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CBS/Paramount Stalled Shows - An Analysis


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#1 of 98 OFFLINE   Frank Soyke

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Posted April 18 2011 - 11:52 AM

In the wake of Mannix season 5 being announced, I thought I might look at some of CBS/P stalled shows and give my own opinion as to why each has stalled and the likelihood of CBS re-starting releases. Keep in mind these are only my opinions.

Let me start by saying that I am thrilled (albeit surprised) that Mannix Season 5 is coming out so soon. Mannix is one of my favorite shows and its nice that sales have been so good that CBS wishes to continue releasing it. Now for the other shows:


The Untouchables - This one confounds me. Sales of season 3 had to be extemely low for them to give up on it with only one season left. Chance of resuming release = Medium


Cannon -  Given two seasons and obviously sold poorly -  Chance of resuming release = Low


Barnaby Jones - See Cannon above only with one season -  Chance of resuming release = Low


Beverly Hillbillies - Another one I have difficulty understanding. This was a top 5 TV show during most of its run and has a very dedicated fanbase. I can't believe it sold that poorly. It wasn't topical (i.e. - Maude, All in the family) so it doesn't look dated. This one is a head scratcher. Chance of resuming release = High


Happy Days - See above Hllbillies. Chance of resuming release = High


Mod Squad - Must have sold very poorly and too topical. Looks very dated . Chance of resuming release = Low


Love Boat - Very popular in its time and great guest stars. Must have simply been poor sales. Wouldn't give up on this one just yet. Chance of resuming release = Medium


Love American Style - Too dated and topical. Chance of resuming release low.


As far a the b/w series go (Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Bilko), I feel that CBS has simply given up on all b/w series perhaps due to the fact they just do not fit with their demographic and look too old for the age groups that buy a lot of DVD"S  Chance of resuming any of these releases = Low


I know I missed some but you get the point . I just feel by and large that CBS has basically given up on most series pre 90's presumably for demographic reasons. Face it, many poeple buying a ton of DVD's are 20-40 amd they reallt have little interest in shows like Cannon or Bilko.


Again, only my opinions!



#2 of 98 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted April 18 2011 - 12:39 PM

Frank, I think you are spot on in terms of the reason, in general, that we are seeing less and less b/w and older color shows being released by CBS/Paramount.  It's an absolute fact that the demo age is way too young for most of the older series to really thrive.  Some make it because they are iconic.  Others have rabid, although smaller, fan bases that really get the word out and buy multiple copies to encourage further releases.  But by and large your point about demographics is something I've got to believe plays a part.

As to the specific titles and where you'd rank them as to possible future releases, it really is a guessing game.  I'd agree with some of your assessments and disagree with others.  As one example, I think Happy Days is probably very low on the list, but only for one basic reason: Music Rights.  As it is they couldn't even release the 2nd Season with its original theme song, and many of the tunes have been replaced in the different sets.  It's just a shame but it's clear CBS isn't a company that's going to pay for many pop songs.  They are notorious for replacement music and/or cut scenes involving pop songs.  If Happy Days is to continue, it will almost assuredly be cut up and I'm not for that.


We are seeing a revival of Rawhide, so all is not totally lost when it comes to the b/w titles.  But things don't look great.  Mannix is good news, but it was on the long range schedule so it's not a complete shock to me.  Still, like you,  I hope this is a signal that we can expect other stalled shows to be put back on the schedule.



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#3 of 98 OFFLINE   Jeff*H

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Posted April 18 2011 - 12:54 PM

Welcome to the HTF, Frank. You raise some good points with your analysis, but I think you also left a few others out of the consideration set:

  • Licensing issues
  • Previous public domain and/or bootleg releases that may have negatively impacted sales (this may apply to "Beverly Hillbillies" and "Bonanza", among others)
  • Syndication presence over the decades (or lack thereof)
  • Difficulty getting major brick-and-mortar retailers to stock classic TV titles in recent years
  • Price points (particularly where split seasons of some shows are concerned); some titles have more price elasticity than others, I suspect
  • Economic factors at time of release (i.e. the recession and unemployment result in less discretionary income for potential consumers)
  • Ongoing sales over time of the first releases of a title (some shows are 'evergreens' and will continue to move product from the first season or 2 at a solid rate years later, whereas other shows may move very few units of the first seasons at any point in the DVD's retail life)
Anyhow, a few more things you may wish to consider.

