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Heartbroken over Knots Landing


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24 replies to this topic

#1 of 25 OFFLINE   sfdavey

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Posted May 09 2007 - 06:37 AM

I thank you guys at Warner for taking the time to chat with us...I'm not sure if I'd participate in another chat because it seemed like it just ended up being a laundry list of things that were going to come out in the next year and a list of "no plans." I would have like to know more about the process of what goes into your decision to release a show in a certain way or to decide not to release any more seasons of a show. Perhaps you could hire someone to do a blog and answer and explain in detail fan's emails about specific shows. This plans/no plans thing is just frustrating.

There were so many attempts to ask about Knots Landing, and I feel that they were all kind of shot down.

Anyway, I'm not sure writing in will do any good, because anyone who would write in to this forum to complain about the fact that there are no plans for future season releases of Knots Landing obviously has already purchased Season 1, and we already know that you guys were not satisfied with the number of people who did so.

But here's an idea, in case anyone is listening...

I was 13 when Knots premiered...I didn't even know it existed until I saw a promo for the season cliffhanger for season 2 when Sid's car goes off a cliff. I was hooked ever since, but I did not see seasons 1 & 2 until they replayed in syndication. You know what...I did not love them, not like later seasons. Season 3 was good, but it wasn't until Season 4 that the show really took off.

My fear is that if even if you release Season 2, we're not going to see the kind of sales you are looking for. And then we'll be back in the same position for Season 3.

So, what if you skipped and released Season 4 and see how that does before seasons 2 & 3? If season 4 does well, release seasons 5 and then 2 & 3.

If you say that season 1 sales were "softer than expected," maybe your expectations were too high. I mean, 13 episodes, not really representative of what the show was to become...what were you thinking? It's been remarked that even Dallas got a seasons 1 & 2 simulaneous release...and since you didn't do that with Knots, it really doesn't seem fair. I mean, you also said that when you release a Season 1 show, you go into it with the hope that all the seasons will be released. With a show that ran for 14 seasons, one of the longest ever on television...the show would not have lasted that long if all the seasons were like season 1, and your next move has to account for that.

If you're not willing to give KL a second chance...one with a real DVD release future, just sell the rights to another company who will.

I will definitely buy all the seasons you release, but I wouldn't recommend Season 1 to anybody, especially given that there's nothing coming after that.

#2 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard_Gregory

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Posted May 09 2007 - 06:53 AM

It depends. When Warner start running out of other stuff to release, maybe they'll start to consider shows that they feel have lower profit margins, at the moment they have so much material for release they can pick and choose the shows they feel will make the larger profits from sales.

In a few years time, things might look better.

It's a bit like mining - you dig out the easy and rich stuff first. I'm not implying that Knot's Landing is unworthy, but it's no surprise that it would, at the very least, be put on the back burner in deference to other shows.

It can certainly do no harm to write to Warner with your views. Written customer feedback carries far more weight with a studio than emails or comments on forums do.

#3 of 25 OFFLINE   brett tolino

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Posted May 09 2007 - 07:43 AM

First off, I agree with every single point made in this post.

1) Knots Landing, like MANY shows, were not immediate instant hits right out of the starting gate. This show premiered at a time when studios gave shows a time to find their audience, unlike the executives of today who have a desperate need to have INSTANT HIT GRATIFICATION right away or the show is cancelled. This is probably due to the fact that studios need to show immediate profits for stock shareholders or their jobs are gone. Still, audiences are suffering because of this and shows are suffering because consumers can no longer buy with confidence anymore.

2) Knots took 3 Seasons to build the cast which made it the popular hit it became. WHile the 1st three seasons were watchable, they were by no means certifiable hits. To expect extreme high sales on seasons which were unsuccessful when they 1st aired also is unreasonable.

3) VERY few consumers are going to shell out the same retail price on Knots Season One for 13 episodes that they did on Dallas. Knots was released at a retail price of 39.95 for 13 episodes while Dallas was released also for 39.95 but they packaged double the episodes and deemed the 1st release Season One and Two. What's wrong with this picture? WHY should the general public shell out 40 bucks on a product and get half the episodes? Expecting high sales on a product priced unreasonably with half the content as its sister product is unreasonable.

