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Syndicated Cuts--Take Them or No Show At All?

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#1 of 18 OFFLINE   Dorrie_W


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Posted October 16 2006 - 12:20 AM

I have been a frequent visitor of TV Shows on DVD for several years and a member of this forum for a few years and I see that syndicated cuts and music replacement are two hot button topics. I never realized how "big" this topic was until I got caught up in the firestorm known as "Mama's Family The Complete First Season." I posted a favorable review of the set on Amazon and on Bellaonline.com. I received a lot of feedback from fans who were pretty furious to say the least about me praising the DVD release of a show with syndicated cuts. I'm just curious what other fan's take on it. I think it's unfair to say that all fans demand non syndicated cuts, because some fans are simply happy to have the show on DVD--and I'm one of those fans. I heard the Cosby Show DVD's were syndicated cuts too, and I didn't have a problem with that box set. I don't have old VHS copies of tv shows (except Jem!). Being that most of the shows I enjoy are from the 75-85' era (and I was 10 in 1985), I guess all I remember are the syndicated cuts. The only DVD release in which the syndicated cuts were real obvious to me because of the show length was Alf Season 2, but sometimes I don't notice. I love classic shows on TV so much, there are some shows like Webster, Double Trouble, Mr. Belvedere, Out of this World, Rags To Riches, and Small Wonder to name a few, I would even take a syndicated cut rather than nothing at all. So I just wanted to post this thread to pose the following question- If it came down to a show you enjoyed and it would have to be a syndicated cut or nothing at all what would you take? Is it an all or nothing scenario? Just curious.
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#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted October 16 2006 - 12:42 AM

For me, it comes down to two issues . . . 1. Has the studio/releasing company made a concerted effort to seek out the full, uncut episodes? 2. How badly do I want to see the show/series? In terms of my TV-on-DVD collection, I have only knowingly purchased one series, the Chuck Connors western "Branded," where I knew going in that the episodes were the syndicated versions. I purchased it because I had not seen the series in almost 40 years and it was a favorite of mine growing up, and since this was not a show owned by one of the major studios, I'm of the belief that full length episodes may be lost. The releasing company for "Branded," the independent Timeless Media Group, was only able to secure syndicated episodes from the owner of the series, King World. If uncut episodes can't be secured, I do think that the releasing companies should provide notices on packaging, etc. in the interests of "full disclosure."

#3 of 18 OFFLINE   RoryR


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Posted October 16 2006 - 12:47 AM

I will only buy a syndicated set if it is due to technical/legal issues or a mistake and the company will rectify it for future releases (ie. Roseanne and Cosby)

#4 of 18 OFFLINE   Barbara,G


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Posted October 16 2006 - 02:37 AM

I will buy them syndicated or not!
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#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Scott-S


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Posted October 16 2006 - 02:46 AM

I won't knowingly buy a syndicated version. It is letting the studios off the hook if you do. If people are willing to settle, the studios won't even try in the future.

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#6 of 18 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted October 16 2006 - 02:56 AM

What else do you buy, knowing it's incomplete? If you went to see a movie and a sign on the door said, "Today we're showing the movie with 10% of it cut out," would you go anyway? Would you buy a shirt with the sleeves missing? Would you buy a box of cereal at the grocery store if the cashier opened it and poured out 10% of it? Would you just shrug and say, "Well, it's better than nothing"? Some people love abridged novels, but such people always struck me as a little light intellectually. But to stick to the topic -- the great thing about TV on DVD was the idea that at long last, after years of cut prints, shows could be seen complete again. With that factor missing, a release loses its excitement for me. Besides, if I love a show, I want as much of it as I can get. I don't want to sit there wondering what happened during the three minutes that are missing and if there were some funny lines or situations I may have liked. However, I will get a set containing cut episodes if the price is so low it's negligible. If I see "Mama's Family" in a bargain bin for $4.88, I might spring for it. Anything higher than that, no.

#7 of 18 OFFLINE   JohnMor



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Posted October 16 2006 - 03:43 AM

As for me, I'm for no syndicated eps (if at all possible). But, I worry more about Mr. Average Joe Six-Pack who says, "Cool, now we don't have to tape 'em off tv anymore, and they'll last forever!!" I think he doesn't care about syndicated cuts, and he FAR outnumbers us on this forum.

#8 of 18 OFFLINE   RoryR


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Posted October 16 2006 - 03:50 AM

What if it was a mistake? Anchor Bay with Roseanne, If nobody bought the DVD why would they ever continue?

