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The beginning of the end for classic shows?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Joe Lugoff, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Good question. Here's a better question, how many people who hate Buffy have even seen it? I'm not saying that everyone who doesn't like the show has never seen it but I bet a lot of people who say it's bad are basing it upon its title as opposed to actually watching it.
     
  2. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Besides the aforementioned Buffy and it's ilk, there have been some brilliant shows from the past ten years. Six Feet Under, Veronica Mars, The Sopranos (a little too violent and language-filled for my taste, but it is a quality series), Freaks And Geeks, Arrested Development... all of which are excellently written and executed and will all be fondly remembered and will pick up new fans for years to come. There are still some good shows on television, don't let reality tv (which thankfully has died out a bit) and the 25 various CSI/Law And Order variations scare you away, there's been some excellent shows in recent memory, you probably have just been watching the wrong channels.
     
  3. Gary OS

    Gary OS Well-Known Member

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    First off, to be talking about "Buffy" in this thread is a major detour off the topic!!! And I do mean major detour, because it's been released in it's totality - more than once!!! So I'd humbly ask that we not turn this important thread into a discussion about the merits of a show that has already been released and is simply not a "classic" in the strict sense of the word - at least as this thread has defined it.

    Secondly, I wanted to point out that for many of us, it's not that 2006 has been a down year. To the contrary, if you take in all four quarters then I think most of us would agree that this year has been wonderful as far as the release of older shows is concerned. I would posit, however, that in spite of this last quarter offering some solid releases, it's a little down from the last quarter of last year. Not a huge drop, but a drop nonetheless. Therefore I think the earlier posts in the thread that proclaimed we had reached the pinnacle of classic dvd releases is still most likely correct. We are seeing a slowdown, in spite of some attractive releases for October, November, and December.

    The bigger issue in all of this is what the first quarter of next year will bring. That's my real concern. That and the fact that many series seem to have hit a snag in the release queue. But I guess only time will tell. If we see a solid 20 to 25 "classics" (keeping in mind this thread's definition of classic) released in the first quarter of next year, then our fears are unfounded. If the total drops to half of that then we are correct in our concerns.

    Gary "I'll feel a lot better about this issue when I hear news of LITB S-3" O.
     
  4. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Well-Known Member

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    My guess is that the studios see evidence that they've reached a saturation point with classic TV on DVD. You just can't release everything that anyone has ever seen and expect it to be profitable. It's probably not a good business for them any more, if it even ever was.
     
  5. Gary OS

    Gary OS Well-Known Member

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    And I doubt that too many people in this thread would disagree with you, Scott. Although I do believe shows like "THE FUGITIVE" can still be quite profitable to the studios if they market them correctly. I believe that has a lot to do with this discussion. The fact is that many of the studios have grown fat on new releases that need little to no marketing, because the teenboppers and 20 somethings are going to pick them up regardless. But there is a market out there for the older classics, it's just that the studios often don't seem to care or understand how to tap those segments of the market. Then again, there are companies like IMAGE that seem to do a great job with the older classics, so I don't think it can all be blamed on the age of the show.

    Gary "the non-release of 'THE FUGITIVE' is still the most glaring omission, IMHO, of classic tv on dvd" O.
     
  6. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    I've not had much exposure to this series because it's rarely been syndicated, but what I have seen I've liked. I think I'm about the same age as you Gary so this definitely does appeal to the under middle age crowd.

    If Paramount doesn't want to release this to retail they might look at taking the "Get Smart" approach and licensing this via mail order. Time Life appears to have done very well with both Smart and Odd Couple.

    As for the topic of the thread, I think whatever slowdown there is results from the general downturn of the DVD market. Between high gas prices and people dealing with unwatched personal collections, I would assume many are slowing down their purchases.

    Steve
     
  7. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Well-Known Member

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    Well, it does seem to have slowed down quite a bit. 2006 was a good year as I was getting something like 5-6 sets a month in the mail for the first 2/3 of the year. But things really have slowed down quite a bit. I don't think I've put an order in for more than 1 or 2 sets in the last 2 months. I'm not ready to say that we are done with the golden era but I think we've just reached a fallow period. What has to happen is that at some point the major studios will realize that they aren't set up to be profitable on older, lesser known series but that they can cut deals and farm them out to independents. That's what has happened in the music industry and it will take time but it might happen here as well.

    One of the other problems is that of everyone seeing all of these 30, 40 and 50 year old shows being resurrected and they want to all get a piece of the pie. For instance, an old one season sitcom from the 60s that was being worked on. The show was owned by the producer. However, he did not have a full set of prints. The DVD company had to go to the current syndicator to get the prints. The syndicator insisted that it be cleared with the network which ran the show over 40 years ago. Said network, which has no ownership in the series whatsoever, is now asking for a cut of the sales. They have no rights at all but what they do have is a slew of lawyers with nothing else to do. Who's gonna spend the money to fight them over some 40+ year old show? I had another deal that was in place for another 1 season series from the 60s. Owned by the estate of the late producer. However, the talent agency that represented him was involved and they basically killed the deal because it wasn't worth it to them financially. So sometimes when someone asks why such and such isn't coming out, greed is usually the answer.

    By the way, off topic but I couldn't resist, I tried watching Buffy several times and I'm sorry but I just don't get it. Maybe it's generational but snarky comments and oh so glib pop culture references do not equal brilliant writing to me. I know that's the modern style but just like using treacly pop songs instead of writing underscore, it just reeks of laziness, not genius.
     
