrol.”
    3.Universal – actually not exceptionally good for vintage series, though they have done series like “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Munsters” but have abandoned series like “Adam-12” and “Dragnet.” What distinguishes Universal from some of the other studios is their willingness to license some of their older series to independents like Shout! Factory and the Timeless Media Group so we are seeing things like "Ironside" and "Laredo" among others.
    4.Warner – I thought Warner was going to be a great company for vintage releases after they released all six seasons of “The Adventures of Superman” and both seasons of “F-Troop,” but they’ve really dropped the ball on their older western and detective series, which were classics. But I do see a glimmer of hope with them due to their licensing arrangement with Time-Life on “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
    5.Fox – Most of the Irwin Allen 1960s Sci-Fi series have been released, but they’ve pretty much come to a crashing halt for vintage releases after “The Big Valley” fiasco.
    6.Sony – all of their pre-1970 output has been sitcoms (Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Hazel, The Flying Nun, and Gidget) and it’s a rare occasion when they release anything in black & white.

    If one was collecting modern shows from the 1990s and 2000s, your studio preferences might change dramatically; same for the 1970s/1980s.
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26,631
    Likes Received:
    3,802
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    I agree but at the same time, Fox is the best in the business for modern shows. I know alot of people in the TV section stopped watching new shows about 20 or 30 years ago but it doesn't change the fact that they still do great work for new shows.
     
  5. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    755

    Weird! I don't know of anyone that has alienated new tv shows, especially going back 20, or 30 years. That seems extreme.
    Most people I know love classic, and current tv on dvd. I just picked up season 2 of How I met your Mother, and If I could have season 2 of the Fall Guy, I'd be happy.
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26,631
    Likes Received:
    3,802
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    Me too.
     
  7. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,746
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Real Name:
    Gary
    Bob's post is spot on in my opinion. There's just no doubt that CBS/Paramount is king and on top of the mountain by a long shot. MGM probably is in second at this point, but it's a distant second. And I shuffle 3-6 around every couple of days in my head. All four of those companies have disappointed me terribly to one degree or another. Universal would have probably climbed to second on my list if they just would have continued "Leave it to Beaver". Not that they don't have other holes, but that one show alone is so iconic that for them to just abandon it really brings them down to the cellar right along with Fox, WB and Sony. But there's no use rehashing it again (I've participated in this exercise numerous times in the past). Bob's list is the definitive one for my tastes.

    Gary "and he's right about different decades being treated differently by these studios" O.
     
  8. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,746
    Likes Received:
    0
    true, but there are some vocal posters here who hate anything recent. I remember awhile back, someone referred to the DVD release of Maude as a "recent" show, therefore he hates it. Maude's last episode aired thirty years ago. This is current/recent how?

    It's good to have an open mind and like old and new alike, but there are some people who dislike any show where the youngest child isn't 60 by now.
     
  9. Jeff*H

    Jeff*H Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Real Name:
    Jeff
    I would argue that several of today's programs (Lost, The Office, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Rescue Me, The Sopranos) will be viewed as classics in 20 years; they are every bit as entertaining as many of the old shows I love from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's (and I have favorites in every decade that I have purchased).

    People seem to have rose-colored views of decades past in that they remember the good ones but seem to forget all the garbage, whereas today they notice the garbage more.
    I think there were just as much crappy tv shows in the last couple decades as there are today (except cable has really exploded with lots of great shows in the last few years--and some lousy ones such as crap like Flavor of Love-- whereas the networks seem to have fewer must-see programs than in past decades).
     
  10. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,746
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Real Name:
    Gary

    Ooh, ooh! Would that be me? Sounds like something I might have said. [​IMG]

    Gary "proud to say I think the 50's and 60's represent the pinnacle of television writing and have the best ratio of good to bad shows, but I also have shows from the 70's, 80's and 90's that I liked - just not nearly as many as the 50s/60s" O. [​IMG]
     
  11. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    240

    So True. Following Paramount's ill-advised move, FOX decides to split season 2 of this wonderful show, to disastrous results. And what a shame for all of us thinking this fantastic show would have all 4 of it's seasons released.
     
  12. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,746
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Real Name:
    Gary

    Hold on a minute. Are you sure that Fox copied Paramount on the split season deal. I thought perhaps it was Fox who started it with these IA releases and the Big Valley release. You may be right, but I'm just not sure of the timing. Also, couldn't we lay some of the blame at Image, who did the split season thing with "Combat" several years ago? Just saying...

    Gary "not sure who really started the trend, but I'm thinking IMAGE might be the studio that did it first, although they released those split season COMBAT sets on the same day each time - so maybe that shouldn't count" O.
     
  13. Joe Tor1

    Joe Tor1 Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    2
    Best and Worst Studio for TV DVD Releases?

    That’s a hard one. Depends on when you ask.

    Until late 2005 early 2006, the best would have been Warner Bros. hands down. The Looney Tunes Golden Collections are exemplary. (BTW, of course Looney Tunes, Popeye, and other theatrical shorts are not technically “TV on DVD”. But, their longest running and best known incarnations were on TV, so that’s what I consider them.)

