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why some shows make it and some don't


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Chris Wall

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Posted July 24 2006 - 11:27 AM

What do you think are reasons why some shows make it on dvd and some don't? I think one factor is whether it has a following. For example, What's Happenin' made it through all 3 season where other Sony shows like Who's The Boss, Mad About You which were more popular in their day didn't make it that far. I think for some shows the reruns may be popular but only in the sense of hey I'll sit down and watch it when it comes on but not in the collect the show to watch again and again. Also, it seems that the independent studios like Lions Gate and Anchor Bay and Image seem to release the whole shows through, like Saved By the Bell The New Class getting all six seasons out. I think part of the reason is them paying for the whole show all at once and thus they figure any sales are better than keeping it in the vaults.

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen Wight

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Posted July 24 2006 - 06:14 PM

I think the main reason is that TV on DVD is being,more and more,aimed toward the younger generation(teens to mid twenties) who consider any TV show that aired before 2002 to be bad.Which is why shows like Happy Days,Laverne & Shirley,Mork & Mindy,Who's The Boss,to name a few,haven't sold well.The younger generation don't want to disover,and buy,shows that were on TV before they were even born,or when they were in diapers.Which is unfortunate because older consumers,like myself,miss out on getting future seasons,of classic shows,because they're not being bought by the younger set.

#3 of 22 OFFLINE   HenryDuBrow

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Posted July 24 2006 - 06:41 PM

They should finish what they start, pure and simple, and limited copies if they have to. Also lesser known or short-lived shows ought to get a chance, like "Tenspeed & Brown Shoe" (Jeff Goldblum) and "The Yellow Rose" (Sam Elliott/Cybill Shepherd), promote them on the strength of their famous casts.

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Katherine_K

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Posted July 25 2006 - 12:45 AM

Of course they should loose money, that's responsible to their share holders *rolls eyes* If a pilot is aired on TV that I like, I don't feel like the network is obligated to air years of it even if the ratings are low. I don't think they are obligated to air an entire season if the ratings are low. Why is DVD different?

Sure, I'm disappointed when a TV show I like is canceled, but I don't think the network is obligated to renew it just because the story isn't finished. Sure, I'm disappointed when a show doesn't make it through all it's seasons, or if they are released at a glacially slow rate, but I don't think the studio is obligated to release them if they are not making a profit.

I invest in the market, and I would certainly feel the management was being irresponsible if they continued with potentially six or seven or more releases they knew were going to loose money.

#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted July 25 2006 - 01:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Wight
I think the main reason is that TV on DVD is being,more and more,aimed toward the younger generation(teens to mid twenties) who consider any TV show that aired before 2002 to be bad.Which is why shows like Happy Days,Laverne & Shirley,Mork & Mindy,Who's The Boss,to name a few,haven't sold well.The younger generation don't want to disover,and buy,shows that were on TV before they were even born,or when they were in diapers.Which is unfortunate because older consumers,like myself,miss out on getting future seasons,of classic shows,because they're not being bought by the younger set.

Stephen, I think you're somewhat there. I'm 27 and, honestly, have zero interest in things like Who's the Boss, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley and the rest. Not because they're bad shows, per se, but because as a kid, I watched them every freaking day in syndication. I don't have any memories attached to them other than they gave me something to do for half an hour. I have a very healthy amount of TV on DVD in my collection and it runs from about 1966 (ST: TOS) through current shows (Lost, Firefly, Desperate Housewives).

It's wrong to blame "the younger" generation solely for this one. It's the fault of a lot of different people, from the studios who put the entirely wrong price point on these releases to the OLDER generation who won't buy the sets to the general dumbing down of America (as seen with American Idol's #1 status for Fox).

I have no interest in watching "sanitized" TV in which all the problems are wrapped up in 24 minutes. I've never enjoyed The Brady Bunch, Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best, etc. for that reason. I prefer my TV and movies to be real based on my life experience. I would ask that you consider that also.

#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted July 25 2006 - 01:53 AM

Quote:
I think the main reason is that TV on DVD is being,more and more,aimed toward the younger generation(teens to mid twenties) who consider any TV show that aired before 2002 to be bad.Which is why shows like Happy Days,Laverne & Shirley,Mork & Mindy,Who's The Boss,to name a few,haven't sold well.

That demographic doesn't fit with the following TV shows that have done very well on DVD:
- M*A*S*H
- Knight Rider
- Magnum P.I.
- The Rockford Files
- The A Team
- Columbo
- Remington Steele
- The Andy Griffith Show
- The Simpsons (Still airing, but started in the early 90's.)
- Star Trek (TOS, TNG, and DS9)

And I'm sure there are many others. The point is that older series (especially genre series) *do* sell well on DVD.

It seems to me that shows that can be described as "one-trick ponies" are the ones that generally do not sell well on DVD. Of the shows you mentioned, [i]Laverne and Shirley[i], Mork and Mindy, and Who's the Boss can definitely be placed squarely in that category. These shows become very repetitive very quickly; and unless you are firmly drawn to the characters they do not merit repeat viewings.

