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Why are so many series stalled or stopped?


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#21 of 108 kemcha

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Posted December 31 2009 - 10:55 PM

David is quite correct. If a studio releases a particular series to DVD and it's not selling well, that studio may still have faith in that show to still sell at some future point down the line. Just look at Everwood. When Season 1 was released, it obviously didn't sell too well. But, the studio had faith in the series and it eventually saw the release of Season 2, much to the delight of the fans of the show.

Not only that, but studios are also willing to stagger releases of low sellers with that of more successful releases. If a studio has sold a lot of copies of several shows that have sold well, they may opt to stagger releases of previous shows that haven't sold well, in an effort to please their own consumers. Sometimes, waiting a period of time may be enough to also jump-start sales of the earlier DVD set releases for that title they have released.

#22 of 108 Bob_S.

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Posted January 01 2010 - 01:14 AM

Gary, you just brightened my new year immensely! I was afraid with the release of Bonanza that Gunsmoke was being put on the back burner. Now I'm stoked! I've been going through Gunsmoke withdrawal for the past month. Unfortunately, I don't get Encore so I'm unable to record those Gunsmoke episodes so I'm at the mercy of the studio.

#23 of 108 jamesmcaw

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Posted January 01 2010 - 01:40 AM

I absolutely understand how business works, but these studios know what they are getting into with these releases. If they want to remove any cloud of doubt over the sales of subsequent sets, they should just release the whole damn series at once, like Get Smart, or Man from Uncle.
 I have literally thousands of DVD's in my collection, and have many,many TV series. I am just getting sick of things not being completed, and most of the ones I love, are not syndicated anymore, at least not in my area.


#24 of 108 Neil Brock

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Posted January 01 2010 - 02:56 AM

A better question would be, why did so many people first get into collecting TV shows with the advent of DVD releases? The hobby has been around for over 30 years. Even longer amongst 16mm film collectors. In the grand scheme of things, TV shows on DVD is but a blip on the radar. The golden era of the hobby was the cable boom of the 80s when many new networks popped up desperate for programming and they picked up dozens of obscure shows that no one thought would ever see the light again. Not to mention the fact that there were still many stations around the country still running programs uncut from off film. Yes, it can be frustrating when shows come to a halt, especially when they are just one release away from completion, like White Shadow, Flying Nun, SWAT, etc. Hopefully the burn on demand thing will take off and at some point they will start to include TV series in their offerings. I really think that's the only hope as retail outlets for these things are practically non-existent anymore.

#25 of 108 cajunhillbilly

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Posted January 01 2010 - 02:59 AM

I am hoping to see more of the burn on demand in 2010, esp in the Warner Archives withh all their Westerns and detective shows.

#26 of 108 Gary OS

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Posted January 01 2010 - 03:30 AM

     Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Brock 

A better question would be, why did so many people first get into collecting TV shows with the advent of DVD releases? The hobby has been around for over 30 years. Even longer amongst 16mm film collectors. In the grand scheme of things, TV shows on DVD is but a blip on the radar. The golden era of the hobby was the cable boom of the 80s when many new networks popped up desperate for programming and they picked up dozens of obscure shows that no one thought would ever see the light again. Not to mention the fact that there were still many stations around the country still running programs uncut from off film. Yes, it can be frustrating when shows come to a halt, especially when they are just one release away from completion, like White Shadow, Flying Nun, SWAT, etc. Hopefully the burn on demand thing will take off and at some point they will start to include TV series in their offerings. I really think that's the only hope as retail outlets for these things are practically non-existent anymore.

I agree with Neil pretty much across the board.  The time to strike is while the iron is hot, or so the proverbial saying goes.  And that time, in regards to many 50's and 60's shows, were in the 80's when the vcr became the norm and many cable stations were airing plenty of golden oldies.  My problem, as an individual, is that I was not in the position at that time to really record because I was in college and also married later in that decade and money was just too tight.  But in principle there's no doubt that it was the 80's and early 90's when we had the best chance to get many series recorded.

It's also my opinion that we've peaked with vintage material being released on pressed dvds.  I think we are on the downside of that phenomenon.  I'm not sure if burn-on-demand is going to work for classic TV.  That's yet to be determined.  But I will take that option over having to watch streaming video on my computer.  I prefer studio produced, pressed dvds to dvd-r's, but I'll take dvd-r's over streaming video online that I can only watch and not download so as to make my own copies.

Gary "as for the business side of things: it's undeniable that what David Levine wrote is true - regretable from a consumer view, but the cold hard facts nonetheless" O.


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#27 of 108 vnisanian2001

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Posted January 01 2010 - 03:41 AM

The reason why many people began collecting TV shows with the advent of DVDs is really simple.

