Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Universal needs to restore Dragnet!


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
36 replies to this topic

#1 of 37 OFFLINE   Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

    Screenwriter



  • 1,065 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 11 2004

Posted May 28 2004 - 05:38 AM

I have several DVD sets of Dragnet, and except for a compilation set of 1950s TV's Greatest Shows, the picture quality looks like crap. I know Dragnet is in public domain and as a result anyone can just grab a crappy old worn out print, copy it onto DVD and sell it. However, this show is such a classic, why can't Universal restore every single episode from the 50s as well as the 60s and release the entire series in season sets? Anyone else agree?
I'm a classic TV fan. Widescreen? What's that?

#2 of 37 OFFLINE   David Lambert

David Lambert

    Executive Producer



  • 11,386 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2001

Posted May 28 2004 - 06:05 AM

I agree that Universal will release the original Dragnet series on DVD. Posted Image
DAVE/Memphis, TN

...Want to see your favorite show on DVD?

#3 of 37 OFFLINE   Steve...O

Steve...O

    Producer



  • 3,293 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 2003
  • Real Name:Steve

Posted May 28 2004 - 01:44 PM

Quote:
I agree that Universal will release the original Dragnet series on DVD.


Dave, I think you're going to have to give all of lessons on how to do the official "Dave Lambert Naked Happy Dance" since I'm sure you're going to have most of us dancing in the aisles this weekend Posted Image

By the way, I applaud your strategy of piece-mealing the information out. From a marketing standpoint (promoting the website) it makes total sense to me.

Oh, by the way. Dragnet on DVD = Posted Image

Steve
Please help UCLA restore the Laurel & Hardy films: https://www.cinema.u...aurel-and-hardy

#4 of 37 OFFLINE   David Lambert

David Lambert

    Executive Producer



  • 11,386 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2001

Posted May 28 2004 - 02:59 PM

It has more to do with how long it takes to scan in each item in a nice-looking fashion, size it and crop it properly, and weave it into a story that I can post. Even though the articles are templates of each other, so far at least, it still takes time to modify the template for each series named therein.

And my wife isn't happy at all the time this is taking away from "togetherness", so I'm not sure I won't finish it all off with one big "and the rest" article that has few if any illustrations.

We've been slammed with news lately, too...LOTS of hot annoucements this week. Whew! Plus a non-Universal surprise or two set for this weekend, probably tomorrow.
DAVE/Memphis, TN

...Want to see your favorite show on DVD?

#5 of 37 OFFLINE   Dan Rudolph

Dan Rudolph

    Producer



  • 4,042 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 30 2002

Posted May 28 2004 - 05:12 PM

Where they're at it, they should release the aughts Dragnet.
My Collection

#6 of 37 OFFLINE   Bert Greene

Bert Greene

    Second Unit



  • 408 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 01 2004

Posted May 28 2004 - 06:46 PM

Does Universal have charge of the older '50s "Dragnet?" I sure hope it is under consideration. I like both versions, but the earlier series is of such cultural and historical importance (and it's entertaining, too), that it really needs to be rescued and revived. Are all or most (?) episodes in the public domain, and has this status been the stumbling block, keeping them hidden away? In other words, that the holders of the high-quality prints have seen no reason to foot the expense for restoration and having them circulate, only to be pirated?

Similarly, I'd like to see "Medic" equally rescued from oblivion, if possible. Although I have no earthly idea who owns the rights to the series.

#7 of 37 OFFLINE   Mark To

Mark To

    Supporting Actor



  • 574 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 23 2004

Posted May 29 2004 - 03:55 PM

Dragnet is half PD, half copyrighted. The first 100 shows are PD, the next 100 were renewed and the remaining shows, some are and some aren't. Universal has done nothing with the original show since the mid-60s when they produced the color version. It has not been sold in any market since then. I would like to think they still have negatives in their vault but as these shows have never even been transfered to tape at all they would have to go back to the original prints. I'd love it but they have not shown any inclination to do anything with the black and whites for the last 40 or so years and I just can't imagine that changing now. The sales would not justify the cost and unfortunately there are too many people out there who would be happier with crap quality that's cheap than to pay for good quality releases on this show.

