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Where is "Hill Street Blues" & "St Elsewhere"???!!!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jeff_HR, Nov 1, 2003.

  1. JMFabianoRPL

    JMFabianoRPL Stunt Coordinator

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    Again I must ask, what did Mary Tyler Moore, Grant Tinker, or whoever ever do to anyone at Fox? I haven't seen a burial of the competition worse than the inVasion angle in the WWF! At least they show the MTM logos when the shows do appear, they didn't do so when Bravo got the two dramas in 2000.

    Someone mentioned using remastered versions if they ever did it...I guess that cancels out any hope for us ever seeing the ORIGINAL version of "The Last One" (which I still wonder whether or not it was purposely censored because a flatlining "Mimsie" was too offensive or disturbing)

    P.S. I thought a series set of St. E. was talked about when they talked about bringing out the rest of TMTMS.
     
  2. John Karras

    John Karras Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think they did anything. Fox won't even consider putting out the back catalog of shows they produced themselves. They never bothered to remaster their back television library as evidenced by the prints they provided to Shout for Room 222, and Peyton Place. They didn't bother to remaster Lost In Space. And if you watched the "golden era" of Foxnet, all of their own library shows were broadcast from dirty transfers off of 16mm prints. Fox's idea of releasing "classic" television is to re-package "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" for the umpteenth time.

    On a positive note, there are some licensing (from Fox) projects in the works that will continue some long-stalled series....but I can't be any more specific at this point.
     
  3. JMFabianoRPL

    JMFabianoRPL Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't forget M*A*S*H.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Two things.

    First, we have just seen the release of the complete set of Hill Street Blues. Congrats to all the fans of that ground-breaking show.

    Second, I just watched an episode of a program that aired recently on PBS called Pioneers of Television. It's premise was to review all the groundbreaking shows about doctors and nurses that have aired on TV. The bulk of the show featured interviews and clips with the stars of ER. And there was also a reasonable section with some of the cast of St. Elsewhere...and then shorter segments on Marcus Welby & Medical Center as well as Dr. Kildare & Ben Casey. Frankly, this PBS show was not very well produced as it credited both ER and St. Elsewhere with pioneering the use of long camera takes in the production of their shows. And, they seemed intent on using whatever anecdotes from whichever cast members agreed to appear in the program rather than conducting pointed interviews designed to provide answers to support their own narrative,

    But my real reason for bringing up this program was because of the horrendous condition of the clips used from St. Elsewhere. I mean to tell you, they were dark and muddy--some much worse than others. I regret I did not remember to watch the credits of the PBS show to see who supplied the clips of St. Elsewhere.

    But I hope that the use of those clips doesn't reflect the state of the original elements remaining from that spectacular program.
     
  5. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    I didn't see that but they were probably clipped from the old VHS tapes CH released about 14 years ago.Problem with them, looked bad, stopped at season 4or 5 I think and syndicated versions.I would by a full series of WKRP proper and will buy The Wonder Years
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    This really frustrates me.

    Can't we have any positive news about an eventual release of St. Elsewhere???

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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  8. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Thanks for that piece, Mike. It has a major flaw in that it barely covers what came before it, considering how much time it spends comparing it to what came after.My Dad graduated from med school in 1981, and his residency and internship overlapped with this show's first five seasons. He said it was pretty realistic depiction of being a doctor in those days, though the hospitals he worked at then were far better equipped than St. Eligius. His endorsement was good enough for me.If this show aired today, it would probably be on AMC or Netflix.As for the clips on the PBS documentary: it's Fox. Why is anyone surprised anymore that they just don't care? Even so, Wasn't this show edited on tape to begin with?
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I could see that. :D

    ===========

    I don't mind sayin'...I know that there are a lot of passionate people on this board...passionate about this film or that film...or a particular TV show.

    Well, I guess this show is one of those productions about which I am passionate as I am genuinely bothered by the lack of attention to it.

    But this was one phenomenal TV show and I really think it is due a decent release. And I think that release would be better received than the powers-that- be must believe.

    Talk about a holy grail for me...
     
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  10. Brian McP

    Brian McP Second Unit

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    Come on those who own "St Elsewhere", bring it out as a complete series set (even as a dvd-r set if it is so difficult) and do a feature length special on Norman Lloyd, now in his late 90s -- he was the backbone of this show (along with Ed Flanders) and has had one of the great Hollywood careers that deserves a movie/documentary made about it -- his work with both Alfred Hitchcock and Charlie Chaplin are unforgettable.
     
  11. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    For M*A*S*H they actually did remaster it and advertised it as such in reruns in the 1990s. That was the exception.

    They only remastered Rhoda because of the outcry over how bad the season 1 set was.
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And now it's 2015.


    The question in the topic of this thread was asked by the OP back in 2003.


    I just found this two year old blog post about Fox's TV holdings (which includes some specific info on St. Elsewhere):

    [​IMG]

    And the blog post (I don't want to reprint the whole thing here) also explains part of the morass as to who owns what at this point.
     