Yes, there are people who recorded their favorite shows in the 80's and 90's, during either their original network airings, or during their syndicated airings, but the problem is that more often than not, VHS gets damaged beyond repair. It also didn't help that VHS, at least in the early 80's, was really expensive. People also had other commitments as well, like the one Gary mentioned above. Plus, who knew that in the future, there would be season DVD sets? No one, that's for sure.

I will say one thing VHS has an advantage over DVD: When DVD discs skip once, and only once, they are never the same again.

 To all fans of Mr. Belvedere who haven't purchased season 4 yet, please watch this video.

#28 of 108 TravisR

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Posted January 01 2010 - 04:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesmcaw View Post

If they want to remove any cloud of doubt over the sales of subsequent sets, they should just release the whole damn series at once, like Get Smart, or Man from Uncle.

Then they risk losing even more money than they'd lose if one season didn't sell. Why would they do that?

#29 of 108 Neil Brock

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Posted January 01 2010 - 04:50 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisR 



Then they risk losing even more money than they'd lose if one season didn't sell. Why would they do that?
      They wouldn't and that's why they don't.



#30 of 108 kemcha

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Posted January 01 2010 - 04:56 AM

The problem is that the industry will never, ever release those shows that everyone wants. Less than 10% of the television shows have been released to DVD and most are held up due to licensing rights that involve either the cast (actors and actressess) or music rights. Those same shows on blu ray will also suffer the same problem which is why I'm reluctant to invest in blu ray. I just don't see the industry ever adopting one media standard and stocking to that.

Why create a new media standard every 10 years? If the industry wants to create a universal standard, just create the new media format and keep that as the single standard while upgrading that technology every few years as improvement in technology are discovered. Don't just create a new standard that isn't compatible with what has come before. This is why blu ray is having such a problem trying to get those consumers who are still stuck on DVD to invest in.

Sony and the Blu Ray Association, when they introduced the format, said that it was the last format that a consumer would need, that blu ray is the format of the future. Rest assured, that in about five years, Sony will attempt to create a new format again, claiming the same thing and getting consumers to double dip, triple dip, quadruple dip on the same titles with yet another media format.

#31 of 108 TravisR

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Posted January 01 2010 - 06:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kemcha View Post

Why create a new media standard every 10 years?

To make money. There is no 'last format' and there's no conspiracy. There's always going to be something better because they can make money from it.

#32 of 108 Gary OS

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Posted January 01 2010 - 06:33 AM

     Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisR 

To make money. There is no 'last format' and there's no conspiracy. There's always going to be something better because they can make money from it.

I agree.  It's just about the technology and the money that can be made off it.  Having said that, I do wish the formats would last a couple of decades instead of only one decade.  At least VHS and VCRs were the standard for a couple of decades before being phased out.  It seems we are now in a spot where the formats are changing quicker, forcing people to double-dip more.

Gary "vhs was the dominant home theater format for what... 20+ years?" O.

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#33 of 108 smithb

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Posted January 01 2010 - 06:47 AM

And the problem with changing formats quicker and with less overall benefit is that people will adopt slower and double-dip less. I have things on DVD I have not even watched yet that are now appearing on BR. The only double dipping I'm doing is big epics, favorite of favorites, and those that were largely inferior on DVD. I basically stopped buying DVD movies a year ago so I could buy the new one in BR.

As for TV shows, I don't see doing a lot of BR buying this way unless the prices are relatively close together. Otherwise, I will go DVD just because of the sheer quantity and cost over time. For example, I bought the Prisoner on BR because there was a deal where the BR was not much more then the DVD. However, I purchased the remastered Star Trek TOS sets on DVD within the last two years and see no reason to upgrade to BR at this point. If iI had waited then I would have gone BR but not now so soon after.

#34 of 108 David Levine

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Posted January 01 2010 - 06:59 AM

It would be wonderful if they did that, but you have to look at it realistically.

If a single 22 episode season is expensive to produce, multiply that by however many seasons make up the complete series. It can easily be over 100 episodes. So that means an upfront fee of clearing music for every episode (could easily be in the upper hundreds of thousands or millions), and every other expense to create all those discs. All at once. Not spread out over years.

You'd also be creating something that appeals greatly to the diehard fan (who are vocal, but usually smallish in numbers), but you would absolutely eliminate most blind buys and any casual fans who just want a season or 2 to watch, but no desire to own the whole series.

That's why you only see it with very specific shows. Ones that have a very large following and ones that the studio is willing to wager that there is a large enough audience for.

A studio could easily spend 2 million dollars on a complete series, retail it for 150.00 (of which, maybe 35.00 is profit) and sell 2000 total units. That's 70,000.00 coming back on a 2 million dollar output. People get fired and small companies go out of business making deals like that.