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#4 of 98 OFFLINE   LeoA

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Posted April 18 2011 - 01:37 PM

I think Petticoat Junction has a shot.


They clearly thought it was something worthwhile when they did HD transfers of two seasons at once the first time around. And the subsequent color seasons are those most familiar to fans of the show. Season 3 introduces the familiar Bobbie Jo and the next season adds the beautiful Meredith MacRae to the cast whom everyone associates with the Billie Jo Bradley character.


So I wouldn't be shocked to actually see sales of the show increase compared to season 1 & 2 (Which were excellent and in many ways the best seasos of the show, but they were just unfamiliar to many people) if they take a crack at season 3 and 4.



#5 of 98 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted April 18 2011 - 02:13 PM

If "Barnaby Jones" remains stalled out, blame it perhaps on how the complete first season was only a half-season worth of shot shows (as it was a mid-season replacement).    This one rankles me the most because it has the dubious distinction of lowest percentage of a show's run released to DVD in the form of one half of seven and a half seasons of episodes.      I would have rather hand two seasons of Barnaby than two of Cannon!





#6 of 98 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted April 18 2011 - 02:21 PM

I have to agree with Jeff about Bonanza (which was never in B&W btw) and Beverly Hillbillies. The numerous PD copies, some of which are still readily available at Target and Wal-Mart, must have killed sales of the real thing.


I also feel that diminishing returns put Family Ties to an early grave. Notice how quickly the first few seasons came out on dvd--then they just suddenly stopped. I guess Season One sold very well, the others were rushed into production, and by the time 5 came out the sales had declined too far for them to continue. The most popular series, Happy Days, Love Boat, Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies have a long way to go, but it's hard to understand why they don't finish off the shorter ones so they can re-release them as Complete Series sets that seem to sell well over time. I mean, one lousy season more of Mork and Mindy...Season 4 probably won't sell all that great, but the complete series set would.


 

 


#7 of 98 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted April 18 2011 - 05:36 PM



Originally Posted by Gary OS  As to the specific titles and where you'd rank them as to possible future releases, it really is a guessing game.  I'd agree with some of your assessments and disagree with others.  As one example, I think Happy Days is probably very low on the list, but only for one basic reason: Music Rights.  As it is they couldn't even release the 2nd Season with its original theme song, and many of the tunes have been replaced in the different sets.  It's just a shame but it's clear CBS isn't a company that's going to pay for many pop songs.  They are notorious for replacement music and/or cut scenes involving pop songs.  If Happy Days is to continue, it will almost assuredly be cut up and I'm not for that.


I think the best hope for Happy Days and a lot of the others lies with Shout! Factory. Now that they have a working relationship with CBS/Paramount (Shout! did Webster, which had no cuts or music replacements, but they're also doing some Nickelodeon shows like Rocko's Modern Life, and fans of those shows have told me some real horror stories about censorship and editing at their slimy orange hands), and they've picked up shows other studios abandoned, notably Sony, I wouldn't put it outside the realm of possibility. But apparently they only license shows on a title-by-title basis, so we'll see what happens.


If topicality is a factor in poor sales, that may have hurt Family Ties as well.


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.


#8 of 98 OFFLINE   brian MC

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Posted April 19 2011 - 12:05 AM

You could also add The Streets Of San Francisco to the list of stalled releases.I hope the rest of the seasons will eventually get a release!



#9 of 98 OFFLINE   Corey3rd

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Posted April 19 2011 - 12:31 AM

Love American Style was mishandled. They should have put segments on other shows DVDs as bonus features. Why not let Frank Sutton's various bits appear on the Gomer Pyle USMC discs? Splitting the first season up so that it came out to $72 for both volume limits the show from impulse purchase to entertainment investment.


