Too many releases at once?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by BradD, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Of the shows I own several are at the season 3 point and others are on the doorstep. This list includes those that are already released and those that have concrete announcements.

    All in the Family 3
    Cheers 3
    Dick Van Dyke Show 5
    Frasier 4 (3 out and season 11 in sept)
    Friends 7
    Futurama 4
    Good Times 3
    M*A*S*H 6
    Sanford and Son 4
    Saved by the Bell 4 seasons (2 releases seaons 1 and 2 together, and seasons 3 and 4 together)
    Sex and the City 6
    The Simpsons 4
    South Park 4

    Shows like King of the Hill, King of Queens, Married with Children, The Jeffersons, and 3s Company are all at 2 seasons.
    That’s just of the stuff that I own and recall off the top of my head. I know, as you mentioned that other shows have had this many releases.

    I actually think that with fewer and fewer big catalog titles left in film, that the studios will look to TV on DVD even more now. Yes, the fall is going to be interesting, but what I was referring to is something like if Paramount decided on its own to release Happy Days, Lavern and Sherley, Mork and Mindy, Frasier, Taxi, 7th Heaven, and the Andy Griffith show on the same day in edition to other studios coming out with multiple releases that very day, which is what happens with movies now.
    Of course, I’m the type that believes that competition for our dollar is a good thing for the consumer, in that the studios will put their best effort in to trying to get your dollar resulting in better quality sets. It’s a nice theory, but I know it has some practicle flaws. But right now, I see the market for this as reaching for its peak and it will level off eventually. Afterall, sooner or later the studios will run out of big ticket catalog TV shows to release.
    I am really curious as to what Gord and David Lambert think on this topic, and if the studios are really and perhaps unknowingly preparing to kill the goose laying the golden eggs.
     
  2. John*P

    John*P Second Unit

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    Yes, Craig, there is a demand for Punky Brewster. Trust me. You're scratching you're head over the fact that its released, and I'm scratching my head over the fact that you're scratching you're head. =P Children of the 80s love this show, and the fact that it isn't aired on TV anymore makes us want the DVDs even more.
     
  3. BradD

    BradD Stunt Coordinator

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    Different Strokes for different folks Craig. Excuse the pun.[​IMG]
     
  4. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    I haven't picked up 'Punky Brewster' yet, but I definitely intend to at some point. I'm also a child of the 80s and remember fond memories of this show. The last time I remember ever seeing it was close to 20 years ago. Another selling point is the Saturday morning cartoon eps contained in the set. I also watched that frequently as a kid. Any show they're willing to bring out from my youth, I'll be more than happy to own.........that even includes 'Small Wonder'. lol
     
  5. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I don't think there's a concern for wether or not more season 1's will come out, it's the follow up seasons that are the concern. If season 1 of Punky Brewster does poorly, that won't discourage the studio from releasing season 1 of another one of their shows, but it WILL discourage them from releasing season 2 of PB.

    I think some are missing the real question, the question isn't:
    Will the flood/onslaught of TV shows on DVD jeopardize the release of future TV shows on DVD?

    The real question is:
    Will the flood/onslaught of TV shows on DVD jeopardize the release of future seasons of previously (and newly released) titles?
     
  6. John*P

    John*P Second Unit

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    I don't understand the above post at all. Why can't you imagine anyone buying A-Team or Punky Brewster seasons...just because you don't like the shows, doesn't mean that the general consensus is the same. That Three's Company remark also puzzles me. I'm not a fan of the show, but if I was, I'd probably want to own the entire series on DVD. How is wanting the entire series of Three's Company any different than wanting the entire series of say, Simpsons or Buffy? You could argue that the latter two shows are better quality...but not everyone feels the same way. Tastes in TV shows are subjective, Henry.
     