Now I was surprised that Happy Days tanked on DVD since I consider that to be a fairly high quality genre show. (Late 50's nostalgia.) Possibly the problem that that show had was twofold:
1. The first season was generally considered one of its weakest.
2. The show "coasted" its last three seasons which diluted the overall quality of the series.
Happy Days earned its Top Ten ratings in the Nielsens in its second, third, and fourth seasons. It's a shame that we won't see those episodes on DVD.
Joseph
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#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Katherine_K

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Posted July 25 2006 - 02:08 AM

I'll certianly cop to not buying any of the shows mentioned. I don't see the need to own sitcoms on DVD, so I can't say I have any at all, despite a collection of almost fifty different TV series. Most of my series come from the 1990s and 2000s because I prefer my television, as Jason said, unsanitized. Those older shows that I do own are genre shows, science fiction and crime drama.

Don't blame me for not buying shows I don't want to watch. Blame your contemporaries for not buying shows they remember fondly.

#8 of 22 OFFLINE   MarkDukes

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Posted July 25 2006 - 02:23 AM

The Dukes of Hazzard has also done very well...and I'm not sure teenagers are buying it...but maybe they are with the exposure of the movie last year and its return to CMT.

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Jonny P

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Posted July 25 2006 - 04:16 AM

Males tend to be the primary purchasers of DVD product.

I'd say that I have generally been more attracted to "new" shows because they really look and sound "good."

Oddly, it was my wife that got me started on "older" shows like "Knight Rider." One of her favorite shows as a kid was "Knight Rider," so she saw the first season set and thought it would be fun.

I think it depends on the show. Sometimes the older shows weren't as good as you remembered them in the past. That happens with a number of shows from the 80s for me. Some hold up pretty well (like Magnum), others don't so much.

New shows -- like "Lost" or "24" -- look like "movies" on DVD. The production quality is really quite good and you feel like you are watching a really long motion picture. I think that is part of the appeal of newer product like that.

#10 of 22 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted July 25 2006 - 04:44 AM

^ Jonny P, I won't disagree (much) that males are the primary purchasers of DVD's. I won't even disagree that "most" males are attracted to the packaging and the looks as opposed to the content. I can't say, however, I'm one of them. (Yes, I know--minority.)

A series or movie can have the best audio and visual specs known to man but, if the content doesn't grab me, then the entire experience is a waste of time, money and resources. I certainly didn't buy "Lost" last year because it "looked good".

I bought it because I enjoyed the show when I watched it on TV. I also didn't buy "24" S1 blind this year because it had wonderful technical specs. I bought it because people had praised the content--people I respected.

I can only speak for myself and the people I know. No one in my circle (both guys and girls of varying ages) buys a DVD to drool over the 16:9 presentation or the DTS soundtrack.

My sister buys "CSI" because she wants to go into that field. My boyfriend buys "Facts of Life" because he finds humor and nostalgia in the shows. My roommate buys "Transformers" because he loves everything about them. If I mentioned picture quality or audio options to them, their eyes would glaze over.

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted July 25 2006 - 05:01 AM

Good posts here. I am always surprised that some of the "youngsters" out there like some of the same series on DVD that I watched as a kid. Dick Van Dyke Show, Time Tunnel, Voyage..Sea. etc. It's something that helps me avoid some "catagorizing" when it comes to the TV/DVD market and who buys what era's series.

BTW, Katherine...great posts. It's still a business and the product has to sell. If I want one of my beloved '60's or '70's series released completely, I have to hope that the other "baby boomers" out there will buy the products. If they don't, then us "'Boomers" are the ones that dropped the ball.

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#12 of 22 OFFLINE   Mike*SC

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Posted July 25 2006 - 05:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Wight
I think the main reason is that TV on DVD is being,more and more,aimed toward the younger generation(teens to mid twenties) who consider any TV show that aired before 2002 to be bad.Which is why shows like Happy Days,Laverne & Shirley,Mork & Mindy,Who's The Boss,to name a few,haven't sold well.
Well... I wouldn't buy any of those shows, and I'm 42. And it's not like I wasn't a rabid "Happy Days" fan when I was a kid. There just isn't anything there that interests 42-year-old me. Whatever nostalgia I may have for it falls far, far short of the commitment of buying and somehow finding time for season sets of this show. I'm sure other people feel differently, and that's fine, and maybe they have no interest in "Mary Tyler Moore," or "The Bob Newhart Show," or "All in the Family," all of which I loved in the '70s and which, to me, still hold up extremely well.

My point is not that "Happy Days" failed on DVD because it wasn't any good (because if you love it, that's great, and I'm sorry you can't buy more of it), but that I don't think there's any one rule that applies to why some shows make it and some don't. Some shows captured the zeitgeist of a time but simply have faded in memory ("Murphy Brown" seems to be one of those, though again, no one need defend it). Others were solid B-level hits that still have a following (I'm betting "The Odd Couple" will fall into that camp, but who knows?). Sometimes, once the "it" star has faded and the haircuts and fashions look silly, the show is revealed to be less than it seemed at the time. At other times, the goofiness of the clothes seem to add to the show's cult status.

And, of course, not all shows cost as much to release, or must sell as well, to be "successful" releases. The playing field is uneven from the start.