Happy Days has a bigger issues now that the cast members are ticked off that they've received practically nothing from the use of their image on dvds and slot machines.

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#10 of 98 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted April 19 2011 - 02:33 AM

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff*H 

Welcome to the HTF, Frank. You raise some good points with your analysis, but I think you also left a few others out of the consideration set:

  • Licensing issues
  • Previous public domain and/or bootleg releases that may have negatively impacted sales (this may apply to "Beverly Hillbillies" and "Bonanza", among others)
  • Syndication presence over the decades (or lack thereof)
  • Difficulty getting major brick-and-mortar retailers to stock classic TV titles in recent years
  • Price points (particularly where split seasons of some shows are concerned); some titles have more price elasticity than others, I suspect
  • Economic factors at time of release (i.e. the recession and unemployment result in less discretionary income for potential consumers)
  • Ongoing sales over time of the first releases of a title (some shows are 'evergreens' and will continue to move product from the first season or 2 at a solid rate years later, whereas other shows may move very few units of the first seasons at any point in the DVD's retail life)

Those are all definitely valid reasons that have to be considered, Jeff.  And many of them are interrelated where one connects directly or indirectly to another.  For instance if licensing songs is a problem and a set is released with replaced music, then it's apt to not sell as well.  People then seek out bootleg copies instead so sales decrease all the more.  So the studio decides to go with split season sets to try and gain some income back, which angers buyers all the more and fewer titles are sold, which in turn gives rise to retailers not wanting to devote space to those titles.  As those titles are not carried by retailers...  You get the picture.  It becomes a vicious cycle.  But one of the consistent issues is that as each day passes the percentage of potential buyers for these older series are going to decrease.  Lack of syndication and air time for the vintage material certainly isn't going to help usher in younger audiences/potential dvd purchasers.  So the demographic issue is, as I see it, always going in the red (so to speak) when it comes to the older TV shows.



Originally Posted by MatthewA 

I think the best hope for Happy Days and a lot of the others lies with Shout! Factory.


It's a good thought Matthew but I think the problem with Happy Days is going to be the same no matter who tries to release it - music clearance rights.  There are just far too many pop songs on the upcoming seasons of that show for their to be much hope of it being released by anyone.  Shout would have the same headaches CBS does in that sense, so I'd be really shocked if they picked it up at all, and even more shocked if they got it and released it intact.


Originally Posted by Corey3rd 

Happy Days has a bigger issues now that the cast members are ticked off that they've received practically nothing from the use of their image on dvds and slot machines.

http://money.cnn.com...ndex.htm?hpt=C1


There you go.  Perfect example of the legalities getting in the way.  CBS isn't going to release more volumes with this hanging over their head.  If anything, they are more likely to pull back even more on these titles.  I'm not commenting on who's right or wrong in the issue.  That's not my point.  But when these things happen, no matter who's right or wrong, we as the fans suffer.  It's a no win situation for us.



Originally Posted by brian MC 

You could also add The Streets Of San Francisco to the list of stalled releases.I hope the rest of the seasons will eventually get a release!


Yeah, I'm not sure we'll see a lot more of that one unfortunately.  At least my crystal ball is not showing me anything good on the horizon right now.  But it can always change so don't ever give up hope.


Originally Posted by Jack P 

If "Barnaby Jones" remains stalled out, blame it perhaps on how the complete first season was only a half-season worth of shot shows (as it was a mid-season replacement).    This one rankles me the most because it has the dubious distinction of lowest percentage of a show's run released to DVD in the form of one half of seven and a half seasons of episodes.      I would have rather hand two seasons of Barnaby than two of Cannon!


