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Do The Studios Know Their Shows?


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#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen Wight

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Posted March 03 2011 - 08:55 AM

You're probably looking at the title and thinking,what the hell does Stephen mean? Well,I'll explain. Late last year,it was mentioned that BJ and the Bear is Universal's highest ranked show,not yet out on DVD. Around a month,or a month and a half,ago ago I e-mailed our firends over at TSoD and asked about the status of several shows,among them In Search of and BJ and the Bear. I received a reply stating their was no news on the first few I mentioned,but they'll try to ask Universal about In Seach of and BJ.Some time went by,and I never got an e-mailback,so I e-mailed them again asking if they were able to get in touch with Universal and ask about those shows. Now,perhaps in my naivete I was thinking I'd get a response like "Oh yeah. We know that BJ is our highest rated show not out on DVD and we're currently working on it,so expect to see it released sometime this year." and "Definitely In Search Of.With other similar titles released,this will fit in perfectly.And since it's hosted by Leonard Nimoy,you'll know it will sell". Instead waht reply do I get?  "NOT AT THIS TIME." What a disappointment! BJ is their highest rated show and their not going to release it? I thought the higher the show,the more priority for a release. What do they get by just letting it collect dust? Do they feel that Nimoy can't move as many units as say Robert Stack,Dan Aykroyd or,gasp,Dennis Farina? So,as the title of this thread says,do the studios really know their shows.?Sorry for the long rant,but I had to get this off my chest.



#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Regulus

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Posted March 03 2011 - 10:45 AM

BJ and the Bear isn't out because it most likely has those cursed "Music Rights" Issues. Posted Image


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#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Robert13

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Posted March 04 2011 - 02:07 AM

I would buy it for The Landers Sisters alone. Posted Image



#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Neil Brock

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Posted March 04 2011 - 05:28 AM

Depends on the studio and depends on how obscure the show. The more obscure the show, the less chance that anyone there would have a clue.



#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen Wight

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Posted March 04 2011 - 05:38 PM

But are BJ and the Bear and In Search Of obscure shows? If it's true that the reason BJ isn't out yet is because of music right issues,as Regulus suggests,then how high would it have to rank for Universal to take a chance and clear the music,for a DVD release? It's currently has an unreleased rank of 24,at TSoD.



#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Regulus

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Posted March 04 2011 - 10:35 PM



Originally Posted by Stephen Wight 

But are BJ and the Bear and In Search Of obscure shows? If it's true that the reason BJ isn't out yet is because of music right issues,as Regulus suggests,then how high would it have to rank for Universal to take a chance and clear the music,for a DVD release? It's currently has an unreleased rank of 24,at TSoD.


The Wonder Years, is the Number ONE unreleased show, and the studio that owns it doesn't want to "take a chance" on that one either!! Posted Image



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#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Neil Brock

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Posted March 05 2011 - 04:25 AM



Originally Posted by Regulus 




The Wonder Years, is the Number ONE unreleased show, and the studio that owns it doesn't want to "take a chance" on that one either!! Posted Image



      Their choices are:


      1 - Release the show with music subs and face the wrath of angry fans.


      2 - Release the show without music subs and lose a lot of money.


      3 - Do nothing.


Wonder Years, China Beach, Northern Exposure, Ed, Murphy Brown, Beverly Hills 90210, etc. All shows that will never again be seen as originally aired.




#8 of 22 OFFLINE   ChrisCook

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Posted March 05 2011 - 07:31 AM

Universal did clear the first season of Northern Exposure.

Originally Posted by Neil Brock 




      Their choices are:


      1 - Release the show with music subs and face the wrath of angry fans.


      2 - Release the show without music subs and lose a lot of money.


      3 - Do nothing.


Wonder Years, China Beach, Northern Exposure, Ed, Murphy Brown, Beverly Hills 90210, etc. All shows that will never again be seen as originally aired.







#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen Wight

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Posted March 09 2011 - 11:12 AM

What about In Search Of? Nobody has addressed that show. Perhaps no one else wants that on DVD,or agree,with Universal, that with  Nimoy's pedrigee his visage on the front and back of the box won't move any units.



#10 of 22 OFFLINE   banjo78

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Posted March 09 2011 - 10:43 PM

I have the Bj collection(poor quality) and the music on the show is not the original artists, they are cover versions. So I cant see why music would be an issue. Greatest American Hero was released and it is the same as in it uses cover versions of the popular songs. Even sounds like the same cover band performing all the tracks in both the shows.  This needs to be released and now!!!           Chris.







#11 of 22 OFFLINE   Eric Vedowski

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Posted March 10 2011 - 12:21 AM

I wonder if "music rights" is sometimes given as an easy excuse. I realize with some music it is a problem but "The Rich Little Show" (12 episodes on NBC 1975/76) was just released and it includes all the musical performances according to press releases. Amazon has it for $25.49. MPI released it and they've released other music rights nightmare shows in the past like Hullabaloo which was basically only music performances. Why would a smaller outfit have no problem but a big studio does? I get a sense they simply don't want to bother unless it's going to sell like "Friends."

As for studios knowing what they have-not if it's old. The guy who buys the shows for Me-TV in Chicago (available nationally now I believe) said exactly that in a story a few years back.

“When I would buy a major acquisition for WCIU such as The Doctors, I’d also say, ‘Let’s look in the library,’” he says. “A lot of that stuff, I had to tell the syndicators, ‘It’s there! You own it! Find it!’”