    WB’s early Hanna-Barbera sets were almost in the same class. Great packaging, lots of features. Since then, they’ve cheapened the packaging and scrimped on the features – and probably have no intention of continuing early H-B releases, not to mention the various matters over Tom and Jerry – so they’ve dropped considerably.

    Even modern stuff suffers. The three Season Sets of What’s New Scooby-Doo do not have any episode listings – I had to compile them myself and insert a Post-It Note inside the case! And, just this week, WB announced the long awaited (by ME, anyway) release of Freakazoid! BUT, with only 24 total episodes, they still decided to a “Season One” rather than a “Complete Series”… leaving 11 eps for a possible “Season Two”.

    Last year FOX, about the time of the Land of the Giants Complete Series and a regular release schedule for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, would have topped my list. Now, with the worries over the final season of Voyage (See the very active thread in this forum!), I regard them differently as well.

    Still, they do a fine job on The Simpsons and Family Guy, especially with commentaries and features. Though separate releases for “Blue Harvest” and “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story” do seem a bit mercenary, when they could have been part of their respective season sets. But, IF (…and I emphasize “IF”) Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is abandoned one season shy of completion, FOX will totally lose my regard, as it seems to have done with other members of this forum.

    I can’t completely echo the love for Paramount that I’ve seen in this thread. Yes, they’ve done very well so far on the release schedules on Wild Wild West (Completed! Thank you, Paramount!) and The Odd Couple… but included no extra features on any sets beyond the first season sets! A large studio like Paramount could do “just a little more”, wouldn’t you think!

    Universal did give us Kolchak the Night Stalker (with no extras) and is doing a fine job with Woody Woodpecker. In addition, they’ve licensed Ironside and Mc Hale’s Navy to Shout Factory, rather than sit on them as potentially unprofitable, so they deserve some props.

    Same for Shout Factory for being there to license these series… though I wish their promos were either optional, or played at the end rather than the beginning of a set’s first disc.

    As for Disney, why no extras on their Ducktales set? Scrooge Mc Duck’s voice Alan Young and Scrooge’s creator comic book legend Carl Barks are both worthy of features. And there we many, many TV ads produced for the series during its heyday – some with original animation, and all with original voicing. Gather some of them for an inexpensive feature even Scrooge could love. That’s my two-and-a-half cents.
     
  14. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    0

    I don't know but I could have said it just as easily. But I mainly collect 50s, 60s and 70s shows for a simple reason - once VCRs came about, I recorded the shows I wanted so for me at least it is not a big deal for them to come out on DVD. Most times they've been tinkered with, be it music or cut episodes like Alf. So when it comes to "modern" shows that I like, I'll take my unedited tape copies over buying the DVD versions. But I do have some shows that have aired in the last decade, things like Lateline and Grosse Pointe that are smartly written shows. I even saved myself some dubbing time by picking up the Ally McBeal set from England. So, no, it's not modern shows I dislike, it's modern stupid shows I dislike.

    As for the ratings, Paramount is miles ahead in first and as far as I'm concerned, the others are all tied for last. Universal gets points for at least licensing the shows they won't put out (i.e., most anything pre-80s) but they lose points for all of their one and dones. Sony I would have said was number two until the last 12 months when they have just about abandoned the department. Fox to me is by far the worst - they don't license, they abandon just about every older show they start and their world revolves around Buffy, which is about the most idiotic show I've ever seen. Certainly among those that actually have fans. Until we start seeing some Fox classics, like Dobie Gillis, Room 222, Julia, Peyton Place, Adventures in Paradise, Green Hornet, etc., they are dead last and will stay there.
     
  15. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2000
    Messages:
    6,927
    Likes Received:
    756
    Location:
    Salinas, CA
    Real Name:
    Matthew

    Scrooge must have been the one who approved the budget.

    CBS/Paramount:
    PROS:
    —Releases lots of stuff
    —Space-saving packaging
    —Does remastering work most of the time

    CONS:
    —Cheaps out on music
    —Removes original production logos
    —Split-seasons

    Warner:
    PROS:
    —Good with more recent series

    CONS:
    —Does not remaster and often uses substandard prints, especially with the Waltons
    —All releases to be held in suspicion after what happened with Mama's Family
    —All sitcoms not beginning with the letter F dropped like a rock after season 1

    Fox:
    PROS:
    —Exemplary with most recent series

    CONS:
    —Nothing pre-Simpsons even registers with them anymore now that M*A*S*H is complete
    —Shameful abandonment of several series, especially the MTM Productions acquisitions
    —WKRP release was an absolute disgrace
    —Some people have problems with dual-sided discs

    Sony:
    PROS:
    —Willing to give some shows a second chance
    —Tends to be good about music clearance with some exceptions
    —Does remastering work

    CONS:
    —Doesn't bother to make sure all episodes are unedited, even on episodes that have been available unedited elsewhere.
    —Won't continue releases of some shows but will put same shows' minisodes on unrelated DVDs
    —Arbitrary release schedule
    —Non-existent customer service
    —Decades of historical logos replaced with Sony Pictures Television logo with a few exceptions
    —Now farting out complete series sets with no added bonus material and probably no correction of edited episodes

    Universal:
    PROS:
    —Willing to license shows to smaller companies
    —Managed to license all music on Miami Vice and (so far) SNL (thanks to Stephen for reminding me)

    CONS:
    —The kings of one-and-done
    —They make their DVD-18s at a cheap Mexican plant with a high failure rate
    —They cut the original logos and then put the current movie logo at the beginning!

