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Will "Sightings" Ever be released on DVD??


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#1 of 47 Mike T

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Posted January 26 2006 - 08:34 AM

"SIGHTINGS" was THE best reality documentary series about the paranormal. I really wish that Paramount would release it on DVD, preferably in season by season releases. Here is the history of the show, for those who aren't familiar with it:

"Sightings" started out as a few specials on the Fox network in 1991 and 1992 featuring investigations of UFOs and ghosts, respectively. The ratings were good, so it was made into a weekly half-hour series in the spring of 1992. It ran for two seasons on Fox. In 1994, it was brought back in first-run syndication as an hour weekly show with all-new episodes. It ran for two seasons again. In 1996, the Sci Fi Channel picked it up for its 5th and final season (ending in 1997). According to one source, at least a couple of two-hour specials aired on Sci Fi in 1998. In 2002, a movie based on a segment of the series aired on Showtime called, "Sightings: Heartland Ghost". In 2003, the producers of the show edited together some old footage with some new interviews and produced a first-run syndicated series called, "Unexplained Mysteries" (which ran until 2005).

"Sightings" had both style and substance. The writing on the show pulled you into each segment and made you interested in it. The show was packed with lots of information and managed to get it all in within each 5 to 10 minute segment, without seeming rushed. I liked the fact that it featured several different topics per hour (or 30 minutes in the first two seasons). If you didn't like one segment, chances are you liked another or several others. The show was the precursor to the popular fictional series "The X-Files". "The X-Files" replaced Sightings on Fox's Friday night schedule in 1993, exploring the same topics, except in a fictional format. You have to see that Sightings paved the way for paranormal programming, not only on Fox, but on other networks and in syndication.

Now that "Unsolved Mysteries" (and some obscure paranormal shows like "Mysteries, Magic, & Miracles") are out on DVD, I think it only fair that we get Sightings out on DVD. I would prefer full-season releases. Since the show was only 30 minutes long in its first 2 seasons, I would think that they could group seasons 1 & 2 (as well as the few specials that preceded the series) in one DVD set. After that they could put out seperate releases for seasons 3 through 5. Maybe some extras could be included such as interviews with host Tim White, Producer Henry Winkler, etc. Maybe something about the paranormal (terms or something else) could be included. I think they should be reasonably priced for fans. I would definitely buy them all! And I know I'm not alone.

Would any of you like to see it released on DVD? For those of you who are fans, I think we should start a letter writing campaign to Paramount Home Video.

-Mike

#2 of 47 Jim Beaver

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Posted January 26 2006 - 12:10 PM

I totally agree Mike. I loved Sightings as a kid and I think Paramount should give it the Season Set treatment. I'd love to see this show again. It's a crime that Unsolved Mysteries is on DVD and Sightings isn't. Hopefully Sightings will be on DVD soon.

#3 of 47 TravisR

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Posted January 26 2006 - 12:26 PM

I don't know if it'll happen but I'd to see Sightings again. No pun intended.Posted Image

#4 of 47 Mike T

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Posted January 27 2006 - 09:37 AM

I've sent my letter to Paramount politely requesting that they release Sightings on DVD. It may not work, but it's worth a try. I will post their regular mail address soon, if it's allowed on this forum.

#5 of 47 Mike T

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Posted January 30 2006 - 08:42 AM

For those of you who want to write a letter to Paramount Home Entertainment requesting that "Sightings" be released on DVD, here is the official address:

Paramount Studios
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038

Remember to be polite in your letter. If you demand or are rude, it won't do us any good. Keep it brief and to the point (no more than one or two short paragraphs). It may help to put the name "SIGHTINGS" in all capitals. Write (or print) legibly or type it. Be sure to tell them HOW you would like it released, such as: Season by season (as the shows were originally aired); "Best of..." (compilation of different segments from different seasons); Topical (one set for UFOs, one set for Ghosts, one for Creatures, etc.); or Small Individual releases (only a few episodes per release). I would prefer the season sets, personally.

Get your friends who were fans of the show to write, too. The more letters by different people, the better the chances.

Thanks.

-Mike

#6 of 47 Mike T

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Posted February 01 2006 - 07:05 AM

(bump)

#7 of 47 Mike T

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Posted February 03 2006 - 11:08 AM

(bump)

#8 of 47 Britton

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Posted February 03 2006 - 11:36 AM

I remember tuning into Sightings on a Friday night in September 1993 and being surprised that the format of their presentation had changed. It was actually the pilot episode of the X-Files.

