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Is there a ray of hope for WKRP??


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#21 of 77 Jaime_Weinman

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Posted November 30 2003 - 08:53 AM

Quote:
Are the people who are willing to pay $10 extra for WKRP the same who pointed their fingers at Fox for pricing their MTM set too high resulting in the low sales that have stalled future season sets?

Possibly. I'm not one of them, though, because I don't really think that price was the biggest factor in MTM's sales disappointment -- a factor, perhaps, but I think it had as much to do with the fact that MTM's fanbase skews kind of older -- not that there's anything wrong with that, but that's the segment of the audience that may not have DVD players yet. I believe that M*A*S*H would have outsold MTM even if the sets had been priced the same, because M*A*S*H has a larger fan following among people who buy DVDs; same with the expensive Dick Van Dyke show sets (granting that Image probably didn't have Fox-style sales expectations, but "Dick Van Dyke" has a somewhat broader fanbase than MTM).

With WKRP, I think the show could sell better than MTM for various reasons: it has more young fans, the rock music element, the first season has the turkey episode (MTM's first season doesn't have many famous episodes), and radio DJs love it so it would get a lot of plugs on the radio. So even at the MTM-style price, I think WKRP would sell better than that. But I haven't researched this of course.

#22 of 77 Paul Drake

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Posted November 30 2003 - 09:04 AM

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I have news for you. There is such a glut of television coming to dvd nearly everyone must prioritize their purchases.


I absolutely agree with you. I love DVD as much as anyone else but I probably buy under 30 per year. Of course a number of those are box sets which causes the pocket book to feel some pain.

I've passed over box sets of shows that I really like (Twilight Zone, All in the Family, I Love Lucy) simply because as a consumer I've got to make a choice. I was going to pass on the Dick Van Dyke sets until Best Buy offered a first week pricing scheme that was too good to pass up.

There is such a glut of product out there that it's becoming a vicious circle. The studios need to realize a reasonable return on their investments to keep the sets coming (translation: good sales). However when literally dozens of choices flood the market, a number of worthy titles are bound to be unsuccessful sales-wise simply because of the competition.

Quote:
a factor, perhaps, but I think it had as much to do with the fact that MTM's fanbase skews kind of older -- not that there's anything wrong with that, but that's the segment of the audience that may not have DVD players yet.


I think your first point is quite valid (skews older), but I'm not sure on your second point (segment without DVD players). I have no hard evidence to back this up, but just from personal observation from family and work people of boomer age and older, you'd be suprised at how many of them have at least one player. What does come into play though is that they seem to shop for DVDs at lower price points. I've also heard some "why should I pay for TV DVD when I can watch it for free on TV" type comments.

#23 of 77 Glenn Overholt

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Posted November 30 2003 - 09:31 AM

I didn't get MTM because I just didn't like it that much. It may have been #1 in the ratings when it was out, but if the other shows that were on at the same time were garbage, then it is easier to be #1.

I see we're all taking $40 - $50 here, but if TNG was $100 a season, how many would go for $110. for each season of WKRP?

Yes, they were half as long, but movies aren't priced by how long they are, but by (partially) the work involved.

Glenn

#24 of 77 george kaplan

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Posted November 30 2003 - 10:19 AM

Are the people who are willing to pay $10 extra for WKRP the same who pointed their fingers at Fox for pricing their MTM set too high resulting in the low sales that have stalled future season sets?
I can only speak for myself. No. I'm consistent in that it wasn't price at all that kept me from buying season 1 of MTM, it was a cut episode due to unpurchased music rights. I'm in the minority, but price is not what kept me from buying MTM or Wiseguy, it's cut episodes. If they'd ponied up the money for the music rights and charged more for those, they may have sold less. I don't know. But I do know that I would have bought both.
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#25 of 77 Nick Graham

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Posted November 30 2003 - 11:04 AM

I'd easily pay $50 per season, and I'm far from a WKRP fanatic. It's just one of the few shows that I really loved growing up, like Simpsons, Night Court, and Married...With Children.