    Disney:
    PROS:
    —Good about exchanging defective discs
    —Tends to see more than half of their shows to the end
    —Willing to license some stuff out

    CONS:
    —Customer service often not entirely truthful about technical problems
    —Doesn't have that big of a library to begin with
    —Extras, when present, are often fluffy or even insulting to the show

    MGM:
    PROS:
    —Did remastering work (at least on Green Acres)

    CONS:
    —Dropped out of sight basically, leaving several shows up in the air
    —Music rights cheapskate (on Addams Family)
    —Questionable release tactics on Cagney & Lacey calling season 2 "The True Beginning" when they could have easily included the pilot film and the short seasons 1 and 3 with it as well.

    All studios fail to do adequate promotion on their older catalog stuff, but I have seen banner ads for CBS/Paramount shows.

    As for the indies, Shout! Factory deserves kudos but needs to work with the studio to obtain better source materials. A&E is okay, Anchor Bay has gone downhill since Starz took it over. Image did some great stuff but has done nothing lately. Rhino has all but ceased to exist. S'more Entertainment is one to look out for in the future as is Arts Alliance.
     
  16. Stephen Wight

    Stephen Wight Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    5
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    Matthew,you're right on with the pros/cons of each studio.One pro,though,you haven't mentioned,for Universal,is that they clear the music for their shows.They cleared all the songs for Miami Vice and Saturday Night Live,which,I'm sure,other studios wouldn't have. The way I look at it is it makes little sense to say which studios are the best and worst,in general terms.Each studios have their strengths and weaknesses,in different areas,and one studio's strength,in one area,could be a different studios weakness in the same area,which is what you"ve prefectly detailed in your post post.
     
  17. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,746
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Real Name:
    Gary

    I did some quick checking just because that statement didn't seem correct to me. Fox actually beat Paramount to the split-season punch by almost 2 years as best I can tell. All the way back in 2004 Fox treated us to "Lost in Space: Season 2, Volume 1". Paramount didn't join the club until the Perry Mason releases which started up in July of 2006, almost two years after Fox. And since Image was releasing both volumes (1 & 2) of their "Combat" Season sets on the same day, I wouldn't count them in on this. Nope. Looks like Fox is the studio to blame for starting this fad.

    Now, it is true that Paramount is taking split-season mania to new extremes. I grant that. But they didn't start the mess.

    And while I think Matthew's post about pros and cons is very well stated, he leaves out a big part of the problem when he evaluates WB and Sony - they basically scoff at their B&W catalog. They have a huge, and I do mean huge, collection of iconic (a key word, IMHO) series from the 50's and early 60's that they turn their nose up at. That should be added to the con list for both studios.

    Gary "Paramount is still King - by a long shot in my eyes" O.
     
  18. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    96
    There was a similar thread on this topic a while back and I listed a whole lot of vintage Fox shows that have yet to be released. To refresh everyone's memory:

    Peyton Place
    Judd: For The Defense
    Room 222
    Dobie Gillis
    The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
    Adventures In Paradise
    Bus Stop
    Bracken's World
    Nanny & The Professor
    The Monroes
    The Paper Chase
    James At 15
    Julia
    Lancer
    The Green Hornet
    Twelve O'Clock High
    Mr. Belvedere


    and let's not forget the rest of the Four-Star and MTM shows that have yet to see the light of day!

    (BTW- I didn't mention Batman since that's on EVERYBODY'S 'most wanted' list and it's caught in a rights dispute with Warner Bros.)
     
  19. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    0


    Although from what I've been reading on the IMDB message board for the show, they did not clear music for The Equalizer and the replacement music is not even era appropriate. It's bad enough to take incidental music out but to then put in music that is obviously from another decade is ludicrous.
     
  20. RickER

    RickER Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,130
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Real Name:
    Rick
    CBS/Paramount is king in my book too. The only thing i could complain about them...i hate the "Made in Mexico" on the back of the box. That means i have a VERY good change of a scratched disc or two. Yes, the disc would play, but at $40 or so for some of these sets i want mint, not stepped on the floor and put in a box, discs. I had to take my last Perry Mason back 4 times before i found one that i could cobble together. Meaning i never found a perfect set! Same with my last M:I season set. A friend of mine had to take his last Wild, Wild, West set back quite a few times because it had more than one disc 3, and no disc 4, or some such thing.

    And how could i forget my Twin Peaks complete set, 10 scratched discs!
     

Share This Page