I'm bummed about Barnaby Jones as well, Jack.  That one really wore well with me and I was hoping we'd see more volumes (and if you knew how close we actually were to seeing Season 2 released last month you'd be sick).  It was one of those bubble shows that didn't get put into the release schedule even though it was on the radar.  Darn!  But on the plus side the fact that it was even on the radar gives me some hope it might be still see another release later this year.  I can't say the same about Cannon.  That show is in dire straights right now in terms of any more releases.  At least that's what the ever reliable (although not omniscient) crystal ball is showing right now.  Posted Image



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#11 of 98 OFFLINE   HenryDuBrow

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Posted April 19 2011 - 03:46 AM

Sort of both good and bad prospects there for Barnaby Jones, which is a show I'd love to see more of also bearing in mind it originally had an eight year successful run on TV so it's not like we can say it's a smaller title ala The Magician with Bill Bixby. Would love to see that one too by the way and if Shout have a Paramount deal now who knows, but we also shouldn't make it sound like people older than 30-40 have no money to burn and just kids buying DVDs these days. If studios thought that we'd never seen any of the shows we have.



#12 of 98 OFFLINE   phenri

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Posted April 19 2011 - 03:56 AM




Originally Posted by Gary OS 

     Quote:


Those are all definitely valid reasons that have to be considered, Jeff.  And many of them are interrelated where one connects directly or indirectly to another.  For instance if licensing songs is a problem and a set is released with replaced music, then it's apt to not sell as well.  People then seek out bootleg copies instead so sales decrease all the more.  So the studio decides to go with split season sets to try and gain some income back, which angers buyers all the more and fewer titles are sold, which in turn gives rise to retailers not wanting to devote space to those titles.  As those titles are not carried by retailers...  You get the picture.  It becomes a vicious cycle.  But one of the consistent issues is that as each day passes the percentage of potential buyers for these older series are going to decrease.  Lack of syndication and air time for the vintage material certainly isn't going to help usher in younger audiences/potential dvd purchasers.  So the demographic issue is, as I see it, always going in the red (so to speak) when it comes to the older TV shows.




It's a good thought Matthew but I think the problem with Happy Days is going to be the same no matter who tries to release it - music clearance rights.  There are just far too many pop songs on the upcoming seasons of that show for their to be much hope of it being released by anyone.  Shout would have the same headaches CBS does in that sense, so I'd be really shocked if they picked it up at all, and even more shocked if they got it and released it intact.



There you go.  Perfect example of the legalities getting in the way.  CBS isn't going to release more volumes with this hanging over their head.  If anything, they are more likely to pull back even more on these titles.  I'm not commenting on who's right or wrong in the issue.  That's not my point.  But when these things happen, no matter who's right or wrong, we as the fans suffer.  It's a no win situation for us.




Yeah, I'm not sure we'll see a lot more of that one unfortunately.  At least my crystal ball is not showing me anything good on the horizon right now.  But it can always change so don't ever give up hope.



I'm bummed about Barnaby Jones as well, Jack.  That one really wore well with me and I was hoping we'd see more volumes (and if you knew how close we actually were to seeing Season 2 released last month you'd be sick).  It was one of those bubble shows that didn't get put into the release schedule even though it was on the radar.  Darn!  But on the plus side the fact that it was even on the radar gives me some hope it might be still see another release later this year.  I can't say the same about Cannon.  That show is in dire straights right now in terms of any more releases.  At least that's what the ever reliable (although not omniscient) crystal ball is showing right now.  Posted Image



Gary "and please don't anyone ask how I know these things - you'll have to either believe me or not, but I promise I'm not making this stuff up" O.


I feel the same way about Barnaby Jones. I bought it because I watched it growing up. I was very impressed with the episodes and it is much better than I remember. A season you enjoy with only 13 episodes really leaves you wanting more. My wife was impressed by it as well. Whenever I tell her about upcoming releases, she always asks me about Barnaby Jones.


Seeing more seasons of this show would make me very happy!




#13 of 98 OFFLINE   WaveCrest

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Posted April 19 2011 - 05:09 AM

Would people put Arthur Hailey's Hotel and Early Edition in the same category as The Streets of San Francisco? I can't decide which of those three stalled series I'd most like to see re-started before the end of this year. I'd probably go with Arthur Hailey's Hotel as there are more series left of that series to be released. Would there be music clearance issues?



#14 of 98 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted April 19 2011 - 05:37 AM

If I had to pick three shows only that I would want unstalled it would be:


1-Love Boat (Just to get us closer to the later years that were never syndicated!)