#26 of 77 Randy A Salas

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Posted November 30 2003 - 11:07 AM

Quote:
It was mentioned that getting the music clearances would add $10 to the cost of each set,


To clarify, the $10 amount was part of a hypothetical example. Fox has not said that clearing the music rights to WKRP would actually cost $10 per set. The $10 figure was derived from the example that clearing the rights could cost "a couple of million dolars"--which divided by a hypothetical press run of 200,000 would equal $10 per set.

Quote:
In his article it also metioned saturday night live being a real problem with the music issues. It can`t be that big of a problem, didn`t a big box set of just music acts on SNL just get released?


That was in the sidebar, which offered Gord Lacey's (TV Shows on DVD) top 5 TV shows being held up by music rights. The big boxed set was a long time in the making because of music-rights issues. Gord's pick was for complete-episode, season sets, which are problematic due to the number of musical acts involved.

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At least Fox give the impression they've looked into the WKRP situation. Does anybody really believe Universal have really done their homework with Miami Vice?


To its credit, Fox was the only major studio I contacted that was willing to discuss this complex issue candidly for publication. Others, including Universal, weren't--not on the record, at least.
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#27 of 77 Scott Leopold

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Posted November 30 2003 - 11:11 AM

The Russian was nuts over Bailey. That's one of my favorite episodes (the favorite, of course, being the turkey episode), and without the proper music, it's totally ruined. I've seen several other cut episodes that had jokes or comments that seemed completely out of place, and thinking back on it, it was probably due to the music.

Interestingly, there was a bunch of talk about WKRP recently on 700 WLW out of Cincinatti. They were talking about just how popular this show still is in other countries, and several callers brought up the idea of a WKRP museum in downtown Cincy as a tourist attraction. Oddly enough, this isn't the first time I've heard the idea brought up. Most people point to the Cheers/Boston relationship, and state that it's about time Cincy finally try to capitalize on WKRP. Around here, at least, I think uncut season sets would sell well, even if they were a bit more expensive.


#28 of 77 Keith Plucker

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Posted November 30 2003 - 11:51 AM

Wouldn't this pose a marketing opportunity for a music CD? Say for instance, with each season on DVD, you would get a Best of Season #_ Music CD with the package. While this would cost more they could certainly justify charging more and both Fox and the music companys involved would profit from it.

Would people pay an extra $20-25 per season if the episodes had all the orginal music intact and the package came with a music CD with full length songs on it? I know I would.

-Keith
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#29 of 77 David Lambert

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Posted November 30 2003 - 11:59 AM

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What math is that? Posted Image

Seems like a 20% increase to me. A 120% increase would be from $50 to $110.
Heh...that's not bad math, that's a typo! Must fat-fingered the "2"...sorry about that. :b


Quote:
So are the people who are willing to pay $10 extra for WKRP the same who pointed their fingers at Fox for pricing their MTM set too high resulting in the low sales that have stalled future season sets?

$10 doesn't seem a like a lot to a diehard fan of the show, but to the casual consumer it is.
A great example that illustrates the precise point I was trying to make! Posted Image


Quote:
To clarify, the $10 amount was part of a hypothetical example. Fox has not said that clearing the music rights to WKRP would actually cost $10 per set. The $10 figure was derived from the example that clearing the rights could cost "a couple of million dolars"--which divided by a hypothetical press run of 200,000 would equal $10 per set.
Randy, I can see where people would get confused a bit, but it should have been clear enough that these weren't hard-and-fast numbers. However, I got the impression that they at least represented the *ballpark*. Didn't they? It's around $10, give or take...not $50, give or take. Right?
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#30 of 77 Randy A Salas

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Posted November 30 2003 - 12:32 PM

Quote:
Wouldn't this pose a marketing opportunity for a music CD?


