The Norman Lear Collection: Sony meatheads reach a new low

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MatthewA, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    All in the Family DVD news: Announcement for The Norman Lear Collection | TVShowsOnDVD.com

    The first seasons of: All in the Family, Sanford & Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

    It includes the 2 original pilots of All in the Family and bonus material on each...

    WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED ORIGINALLY!

    No one who doesn't want these shows doesn't already have the first seasons. No one is going to buy them again just for the bonuses. And there are no future seasons of the non-completed shows in sight. And what if someone just wants the alternate AitF pilots without any of the other shows or material related to them?

    Sony must have waxy yellow buildup where brains should be. What should have been dyn-o-mite is just a bust. God'll get you for that Sony, you big dummy!
     
  2. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    MatthewA, I agree with you.

    Let me get this straight. Sony is releasing this collection when they can't finish those shows that have already been partially released? All in the Family has not been completed and I'm sure some of those others haven't either. Sony is really despicable.
     
  3. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    This would be a good place to re-direct some of the complaints about the (still not officially announced, I know) Mary Tyler Moore set. At least that set, when/if it appears, will complete the series and give us some new-to-DVD episodes. So I'll grit my teeth and buy it. But this thing... I want to see the extras, but I don't want to buy seven already-on-DVD seasons, many from shows that haven't even been finished. That's just the weirdest idea for a TV-on-DVD set in some time, and not weird in a good way.
     
  4. Garysb

    Garysb Screenwriter

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    Hopefully if All In The Family is ever completed they will include the pilots as extras in the final season or complete series. The pilots, which each have different actors playing Mike and Gloria are essentially the same as the first episode of the series. I think they are available to be seen at the Museum
    of Radio and Television in NY and LA for those interested who live near by.
    I agree this is a strange item to be released at this time. If it had been released prior to or at the same time as the first season sets, I would have purchased this. I think it might even had made sense if it was released after the series were completed on DVD as a best of set like Paramount is doing with the various Star Trek series.
     
  5. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    This is one of the more shameless marketing gimmicks I've ever seen (considering the fact, as pointed out, that many of these shows were never even finished being released). Are we sure this isn't just a gift set Norman Lear has prepared for his family and friends? Who's the audience for this?
     
  6. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    And don't be surprised if all the S1 discs of the various titles are the same discs from the regular S1 sets and that this is just another cheap way on Sony's part to try and get rid of a surplus of discs on their hands.
     
  7. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    It's marginally better than those lunchbox first seasons you see at Best Buy.


    Do you think a company that switched to the flimsiest, cheapest, disc-killingest cases imaginable would actually make new discs? And in this economy (which is usually the excuse for such corner-cutting)?
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Putting new bonus material on this release is just plain scummy.

    In the case of Mary Tyler Moore, I can accept that Fox feels that they can't turn a profit on the show unless they go with the series set and I'd say the same if Sony was releasing an AITF series set. However, this release has no point beyond cleaning out their warehouses and bleeding fans simply for bonus material. I hope that no one buys a single copy of this so Sony can eat the money that they spend on it.
     
  9. Craig Byrne

    Craig Byrne Agent

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    I like the idea that they're doing something to sample out those series so that hopefully we'll get future seasons of All in the Family, Maude, etc. But I think the whole idea of extras that aren't available elsewhere is REALLY scummy, especially since a lot of us bought those sets at full price to begin with. It's like they "reward" the people who don't buy the sets.

    I still wish situations like this and MTM could let the unreleased material become available via proofs of purchase or something like that.

    Also, I liked how a collection of just the extras was done with M*A*S*H, but it should be happening here too.
     
  10. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I completely agree with everything you said. I do think that the big set may re-awaken interest in Lear's career, and hopefully re-invigor interest in more seasons being released. We're barely at the halfway point for some of his shows. I think Jeffersons has 5 more seasons to go--Mary Hartman should get like another 12 or 13 volumes.
     
  11. Scott_J

    Scott_J Cinematographer

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    If I can eventually find this set for about half off MSRP ($75), I'd pick it up. Of the shows in the set, All in the Family is the only one I own and so the only one I'd be double-dipping on. It looks like there are some good extras on here (especially the AitF pilots).
     
  12. chas speed

    chas speed Second Unit

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    The thing that ticks me off is they had me thinking they were going to include the first season of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman in this set and they are not. I'll bet they use the same "missing scene out of order" prints that they used on the Mary Hartman Volume one fiasco.
     
  13. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    This is very sad esp for those who have bought the first few seasons of some of these shows and others like Maude we got the first season, real odd situation.

    Just repackaging and repressing what we can already buy.

    Sony is the worst even more so than FOX about not finishing tv show releases. Maybe they will send off some more shows like Designing Women to Shout Factory.

    Still waiting for Police Woman season 2
     
  14. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Screenwriter

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    The only way I could possibly spin this in a positive way is that maybe, if AITF ever finishes up, those pilots will have been mastered for DVD, and they will be included.

    But other than that, this makes the Mary Tyler Moore thing look like a good move (IMO).
     
  15. Gregory V

    Gregory V Stunt Coordinator

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    I've seen at least one of the AITF pilots...the one I saw the actors who played Mike, Gloria and Lionel weren't very good. So.....No great loss as far as I'm concerned. NO WAY will I buy this set. Sorry, but Norman Lear's mug on the cover isn't a good enough reason to buy this set...ALL of which I have in the season sets.
     