2-Barnaby Jones (already explained)

3-Streets Of San Francisco (for me this show is like FIve-O in terms of being enhanced by the location shooting and the city becoming the ambience of each episode just like Hawaii does with FIve-O)



#15 of 98 OFFLINE   Corey3rd

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Posted April 19 2011 - 05:59 AM

I'd like to get Season 5 of Happy Days for the Jump the Shark episode. But after that, it's just not that appealing. I've been catching the Ted McGinley era episodes on Hub and they're so painful. On a good note, Shout! Factory is putting out both of Ron Howard's car chase films he made with Roger Corman.


sounds like Nash Bridges is also a legal victim since Don Johnson is suing the studio over profits.


Be nice if they wrapped up Vega$ and the Untouchables at the same time.


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#16 of 98 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted April 19 2011 - 08:02 AM

I like Jack's thoughts about posting our Top 3 stalled CBS series that we'd like to see get off the scheid.  And that's not an easy question for me because there are literally a dozen shows that CBS has been releasing and stalled out that I want to continue collecting!  One thing is certain though, if I didn't know Rawhide was starting back up that one would be at the top of my list, but since it is here's my current top 3:


1) Perry Mason (some will think it's not stalled yet, but I know it is* so it goes to the top for me)

2) Petticoat Junction

3) Barnaby Jones


The tough one to leave off is The Untouchables, and the only reason I didn't include it is because I know that last season isn't the best the show had to offer.  Still, I'd like to see it completed.  And Gunsmoke is another I'd keep buying if released, but the hour long eps have been airing on Encore Westerns and if I really wanted those I could get them there.  The fact that I've not been recording them tells me it's not really important to me.  I'm happy with the first 3 seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies too, but I'd probably pick up another season or two if they were released.  And if the studio hadn't raped My Three Sons of its backscore I'd be in for as much of that series as they'd release, but I refuse to support any more of those with the horrible new music.  I could keep naming series they've stalled out, but you all get the point.


Gary "CBS/P releases have been mixed blessings, to say the least" O.


*Just to always keep my ducks lined up in a row, just because I "know" a show is stalled out currently doesn't mean that can't change tomorrow.  From what I've seen over the last couple of years with that studio the release schedule is often fluid.  Plus, any info I get isn't necessarily hot off the presses.  So what I know the basic plan was yesterday isn't necessarily the plan today.  Just saying that in case we get news right after I post this that Perry Mason Season 6, V. 1 is coming in July or August or whatever.  Posted Image




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#17 of 98 OFFLINE   Frank Soyke

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Posted April 19 2011 - 08:45 AM

1) Cannon (love those Quinn Martin Shows)

2) Beverly Hillbillies (would really like to see the color ones released)

3) Barnaby Jones (See Cannon above)



#18 of 98 OFFLINE   Mr. Pacino

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Posted April 19 2011 - 09:54 AM

"Cannon" was a very good show but the picture quality of the DVD´s let me speechless.


It was so bad like a VHS cassette.


I wonder why this show wouldn´t get remastered but other CBS/Paramount shows were ........


Maybe this is the reason why the selling numbers are too low.......



#19 of 98 OFFLINE   Theodore J. Mooney

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Posted April 19 2011 - 10:01 AM



Originally Posted by Corey3rd 
I'd like to get Season 5 of Happy Days for the Jump the Shark episode. But after that, it's just not that appealing. I've been catching the Ted McGinley era episodes on Hub and they're so painful. On a good note, Shout! Factory is putting out both of Ron Howard's car chase films he made with Roger Corman.



I don't care for seasons eight through eleven. The show was definitely lacking something after Ron Howard left.


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#20 of 98 OFFLINE   Theodore J. Mooney

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Posted April 19 2011 - 10:10 AM

I wish CBS/Paramount would put out the the 4th and final season of Mork and Mindy. Granted, the season wasn't necessarily the best compared to the other seasons; however, it is THE season that brings the conclusion to this series. Plus, I am sure there are several fans that would love to complete their collection of this show. It's only one season here NOT three, four, or more.


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