#9 of 47 Mike T

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Posted February 04 2006 - 07:26 AM

(Quote: "I remember tuning into Sightings on a Friday night in September 1993 and being surprised that the format of their presentation had changed. It was actually the pilot episode of the X-Files." - Britton)


Yeah, I know what you mean. Like I said at the beginning of this thread, Sightings was the precursor to "The X-Files" (even though they were made by different production companies). I think that the Fox network execs were really interested in paranormal programming at that time and wanted to try a fictionalized version of "Sightings". So, when Chris Carter proposed the idea for X-Files to them, they ran with it. Obviously, it paid off for them.

Too bad they gave up on Sightings before The X-Files got on the air and got so popular. It could have been their best bet for a "companion show" for TXF. Fox tried pairing everything else they could think of with TXF, but nothing ever really worked for the timeslot before it. Luckily for us Sightings fans, Sightings found a new "home" in syndication the following year. I still think it would have had greater ratings if it had stayed on Fox, though.

I think that the Fox network heads later realized their mistake in cancelling Sightings. In 1994, they tried a new show similar to Sightings called "Encounters: The Hidden Truth". It got mediocre ratings and ran sporadically for about a year and a half (mainly in the summer months). And who can forget Fox's infamous "Alien Autopsy" special? If I remember right, they also aired a few UFO documentary specials after TXF got popular. Even UPN got in on the act, by airing a short-lived paranormal documentary series called "The Paranormal Borderline". After that, the cable channels (Discovery, History Channel, TLC, Travel, Sci Fi, etc.) started producing and airing paranormal documentary specials and are still doing it today. Similar (usually short-lived) series followed on other channels, but none were as good as Sightings.

I'm not saying that Sightings was the first paranormal documentary series ever ("In Search Of" and "Unsolved Mysteries" were there first, although they weren't exclusively paranormal). But, along with TXF, it did seem to start the supernatural "craze" on TV in the '90s and continuing to this day.

#10 of 47 Mike T

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Posted July 06 2006 - 08:48 AM

I should have stated earlier that I would prefer this show to be released in the current standard DVD format. I know that many people are talking about the new high definition blue ray DVDs and players on this site, but I have a standard DVD player and I won't be buying a new "blue ray" DVD player any time soon (if they are even out yet). I'm sure that the blue ray stuff will probably be more expensive (at least at first) and I think that most standard DVD sets are too expensive now. So, I would prefer "Sightings" in a standard DVD format (for now, anyway).

-Mike

#11 of 47 Nick Zbu

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Posted July 06 2006 - 09:50 AM

Wouldn't all the people that were on the show pose a problem for releasing the shows? The early '90s may have had contracts in place that did not cover eventual video/DVD release. I'm not sure, but that may pose a problem (unless Fox is more savvy than I'm giving it credit for).

This reminds me: was Psi Factor ever put out on DVD? I remember a fondness for that show.

#12 of 47 Mike T

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Posted July 06 2006 - 11:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Zbu
Wouldn't all the people that were on the show pose a problem for releasing the shows? The early '90s may have had contracts in place that did not cover eventual video/DVD release. I'm not sure, but that may pose a problem (unless Fox is more savvy than I'm giving it credit for).

This reminds me: was Psi Factor ever put out on DVD? I remember a fondness for that show.

Good questions, Nick. If you are talking about the people who were interviewed, similar shows which had interviews on them have been released on DVD (such as "Unsolved Mysteries" and "Mysteries, Magic, & Miracles", among others). So, there doesn't seem to be a problem with that for most companies.

As for the companies, Paramount actually has the rights to release the show on DVD (according to tvshowsondvd.com). Paramount did release three different "Sightings" VHS tapes back in the '90s (they are even still featured on their website when you do a search for the show). So, apparently, they did think about that when contracts were drawn up. Also: I may be wrong, but I don't think that Fox owns the rights to any part of the show anymore. They only aired a couple of specials and the first 2 seasons of the show. The rest of the seasons were aired in syndication and on The Sci Fi Channel. Why would Fox keep the rights to two seasons of a show that they haven't aired in 13 years? And even if they do somehow still own the rights to the first two seasons, that shouldn't stop Paramount from releasing seasons 3 through 5 on DVD, right? (Hope that didn't sound smart-alecky. I'm just trying to reason this out.)

As for your other question, various episodes of "PSI Factor" were released as several DVDs, but only in the Region 2 format. So, they won't play on a DVD player from the US or Canada. Also, they were not "collected season" releases, only selected episodes. I was a fan of that show, too, and would also like it to have a US season release.