#9 of 18 OFFLINE   Dorrie_W


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Posted October 16 2006 - 04:34 AM

I appreciate everyone's feedback. And I do feel that if the studio can get the complete uncut episodes they should. But yeah, some shows I want so bad I would take an official syndicated release rather than nothing at all. Its really enlightening to see everyone's take on it. I can see the frustration if you have a favorite episode and your favorite scene or joke is missing, I just barely remember the first run's of a lot of the shows I'm collecting.
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#10 of 18 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted October 16 2006 - 05:09 AM

Easy, nothing. Like Joe said, people won't buy other products that are missing parts or otherwise incomplete. Why would you want to buy DVD's like that?
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#11 of 18 OFFLINE   MatthewA


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Posted October 16 2006 - 05:11 AM

I agree with Malcolm R. It's the uncut versions or NOTHING.

I will pay zero dollars and zero cents for a butchered set. The same versions of Mama's Family that are on DVD can be recorded off of I! Network. The same versions of the first season of the Cosby Show can be taped off Nick at Nite or WGN or any local station still showing it. No reason to buy the DVD. And if you taped either of these shows off NBC, then lucky you.

I got most of the episodes of Webster from USA and WGN in the late 1990s, so I could transfer them to DVD-R rather than pay for them in an incomplete form. Paramount owns this show outright, it premiered the year I was born, and there's no way the network length versions can't not exist. In fact, go to www.paramounttv.com and click on its entry and the network versions not only still exist for this show but are offered to stations by request (as well as select other shows such as Mission: Impossible). Why syndicators can't do this for every show they own is beyond me.

ALF was shown uncut on Hallmark Channel in 1999 when it was still called Odyssey. I taped it there, thus have no reason to buy Liar's Gate's pitiful DVD sets. Even if I hadn't taped it I still wouldn't buy the sets.

Dorrie, some of the shows you mentioned were from first-run syndication originally and thus were under 22 minutes to begin with. There's nothing to cut.

Furthermore, there are ways to get these shows that are not allowed to be discussed on this forum.

Joe has hit the nail on the head. The supposed beauty of TV Shows on DVD was to be able to see these shows in their original form. If the uncut versions are gone forever, then that's unfortunate but there's nothing they can do about it. That is NOT the case with The Cosby Show, Roseanne, Mama's Family, ALF, Too Close for Comfort, A Different World, or any show I can think of that has had shortened bastardizations on DVD.

Having them in the cut versions on DVD is better than nothing...if by that you mean not better than anything.

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. And while you're at it, PLEASE stop dropping DVD/laserdisc extras from Blu-ray releases of other films.

#12 of 18 OFFLINE   Chris Dugger

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Posted October 16 2006 - 05:45 AM

Let's be honest... With the popularity of TV of DVD.... You caN BE SURE that anything that is "cut" will get some future release that will be uncut... Buying the cut versions clearly sends the message that you are willing to double dip in my mind... Dugger


#13 of 18 ONLINE   Steve...O



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Posted October 16 2006 - 12:34 PM

I'm with Joe Lugoff. Syndicated episodes are a no buy for me. The only possible exception would be if the original episodes no longer exist (and the studio has made a legit effort to search for them). There are simply too many products that are done right for me to waste money on those that aren't. Another annoying practice is what Fox does...cut snippets of songs rather than pay the few hundred dollars to clear it. They've done it with MTM several times and now it sounds like they're doing it with Addams Family.
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#14 of 18 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted October 16 2006 - 12:43 PM

This has been hashed out a million times, so I'll put in my two cents and bow out, unless something new comes up. For me, it's uncut or nothing. Once you cut show X, it's no longer show X, it's some other show, that may kind of look like show X in some ways, but isn't. Just like I wouldn't buy a pan & scan version of Ben Hur, or an abridged version of a Shakespeare play, or a copy of a Steinbeck novel with three chapters missing, I'm not going to touch a cut version of a show I love. There are many such shows not in my collection, but they're not in anyone else's collection either, all that the people who bought the imitations own are bad imitations. Out.
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#15 of 18 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted October 16 2006 - 01:58 PM


#16 of 18 OFFLINE   Bill>Moore


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Posted October 16 2006 - 03:10 PM

It would have to be something pretty rare that I didn't figure to ever find on DVD. Then I might accept the syndicated versions being better than nothing. If it's something like The Cosby Show, available fairly regularly in syndication from time to time and you know they have the uncut eps available, then no way.

#17 of 18 OFFLINE   James@R


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Posted October 16 2006 - 04:21 PM

It depends on why I'm interested in buying the show. If I'm only interested in owning a "definitive" version of the series, then there's little point in spending $100+ dollars to collect it. But if I just want to watch the show with friends, I don't have much problem with it. I've never had anyone care about missing scenes, even when I point them out.

#18 of 18 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted October 18 2006 - 04:15 PM

I have yet to buy Mama's Family, even though it is one of my favorite programs of all time. I think that answers the topic question. The only time I ever bought a cut dvd is the first season of "3rd Rock From The Sun," because we didn't know about the cuts at first. As for music replacement, as a general rule, I don't care, if it's just background music.


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