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Why are they putting out all of these bombs?


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#1 of 82 Mark To

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Posted November 30 2004 - 03:35 PM

I mean really, I don't understand this at all. I can see modern, successful shows being released but some of this stuff couldn't even stay on the air a half season. Wonderfalls? Firefly? I mean I can see something like Freaks and Geeks which at least aired about 16 episodes. But why are we seeing these stinkers released? Is it to try to recoup production costs? I mean, if people were watching these things they would have stayed on at least a couple of months. Is there are rhyme or reason to this? Not that I'm bitter or anything but I can't get shows that lasted for 3, 4 or 5 years or more that I like and this stuff comes out? What's next, the South of Sunset box?

#2 of 82 Joshua Lane

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Posted November 30 2004 - 03:52 PM

Because to some, they aren't "stinkers" or "bombs".

Fox is notoriously bad when it comes to giving their new TV Shows solid airing times... so what happens is no one ever knows when the show is on. Then, it gets bad ratings, and gets unfairly cancelled.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some of these series have VERY dedicated fans. Even if the TV Show only had 3 million viewers (aka, low ratings for a primetime series), it only takes ~100,000 of them to purchase the box set to make it successful.

#3 of 82 Shawn_Sm

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Posted November 30 2004 - 04:01 PM

Basically, it takes a lot more viewers to make a show successful on air than it does buyers to make it successful on DVD.

Edit: Yeah, what Joshua said.

#4 of 82 Michael Reuben

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Posted November 30 2004 - 04:01 PM

Quote:
Wonderfalls? Firefly?

Have you actually seen the shows, or are you just drawing conclusions from the fact that they were cancelled?

M.
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#5 of 82 Linda Thompson

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Posted November 30 2004 - 04:22 PM

There are lots of "orphan" shows that couldn't manage to stay on the air, but I'd love to have made available, and I'd snap them up in a heartbeat. These are only a few off the top of my head:

Tarzan (yeah, the one with Travis Femmel; I know that I should be ashamed to admit that I enjoyed it, but I did)

Legend (Richard Dean Anderson - after MacGyver, before Stargate)

Alien Nation (one of my Holy Grails)

Tremors (ditto my comment for Tarzan)

The Lone Gunman (this one is actually coming!)

Jack Of All Trades (totally silly Bruce Campbell series)

Brisco (another of my Holy Grails)

Night Visions (great anthology show with very lousy "host")


I seem to remember reading somewhere (very recently, in fact) that even MY MOTHER THE CAR is coming out on DVD. So, maybe there's hope for some of my own elusive butterflies... :wink:

#6 of 82 Mark To

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Posted November 30 2004 - 05:37 PM

Quote:
Have you actually seen the shows, or are you just drawing conclusions from the fact that they were cancelled?



Did see one or two of each as I try to do with all shows and I thought they were bad. So here's a question. If a show gets cancelled due to small viewership of a couple of million or so, then what about shows from 20, 30, 40 years ago where the viewership for a failed show was about 20 million? Are you telling me that just because a show is x number of years old that it didn't have "dedicated fans". My point is that a bomb back then A) Had about 10 times the viewers as a bomb now and B) Up until the early 70s, with a couple of rare exceptions, even when a show got cancelled, they still aired all of the shot episodes.

BTW, speaking of My Mother the Car, in spite of what you may have heard, it is not the worst show of all time. It may be one of the wildest concepts but there have been far worse programs. It's not good but it's not unwatchable like The Munsters Today and low budget crap like that. It's better than Ugliest Girl in Town is all I'm saying.

#7 of 82 Paul Miller

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Posted November 30 2004 - 06:51 PM

While older shows did have a much bigger audience watching, but that was over twenty to forty years ago. Unless it found a home in syndication, most people won't remember them or have the bond that they do to other shows that found a home in syndication.

Plus with sci fi shows like Firefly, the base that does watch is much more dedicated than the average fan.

Paul

#8 of 82 Brandon Conway

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Posted November 30 2004 - 08:30 PM

Recent short run shows are also better prepared to make the jump to DVD. No need to dig deep in an archive, or figure out rights issues, or remaster the elements, etc.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#9 of 82 Chip_HT

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Posted November 30 2004 - 11:04 PM

Plus Firefly does have a big movie coming out next year, so it couldn't have sucked too bad.

And it was a Joss Whedon show, so complete suckage is impossible.

#10 of 82 Michael Reuben

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Posted December 01 2004 - 01:48 AM

Quote:
Are you telling me that just because a show is x number of years old that it didn't have "dedicated fans".

I'm not telling you anything. I just wondered whether you'd seen the shows in question.

The history of TV is full of interesting shows that, for one reason or another, didn't attract enough viewers to sustain a lengthy run. (One of them is the original Star Trek; with today's itchy trigger fingers in the executive suite, that show wouldn't have lasted even a whole season.) The Trio network has a series devoted to such shows, which they call "Brilliant But Cancelled". You may not have liked Firefly or Wonderfalls, but lots of people did -- just not as many as the fans of other shows in the same timeslots.

Quote:
If a show gets cancelled due to small viewership of a couple of million or so, then what about shows from 20, 30, 40 years ago where the viewership for a failed show was about 20 million?

It's much easier, quicker and cheaper to create a DVD set from a recent show than one made decades ago. The source materials are fresh, the creative people are still available and, as noted above, the rights have probably been cleared in advance because the producers anticipated a home video release. Until very recently, releases of TV shows on home video were the exception, not the rule; twenty years ago it was unheard of.