#13 of 47 Will_B

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Posted July 06 2006 - 02:25 PM

Quote:
Wouldn't all the people that were on the show pose a problem for releasing the shows? The early '90s may have had contracts in place that did not cover eventual video/DVD release.

I'm looking at one of their releases (contracts) now, from early 1996. It isn't their release for new interviews but rather one of their releases concerning the acquisition of pre-existing footage (i.e. when they needed clips). But chances are similar language appeared in both. That 1996 contract states in part:

"including without limitation any SIGHTINGS television or videotape compilations".

So as long as the word "videotape" is interpreted as any sort of video format, yeah, they're covered.
"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now

#14 of 47 John*D

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Posted July 07 2006 - 07:24 AM

I'd be up to seeing SIGHTINGS on DVD. That show was classic!

#15 of 47 HenryDuBrow

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Posted July 07 2006 - 09:01 AM

Crypto TV.



#16 of 47 Nick Zbu

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Posted July 07 2006 - 11:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike T
Good questions, Nick. If you are talking about the people who were interviewed, similar shows which had interviews on them have been released on DVD (such as "Unsolved Mysteries" and "Mysteries, Magic, & Miracles", among others). So, there doesn't seem to be a problem with that for most companies.

As for the companies, Paramount actually has the rights to release the show on DVD (according to tvshowsondvd.com). Paramount did release three different "Sightings" VHS tapes back in the '90s (they are even still featured on their website when you do a search for the show). So, apparently, they did think about that when contracts were drawn up. Also: I may be wrong, but I don't think that Fox owns the rights to any part of the show anymore. They only aired a couple of specials and the first 2 seasons of the show. The rest of the seasons were aired in syndication and on The Sci Fi Channel. Why would Fox keep the rights to two seasons of a show that they haven't aired in 13 years? And even if they do somehow still own the rights to the first two seasons, that shouldn't stop Paramount from releasing seasons 3 through 5 on DVD, right? (Hope that didn't sound smart-alecky. I'm just trying to reason this out.)

As for your other question, various episodes of "PSI Factor" were released as several DVDs, but only in the Region 2 format. So, they won't play on a DVD player from the US or Canada. Also, they were not "collected season" releases, only selected episodes. I was a fan of that show, too, and would also like it to have a US season release.

It's okay, I'm just guessing about Sightings. Posted Image

Good news about Psi Factor, through. I can probably find them somehow. Knowing me, they'll probably make it out here sooner or later.

#17 of 47 ChadMcCallum

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Posted July 07 2006 - 01:10 PM

I have fond memories of this show. I remember staying up late to watch two back to back episodes at midnight every Friday or Saturday night. This show, along with Ghostbusters got me interested in the paranormal as well as shows like The X-Files. I would love to see it again on dvd.

#18 of 47 Randy*S

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Posted July 08 2006 - 05:32 PM

While I'm not into this stuff any more,
they did have single vhs volumes of the show.
So why could'nt they release it on dvd?
Disney please put Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends on DVD!!!!


I will NEVER buy ANY politically corrected/edited DVD!

#19 of 47 sofia9283

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Posted July 12 2006 - 06:57 AM

You know Mike I find myself asking a very similar question, "Why hasn't Sightings been released on DVD?"

"SIGHTINGS" was THE best reality documentary series about the paranormal. I really wish that Paramount would release it on DVD, preferably in season by season releases.

Still is and is in no danger of having any competition!

In 2002, a movie based on a segment of the series aired on Showtime called, "Sightings: Heartland Ghost". "Sightings" had both style and substance.

Unfortunately Heartland Ghost was lacking in both style and substance. I couldn't even watch the movie is was so boring.

You have to see that Sightings paved the way for paranormal programming, not only on Fox, but on other networks and in syndication.

You bet it did! For those who say it was the X Files, Sightings came a year before it so I guess that would make Sightings the X Files' daddy.

I think they should be reasonably priced for fans. I would definitely buy them all! And I know I'm not alone.

I couldn't agree with you more Mike and I know a bunch of people who share this opinion.

Do any of you know if there are plans to release this series on DVD? Would any of you like to see it released? For those of you who are fans, I think we should start a letter writing campaign to Paramount Home Video.

No ideas if a DVD is in the works but it sure would kick butt!Posted Image I'm all for the letter writing campaign. Who's with us?

#20 of 47 HenryDuBrow

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Posted July 12 2006 - 07:28 PM

Should releases be 'by subject' (ala "Unsolved Mysteries"), or full episodes, warts and all ?




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