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Good article on syndicated TVonDVD (Gord Lacey, ALF, Carsey/Werner, etc...


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#1 of 23 MattHR

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Posted October 27 2005 - 05:25 PM

Here's a link to an interesting article on the use of syndicated episodes for DVD from industry website HomeMediaRetailing.com. There are some honest, straight-forward comments from some studio reps, while others troll out the usual B.S. It's definitely worth reading.

http://www.homemedia....rticle_ID=8180

Here's a couple quotes I found quite interesting:

Quote:
Lions Gate Home Entertainment has released syndicated episodes of “Alf” for first- and second-season sets. Marketing director Kajsa Vikman said the supplier had both versions. “We basically decide on which master is going to be the best quality,” Vikman said. “I know that, for some ‘Alf’ fans, the syndicated version was a bit of an issue. But we went with that decision because the syndicated version was a better-produced show; it’s cleaner and tighter and better edited. It was the version the creators preferred.”


Quote:
Another Sony release that included the syndicated cut was a classic series, and the vault paperwork said the episodes were original network cuts. On two of them, however, the teaser was missing and fans pointed it out. Rashba (Marc Rashba, VP of catalog and television marketing) said Sony corrected future pressings of the set and offered to swap the new versions with fans who’d bought the syndicated one.
Does anyone know what show this is, since Rashba doesn't identify it.


Quote:
“Ninety-five percent of people who buy TV DVD don’t care [about cut shows],” said Dubelko (Bob Dubelko, president of Carsey-Werner). “Five percent are diehard fans of the DVD medium.

Quote:
“As long as you talk to the fans, it works,” Rashba (Sony) said. “We’re faced with the decision sometimes of not putting it out at all or doing it with syndicated. In the end, whether it’s a music issue or an episode issue, it’s incumbent on the studio to communicate it.”


The article ends with some comments from our own "Gordo The Great":

Quote:
Lacey argues fans are happier when they know alterations have been made, pointing out a disclaimer on Rhino Home Video’s My Favorite Martian: The Complete Second Season: “The following [four] episodes are presented in their shorter syndicated version. After an extended search, the original masters could not be located.” Lacey’s analogy illustrates the point: “Let’s say your parents go away for the weekend. When they call, it’s better to tell them the house may be a mess. It helps prepare you.”


#2 of 23 MatthewA

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Posted October 27 2005 - 10:55 PM

This is the same-old cover-your-ass BS that needs to be nipped in the bud. There is just no excuse not to release the original version. None whatsoever.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#3 of 23 Jeff Willis

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Posted October 28 2005 - 01:03 AM

Quote:
“Ninety-five percent of people who buy TV DVD don’t care [about cut shows],” said Dubelko (Bob Dubelko, president of Carsey-Werner). “Five percent are diehard fans of the DVD medium.


Matt, thanks for the post. I wish I could let Mr Dubelko know that there may be more than 5% of us who care a great deal about the cut ep issue Posted Image

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#4 of 23 MatthewA

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Posted October 28 2005 - 01:04 AM

Quote:
“I know that, for some ‘Alf’ fans, the syndicated version was a bit of an issue. But we went with that decision because the syndicated version was a better-produced show; it’s cleaner and tighter and better edited. It was the version the creators preferred.”

Why do they feel they need to impose their own (bad) taste on the consumer?

A word to studios: Never go by the vault paperwork. Always physically check the material.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#5 of 23 ElijahS

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Posted October 28 2005 - 01:06 AM

The Lions Gate rep struck me as the most obtuse about the situation.

Her or the head of Carsey Werner.
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#6 of 23 Randy_Cre

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Posted October 28 2005 - 03:17 AM

Personally, I think bob dubelko of carsey-werner (I won't give him the respect of referring to the jackass by Mr. or capitalizing his name) came across as the biggest jerkoff in the entire piece.

#7 of 23 Ethan Riley

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Posted October 28 2005 - 03:36 AM

Quote:
“Ninety-five percent of people who buy TV DVD don’t care [about cut shows],” said Dubelko (Bob Dubelko, president of Carsey-Werner). “Five percent are diehard fans of the DVD medium.


