Posted March 20 2009 - 06:27 AM
| Originally Posted by vnisanian2001 |
Anytime the issue of syndicated episodes on DVD occurs, you usually mention the unedited network versions being on 3/4" inch U-matic tapes in the Library of Congress. You think Shout! Factory could have just acquired those tapes from there?
I also find it odd that Shout! can release Mr. Belvedere and Room 222 (both of which they also acquired from Fox) uncut, but not this show, which, in this case, is a mix of syndicated and network episodes.
Rhoda was shot on film, and for filmed shows up until the 1980s the production companies tended to send film prints. MTM Productions sent film prints of filmed shows (which was everything they made except WKRP) to the LoC up until 1982. Those prints will have faded by now.
The state of the negatives may have been such that putting them through a telecine without serious work may have damaged them further. That is, if there was ever any talk about remastering. Keep in mind that Fox didn't produce this show, as they did Room 222 and Mr. Belvedere. The materials for the MTM library may have been in transit at least once in their lives. The company was sold by Mary Tyler Moore to TVS of the UK, then to International Family Entertainment, which in turn was bought out by News Corporation. Anything could have happened between 1974 and today.
Shout! tends not to get the best masters, nor access to the vaults to find them, and I doubt they can afford to fund remasters. The picture quality on the first season of Punky Brewster reveals that they received not anywhere near first generation copies. They were international masters with dropouts (albeit uncut ones), and with that show's joint ownership I wouldn't know where the original 1" tapes are held. The same goes with Father Knows Best S1. They went with what was already easily accessible. For FKB it was only the outcry over cutting that led Sony to do any better on S2.