#8 of 37 OFFLINE   Paul Miller

Paul Miller

    Supporting Actor



  • 567 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 09 2004

Posted March 08 2005 - 06:15 AM

Wooohooo, DVDTimes is reporting that the 1967 Season One of Dragnet will be coming to DVD on June 7th.


Paul

#9 of 37 OFFLINE   Joe*R

Joe*R

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 56 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 15 2004

Posted March 08 2005 - 08:16 AM

Is Universal still planning on releasing the original 1951 version of Dragnet?? I would also like to get the 2003 version with Ed O'Neil.

#10 of 37 OFFLINE   Jay Pennington

Jay Pennington

    Screenwriter



  • 1,189 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 18 2003

Posted March 08 2005 - 09:00 AM

Well, just because the PD companies have crappy prints doesn't mean Universal's negatives/prints of that material need restoration.

Quote:
I would like to think they still have negatives in their vault but as these shows have never even been transfered to tape at all they would have to go back to the original prints.


We'd want them to anyway, as a new HD transfer would be far superior to any old telecine job.
-Jay

#11 of 37 OFFLINE   Michael.J.Hayde

Michael.J.Hayde

    Agent



  • 47 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 27 2004

Posted March 08 2005 - 09:35 AM

Quote:
I would like to think they still have negatives in their vault but as these shows have never even been transfered to tape at all they would have to go back to the original prints. I'd love it but they have not shown any inclination to do anything with the black and whites for the last 40 or so years and I just can't imagine that changing now.


Supposedly (I was told this second-hand by two different people) the negatives for the original "Dragnet" are in a limestone mine in Pennsylvania. Much as I hate to admit it - especially since I wrote a book about the show - I think Mark's assessment is mostly correct.

Even if Universal opted not to release the 1950's series in its entirety, there's an opportunity here for them to use it as bonus material. Take the upcoming set: Episode #17 of the first color season, "The Bullet," is a remake of a 1954 episode, "The Big Bible." Since that's one of the episodes for which Universal still holds a copyright, it would make a fantastic extra that would enable viewers to contrast Webb's filmmaking style, not to mention the performances. An added bonus: in the 1954 version, the crime lab officer is played by Dennis "McCloud" Weaver.

Universal did provide a b&w episode - "The Big No Suicide" from 1956 - for TV LAND's recent "TV Moguls" presentation. So maybe there's hope. I'm also intrigued by the radio episode that will be included. If it IS the first broadcast, as TVShowsonDVD.com is speculating, that would be its first ever release. The episode is currently considered "lost" by Old-Time Radio collectors. On the other hand, if it's one that has been in circulation forever (like the radio version of "The Big Bible"), then it won't hold much appeal to the OTR crowd, or even the more-than-casual "Dragnet" fans who have likely purchased MP3's of all the surviving radio shows at bargain prices on eBay and elsewhere.

Michael


#12 of 37 OFFLINE   Greg Chenoweth

Greg Chenoweth

    Supporting Actor



  • 697 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 10 2004

Posted March 08 2005 - 04:15 PM

I think it is great news that Universal is releasing Dragnet 1967 onto DVD. However, what I'm curious about is, will the opening title segment actually say, "Dragnet 1967" like it did when it first ran? Or will it say "Dragnet" like the syndicated version did? I always thought the syndicated opening was edited very poorly and the music used was terrible. I hope that Universal is using the original print and original title opening of "Dragnet 1967."

#13 of 37 OFFLINE   Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

    Screenwriter



  • 1,065 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 11 2004

Posted March 08 2005 - 04:36 PM

Quote:
Supposedly (I was told this second-hand by two different people) the negatives for the original "Dragnet" are in a limestone mine in Pennsylvania.


That's awful news Michael! I mean, I can't begin to imagine just how much the shows have deteriorated throughout the years in such a mine. I wonder about the conditions of these negatives, whether we'll be stuck with the public domain episodes that are now scattered about on various DVDs. Do you know if Universal is aware of this? I wonder who owns that mine and how they all got there? By the way, I really love your book on Dragnet and Jack Webb. I've always wanted to see all the complete episodes from the 50s (I grew up in the 60s and never got to see them on their initial run), and now wonder not only if we'll be stuck with the poor quality public domain titles, but whether we'll ever get to see every single episode ever made, or if most will be lost to the public forever.