4) Warners quickly uses the reason that many subsequent releases of shows are held up by rising music costs. A show like Knots Landing should cost considerably less and be easy to manufacture since there ARE NO music associated with this release.

5) When the series hit stores, it made the top ten sales list on Video Business, top ten sales on Best Buy and high ranking sales on Amazon so by what criteria does Warner gage their sales projections? How much higher does this series have to rank in order for Warner to justify continued releases? Can a series go higher than the top ten list? Some of the drivel Warner releases doesn't even MAKE the top ten list yet they continually release subsequent seasons but not Knots. What gives?

Perhaps Warners may want to adjust their sales expectations to the reality of what the series was. You can't expect high sales on a show that didn't become successful until its fourth season. Additionally, its not rational for a studio to expect high sales on an item when it charges its regular retail price for half the product.

So really, as much as I love Warners shows, the problem may not BE the sales of these shows... its the unreasonable / unrealistic sales expectations of the studio.

#4 of 25 OFFLINE   brett tolino

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Posted May 09 2007 - 07:46 AM

BTW, Richard, regarding the suggestion about writing to the studio, many people I know have tried that only to have their letters ignored. I know I have written in not only about this show but pleading with Warner to release another film that has yet to be released on dvd owned by Warner called Made In Heaven starring Timothy Hutton, Kelly McGillis, Maureen Stapleton and Ellen Barkin. Those requests have gone ignored as well.

#5 of 25 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted May 09 2007 - 08:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdavey
I thank you guys at Warner for taking the time to chat with us...I'm not sure if I'd participate in another chat because it seemed like it just ended up being a laundry list of things that were going to come out in the next year and a list of "no plans." I would have like to know more about the process of what goes into your decision to release a show in a certain way or to decide not to release any more seasons of a show. Perhaps you could hire someone to do a blog and answer and explain in detail fan's emails about specific shows. This plans/no plans thing is just frustrating.

The problem, sfdavey, is that hardly anyone ever asks those questions. I think the studio would love to talk about that kind os stuff as well, but everyone just asks about what they want to see come out. And more frustratingly, they ask about features on discs/sets already announced. It seemed like the one in early '06 was filled with questions about what was going to be on the "Superman" set. Why waste those precious questions, when in a few months you'll find out?! I don't get it.

So maybe if you do participate in another chat, and you get selected, ask those questions about what goes into the process. A lot of people would like to know that as well. But the studio just answers what they're asked.

#6 of 25 OFFLINE   tjguitar85

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Posted May 09 2007 - 10:46 AM

Quote:
4) Warners quickly uses the reason that many subsequent releases of shows are held up by rising music costs. A show like Knots Landing should cost considerably less and be easy to manufacture since there ARE NO music associated with this release.

It's also pretty old and would have to go through some sort of remastering process which is not exactly cheap.

There's more $$$ that goes in to releasing a set than music re-use costs. I may be mistaken but I'm pretty sure you need actor approval simply to use their image on the box art.

And someone DID ask a question about the process that goes into evaluating releases, and it was fairly interesting.

But frankly when you have three hours for, more or less, a whole year worths of unannounced releases, most people are going to ask about the updates on shows that they want to see come out, as evidenced by the questions asked, in hopes that their show could be coming. (e.g. aquaman) There's obviously been some sort of surge in ppl buying the two older Superfriends sets because WB is releasing 3 filmation/HB DC sets this summer alone, with Aquaman and another Superfriends set on the way. I fear they may oversaturate the market and it could be a while before we see both lines continued, but hopefully I'm wrong.

Anyways, I guess the most important thing that could be said here is that if you don't like the questions that are asked, why don't you go to the chat and ask 'better questions' yourself? I thought it was very good, and I was reading it off and on for three hours.

I wish there was some way that people would know what was asked previously as the biggest time waster is people making repeat questions, but there's really nothing you can do about that.

#7 of 25 OFFLINE   RandallV

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Posted May 09 2007 - 12:35 PM

I enjoyed Knots Landing when it originally aired. I've been wanting to purchase the first season, but personal issues have distracted me. After reading the chat transcript I think I will now vote for KL with my wallet.