And I'm not exaggerating those numbers. I've worked in the business for 12 years and seen every side of it.

In a perfect world, if a studio started a series they would finish that series. But also in a perfect world, everyone that bought season 1 would buy every subsequent season. But neither of those happen. Studios stop production when something loses money or doesn't meet mandated profit margins, and most series suffer a 30-50% sales drop with each subsequent release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesmcaw 

I absolutely understand how business works, but these studios know what they are getting into with these releases. If they want to remove any cloud of doubt over the sales of subsequent sets, they should just release the whole damn series at once, like Get Smart, or Man from Uncle.
 I have literally thousands of DVD's in my collection, and have many,many TV series. I am just getting sick of things not being completed, and most of the ones I love, are not syndicated anymore, at least not in my area.



#35 of 108 smithb

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Posted January 01 2010 - 07:45 AM

High risk is obviously the biggest reason for not doing complete series. Another issue I see is that whatever mistake they make is carried through all seasons. How many times have we seen where a bad decision made for season 1 gets corrected for later seasons. I know not enough, but still it works out some times (except for the Fugitive which was the opposite). In those cases, we would like them to go back and correct season 1 but they rarely ever do. Now we would be asking them to go back to a complete series? Not going to happen.

More often then not, having the opportunity to provide feedback between season releases seems to have provided a benefit.

In the cases where they have done complete series sets from the get go, I think they made a calculated risk. For example, "Man from U.N.C.L.E" is a case where the later seasons are generally regarded as inferior. So bundling it and providing a complete series as the only option forced people to buy seasons they might had preferred to skip. I would have bought the first season of "Man from U.N.C.L.E", but not the whole series.

#36 of 108 kemcha

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Posted January 01 2010 - 08:29 AM

It's understandable that studios would want to increase their profit margins by pushing a new format but I think it's having a detrimental effect on their business model. While it can be said that blu-ray releases are seeing an increase, that is mostly due to single blu-ray releases, not boxed sets.

Since blu-ray has been released, most studios have been rushing to get single disk releases, mostly movies, to the new format, sacrificing the releases for television shows. I've noticed that while there are some television shows being released to blu-ray, it's not as widespread as most consumers think it is. Many companies are still refusing to release their shows or most shows to blu-ray unless it's a special release. Firefly, Lost, Smallville, Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV Series) are all enjoying blu ray releases, but, the bulk of television shows that are currently being released (JAG, NCIS, Bones, Sliders, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Babylon 5, 24 and a legion of other titles have yet to be scheduled for release.

That, in iteself, represents the alienation of the industry and their desire to keep most television shows out of the blu-ray market.

Perhaps what the industry needs to do is keep the blu-ray format specifically for single movie releases and those television shows that deserve a special blu-ray release while keeping the DVD format specifically for television show releases, at least for another decade and let consumers keep the format for television show releases.

The DVD format should be allowed to keep with the television show format for another decade, at least. If not, then they need to step up production on the blu-ray releases for television shows and stay away from charging $70-100 for each release of these new release season sets.

#37 of 108 TravisR

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Posted January 01 2010 - 09:03 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by kemcha View Post

It's understandable that studios would want to increase their profit margins by pushing a new format but I think it's having a detrimental effect on their business model. While it can be said that blu-ray releases are seeing an increase, that is mostly due to single blu-ray releases, not boxed sets.

Since blu-ray has been released, most studios have been rushing to get single disk releases, mostly movies, to the new format, sacrificing the releases for television shows. I've noticed that while there are some television shows being released to blu-ray, it's not as widespread as most consumers think it is. Many companies are still refusing to release their shows or most shows to blu-ray unless it's a special release. Firefly, Lost, Smallville, Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV Series) are all enjoying blu ray releases, but, the bulk of television shows that are currently being released (JAG, NCIS, Bones, Sliders, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Babylon 5, 24 and a legion of other titles have yet to be scheduled for release.

That, in iteself, represents the alienation of the industry and their desire to keep most television shows out of the blu-ray market.

Perhaps what the industry needs to do is keep the blu-ray format specifically for single movie releases and those television shows that deserve a special blu-ray release while keeping the DVD format specifically for television show releases, at least for another decade and let consumers keep the format for television show releases.

The DVD format should be allowed to keep with the television show format for another decade, at least. If not, then they need to step up production on the blu-ray releases for television shows and stay away from charging $70-100 for each release of these new release season sets.

There's a number of leaps in logic and factual errors that you made but I'll just skip those and say that the bottom line is that if people continue to buy DVDs, they won't be going anywhere.