It's no wonder there's "no market" for old TV when the people who should be selling it don't even know it exists.



#12 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen Wight

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Posted March 14 2011 - 07:59 AM



Originally Posted by banjo78 

I have the Bj collection(poor quality) and the music on the show is not the original artists, they are cover versions. So I cant see why music would be an issue.





That's more proof,in my mind,that the studios don't know their shows.




#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Mike*SC

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Posted March 14 2011 - 10:26 AM

Originally Posted by Eric Vedowski 

I wonder if "music rights" is sometimes given as an easy excuse. I realize with some music it is a problem but "The Rich Little Show" (12 episodes on NBC 1975/76) was just released and it includes all the musical performances according to press releases. Amazon has it for $25.49.

But why do the studios need an excuse not to release something?  Or do you mean it's simply a way to get fans off their backs?

People always accuse me of being an apologist for the studios when I point this out, but nonetheless, let me state that no two music clearance problems are alike.  You have no idea what rights were dictated by the original contract.  Since "The Rich Little Show" has only live performances, that contract (from 1975) may well have given them more rights than a show that used a song as a needledrop that same year.  Without being privy to the original contract, we have no idea.  I am clueless about the specifics in the case of "Little," but given its obscurity (though I remember watching it as a kid!), it's hard to imagine they thought it financially viable to pay through the nose for music on this niche show.


#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Peter Rohlfs

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Posted March 15 2011 - 09:49 AM

Would original episodes "In Search of" still be relevent?  Wouldn't there be updated infromation on almost every topic that was covered on the show?



Peter



#15 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen Wight

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Posted March 15 2011 - 04:26 PM


I'm no music rights expert,but I thought that live performances were harder,and cost more money,to clear than songs that are only played for a few seconds.

Originally Posted by Mike*SC 
Since "The Rich Little Show" has only live performances, that contract (from 1975) may well have given them more rights than a show that used a song as a needledrop that same year. 



#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen Wight

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Posted March 15 2011 - 04:29 PM



Originally Posted by Peter Rohlfs 

Would original episodes "In Search of" still be relevent?  Wouldn't there be updated infromation on almost every topic that was covered on the show?



Peter



I don't think they would be any more irrelevant than Unsolved Mysteries or Sightings,hosted by Dan Aykroyd. Wouldn't there also be updated information on the episodes on those DVDs?




#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Neil Brock

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Posted March 15 2011 - 04:53 PM



Originally Posted by banjo78 

I have the Bj collection(poor quality) and the music on the show is not the original artists, they are cover versions. So I cant see why music would be an issue. Greatest American Hero was released and it is the same as in it uses cover versions of the popular songs. Even sounds like the same cover band performing all the tracks in both the shows.  This needs to be released and now!!!           Chris.






     What does that have to do with anything? The expense of clearing music has to do with paying the publishers and writers. Who performs it means nothing. A Beatles song is a Beatles song whether its The Beatles performing it or Uncle Joe. Who is singing doesn't change the rights issues one iota.




#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Mike*SC

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Posted March 15 2011 - 05:47 PM


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Wight 

I'm no music rights expert,but I thought that live performances were harder,and cost more money,to clear than songs that are only played for a few seconds.

There are so many variables in music clearance, it's impossible to make any such blanket assumption (unless the song and performance are in the public domain, which makes it easy).  There are really no set rules -- the rights owner can ask for any amount he feels like at that minute, or outright refuse rights at any price.  It doesn't have to be consistent; he can demand five times as much for one project as he does on another.  Think about what you'd do if you owned the only orange tree in the country.  You could charge whatever you wanted for oranges, and sure, some people might well opt to eat apples instead, but for anybody desperate for an orange, you could set your price at whim.  You might sell it to the pretty girl for half what you sell it to the rich geezer for, just because you felt like it.

Again, one key is how the original contracts were drawn up.  For any show made before this millennium, certainly nobody anticipated the various sorts of rights a show might need for then-unimagined means of distribution.  But it's quite possible that 1975 Show A, which featured live musical acts, happened to luck out by contractually securing wider rights than 1975 Show B, which used needle-drops established by the boilerplate contract of the day, which granted only broadcast rights.  These things happen all the time, and in a case like this, Show A doesn't even have to clear the music (it was cleared 36 years ago), while Show B has to negotiate anew and play catch-up.

The point is, never assume that any two examples are alike.  They may seem to be, superficially.  But without knowing the specifics, these assumptions are no more than guesswork.


#19 of 22 OFFLINE   banjo78

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Posted March 15 2011 - 09:01 PM



Originally Posted by Neil Brock 




     What does that have to do with anything? The expense of clearing music has to do with paying the publishers and writers. Who performs it means nothing. A Beatles song is a Beatles song whether its The Beatles performing it or Uncle Joe. Who is singing doesn't change the rights issues one iota.




So releasing "Tour of Duty" with a couple hundred songs replaced cost the same amount of money as using the originals???  Explain that one Sunshine




#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Peter Rohlfs

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Posted March 16 2011 - 08:08 AM

I would ask the same question about those shows.  But both were newer.


According to IMDB "In Search Of" was hosted by Nimoy 1976-1982.  Would the research done for those shows about 29-35 years ago still be relevent?  As I remeber the show, a big part of the charm was believing that what you were getting was the bleeding edge on the topic.


I think it would be cool to release it with follow ups, but that of course would take money to do the research and fromat the results.

I know Biography does this sometimes when they broadcast older Biographies, but that research is alot easier (being just one person who is in the publice eye).