  7. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I see, but I guess I can't relate to that because there are relatively few series I'd want to actually own. Are there actually THAT many TV Shows per week or month that get released on DVD that people want to buy but cannot keep up with? Personally speaking, here are the only shows I've bought:

    ALL IN THE FAMILY
    THE WALTONS
    THE HONEYMOONERS
    I LOVE LUCY
    LOST IN SPACE

    I'd also buy:

    THE MUNSTERS
    STAR TREK: TOS
    THE ODD COUPLE
    FRIDAY THE 13th: THE SERIES
    HAPPY DAYS
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I would imagine a shows success doesn't only rely on the hard core DVD fans (like those on this board). The success has to rely on your average consumer who won't buy multiple DVD's at a time.

    A show like the Simpsons has a large enough fan base to ensure good sales with each season set, but there may not be as many consumers willing to buy (for example) "The Odd Couple" to warrant additional production. I would think a show like that would also need the casual buyer to help with the sales numbers. But when you factor in all of the available choices and add the fact that the casual DVD buyer won't buy multiple releases in a short time frame, it may be hard to solidify sales of a particular title.

    Unless you can make a decent profit from the fan base, I wouldn't rely on the "casual buyer" to ensure the success of any TV show DVD title. And, unfortunately, I would assume that the fan base of many shows isn't enough to accomplish this.
     
  9. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    It worries me a bit, yes. It's been mentioned a few times, but we need strong sales for these sets to continue. Sad to say, but there are a few shows that are released which I don't expect the studios to continue with. Movie tie-ins are great to justify the first season set, but without that tie-in will other sets be released? It made me happy to hear that "Starsky & Hutch" was seeing a second set for this reason.

    While I'm worried about the number of sets released I hope it works in our favor as well. Studios will have to put together better sets because they're competing for our TV dollars now. I think Universal is doing some interesting packaging to set themselves apart from the others. Sometimes it's a gimick, and sometimes it's cool, but it's something different. Rhino does a nice job with special packaging as well. Maybe we'll see more special features stuck on a set so consumers are swayed to pick one up over another, even if they're fans of both shows.

    It'll be interesting to see how this all shakes down, but in the meantime I'm taking some tme off work to watch all these sets.

    Gord
     
  10. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Remember that the fact that you do not want to own them does not necessarily apply to everyone else. Punky Brewster is #490 on Amazon.com, so someone wanted it, just not you. The world does not revolve around you any more than around me. I'm not a "Dukes of Hazzard" fan, but the show seems to be selling well. (Top 25 on Amazon)
     
  11. Lynda-Marie

    Lynda-Marie Supporting Actor

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    I am thinking that perhaps the question of this particular thread is running through the minds of studio executives [or whatever powers that be] as to the profitability of DVD sets. They started out slow with releases, such as one or two series, to test the waters and see if there even WAS a market for TV shows to come out on DVD.

    Obviously there was, so now many gems are being released. I will leave it to the rest of you to decide for yourselves which are the true TV gems and which are the rhinestones.

    But how to release these shows? Check boards like ours? Release a bunch of shows all at once that did well in the ratings? How accurate are TV ratings? Star Trek [original series] is a classic example of low ratings vs. highly popular show. At what point will we have market saturation? What affect does the current economic conditions have on entertainment spending?

    So perhaps with this "rush" of releases, the studios are testing the waters, and trying to find the right balance in the market. Since this is such a new market, they are going to be watching things closely.

    I have noticed that some of the shows being released are either an entire season at a time, and some are a number of shows of a particular season released at once. Could this be another experiment on the part of the studios, to test profitability?
     
  12. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    When it comes to the question of ratings I think the effect is not much, because there is a difference in people's mind between sitting down and watching a show on a network which costs them only time, and buying a DVD release of that show which costs time and money. If ratings were a really good way to assess this then Fox would be salivating over releasing the Mash finale. Shows like Family Guy which didn't do well in ratings exploded on DVD, and that helped lead to the show going back in to production.