  16. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    My Thoughts exactly when I read this at TVShows on DVD.com, Yeah I should reward the worst Studio for TV show product, for buying their clearing out of 1st season abandoned series. Right... where's the rest of it Sony, it should be called the "Abandoned TV Collection" Idiots.
     
  17. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    This is just Sony trying to repackage the set as a limited edition, like the recent AFI's Top 30 Movie DVD collection that was repackaged with different DVD art ...

    It's cheap merchandising ... and it's Sony trying to scam consumers since they can't finish releasing the remaining sets that are included in this collection.
     
  18. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I imagine this set happened because Norman Lear called Sony up and said something about offering to do extras. It probably went down like this:
    --
    Sony: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, how may I help you?

    Norman Lear: Yes, this is Norman Lear.

    Sony: Who?

    NL: Norman Lear. Producer of All in the Family. I sold my production company to Columbia in 1985, and you own the rights to my life's work.

    S: That name does sound familiar. Oh yeah, we own Columbia Pictures.

    NL: Look, anyway, I'm 86 and not getting any younger. With two exceptions, you're dragging your feet on the releases of my shows.

    S: If you're asking about why certain movies have black bars, we told you, we got rid of the black bars. Now they all fill up your TV screen. If you have a widescreen TV...

    NL: My shows predate widescreen TVs by a quarter of a century. They're not supposed to be in widescreen. When you release the shows I produced on DVD, you don't release all the seasons and you don't do a particularly good job on the seasons you do release.

    S: Which shows are you talking about?

    NL: All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman. Ever hear of them?

    S: Uh, no.

    NL: Seriously, you've never heard of any of those shows?

    S: Look, do you have a question about a product? If you want to exchange a defective product, this is the wrong number.

    NL: You've left my shows hanging in mid-air. I want to do extras in case I'm dead in a few years. Four "Jeffersons" cast members died without being asked to do interviews AFTER you started the DVDs.

    S: I'm sorry for your loss, Mr. Lear. But I'm not the one who decides what to release. Would you like me to add you to our email list?

    NL: God no. That's the last thing I want. I want you to continue releasing further seasons of my shows?

    S: Which shows do you want?

    NL: I told you, all the shows I mentioned before that I produced.

    S: We just released the latest seasons of Barney Miller, The Nanny, and The Partridge Family. You can buy them in stores now.

    NL: I had nothing to do with those shows. Anyway, my shows changed the face of television. Between them they must have about six dozen Emmys; I can't remember right now. So I want you to release the remaining seasons of my TV shows. And do some extras.

    S: Are you, like, the guy who invented "very special episodes", like on Blossom?

    NL: No. I brought social relevance, realism, and frankness to situation comedy.

    S: So you did invent "very special episodes?"

    NL: No, I altered the paradigm of what was acceptable on TV. Look up Norman Lear on your computer.

    S: I looked it up, and there's a complete series set of Sanford and Son.

    NL: Yes, that's one of mine. The first show with an all-black cast in almost 20 years, and one of only two of my shows that made it to the end on DVD.

    S: What was the other one?

    NL: Good Times.

    S: Yes, we also have a complete series set of Good Times for sale.

    NL: I'm aware of what you released. I get very small royalty checks every month.

    S: Let me transfer you to my supervisor.

    NL: Good, maybe he can explain why you use poor-quality masters, don't bother to make sure all episodes are uncut, and don't interview any cast or crew members, such as myself, for extras.

    S: Did you create any of those UPN sitcoms?

    NL: Forget it! (Hangs up angrily) God, I wish I had never sold Embassy!
    --
     
  19. Stephen Wight

    Stephen Wight Second Unit

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    That's funny.I can actually imagine the discussion sounding like that,if it were to really take place.I'm sure Aaron Spelling,if he were still alive,would have a similar discussion.Just as many of his shows are abandoned as Norman Lear's.
     
  20. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    On paper this is a great idea for a collection. Fans of quality television owe Normal Lear a debt that they can never repay. Without him television would be a much different place and not nearly as good.

    However, I don't expect this set to sell. The general public aren't going to buy a set of shows from a producer whose name they may not even recognize. A lot of people don't even know the names of the actors on these shows much less the producers or creators. You have to be pretty obvious when dealing with Mr. & Mrs. Tractor Pull.

    I do think the fans are totally being screwed with the new material being included. They couldn't have done this to begin with and put them on previous season releases ? And it looks like good extras, too.

    But what's up with both pilots for AITF ? One of them (not sure which) was aired once on Nick@Nite back when they were launching the show on their schedule. It was fascinating to see and I thought very entertaining despite the lackluster Mike & Gloria. The producers were right to keep recasting until they got it right. But where exactly did the OTHER pilot get discovered ? At one time the public was told that the other pilot had been lost since it was never intended to be seen. So where did it come from ?

    For myself, I'll probably wait until I can get this set cheap and then switch out these first seasons for the ones I already have of most of these series.
    Hopefully this means the studio has not given up totally on these shows and will continue with proper further releases of more seasons, which is what everyone wants.

    Bravo to Mr. Norman Lear, though. I bow to you!
     

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