One more thing: Whether something's a "bomb" depends a lot on historical perspective. Once upon a time, Citizen Kane was a "bomb"; so were It's a Wonderful Life and Vertigo.
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#11 of 82 Jonathan Carter

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Posted December 01 2004 - 02:35 AM

Quote:
Are you telling me that just because a show is x number of years old that it didn't have "dedicated fans". My point is that a bomb back then A) Had about 10 times the viewers as a bomb now and B) Up until the early 70s, with a couple of rare exceptions, even when a show got cancelled, they still aired all of the shot episodes.


You also seem to fail to mention that 20-30 years ago there was much less competition for shows since the sheer volume of shows was fewer at any given time slot. A small fanbase and viewership now, small being dictated by the network execs, is still much larger than what would have been considered small and unprofitable back then.

#12 of 82 Todd Hostettler

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Posted December 01 2004 - 02:38 AM

Posted Image

#13 of 82 Colin Davidson

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Posted December 01 2004 - 02:38 AM

I will have to admit to being a Firefly convert.

Originally I watched a couple of episodes when I could catch it (pre-TIVO) and liked it but could never connect up on a continuing basis.

When it was coming up to be released on DVD I made a blind purchase based upon the recommendations of people on this very forum.
I bought it, watched it, and immediately fell in love with it. Anticipation for the movie release is hard to contain.

The short-lived series Keen Eddie is another that I am glad was released on DVD. Even though it sadly lasted for 13 episodes I enjoy re-watching it.

#14 of 82 todd s

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Posted December 01 2004 - 03:16 AM

2 examples of shows that were very good, but failed in the ratings was Miracles and Veritas. I was fortunate to have seen the 6-8 episodes of each show that were unaired. And they were very good. The problem was that ABC got uncomfortable with the content of Miracles. Which is ridiculous because they knew what the show was about. And Veritas just didn't get the timeslot or time to find it's audience.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#15 of 82 Jaime_Weinman

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Posted December 01 2004 - 03:19 AM

Without getting into the merits of individual shows, let me just point out that many, many times a recent flop movie will sell better than an old movie that was a hit. The same applies to TV shows: even with a megaflop, there are several million people who watched it recently, and if only a fraction of them buy the DVD, you've got yourself a big-selling TV-on-DVD set. With an older show, there may be very few people who have seen it recently (and it's getting worse now that older shows are disappearing from cable TV), and that's not good for DVD sales.

#16 of 82 Jesse Blacklow

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Posted December 01 2004 - 03:25 AM

For someone who is constantly complaining about the treatment of classic and unrecognized series of the past on DVD, you sound awfully hypocritical when more recent shows you consider "stinkers" get the DVD treatment. Just not good enough, especially for trigger-happy networks like Fox and ABC during sweeps. A lot of these shows were smash hits with critics and had small but devoted fanbases. Plus, since they're so recent, there's little to no chance unaired episodes and other goodies have gone missing. Like John said, your comparison of shows of yesteryear failing even with 20 million viewers is way off base, considering there are several new networks/netlets, plus the major cable shows all competing for viewers.
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#17 of 82 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted December 01 2004 - 04:56 AM

Jaime made a good point regarding how recent flop movies can do better than older hits on DVD and that the same could be considered true in the TV show realm as well.

I agree also with the fact that some of those shows you mentioned from 30 years ago had much larger viewership because there was much less on TV.

Again I wonder why this same conversation needs to be rehashed every few weeks? Mark, you possess a real nack for changing all the words in your thread and yet maintaining the same message at its hard.

I honestly don't know what else anyone can do to get you to realize why these companies do what they do. The fact that the audience for these shows years ago might not be the type that would buy it on DVD was not introduced in this thread, it showed up in one of the many other threads that basically had the same core subject at its heart.

#18 of 82 LizH

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Posted December 01 2004 - 07:23 AM

Quote:
Because to some, they aren't "stinkers" or "bombs".


I agree. Posted Image

Quote:
Fox is notoriously bad when it comes to giving their new TV Shows solid airing times...


You can add The WB to that list as well. Posted Image

Network politics is often a factor in cancellations as well. BION, MY pet show, "Birds of Prey", was actually a modest HIT! Posted Image (It did as well as "Angel" -- a well-established and supposedly, "superior" show -- in its insane 9:00 p.m. Wednesday timeslot. Truth be told, it did better than 80% of the network's schedule.)

The REAL reason that the Birds were cancelled was that the network hated the show (As much as The WB tried to have it otherwise, it didn't fit into the network's mushy teen soap mold. Posted Image When the ratings slipped against a combination of "The Bachelor" and "The West Wing", they seized an opportunity to cancel the show. Posted Image )

Every show SINCE the Birds has died in that timeslot ("Angel" died there last season. Neither "The Mountain" nor "Jack and Bobby" has done any better this year.)




Something else ... "Popular" does NOT necessarily mean "Good" (cf., "Survivor", "The Bachelor", "Fear Factor", "The Swan", etc.)

#19 of 82 todd s

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Posted December 01 2004 - 07:49 AM

Liz, I really wanted BOP to succeed. Dina Meyer was spot-on as Oracle. What I didn't like was how much they screwed around with characters and the backstory. If they would have used the real Huntress and Black Canary (like w/Lori Laughlin) and not made it X-men lite with all of the Meta subculture. It would have been perfect. I also didn't like that Bats was made to be a urban legend. Which is fine for civilians. But, not for the police.
I guess this a topic for another thread. But, I still have all of the episodes recorded on dvd. Posted Image
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#20 of 82 Richard Ringenbach

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Posted December 01 2004 - 10:23 AM

I find it hard to believe that there is more demand for some of the junk that is being put on DVD rather than shows like NYPD Blue or All In The Family !Maybe the reason these aren't selling so good is because they aren't advertised like some of the programs being released. I don't recall seeing "NYPD Blue" seasons 1 & 2 advertised on TV when they were released.It is possible that a lot of fans don't know they are available on DVD.


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