I think this gentleman can take my talking "3rd Rock From the Sun" box and shove it up his dubelko.
 

 


#8 of 23 Garysb

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Posted October 28 2005 - 03:42 AM

Hopefully they are being truthful about Cosby and Roseanne future sets being released uncut. I cancelled my preorders on both 1st season sets when I heard they were the cut versions. I will wait for reviews before buying 2nd season sets.

#9 of 23 JeffWld

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Posted October 28 2005 - 03:55 AM

Dubelko is the most dismissive of the consumer and needs to be removed from anything to do with public relations.

Kajsa Vikman gets credit for putting the wildest spin on an outlandish and untruthful explanation.

#10 of 23 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted October 28 2005 - 05:56 AM

Quote:
“Ninety-five percent of people who buy TV DVD don’t care [about cut shows],” said Dubelko (Bob Dubelko, president of Carsey-Werner). “Five percent are diehard
fans of the DVD medium.

Oh really? 95%? Is that why your company caved in and is providing broadcast prints for ?Roseanne and the Cosby Show & hopefully Third Rock from the Sun? What kind of company would give in to 5% of its customer base when 95% are happy?

Talk about a stupid statement. That would mean that if 100,000 people bought Cosby show season 1, only 5,000 would care about the edits? That's a nice number and all, but it doesn't take in to account all of those potential customers that would've bought the set but decided against it when they found it was edited.

In other words, his claim might've made some sense to me if he said 95% of the people that bought the set don't care, but again that's not taking in to account all the people turned off from buying it in the first place because of edits.

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#11 of 23 Mike*SC

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Posted October 28 2005 - 06:05 AM

Before we send out a lynch mob, let me say that I know Bob Dubelko (not well, and haven't seen him in a while, but I do know him) and though I have no idea of the context for this quote, he is not the dismissive, uncaring suit you've (with reason) accused him of being. And I know that Carsey-Werner is remedying the cut-episode situation with future DVD sets.

Carsey-Werner was a major player in network television a few years ago, but is now a very small company that handles the old properties for syndication and DVD (and is producing one last season of "That '70s Show"). Their president of publicity recently took another job elsewhere. I would say that this is just an unfortunate quote (and I agree, it wasn't a bright thing to say, if indeed it is what he said).

You may now lynch me for sticking up for Bob.

#12 of 23 george kaplan

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Posted October 28 2005 - 06:21 AM

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#13 of 23 Ethan Riley

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Posted October 28 2005 - 06:29 AM

I don't want him lynched; I just think what he said was terrible and untrue. I believe the OPPOSITE of what he said. I believe that 95% of tv on dvd fans know EXACTLY what they're buying and care DEEPLY about editing issues. And his quote also doesn't explain why Roseanne Barr herself was so passionately upset about the edited episodes that made their way onto her boxed set. She has every reason to be upset; that show was her work and her art. She has been very public about her fondness for the show that made her a star. She deserves to see it given to her fans the way she intended them to see it.
 

 


#14 of 23 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted October 28 2005 - 07:00 AM

My problem with what he said is that there is no way for him to know that such a statement is true. I doubt seriously that C/W took surveys of people that didn't buy the Cosby Show to find out what their reasoning was.

I don't want him lynched, but I can't let a quote like that go unchallenged. I wouldn't go so far the other way to say that its an issue for 95% of the buying public because there are a lot of people out there that just don't care. I'm not going to guess as to what percentage of the buying population cares and which percent doesn't, but the thing is that the people that are happy with syndicated episodes would not be unhappy if they got broadcast versions, they'd just take syndicated episodes over nothing at all. So that means that to me you're better off releasing broadcast cuts which would piss of nobody to any real degree, than you are to release syndicated cuts which is for sure going to piss off a significant portion of your audience.