#8 of 25 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted May 09 2007 - 01:03 PM

My wife is a big Knots fan. She was not happy when I told her. She also belongs to a Knots website that is very large and they were in an uproar.

A few things....
-My wife also said the show isn't good until season 3
-Way overpriced for 13 episodes.
-The show aired on Soapnet for a long while and was successful.
-I find it hard to believe that Knots couldn't sell enough for a second season. Yet somehow McCloud's daughters gets a second season. (No offense to fans of that show Posted Image )
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#9 of 25 OFFLINE   Elena S

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Posted May 09 2007 - 11:06 PM

Well, for God's sake, ANY amount of sales is better than they'd get with the episodes sitting in a vault!!! Don't these idiots have brains??

#10 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard_Gregory

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Posted May 09 2007 - 11:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by brett tolino
BTW, Richard, regarding the suggestion about writing to the studio, many people I know have tried that only to have their letters ignored. I know I have written in not only about this show but pleading with Warner to release another film that has yet to be released on dvd owned by Warner called Made In Heaven starring Timothy Hutton, Kelly McGillis, Maureen Stapleton and Ellen Barkin. Those requests have gone ignored as well.

Well, when you say "ignored" I am guessing you mean that you didn't get the releases you wanted. Or did you mean you asked for a response but did not get one?

The first case would be no surprise - there are loads of people all over the world hoping for relases they don't get! But the second, it is unusual for a studio not to respond if it is asked to.

But I maintain, written requests for studios carry far more weight than emails, phone calls, or posts in forums. However, you can't expect a studio to change it's strategy because of a few letters. A lot...then *maybe* they will.

It all depends on whether they can be convinced that there are enough customers of like mind to justify the release.

Sadly, if a show gets poor sales on it;s first release, that will more or less kill it, no matter how enthusiastic fans are - the studio will assume there just aren't enough of them to make up the numbers.

A show like Star Trek, there are enough fans to guarantee sales without worrying too much about the casual buyer.

I don't think that is true of a show like Knots Landing.

#11 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard_Gregory

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Posted May 09 2007 - 11:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elena S
Well, for God's sake, ANY amount of sales is better than they'd get with the episodes sitting in a vault!!! Don't these idiots have brains??

That's not true. There have to be enough sales to make a sufficient profit. Remember, the studio has to go through a whole heap of planning making sure they really do have the rights to do the release - with "pre home video" shows that can be a nightmare, because such rights weren't written into the contracts at the time, so they have to find every single last person that appears and effectively get permissions and agree on royalties. A single actor can ruin things by refusing or demanding excessive royalties.

Then they have to pay the royalties.

Then they have all the costs of authoring up the DVD's themselves - in itself that can be a costly affair, depending on the condition of the masters.

Then they have all the production, distribution and publicity costs on top.

#12 of 25 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted May 10 2007 - 02:17 AM

By the way, they did not remaster this show for DVD. They used the exact same masters that SoapNet had.

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.


#13 of 25 OFFLINE   Ben King

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Posted May 10 2007 - 03:42 AM

After a few months of being released, Knots seems to be selling steadily on Amazon UK.

Perhaps they might release more in Region 2?

#14 of 25 OFFLINE   sfdavey

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Posted May 10 2007 - 07:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA
By the way, they did not remaster this show for DVD. They used the exact same masters that SoapNet had.

How do you know this?

How much does it really take (time and money) to create digital files of each episode?

#15 of 25 OFFLINE   Elena S

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Posted May 10 2007 - 11:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA
By the way, they did not remaster this show for DVD. They used the exact same masters that SoapNet had.
Does this mean the episodes are edited?

#16 of 25 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted May 10 2007 - 05:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdavey
How do you know this?

How much does it really take (time and money) to create digital files of each episode?

They have to pay a compressionist.

But I checked the DVDs against the episodes I had taped off SoapNet. Coior balance is the same, logos are the same, running times (I assume they are not edited) are the same.