In most cases, it's the music publishers who are holding up the rights to these songs, not the CD companies. (CD companies are usually involved only when an appearance by the artist as well as the rights to a song are involved, such as on Saturday Night Live or a variety show.) These often are people who buy and sell the rights to songs like real estate, as producer Paul Brownstein told me; they just want a return on their investment. I contacted several publishers for the article. None would even get back to me.

To give you an idea of how some of these companies operate, Brownstein told me of a Sonny & Cher Show episode that he couldn't air on TV Land because a music publisher wouldn't grant the rights to one song. Sonny Bono wrote the song, owned half of it and personally OK'd its use on the re-aired show. The music publisher that owned the other half (an interest originally owned by producer Phil Spector, who did not write the song) refused to grant permission. So Sonny Bono couldn't air his own song on his own show because of a music publisher that owned half of it!

Quote:
Randy, I can see where people would get confused a bit, but it should have been clear enough that these weren't hard-and-fast numbers. However, I got the impression that they at least represented the *ballpark*. Didn't they? It's around $10, give or take...not $50, give or take. Right?


Well, maybe. Peter Staddon was more interested in giving an example that produced nice, round numbers for the article more than anything else. The gist I got was that the 200,000 units in expected sales was the most accurate figure. The "couple of million dollars" in music-rights clearances was more conjecture. The actual figure would surely vary by season and depend on the number of songs and the particular rights holders.

I just wanted to make sure everyone knows that the whole thing was an example, not fact.
Randy A. Salas
DVD Columnist & Feature Writer
Minneapolis Star Tribune daily newspaper

#31 of 77 Joey Gunz

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Posted November 30 2003 - 12:41 PM

All this talk of music rights makes me very nervous for Northern Exposure which plays a lot of different types of music (some popular, some classics, some opera, western, etc). The "NE" music plays a very important part on the show too. I hope when "NE" gets released, the music will be left intact and not be replaced or ommitted as a whole. It's scary that we may never see some of our favorite shows on DVD because of the music situation. Posted Image

#32 of 77 Bob Movies

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Posted November 30 2003 - 01:42 PM

Wow, I'd gladly pay the extra to have some WKRP on DVD... Hopefully someday we'll have it!

#33 of 77 PaulBigelow

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Posted November 30 2003 - 01:45 PM

If there's a chance to get it done *right*, I'd say do it. It is only going to be more expensive down the road.

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#34 of 77 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted November 30 2003 - 02:30 PM

I want this on DVD, and I'd pay an extra $10 or whatever to get it. It would be worth it, just for the Thanksgiving episode.

#35 of 77 Brian Kidd

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Posted December 01 2003 - 12:50 AM

Heck, they'd probably sell several thousand copies here in Cincinnati alone. I still hear people in Fountain Square say, "That's the WKRP fountain!" Fantastic show. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
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#36 of 77 todd s

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Posted December 01 2003 - 02:40 AM

Speaking of Miami Vice. I was watching a couple of the episodes from Columbia House with the substituted music. And it really changed the mood of the episodes.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#37 of 77 Scott_F_S

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Posted December 01 2003 - 06:27 AM

I saw an ep of WKRP on TV Land the other day whilst channel surfing. First time I had seen it in years. I think the one I saw actually was the pilot.

Anyway, there were a couple of Johnny Fever scenes where he spun the record, and instead of a Who song or something that we would hear in the original airing, we heard some cheesy faux-rnr guitar instrumental. It was really awful.

I thought it was amazing how something like that could totally alter the whole feel of the show!!!!

#38 of 77 Tony Whalen

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Posted December 01 2003 - 07:02 AM

I'd pay extra for uncut episodes! Posted Image

Oh, and Joey, thanks for posting the text of the infamous turkey bombing. I cracked up just READING it. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#39 of 77 Nick Graham

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Posted December 01 2003 - 07:54 AM

Hear the big WKRP Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway!

#40 of 77 Bob Turnbull

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Posted December 01 2003 - 01:58 PM

Yep, I'd pay a higher price for all 4 seasons with original music...

So many great lines, but so much of the humour was in the delivery.


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