Variety Shows Wishlist

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ethan Riley, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I know, I know it's hard to release variety shows on dvd because of all the music royalties, but we can wish, can't we. Here's mine;

    SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: Unedited season sets. This would include dozens and dozens of sketches and live musical acts not seen in years, since the syndicated version cuts out 1/3 of each show. They should just pay the music fees; there's only about 2-3 songs in each show. The fact that these are complete episodes would make SNL a huge seller. I'm sure most of you agree.

    the CAROL BURNETT SHOW: We have unedited episodes from Columbia House, why not season sets? And they'd better hurry it up because Carol's fans are getting a little long in the tooth!

    LAUGH-IN: I haven't touched the "best of" dvds. They're way too expensive. And I want season sets. Maybe by the next format...

    DONNY & MARIE: Probably the dumbest show in history, but come on, you loved it! There's lot of very classic episodes in the bunch that are of interest today, such as the Star Wars episode with the original cast of Star Wars guest-starring, the Wizard of Oz episode with Ray Bolger reprising his Scarecrow character and Lucille Ball as the Tinman...! And don't forget the action-packed Brady Bunch reunion episode. I think this show is 70s gold. Oh, well, what else do y'all want to see?
     
  2. Stephen Wight

    Stephen Wight Second Unit

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    I agree,but there are other people,that,apparently,don't. I'd like to see Fridays released,but I don't think it will be because of the same reason as SNL.
     
  3. JasonPW

    JasonPW Stunt Coordinator

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    I would love to see season releases of all the shows you listed, but it just isn't possible. Taking Saturday Night Live as an example--you're not just clearing the music of the weekly musical guest star. You're also clearing the music the SNL band plays throughout the show, the music used in sketches, any music used in the show's various short films, animated segments, etc.

    As far as Carol Burnett, from what I understand they had to jump through quite a few licensing hoops just to get this limited number of episodes released. Same deal: guest singers, music in sketches, plus those big production numbers.

    Some studios have taken the effort to clear an entire season of a variety show for DVD release--Disney with "The Muppet Show" and Shout Factory with "SCTV." In both cases, edits and/or substitutions had to be made due to the inability to obtain clearances or the prohibitive cost of clearing certain songs.

    One more SNL thought: What has been tossed around on this forum from time to time is the idea of doing releases of select episodes in their entirely, perhaps grouped by era..that could be feasible, and I think quite successful.
     
  4. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Such SNL episode releases were made on LaserDisc, but I'm talking about circa 1985...! I particularly recall the "all Paul Simon" episode being released this way, with SNL's first episode on the flip side. I've seen most of the Muppet episodes by now. All the pop songs that I RECALL are on there, but that doesn't mean they're ALL on there. My memory is good, but not that good. I did recall Connie Stevens singing "Teenager in Love," Ruth Buzzi singing "You're Just Too Good to be True," and Ernie and Bert singing "Some Enchanted Evening." All of that is on the dvd and much more. If Disney can do it, why can't the rest of them do it?
     
  5. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Just read David Lambert's posting about Donny and Marie being released in a sampler-type dvd. This is very good news to me. I did love that show, and don't lie to me and say you didn't love it, too. LOL

    Anyway, I hope the Osmonds have no trouble with the music clearances on this. They sang a lot of their own stuff, but everyone remembers their Country/Rock n' Roll medleys, which featured a half-dozen contemporary hits every time. A single complete episode of D&M would probably include 20 or more pop hits of the day. That's a lot of clearances and royalties, but geeez I'd love to see some of this stuff again.

    By the way, David, your cast list was in error... Ray Bolger played his own Scarecrow character in the "Oz" episode, while Lucy played the Tin Man, or Tin Woman as she called herself "Tin Lizzy." For the record, Donny was the Wizard, Marie was Dorothy, Paul Williams was the Lion and Paul Lynde was the Witch. And that was probably the "time capsule" episode of D&M, and the one I'd like to see the most on dvd.

    Here's the song that tin woman Lucy sang in the Oz sketch:

    "I haven't a thing to wear except in last year's tin,
    While everyone knows that teflon is the thing that's in.
    A new wardrobe is a positive must.
    Otherwise, I'll simply just rust!
    Won'tcha let me come along? I won't spoil your plans.
    Maybe you can help me find some high-fashion pots and pans!
    And we'll turn Tin Lizzy into Best Dressed Tef-a-lon Tess!
    Yes! All I want's a new dress!"
    --Lucille Ball{/i]
     
  6. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Holy crap!! I always thought the Donny & Marie episode was THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL! When I finally got a copy of SWHS last year, I was disapointed to not see the cast walking around on a stage with microphones. I seem to think that the cast actually sang some songs. Even Darth Vader showed up! (My memory could be off on this, I was 4 years old!)

    Thanks for bringing this up, my life is so less confused now!
     