Carlos.
I'm a classic TV fan. Widescreen? What's that?

#14 of 37 OFFLINE   Jay Pennington

Jay Pennington

    Screenwriter



  • 1,189 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 18 2003

Posted March 08 2005 - 05:03 PM

Actually, mines are used under the belief that the conditions are LESS likely to contribute to decomposition.
-Jay

#15 of 37 OFFLINE   MattPeriolat

MattPeriolat

    Supporting Actor



  • 739 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 20 2004

Posted March 08 2005 - 05:33 PM

Well, happy as I am to see the 67 Dragnet coming, man, do I want the classic in the worst way. Lately, just been dying for the classic TV. It's great with Lucy and getting Gene Autry from the Westerns Channel, just makes me thirst for more.

Yeah, I'm greedy. Kill me.
So much TV... So little money! Please visit my blog at: http://tvhistoryondvd.blogspot.com/

#16 of 37 OFFLINE   Mark To

Mark To

    Supporting Actor



  • 574 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 23 2004

Posted March 08 2005 - 06:28 PM

I would love for it to happen and you can never tell about these things the way DVD is going. But you are talking about shows that have been buried for 40 years in Universal's vaults. They would need to be completely remastered as Universal has never done a thing with them. Yes its a classic show but I just can't see anything happening with it.

#17 of 37 OFFLINE   Michael.J.Hayde

Michael.J.Hayde

    Agent



  • 47 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 27 2004

Posted March 09 2005 - 04:01 AM

Quote:
Actually, mines are used under the belief that the conditions are LESS likely to contribute to decomposition.

Yes, that's correct. Better the negatives are in a mine than in Universal vaults. However, although I trust the sources that told me this, it's still second-hand information.

Quote:
Universal has never done a thing with them.


That's basically true, but for two exceptions: One, the TV LAND Moguls thing I mentioned before that aired the 1956 episode "The Big No Suicide." Unfortunately, they tampered with it by changing the end titles - moving the "Mark VII Ltd" logo to the very end (as it is on the color shows) and adding the late-1960's Universal Television logo at the close.

Two, they did clean up a 1952 episode called "The Big Jump," which ran on a Los Angeles premium cable station called the Z Channel back in the mid-1980's.

Michael


#18 of 37 OFFLINE   Michael.J.Hayde

Michael.J.Hayde

    Agent



  • 47 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 27 2004

Posted March 09 2005 - 04:45 AM

Quote:
I hope that Universal is using the original print and original title opening of "Dragnet 1967."


The 1990's runs on NICK AT NITE and TV LAND used the original openings, so I'm reasonably sure these will too. However, I'll be curious to see how they'll handle "The Christmas Story" if/when the second season ("Dragnet 1968") is released. That episode was repeated at Christmastime during the "Dragnet 1969" and "1970" seasons, and the NICK and TV LAND versions used "Dragnet 1970" titles. Hopefully Universal still has the original "Dragnet 1968" closing titles for that one (presumably any opening from that season can be used if needed).

Another puzzle is "The Joy Riders" - it was produced and intended to air during "Dragnet 1968." It was going to be the last episode of the season, but was pre-empted because Dr. Martin Luther King was assasinated that day. It ended up airing as a "Dragnet 1969" episode almost a year later. NICK and TV LAND used to air it as episode 18 for some bizarre reason. Will it/should it be included with the second season set or the third?

Michael


#19 of 37 OFFLINE   Jeffrey Nelson

Jeffrey Nelson

    Screenwriter



  • 1,066 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 04 2003
  • Real Name:Jeffrey Nelson
  • LocationSeattle, WA

Posted March 09 2005 - 10:42 PM

Riddle me this: why are all episodes named "The Big --"? What genius came up with that idea?

#20 of 37 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

Paul_Scott

    Lead Actor



  • 6,546 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 18 2002

Posted March 09 2005 - 11:31 PM

God i love this show.
unintetional hilarity abounds.
of course, its also sad that this show helped perpetuate the modern age reefer madness hysteria, and that alot of those (absurd) impression still persist.
looking forward to season 2 with Webbs full of bs 'debate' with the Tim Leary stand-in, who of course is peddling lsd to elementary school kids.


Back to TV on DVD and Blu-ray



Forum Nav Content I Follow