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 25 OFFLINE   FrankPitt

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Posted May 10 2007 - 05:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by brett tolino

4) Warners quickly uses the reason that many subsequent releases of shows are held up by rising music costs. A show like Knots Landing should cost considerably less and be easy to manufacture since there ARE NO music associated with this release.

Actually, Lisa Hartman sang quite a few popular songs during her time on the show as Ciji/Cathy, which could turn out to be cost prohibitive (though I'd rather pay more for a season set than have the songs/scenes edited out).

Some of the songs she performed:
-Open Arms (Journey)
-Hole in My Heart (Rick Springfield)
-We Belong (Pat Benatar)
-Never Surrender (Corey Hart)
-How Am I Supposed to Live Without You (Laura Branigan)
-Goodbye Yesterday (Foreigner)

#18 of 25 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted May 11 2007 - 04:45 AM

Season 2 only has two songs, both integral to the plot: If My Friends Could See Me Now and Put on a Happy Face.

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.


#19 of 25 OFFLINE   whisperintherain

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Posted May 11 2007 - 11:50 AM

Season 2 also has a major asset in the arrival of the show's most popular character, Abby Cunningham, played by Donna Mills. Just put her picture prominently on the cover art (as was done with Michele Lee and Joan Van Ark for Season 1), put a big yellow sticker emphasizing the show's connection to Dallas on the front, instead of just a brief mention and a small picture of Larry Hagman on the back cover, don't forget to mention that it was the inspiration for both Six Feet Under and Desperate Housewives and that it is the third longest-running primetime TV drama of all-time, behind Gunsmoke and Law and Order and people will probably get a clue that it didn't run for 14 years just because the scenery was nice, and that it is indeed a quality show.

This show also had quite a number of famous actors on it over its run : Alec Baldwin, Halle Berry, Helen Hunt, Red Buttons, Ava Gardner, Billy Bob Thornton, Julie Harris, Howard Duff, Millie Perkins, Gary Sinise, Marcia Cross and Nicollette Sheridan. I mean, is it so difficult to find marketing tools for this show? I don't think so.

And please, let's be realistic here, Warner : Knots Landing was NOT the huge international hit Dallas was, so you can't possibly expect it to sell as much. Comparison with the sales of similar shows is a factor in sales expectations, but in this case, I believe it is pretty unrealistic, especially since Dallas was the ONLY similar show previously released by Warner. You can't seriously count shows such as One Tree Hill and The OC as similar to KL as they belong much more to the genre of "teen shows" (such as Dawson's Creek or Felicity) than to that of "primetime soap operas". My advice on that? If you want to limit your expenses, how about just putting a limited number of copies of Season 2 (more in accordance with the sales level of Season 1) out at first. If it sells well and you keep getting asked for more, just print more copies; if it doesn't sell, you'll have limited losses.

Just don't put a Season 1 out there and not follow up on it. That is just not done, it's like inviting friends over for dinner and asking them to leave before you serve dessert. Either release every single season of every show you begin or don't release it at all. Simple as that.

Something else I have to say about what was previously said in this thread : I highly doubt that actor approval to feature their pictures on a cover art is needed, because where would that leave shows like Bewitched, where each and every one of the stars is deceased? Plus, I know for sure that for this particular title, actress Constance McCashin has left show business and did not allow her image to be used in the December 2005 TV Special (they blurred her face out of scenes that featured her) and yet, she is on the cover art. Actor James Houghton, who is only featured on the back of the box but still one of the show's stars, was not even aware the show was getting a DVD release when he did an interview for the biggest Knots Landing fan site online in early 2006, so he probably didn't have to approve of anything.
Bring these sets on!
 
Knots Landing: Seasons 3-14 - The Nanny: Seasons 4-6 - Peyton Place : Episodes 65-514 - Picket Fences : Seasons 2-4

 


#20 of 25 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted May 11 2007 - 06:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperintherain
Just don't put a Season 1 out there and not follow up on it. That is just not done, it's like inviting friends over for dinner and asking them to leave before you serve dessert. Either release every single season of every show you begin or don't release it at all. Simple as that.

It's more like inviting them to dinner and kicking them out after serving appetizers.

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.



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