#15 of 23 MishaLauenstein

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Posted October 28 2005 - 08:50 AM

“Ninety-five percent of people who buy TV DVD don’t care [about cut shows],” said Dubelko (Bob Dubelko, president of Carsey-Werner). “Five percent are diehard fans of the DVD medium."


It would be reckless to comment on the 95% figure, since I have not done a market survey myself, so let's use those figures throughout this reply. But the most absurd part of the quote is actually the inane:

Quote:
“Five percent are diehard fans of the DVD medium."


Um. He actually thinks that people are buying TV Show box sets because they are fans of the DVD medium. That's like saying that people subscribe to TV Guide because they are fans of cathode ray tubes. This joker is actually under the impression that he is in the business of selling shiny circles. I've got news for him. AOL already sends them out for free.

It is in fact the 95% who bought the edited ALF that are diehard fans of the medium. How else could you explain why someone would buy a box of something they can get on TV for free every night.

The 5% are in fact fans of THE TV SHOW! (oh, sorry, I mean, fans of the "revenue stream and a marketing tool")

The thing is: fans of the DVD medium are eventually going to realize they have enough and stop buying. But fans of TV Shows are going to want to own the complete, uncut series in the highest-quality medium possible. They are the long-term market for a given show. They are the ones who bought MASH on VHS and are now buying it again on DVD. Who is going to re-buy their "producer's cut" ALF episodes on HDVD?
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#16 of 23 LukeB

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Posted October 28 2005 - 10:28 AM

Yeah, I must agree that the syndicated "ALF" is much tighter and cleaner and better edited. I especially like when Willie comes in and tells ALF "You were singing again" and we're all like "What? No he wasn't" because Lions Gate didn't want to clear a Beach Boys song. So now it is better because we, the viewers, have to use our logic to deduce that he was singing and that we just didn't see it. Hey, only 5% of customers care if they're actually getting the TV show they want as it was created. I bet way more than that care that they get the privilege to fill in blanks and see peeks of scenes they didn't see in the end credits montage. Tighter, cleaner, better. Hey, they should market it as that "ALF: The Tighter, Cleaner, Better Version You Didn't See On Network TV." What a joke.

#17 of 23 LarryH

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Posted October 28 2005 - 01:37 PM

I would be willing to speculate that the majority of DVD customers have not even considered the possibility that they are getting cut-down versions of the TV shows on DVD they are purchasing. Were they made aware that they are not getting the complete episodes I expect they would strongly object and would reconsider their purchase. Another case where ignorance favors the exploitative.

#18 of 23 Juan Books

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Posted October 28 2005 - 03:08 PM

What a lame article. Posted Image

Studios have not been negligent, and people don't care about their favorite shows being butchered... yeah, I'm buying that Posted Image

#19 of 23 James Landau

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Posted October 28 2005 - 07:00 PM

It's amazing how many outright lies and fabrications they managed to pack into just one article. I grow weary of corporations constantly feeding us the most lame, transparent lies to cover for their ineptitude and inadequacies, and then having the audacity to feign bewilderment when the public refuses to bite and calls them on their dishonesty.

Quote:
Lacey argues fans are happier when they know alterations have been made, pointing out a disclaimer on Rhino Home Video’s My Favorite Martian: The Complete Second Season: "The following [four] episodes are presented in their shorter syndicated version. After an extended search, the original masters could not be located."
It would help considerably if such disclaimers held even a modicum of truth. In the case illustrated above, it was complete fiction. It was revealed on this very forum (thread available here) that the same source who told them where to find an uncut copy of the pilot episode also knew where to obtain uncut copies of these four second season episodes. Yet Rhino never even asked. Extended search, my ass.

It was later revealed that the syndicated versions used, while shorter, were apparently not cut--just time compressed. Even so, actually conducting the search they claimed to have made would have led them to the superior, full length 35mm prints of these episodes.

#20 of 23 David_Blackwell

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Posted October 28 2005 - 07:19 PM

Some valid points made before in other articles. I raise my eyebrows with some of the quotes, but the article can only say so much.
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