Fans always have some justification as to why their favorites didn't sell, and generally it includes "clueless" studios who "just don't get" that everybody knows season one was the weakest, or the classic "didn't promote it at all," or the like. We all like to think that others enjoy things we enjoy, and will rally to support it. But sometimes, it's just not true.

#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Jonny P

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Posted July 25 2006 - 08:08 AM

Jason and Jeff both bring up fair points.

Jason is completely correct that what makes "Lost" and "24" compelling is the content. That's why I love both of those shows.

Maybe I dunno what I'm talking about... Posted Image

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Matt_Troop

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Posted July 25 2006 - 10:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Wight
I think the main reason is that TV on DVD is being,more and more,aimed toward the younger generation(teens to mid twenties) who consider any TV show that aired before 2002 to be bad.Which is why shows like Happy Days,Laverne & Shirley,Mork & Mindy,Who's The Boss,to name a few,haven't sold well.The younger generation don't want to disover,and buy,shows that were on TV before they were even born,or when they were in diapers.Which is unfortunate because older consumers,like myself,miss out on getting future seasons,of classic shows,because they're not being bought by the younger set.

I was born in 1990 (i'll be turning 16 in a month) and I have to say its not always true... I do have alot of sets from after I was born but the majority of my sets are of shows that were on before i was born or before i watched tv...

I split my sets into 8 categories:

Old Cartoons (Cartoons from the 50's-80's) - 15 Sets

New Cartoons (Shows that air on adult swim) - 9 Sets

50's-60's Shows - 3 Sets

70's Shows - 15 Sets

80's Shows - 28 Sets

Early 90's (1900-1996 before I watched normal tv) - 34 Sets

Late 90's-00's (When I watched Tv with my Family) - 19 Sets

Current Series (Shows I have found and like) - 18 Sets

So even though I have alot of sets from nowadays shows i still have an equal amount of old shows...
Troop.

#15 of 22 OFFLINE   Sean D.

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Posted July 25 2006 - 11:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Wight
I think the main reason is that TV on DVD is being,more and more,aimed toward the younger generation(teens to mid twenties) who consider any TV show that aired before 2002 to be bad.Which is why shows like Happy Days,Laverne & Shirley,Mork & Mindy,Who's The Boss,to name a few,haven't sold well.The younger generation don't want to disover,and buy,shows that were on TV before they were even born,or when they were in diapers.Which is unfortunate because older consumers,like myself,miss out on getting future seasons,of classic shows,because they're not being bought by the younger set.

I think you are right up to a point on that. I have suggested many older shows to people my age (14) and they refuse to watch it just because it is in black and white or before their time. I think if they would give them a chance they would probably like them, about half of my collection is before the 80s.

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted July 25 2006 - 02:25 PM

What about the quality of the disc presentation? Doesn't that have a bearing on sales? The Larry Sanders Show looked like crap, and most reviews said Mad About You looked worse than what was being broadcast on cable reruns at the time. 227 crammed 10 episodes to a disc and you know that will affect picture quality.

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 am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Mike*SC

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Posted July 25 2006 - 03:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA
What about the quality of the disc presentation? Doesn't that have a bearing on sales? The Larry Sanders Show looked like crap
I can't prove it has no effect, but I would guess the impact of picture quality is negligible. In the case of "Larry Sanders," the show simply has never caught on, though I think it's among the very greatest comedies of all time. Yes, some reviews on DVD websites complained about the picture quality, but I never saw a mainstream review that did (they all praised the content).

#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Venice-H

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Posted July 25 2006 - 09:32 PM

I think a lot of "success" and "failure" has to do with who's releasing the set. The expectations of the independents seems to be lower than with the major studios. They also may have a lower break-even point.

And, from a personal perspective, I watched too much TV in the 70s and 80s - some good, some not so good. I have little desire to see any of it again.
...

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted July 26 2006 - 01:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA
What about the quality of the disc presentation? Doesn't that have a bearing on sales? The Larry Sanders Show looked like crap, and most reviews said Mad About You looked worse than what was being broadcast on cable reruns at the time. 227 crammed 10 episodes to a disc and you know that will affect picture quality.

It may for people like us. But I even picked up a show that was treated shoddily at every step of its DVD life because the material is fantastic--Sports Night. No extras, poor transfers...completely awesome acting and writing. If you enjoy something enough, you're apt to look over most flaws.

My ultimate point: it is impossible to buy based on video or audio quality while you're in the store. And no one but the most hardcore and obsessive movie fans will seek out reviews online. Once the package is open, you can't return it. So you're stuck with a show you might love with horrid A/V quality.

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Katherine_K

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Posted July 26 2006 - 01:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venice-H
I think a lot of "success" and "failure" has to do with who's releasing the set. The expectations of the independents seems to be lower than with the major studios. They also may have a lower break-even point.

I doubt their break even point is lower given economies of scale and the fact they often have licensed the content from someone else they have to pay royalties to. What is probably the case is that they've done market research and have lower expectations because they know that the product they have is a niche product... like Combat! comes to mind. The major studeos are often releasing main stream content that they expect to have a broader appeal.


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