    So all of those questions you posed are probably going through the minds of the studios. Each series released is some sort of a risk. They can't even go by what they read at HTF because people that post here are more hardcore than an average consumer, and even though they are hardcore, really the numbers are small. Even as Gord has mentioned voting for a show over at TVShowsonDVD.com is not always going to be reliable. I might vote for a show I'd like to have on DVD, and then if it is released I might not buy it right away depending on what else is coming out and so on. Plus, to vote for a show doesn't cost me anything to actually buy the show does, and I might not deam the price worth what I think I'm getting in the package.

    I shouldn't say that ratings aren't helpful here, because in a way they are. They probably aren't a good indicator of sales, but a show with good ratings will probably be released to DVD sooner than a show with not so great ratings because the studio knows that the show with great ratings was seen by a larger audience.

    Gord, thanks for your comments, and honestly its really what I expected you'd say.
     
  13. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    One other thing to consider, is that more and more people are buying TV on DVD. But, the best selling TV show on DVD release has sold what around 2 million copies? Its not like a lot of these shows have to hit real high marks of sales to be profitable enough for a second season release, I believe that in a previous thread Gord said something like some of those shows released by Columbia only sold around 75,000 copies or something (I probably have the numbers wrong) but even selling that few copies it was profitable enough for future releases. It will be different for each studio depending on how much they spend on production of the set, music rights and all that fun stuff...but even as popular as TV on DVD is, its not like the studios are expecting to do Finding Nemo like numbers for their TV product.
     
  14. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    I'd be getting Sliders and Quantum Leap day one if the release schedule was spread out a little more. This summer in particular is painful and August looks extremely over crowded. I thought it was a few months back but I just read of a whole new batch added to the August release schedule, all ones I would get and many related titles, i.e. fans of one would be fans of the others in most cases. I want them all and they all need releases but too much now and they will probably slow down and release only a few I want after September, I hope and think but they are intentionally releasing a lot in August, springing them up opposite long established DVDs planned for that month...I love my TV on DVD, please don't stop, just spread it out a little bit more in relation to series that appeal to certain types, mainly time period is key. I know many Punky, A-Team, Dukes fans busting a gut to get their childhood favorites making sacrifices. And then we have Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Batman, Super-Friends and others all coming out at the same relative time...
     
  15. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    Heh heh. I like the way he thinks.
     
  16. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

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    Plenty. Doctor Who, Transformers Mystery Sience Theater - just a couple of the top of my head. Of course Who and MST3K arent season sets, but they have a huge amount of releases under their belt from throughout their run.
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I was worried when Cheers-Season 2 sounded like it may not happen, but we're now up to 3, so hopefully we'll see the rest.
     
  18. John*P

    John*P Second Unit

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    This set is selling very well in my area. All the stores around here were sold out of Punky Brewster DVD sets just a day or two after its release. I grabbed the last copy at Best Buy the morning after it came out. With its cheap $25 price tag, and the show's popularity, I'd be shocked (and saddened) if the remaining three seasons weren't released.
     
  19. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    I'm glad Punky is doing so well, I think it may serve as sign to Silver Spoons...

    I think we will see more Punky, she seems well loved and I think she appeals to a larger mass than many other TV series on DVD do.


    Now more than three Seasons... Sanford and Son, Are You Being Seved, Red Dwarf, Black Adder, Keeping Up Appearances, Ranma 1/2, ...
     
  20. Martin_C

    Martin_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Too many releases? Yes, definitely. But then again!

    I'm really on the limits of my budget right now. Sadly this has put a stop to all the "blind buys" I might have made. Which is a pity, cause i discovered quite a few gems like that, e.g. The Office.

    I've even started saving money for all the madness they are going to throw at us this fall and winter. Not taking in account all the subsequent seasons that are not yet announced but probably will also be released in that timeframe. And I shall be loving every minute of it. I rather have stuff to look forward to buying, as oppossed to not being able to buy it at all.

    Like most of you, I'm going out of my way to buy First Season releases as soon as possible, to show my interest in more. In contrast, I'm laying off buying popular shows, like The West Wing, right now in favour of niche shows like Gilmore Girls, which I both enjoy equally.
     

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