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Should Some TV Shows Start With Later Seasons?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jaime_Weinman, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Well-Known Member

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    Every TV series on DVD starts with season 1, it seems. If season 1 sells well, season 2 follows. And so on.

    Now, normally this is perfectly sensible. Season 1 is the logical place to begin, because, well, it's the beginning. And for the most part I don't agree with the idea that if a season 1 set doesn't sell well it's because the show hadn't hit its stride yet. (I.e. I just don't think The Mary Tyler Moore Show would have sold all that much better if season 1 had been a stronger season. Maybe a tiny bit better, but not much.) For the most part, if people want the series, they'll want season 1.

    But there are some cases where a show's first season is so different from what came later that it might make sense to start the season sets with a later season that is more representative of the series overall. Law and Order strikes me as one example -- the first season cast is so different from what viewers are used to seeing in syndication that it might have been better to start with season 2 or 3 to give the viewers a few more familiar faces. Another example, though I doubt if it'll actually make it to DVD, is the second Newhart show. The first season was shot on videotape and featured a bland character as the maid (Leslie Vanderkellen); it wasn't until season 2 that the show switched to film, added Julia Duffy as Stephanie Vanderkellen, and thereby acquired the look and style that viewers would expect from that particular show. A season 1 set would probably leave viewers wondering "What is this? This isn't the show I wanted."

    Are there any other TV shows where you think it would be better (or would have been better) to start with a later season?
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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    No. In order and all of them. It took 20 years to get the studios to figure out how to release TV on video, and now that they're getting it right, don't mess with it.
     
  3. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Well-Known Member

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    Dark Shadows already did start with well into the show.
     
  4. DeanWG

    DeanWG Well-Known Member

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    While I'm not totally convinced that it would be a better idea for some shows, I can marginally see your point.

    One of those shows that seemed to beat the odds was the Simpsons. Despite a great cult following, there's no question that the first season of the show was dynamically different than the show we have today, especially when it comes to Homer. He transformed from a fairly gruff and grumpy father into a much more funny (IMO), goofy idiot.

    So I guess it depends if there's a really drive to either release the entire series, or to release the first season as a "market test."
     
  5. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Well-Known Member

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