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Which studio owns the rights to The Virginian?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Brett*H

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Posted February 03 2006 - 09:39 AM

I'm really one happy cowpoke now that the studios are dipping into their classic tv western vaults in order to release them to dvd.

My question is, does anyone know who holds the rights to "The Virginian" tv western that starred Lee J Cobb and James Drury?

This classic western ran from 1962-1971 (finishing up as the re-named "The Men From Shiloh") and is another one of my favorite tv westerns that I'd snap up if it were ever released to dvd.

Would also appreciate any news on the impending release of "Rawhide". TvShowsOnDvd.com gave us a news bulletin http://tvshowsondvd....cfm?NewsID=4717 ,about a month and a half ago, that this tv western was being released in 2006 but I haven't heard anything more about it.

Wouldn't it also be great to see full season releases of "Death Valley Days" and "Wagon Train" to dvd so we could have a nearly complete "western roundup" of the tv western genre on dvd? Posted Image

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael Alden

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Posted February 03 2006 - 11:13 AM

Virginian and Wagon Train are both Universal so good luck. Death Valley Days is being negotiated (slowly).

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Dan McW

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Posted February 03 2006 - 12:46 PM

I'm pleased that Encore Westerns has unearthed Cimarron Strip and The Rifleman (which I mentioned in the Big Valley thread) to air beginning later this year, but I wish they would re-air The Virginian. I didn't receive that network when The Virginian aired originally, but they ran them uncut at 72-73 minutes w/o commercials. The Virginian gives one a rare look at a color Revue Studios logo after the credits.

Wagon Train seems to be an absolute mess, at least for potential season sets. As I understand it (from the person who runs a WT website), Universal has made only about 70 of the 252 black-and-white episodes available for syndication. I think all 40 of the episodes Columbia House did on 20 tapes came from this group. Thirty-two 90-minute color episodes are also in the syndication package. I'm not sure where the various public-domain episodes are coming from, probably the same group of 70 b/w eps.

I remember when the "old" (and good) Family Channel ran WT that I saw the same Suzanne Pleshette episode about four or five times in a year, because the syndication package was so small.

One of the "lost" b/w episodes, "The Christopher Hale Story," introduced John McIntire to replace Ward Bond and co-starred Lee Marvin.

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael Alden

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Posted February 03 2006 - 05:13 PM

Quote:
I didn't receive that network when The Virginian aired originally, but they ran them uncut at 72-73 minutes w/o commercials.


Uncut Virginian comes in at about 76 minutes. Those could be a pre-cut package at that running time you mentioned.

Wagon Train's syndication package has always been divided into the hour Ward Bond episodes, which I believe goes to the middle of season 4 (first 138 episodes) and the 1 90 minute color season in a separate package. The John McIntyre episodes have never been syndicated, at least in this country.

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Dan McW

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Posted February 03 2006 - 05:28 PM

It's been a while since I've seen the Encore Virginians, so they very well may have been 76 minutes. I guess I'm used to 1970s-era 90-minute episodes from series like Columbo, which generally clock in at 73 minutes w/o commercials.

The Family Channel could have had a smaller package of b/w Wagon Trains, as TV Land has had with some series where it airs a sampling of episodes and not a full package. Or, the Family Channel may have had a thing for Suzanne Pleshette.

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted February 04 2006 - 02:01 AM

I'm not sure where the various public-domain episodes are coming from, probably the same group of 70 b/w eps.


I'm only aware of three public domain WAGON TRAIN episodes that have been released on DVD by various PD labels: "The Doctor Denker Story," "The Malachi Hobart Story," and "Alias Bill Hawks." These three episodes are all from the John McIntire era.

#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Tom.W

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Posted February 04 2006 - 09:05 AM

In the late eighties, the Family Channel aired approximately the first two seasons of Wagon Train, then a significantly smaller set of episodes about three years ago. That may have been when the Suzanne Pleshette ep kept popping up.

Good news about Cimarron Strip and Rifleman. Now Rifleman fans will finally get to see uncut eps in chronological order on Encore Westerns.

