The more intelligent the show, the worse it does on DVD?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Hank Dearborn, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    Is this true? All of the MTM shows have stalled and they are all well written, smartly done shows. Murphy Brown, another one. Meanwhile shows that appeal to the LCD do extremely well.
     
  2. Wezzo

    Wezzo Second Unit

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    I'm not sure about this. I suppose it depends on the definitions you use. Arrested Development, which I'd argue is an extremely intelligent show, has done well on DVD; while a lot of Warner's production-line sitcoms and procedurals from recent years haven't done as well, as far as I know.

    Your theory may prove true for older shows, with which I'm less familiar - but I imagine M*A*S*H was a pretty good seller? And Mensa called that the smartest show of all-time recently.
     
  3. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    That's a BS list. All shows from the 70s up. All shows that have been quite successful. I never thought about it but I would come up with a different top ten to be sure. How about:

    Twilight Zone
    Playhouse 90
    The Defenders
    East Side West Side
    Slattery's People
    Paper Chase
    Murphy Brown
    He and She
    Mission Impossible
    Mr. Novak
     
  4. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    I hold to the simple belief that if an audience is used to buying items related to the show, the better it does on DVD. It is an audience used to picking up novelizations, coffeetable books, magazines, dolls that are eager to finally own the actual episodes if transfered properly. folks who are only used to watching the show on TV for free aren't eager to spring up the big bucks to see it again. They are a harder sell.
     
  5. Elena S

    Elena S Supporting Actor

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    "Frasier" is a very intelligent show which I assume has done very well on DVD.
     
  6. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I'm glad you said this, Hank, because the "Mensa list" just proves that the guy who made it is probably in his forties.

    I used to belong to Mensa and it's amazing how stupid some of these supposedly smart people can be. It's off topic, or I'd tell you a thing or two.
     
  7. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Mission: Impossible must be doing well. Season 4 will be out soon. Perry Mason seems to be doing OK too, but i will take a season 3 now please! Battlestar Galactica is not a stupid show, i am talking the new one, and it seems to do very well in the ratings, and DVD!
     
  8. Chip_HT

    Chip_HT Second Unit

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    Here's the problem, at least with newer shows. The intelligent shows suck in the ratings (see Studio 60 and Firefly as examples), because the masses just can't seem to pick up on it. However, the people who do follow those shows faithfully pick it up on DVD. And sometimes (Firefly), it can lead to something else.

    For older shows, it might be a generational thing. I'm in my 20s, and the only shows I have an interest in getting on DVD are those that I've watched in my lifetime. So, I'm not as interested in the older programs. On the other hand, my parents might be interested in those programs, but they don't really buy that many DVDs, and the only TV DVDs my dad has are Star Trek related.

    So, really there are a lot of factors.
     
  9. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    This may be true....Married with children season sets are coming out rapid fire style,(and I'm glad, because I buy them). but my intellectual St. Elsewhere, and Hill Street Blues side wants to cry.
     
  10. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    It's not the shows being successful or not but I do know that there is a good chance that the DVD sets were poor sellers. Don't blame the studio releasing the sets, blame the consumers who don't purchase them ...
     
  11. Elena S

    Elena S Supporting Actor

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    But isn't that what this thread is about? People not buying the shows?

    The studios ARE partly to blame for this, actually. I've seen very little advertising for lots of shows that have come out, and many brick and mortar stores simply don't carry them. Therefore, the average viewer might not even know these series were available to purchase. Most people don't spend hours at their computers researching these things like we do. ;>
     
  12. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    I used to belong as well and after going to a couple of meetings I realized that most of those people were the kind of people you could set on fire and they wouldn't notice.
     
  13. ToddR2

    ToddR2 Stunt Coordinator

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    My thinking is that, for older shows, how well a show appealed to kids/teens is usually a good guage for its sales. Older shows that appealed to more adult and sophisticated tastes have a more limited fan base today, with some exceptions. Gilligan's Island or The Munsters outselling The Bob Newhart or Mary Tyler Moore Shows isn't a surprise when you think about who was watching first runs and reruns. I mentioned this on a different thread, and a couple of posters took my comments the wrong way. I'm not upset that Paramount, for example, releases crap like Mod Squad or Love, American Style. It just saddens me that they won't also release Ben Casey or The Phil Silvers Show because they (probably correctly) feel that these titles won't sell well. The Mensa list is a great example of how ludicrous our cultural obsession with listing/ranking everything is. Hank's list is FAR superior to Mensa's, and I'm sure he didn't deliberate over it for hours before posting.
     
  14. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Hank's listing of "Playhouse 90" and "The Defenders" are good examples of intelligent programming of the past which won't make anyone's list if he or she is under 50, whether they're in Mensa or not, because in all likelihood they not only never saw any episodes but never even heard of the shows.

    Lists are fundamentally worthless even at their best, but the nerve of someone to make a list when he isn't aware of everything that might qualify for the list -- yet people do that all the time.
     
  15. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    Well, if there's a bias in favor of less-intelligent shows, maybe that means "Camp Runamuck" has a shot. The series is dumb as dirt. But, if it were released, I'd buy it. Every now and then I have to cater to my inner moron.
     
  16. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    I would buy it too but it is really bad. Loved it when I was 8 though. Although it is a moot point as we can't even get Sony to finish putting out All in the Family. But Camp Runamuck does have something to appeal to adults - Nina Wayne!
     
  17. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    what about Seinfeld and Frasier? two of the most intelligent sitcoms of the 90's, both sets are completed
     
  18. nikkif99uk

    nikkif99uk Supporting Actor

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    I'd also say Star Trek was pretty intelligent
     
  19. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Yeah, there are plenty of "smart" shows that've done well on DVD and plenty of "dumb" ones that haven't. I think the OP's assumption is incorrect - there's no "smart/dumb" rhyme or reason at work here...
     
  20. Firebee

    Firebee Supporting Actor

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    Ha! You people are killing me with this...I have to show this to my best friend, whom I would definitely say is Mensa-smart, but has way more common sense than what it sounds like you are describing. [​IMG]
     

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