  13. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    Since they are so closely related, I'd guess that the chance of a complete St. Elsewhere would hinge on how sales of the complete Hill Street Blues went. Of course, I have no idea what the answer to that question is. I know I bought it on pre-order.
     
  14. Dave Lawrence

    Dave Lawrence Second Unit

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    Interesting blog post, Mike. I had no idea a Season 2 set of St. Elsewhere had been prepared, though I do seem to remember reading somewhere a year or so ago that a set for the 3rd/final season of The White Shadow had been prepared and then cancelled. I didn't know how true that really was at the time, but considering the St. Elsewhere situation, maybe it wasn't so far-fetched.


    At least there's been some progress made for a few of the series that were mentioned since that blog post was written, such as the complete sets for Hill Street Blues and The Bob Newhart Show. But there are still too many Fox-controlled shows that remain MIA, either in full or in part.
     
  15. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Yes...and even the single seasons to finish up The Bob Newhart Show have been released (for those who didn't want to commit to the complete series set after starting with the single seasons). Lots of loose ends tied up.


    I read all those things as positive signs, too. But I always feel that there seems to be something about St. Elsewhere and an absolute absence of momentum. But maybe that's just because of how much I want it.


    This is the show--for me--that the distributor could name their price and I'd pay it.
     
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  16. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Okay, I religiously watched St. Elsewhere in its heyday and would buy it in a minute if it ever came to DVD. I bought season one on a preorder and could not wait to watch it from start to finish. The fact, seasons 2 through 6 are absent from public viewing is repugnant to me when lesser hospital dramas like ER and Grey's Anatomy have been given such a flurry of repackaged reissues. Okay, different companies, different corporate mentality. But honestly, the time has come to have St. Elsewhere on home video - all of it. Nothing modest will do at this point. It needs a complete series release and soon. It was, and remains, by far, the best prime time hospital drama.


    When I lived in London there was a station that showed back to back episodes Mon. thru Fri. from 11pm to 1am, making it possible to watch the entire series from beginning to end twice in a single year. I never missed an episode during the six years I lived there. The show still has some of the greatest writing of all time and one of the best ensembles to bring everything to life. How could it be that in 2015 a show costarring Howie Mandel, Denzel Washington, Ed Bagley Jr., Mark Harmon, Norman Lloyd, Terrance Knox, David Birney and David Morse, among others, is still not represented on home video. Yuck! I feel sick thinking about it already!
     
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  17. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Supporting Actor

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    Speaking of which, I rolled the dice recently with the repackaged single-sided 7-disc release of the first season's worth (1994-95) of ER; I thought that, having never seen it before, it would be something I would really enjoy, and in fact, would want all of. Boy, was I ever wrong! That second episode after the pilot was far too graphic, and as such, ER was, at least for me, very much a waste of money.


    Fortunately, my sister-in-law loves ER, so I gave her that release, and she was grateful for it, so it wasn't a total loss.
     
  18. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Like every other show produced from the mid-1990's onward, graphic has been the way of things to come. In lieu of competent acting and solid writing, some blood and guts will do, it seems. I preferred St. Elsewhere for its taut story lines and superb ensemble acting. The show was then dubbed "television's finest hour" by the critics and I've seen nothing in the same vein of hospital dramas since to make that assessment seem out of fashion - certainly, nothing at all to suggest it as being obsolete.


    A blu-ray would be nice - especially given that Universal Home Video has done up one of the campiest programs from the 1980's - Knight Rider - with a hi-def bow. It's a Japanese release, but Amazon can get it for us at a premium. It's region free and looks fabulous. My point is this. If Knight Rider can get such a treatment, why not St. Elsewhere? Why not Murder She Wrote? How about some of the still MIA titles that don't even seem to be a blip on the radar: Crazy Like A Fox, anyone?!?


    Personally, I'd like to see Dynasty/Dynasty II: The Colbys, Dallas and Falcon Crest on this roster of new to Blu too - new digital restorations. I won't hold my breath herein. These shows look awful on DVD, so there's a lot of work necessary to get them up to snuff. But hey, one can dream, can't one?
     
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  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I watched Birdman tonight.


    The thing I couldn't get out of my head as I watched Inarritu's long tracking shots was...St. Elsewhere.


    However, while his simply served to transition from one scene to another...Tinker's (and Paltrow's, et al) tracking shots usually contained dialogue and content and context to give us more story during their transitions.
     
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  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Sigh...


    Putting together next week's RoundUp and I see that the individual release of Hill Street Blues: Season 5 is due out May 26th.


    Each one of these just reminds me of the inaction on a release of St. Elsewhere.


    William Daniels just recorded a new commentary for the June 2nd release of 1776. Sure would be nice to get him involved in some supplemental materials for a St. Elsewhere release...


    [​IMG]
     
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