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Dan McW

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Posted February 04 2006 - 02:51 PM

The most recent airings of Cimarron Strip nationally were on WGN, which ran them in an hourlong slot (with more than 20 minutes missing) a couple of years ago.

That show drew just about every great western character actor (or great character actor, period) and at least one star--Richard Boone--who rarely appeared on TV outside of his own series.

I have scattered CS eps on VHS, issued by various companies (MNTEX, e.g.) and often without the CS title on the packaging, only the episode title itself. All of them have the original main title and music, except Boone's ep, "The Roarer," has its main title removed and the credits reformatted over the early scenes of Act I a la movie credits. I'm looking forward to seeing this one restored to its proper form as well as the uncut versions of eps that I've seen only in hacked-up form on WGN.

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted February 04 2006 - 05:24 PM

The only times I ever saw The Virginan included the Sunday 1980s reruns on USA Network and only once more years later in the 90s on MoviePlex's Wednesday sampling of The Westerns Channel.

Don't forget that Charles Bickford played John Grainger -- the new owner of the Shiloh Ranch after Lee J. Cobb quit. Then a year later Bickford died, and he was replaced by John McIntire, who played his brother Clay for the next couple of years. John's wife Jeanette Nolan portrayed his wife Holly.

The season before Cobb left, Roberta Shore (who played Henry Garth's daughter) left the show. I remember they mentioned her character went off to college back East, but what happened to the actress?

I once obtained a poor-quality VHS copy of The Men from Shiloh, and it was an episode that focused entirely on The Virginian and Trampas. There was no sign of Col. MacKenzie, and it was a very bland story. The bad writing might explain why the show was cancelled after that season.

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Dan McW

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Posted February 04 2006 - 05:46 PM

I said I didn't have Encore Westerns but had seen their run of The Virginian--it was on those Wednesday Multiplex showings Jeff# mentioned.

For some time, if you punched in "James Drury" on the TV Now website, you'd get listings for The Virginian airing in the afternoons on the "Fox network." But no local affiliate I could find ever ran these. Does anybody know what that meant? Some big-dish satellite feed? Those listings have recently disappeared, I've noticed.

Wasn't Roberta Shore in the opening credits at one point? Usually the actors were shown on horseback (the ranch owner sitting and the others riding toward the camera), but I seem to recall a cut to an actress standing in front of the house (?) and then a cut back to "and James Drury as THE VIRGINIAN." Incidentally, that's one of the best main titles in TV westerns, IMHO.

Any first-season DVD release would include the early episode, "The Brazen Bell," featuring George C. Scott as a cowardly schoolteacher. I've got a film copy of this ep (which may be my source for the 72-73-minute run-time estimate, if this copy is not truly complete).

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Tom.W

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Posted February 04 2006 - 09:30 PM

Several years ago WGN aired programming on its superstation outlets not carried by its home station due to exclusivity of its local programs. Ironically, those shows were a lot more interesting (and rarely shown on televison) than the mainstream fare offered on its flagship station. The Virginians airing on the "Fox network" were probably filling a similar role.

The Virginian was in syndication during the eighties and of course aired on Saturday nights on the Hallmark channel for a couple years till sometime in 2005. But after seeing it on Encore Plex, it was pretty unwatchable in its chopped up condition on Hallmark.

I don't know what Roberta Shore did after The Virginian but she played Rick's girlfriend on several episodes of Ozzie and Harriet (prior to the Virginian).

I agree the theme and main titles of The Virginian are among the best for a western.

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Brett*H

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Posted February 05 2006 - 08:24 AM

This forum is an education in itself,due to all of the people who share their wealth of knowledge with the rest of us.

Thanks,everyone, for all of the info and contributions to this thread!
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#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted February 06 2006 - 03:58 AM

Sorry, Brett, although it would have been the perfect ending to your own topic, your post won't be the last one. Posted Image

I just wanted to say that if The Virginian is ever released on DVD it would most likely be done by Universal because Revue Studios was bought by Universal TV in 1964.