  7. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    Carol Burnett has said the early years of her show were not as good as the later years. At the very least I'd like to see a compilation of some of those sketches since they are rarely if ever shown these days, even in clips.

    What I think could be done is grouping the Carol Burnett & Friends syndicated series together into box sets. These are edited versions (no musical guests) from the shows 7th - 11th seasons, easily the best years. This is one reason people believe that Tim Conway was always a series regular. In reality he guest-starred frequently at first and then later joined the show full time.
     
  8. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Russell: I can clear it up a little more: Donny played Luke Skywalker, Marie was Princess Leia. A popular rock singer (don't ask me who) was a singing Han Solo, while the Osmond brothers were Stormtroopers. Chewbacca, R2-D2, Threepio, Darth Vader were (I think) played by the original actors from the Star Wars (who knows? they were all in masks). Also, Redd Fox played a wisecracking Obi-Wan.

    The sketch included many song parodies, but I can't remember them as well as the Wizard of Oz one. I do remember the cast singing a parody of "Leaving on a Jetplane" towards the end of this sketch.

    It's a shame George Lucas takes his little Star saga so damn seriously nowadays. If he put ONE TENTH the love and humor of this silly 10-minute sketch into his stupid chapters one through three...
     
  9. JeffWld

    JeffWld Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm just wondering if the marketing strategy is a wise one. Since it was indicated that the Osmonds (who own the rights to the show) are looking to possibly releasing complete shows, I'm not really interested in buying a highlights DVD at this point since I prefer complete shows. It might have been smarter to release the highlights DVD as well as a couple of complete shows if they wanted to test the market.
     
  10. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    I don't think he's going to make the complete shows available. Donny Osmond didn't indicate anything along those lines when I heard him speak.

    BTW - Osmond is remixing the shows in 5.1 because he has the original recordings (REAL 5.1, not fake 5.1). I've already mentioned to R2 that they should include the original mono tracks as well, though it'll likely be up to Osmond.

    Gord
     
  11. JeffWld

    JeffWld Stunt Coordinator

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    I had used the information from the David Lambert release to make the assumption of the potential for complete shows. It stated:

    "All 72 hours of "Donny And Marie" will eventually come to DVD if sales warrant it....."
     
  12. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Re: The Donny & Marie Show

    hard to believe it's been almost a year since i posted about the viability of seeing this title show up on dvd. just goes to show you, when you aren't fixated with something the wait for it doesn't seem near as long [​IMG].

    last Christmas i found out that there were a couple of 'Best of' tapes floating around for the show so i didn't hesitate to order them. This was a big show for me as a kid (i had an all consuming crush on Marie for a couple years there- until i hit puberty and discovered the charms of 'jiggle TV')- so not having seen this thing in almost 30 years created quite a sense of anticipation.
    after having seen them, i'm still very much looking forward to the dvd set(s), but with some qualifications.
    the tape set (vol 1 & 2) was produced by Donny Osmond, and the content was i presume chosen by both of them. there are a few full sketches, a few full music numbers and maybe one or two examples of the 'patter', and only one of the ice rink opening numbers. mostly its short clips and its more heavily skewed to the last season when the appeal of the show was falling precipitously.
    i would much rather have seen more content from the first and second season- when the show and the duos popularity were at their zenith.
    as much as i understand the impulse towards the Best Of format, since there were only three seasons, three season sets would be much more worthwhile.
    From a sales exploitation perspective, the first season would be helped by the 'novelty' factor (the show has been unseen for almost 30 years now), and the second season by its Star Wars content. the third season might stagger, but by that time so much of the stronger material will already be out it won't matter and the 'completists' will still buy it.
    Best of's do work better with Variety shows like this, but for me, my favorite content from the tapes was the material most glossed over- the simple pre song patter between the two (it might have been scripted, but the two were such pros and have such great chemistry, its still charming to watch). i also used to love the opening numbers but those are given short shrift too.

    this is good news, but i just don't know about having Donny cherry pick content for a small set, because frankly the choices made for the tapes were poor.
     
  13. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW. I don't see it happening, darn it....
     
  14. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Why not Tracey Ullman?
     
  15. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    Too many musical numbers, and a perceived small audience base. I'll bet if they promoted all the original Simpson's shorts, the completist fans from that segment would make a significant sales impact.

    Mark
     
  16. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    This is more classic tv but I would love to see some of the Bob Hope specials on dvd. I always loved the sketches. Some of the monologue may be dated which may hurt it. I always loved the Christmas specials when he announced the AP All-American team.
     
  17. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    Ah, I can see how you figured that may translate into full sets, but that's not the case. It means that Donny will eventually get around to releasing enough volumes (like this one) that would include all the content from the shows.

    Gord
     
  18. Random Hero

    Random Hero Second Unit

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    I'd love to see You Wrote It, You Watch It... The State... and Viva Variety on DVD.
     

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