  8. michael_ks

    michael_ks Well-Known Member

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    Good enough for me. Guess I'll just stick with Serling, Rodman, Silliphant, Rose, Woodfield, Roddenberry, et al.
     
  9. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    Sorry, now I can't resist: what made Buffy so great was the character development and the storytelling through the great story arcs. The dialogue was merely the icing on the cake. There is simply no character development or storytelling on TV today to match it. And it's the exact opposite of laziness: each line and action becomes even more meaningful given the rich history of the characters and the events in their lives. It's not something that you can get in just a couple of episodes.
     
  10. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Well-Known Member

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    Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but by the same token that I won't watch Buffy, is this post actually an attack as to how bad "My Mother the Car" was? LOL And speaking of "My Mother the Car", I've never seen one episode, just heard the legend...Does anyone know whether it will ever be released on DVD?
     
  11. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Well-Known Member

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    Just to set the record straight...tried to watch a few episodes of Buffy, but just like with most theatrical movies made today (which is why I stopped going to the movies), I couldn't get into it...Maybe it's a generation thing with me but I stopped enjoying TV shows as soon as they started looking dark, and the editing started to get me dizzy to the point of losing focus on the plot...Am I old? Absolutely! LOL!
     
  12. Mark Lx

    Mark Lx Well-Known Member

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    It's not your age. Films are made using loud noises to tell you where the suspense is, and 5 visuals per second to remind you it's supposed to be exciting. Cheap production devices to take the place of scripting and acting. It's like watching 2 hour car commercials (see Batman Begins). Hence, all the remakes with louder noises and more shots. The unfortunate thing is, better home theater equipment and movie theaters will never encourage the showing (or making) of better films.


    What was the topic?
     
  13. RoryR

    RoryR Well-Known Member

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    Studios won't release what won't make money, why on earth anybody resents a giant corporation for doing the capitialist thing and releasing profitable shows over non-profitable shows is beyond me.

    The fact most people would rather buy a DVD with the 24 episodes of Desperate Housewives that they just saw on TV might be annoying, but blame the consumer not the company.
     
  14. Gary OS

    Gary OS Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to blame both. [​IMG]

    Gary "the fact is the companies could make a profit if they knew how to market" O.
     
  15. RoryR

    RoryR Well-Known Member

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    They can't make a profit on a product that has limited audience and high production costs, ie. "classic".
     
  16. Gary OS

    Gary OS Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm sure Paramount is kicking themselves for releasing tired, old relics like "I LOVE LUCY" and "THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW." And I'm sure Paul Brownstein and Image are really regretting that decision to release "THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW." They must have lost a lot of money on those. What were they thinking? [​IMG]

    Gary "we aren't talking about unknown one year wonders here, we are talking about shows that still resonate with large portions of the public - 'THE FUGITIVE' being one such example" O.
     
  17. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Well-Known Member

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    My Mother the Car is not as bad as it's been made out to be. All of the abuse that is heaped upon it is really unjustified. It may have been one of the silliest concepts of all time but is it really sillier than a talking horse (Mr. Ed) or basset hound (People's Choice) and I know, Cleo just spoke to the audience. It's not a good show by any means but that is more do to the limited concept than anything else. But I could name you a few shows from the 60s that are far worse than this. And if you compare it to some of the garbage on the air nowadays, it's like Masterpiece Theatre. As for it coming out, well, MGM mentioned it several years ago in the same article with Sea Hunt, Patty Duke Show and others we have yet to see. But it did run on TV Land in the early days and is available if you know where to look.
     
  18. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    I remember watching "My Mother, the Car" a few times during its single season. It was no worse (that is, stupider) than most shows on the air at that time (such as "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Green Acres," "Bewitched," "Mr. Ed," "The Lucy Show," "The Munsters," etc.)

    The critics automatically rejected the entire premise of the show (that a guy's mother is reincarnated as a car!) so the legend began. It made people think that TV was running out of ideas. I just thought it was like "Mr. Ed," with a car instead of a horse. It wasn't bad, just average mid-60s TV sitcom shtick.
     
  19. Alan Lee UK

    Alan Lee UK Well-Known Member

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    I've got a number of shows ticked on TV Shows on DVD, both "classic" and recent era, and it seems ages since I've received an email, so that may indicate some kind of slowdown in the release schedule.

    If sales of TV-on-DVD are falling, then perhaps many other people are getting the same kind of realisation as me - that there is only a finite amount of space in my house for DVD shelving, and only a finite amount of time in my life for watching them all. In both cases I'm reaching the limit. As it is, if I just rewatched my collection now, it would take several years at the rate I watch them. I'm now consciously only buying the "essentials", rather than taking a punt on unknown titles like I would have a couple of years ago.
     
  20. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Well-Known Member

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    Your exactly right there, shelf space with all these large set, although slim packs have helped, is gettting tighter, and it starts getting almost impossible to keep up with these sets that might have 30 hours of programming on them, add in movies, Current TV Fair, that's alot of time in front of the tube !. I have been for awhile transerring alot of my TV Shows over to Divx and Xvid when I receive them, that helps with space as I can store them elsewhere, helps tackle the time limitation as I watch alot on my portable player at lunch at work etc. But you're also right alot of sets I now pass on or rent. Daniel Boone is a set I would've in the past bought, now I netflix it.
     

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