And you know what that means...the old Revue logo / music from the first 2 seasons and the Universal globe logo from the other 7 years will be removed, and the 1998-present Universal computer-generated logo will be placed in the beginning of the show. Posted Image

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   michael_ks

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Posted February 06 2006 - 04:34 AM

Quote:
And you know what that means...the old Revue logo / music from the first 2 seasons and the Universal globe logo from the other 7 years will be removed, and the 1998-present Universal computer-generated logo will be placed in the beginning of the show.

...with a Jerry Goldsmith composed fanfare in all its 98 decibel glory...

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Brett*H

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Posted February 06 2006 - 07:07 AM

Quote:
Sorry, Brett, although it would have been the perfect ending to your own topic, your post won't be the last one.


ha..ha..didn't intend to end the thread,just wanted to say thanks.Posted Image By all means,keep it comin'.Posted Image

As far as the Universal logo replacement goes,I agree and I could never understand why they do it.

Sony is another one that replaces the old logos with their new one (I see Sony replaced the old Screen Gems logo with their own "new and improved" one on a few of their recent releases)

I'm anxious to see if the old studio logo for the upcoming "Big Valley" release will be intact/present.

They should just leave the old logos intact then they can follow up with their own "new" logo.

I can't imagine the studios replacing the old "Universal" logo at the start of those classic b&w movies (the airplane buzzing around the globe)with their new one.Tv shows to dvd shouldn't be an exception.

Sometimes those old logos (like the "4 star western" logo) bring back fond memories and are an integral part of those old tv shows.

There's an interesting page on tv and movie logos here:

http://www.classicth...udioLogos.shtml

I was surprised to find that some very famous film composers created those logos. Very few of those logos are copyright protected so the studios can't use that as an excuse for replacing them.

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Dan McW

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Posted February 06 2006 - 05:09 PM

Encore's Big Valley episodes end with the animated Four Star logo with fanfare. It's colored blue, and the animation and music seem to move faster than the black-and-white logo and fanfare that follows the end credits for The Westerner. The season-one Big Valley's have a different Four Star tag than the season two and three eps, I've noticed. The season-one tag appears to be just a blue-tinted version of the b/w tag. Hopefully Fox will keep these on the DVDs.

One oddity that I can't remember seeing on any series rerun is a page of copyright fine print that Fox puts up (I think) between the Four Star fanfare and the Fox fanfare on The Big Valley. With the fine print are a credit for DeLuxe Color and a 1998 copyright date (for the syndication package, I suppose).

Here's a shock (not): Universal apparently released The Virginian on a PAL VHS, but Amazon.uk reviewers say they screwed up the credits after doing a good job with another VHS release of The Men From Shiloh.

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted February 07 2006 - 12:44 AM

Quote:
...with a Jerry Goldsmith composed fanfare in all its 98 decibel glory...

Goldsmith did some music for The Virginian, but let's give credit where it's due: Percy Faith composed the theme music for the series. Ennio Morricone did the theme to The Men from Shiloh.

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   michael_ks

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Posted February 07 2006 - 01:03 AM

Quote:
Goldsmith did some music for The Virginian, but let's give credit where it's due: Percy Faith composed the theme music for the series. Ennio Morricone did the theme to The Men from Shiloh.

The 60's and 70's were Goldsmith's salad days and he contributed many fine scores to films and television productions. Within the last 15 or so years he composed a lot of dreck which was both hackneyed and pompous.

Percy Faith did indeed write a wonderful theme for "The Virginian", and it rates the best tv western theme for me outside of David Rose's "The High Chapparal". Morricone's "Men from Shiloh" is excellent also with all it's Italian western flourishes. The great Bernard Herrmann contributed a nice score for a 1968 episode of The Virginian--"Last Grave at Socorro Creek".

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted February 07 2006 - 03:06 AM

I loved David Rose's NEW themes to BONANZA from the 1970s, and they're even better (in some ways) and totally different from the original. Although he brought back a new, more modern rendition as the third version of the original theme after Dan Blocker's death in 1972. His 2 High Chapparel themes were great too.


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