#38 of 108 kemcha

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Posted January 01 2010 - 09:53 AM

What kind of remark is that? You're saying that if people don't buy blu ray that there's something wrong with them? Hate to say it, that's the dumbest thing I have ever heard anyone say. I know people who still support VHS and I also know people who prefer the original version of the Star Wars trilogy over the Special Edition trilogy.

Your whole statement of the fact that "if people continue to support and buy DVD's that they're stupid" is a defeatist attitude to take on the subject. There is a large segment of Americans who continue to support DVD over blu ray and while blu ray has some market penetration and continues to grow, the new format is still having difficulty as consumers are still buying more DVD's over blu ray.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear that it sounds like you're getting paid to push blu ray. I don't own one single blu ray disk because I'm still not convinced to purchase the new format. Now, if the studios had a program to allow consumers to trade their current DVD library for the blu ray format then consumers may be more supportive of the new format but at the rate the blu ray format is going, it's very doubtful that the blu ray association and by effect, the studios, will increase the output of TV shows on blu ray. Not only are blu ray versions of TV shows still too expensive for fans to purchase but studios have been extremely slow at releasing them.

Just one look at those releases on blu ray? You can count the number of television shows that have been released on blu ray on both hands (not season sets but television shows) and the releases of television shows on blu ray are abyssmal. Why would anyone support the new blu ray format if studios aren't releasing television shows to blu ray?

While I would love to buy into the blu ray format (I don't buy single disk releases/movies anymore, only boxed sets) the industry/studios aren't supporting the releases of television shows because there just isn't enough profit in it. You have to remember that studios have to spend extra money to convert those television shows to the 720 or 1080 format and I think those costs are too high for most studios to limit what they release on blu ray.

#39 of 108 Adam Gregorich

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Posted January 01 2010 - 10:33 AM


Quote:
 if the studios had a program to allow consumers to trade their current DVD library for the blu ray format then consumers may be more supportive of the new format

Both WB and Disney have a program for this.

While its true that there aren't a lot of TV shows on DVD its getting better.  Its a bit unrealistic to expect to see older series released on BD anytime soon.  The market isn't there yet.  In just the last few months we have seen 24, My Name is Earl, The Unit, Burn Notice, Dollhouse, and soon the Simpson's from Fox, Lost (including past seasons), and Grey's Anatomy from Disney, Rome, Band of Brothers, Sopranos, Smallville and several others from WB.  Paramount has released Dexter, CSI and of course Star Trek OS.  Universal has done BSG.  Its getting better.  Studios have to balance the cost of prep work with sales.  I'm a huge Babylon 5 fan.  Don't think we will see the BDs for years.  The CGI wasn't done in HD.  A lot of the shows you mentioned have similar issues.  Just to put it in perspective I still have some movies on LD that never have been released to DVD yet!  I would love to see more TV on blu.  I also vote with my wallet.  If a show I want is released on BD and DVD I buy the BD.

#40 of 108 Traveling Matt

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Posted January 01 2010 - 10:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kemcha 

It's understandable that studios would want to increase their profit margins by pushing a new format but I think it's having a detrimental effect on their business model. While it can be said that blu-ray releases are seeing an increase, that is mostly due to single blu-ray releases, not boxed sets.

Since blu-ray has been released, most studios have been rushing to get single disk releases, mostly movies, to the new format, sacrificing the releases for television shows. I've noticed that while there are some television shows being released to blu-ray, it's not as widespread as most consumers think it is. Many companies are still refusing to release their shows or most shows to blu-ray unless it's a special release. Firefly, Lost, Smallville, Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV Series) are all enjoying blu ray releases, but, the bulk of television shows that are currently being released (JAG, NCIS, Bones, Sliders, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Babylon 5, 24 and a legion of other titles have yet to be scheduled for release.

That, in iteself, represents the alienation of the industry and their desire to keep most television shows out of the blu-ray market.

Perhaps what the industry needs to do is keep the blu-ray format specifically for single movie releases and those television shows that deserve a special blu-ray release while keeping the DVD format specifically for television show releases, at least for another decade and let consumers keep the format for television show releases.

The DVD format should be allowed to keep with the television show format for another decade, at least. If not, then they need to step up production on the blu-ray releases for television shows and stay away from charging $70-100 for each release of these new release season sets.
Studios aren't attempting to increase their profit margins by pushing a new format; they're pushing a new format to stay in business. Likewise they, not industry, maintain rights to their properties and therefore decide which ones - film or TV - to issue and on what format.

Blu is still young. Like DVD when it was young, one can expect the territory to be explored with movies first. However (as has been noted previously) there are other options - rentals, streaming and downloads - making the future of home video very difficult to predict on any format.




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