Different series have different levels of interest among the public, and there's no hard and fast rule as to which ones will continue to see upgrades in each new media format. THE FUGITIVE fans waited years for ANY release of the full series, having to settle for forty or so episodes on VHS tape from questionable master sources. And it wasn't until August of 2007 that we got the first half of the first season, and not until five years later that a complete series set was really available.
Shows like STAR TREK and its later incarnations are perceived as perennials - shows that will always be popular with a large segment of the population. Add to that list shows like I LOVE LUCY, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, and series with wide cult followings like THE PRISONER.
While THE FUGITIVE was definitely popular in its day, it fell into the recesses of collective memory for years. Being an hour series meant that it got lesser amounts of play in syndication, and its black & whiteness for 3/4 of the episodes relegated it to off-hours as TV stations wanted as much color material as they could get back in the '70s.
By the '80s, the series was pretty well forgotten until late in the decade when A&E started showing episodes. And even there, it was generally given a morning time-slot - not exactly prime time.
Another two decades passed before the beginnings of the DVD releases, and we spent years of never being sure when the next release would be. And then the whole music backscore debacle began, and doubts really surfaced. But they did come out, slowly but surely over a period of four years - almost as if the series were playing out in real time - and by the early part of 2011, all four seasons were available in 8 half-season sets.
I think the series gained some notoriety in its DVD releases. Surely the publicity about the music score wasn't good publicity - but as they say, any notice is good notice when you're trying to get the public's attention. I can't tell you the number of reviews I've read regarding the music replacement where folks who'd never seen the series couldn't understand the hue and cry over the backscores. It was a new series to them - any music was just as unfamiliar as the real score would have been. So that told me that the series still had "legs". People were interested enough once again in the plight of Dr. Richard Kimble.
So the series got a full-series box set. And they solved and corrected the score issue. But is that box set selling well enough to warrant a Blu-ray release? Only CBS knows. But the fact that they don't seem to have manufactured full "corrected" sets and are relying on selling the one with five flawed disc and then replacing those discs as requested, tells me that the big expensive box set isn't exactly flying off the shelves. Heck, Amazon still doesn't carry it themselves, relying instead on third-party sellers.
Though this thread is long, and its readers and posters are many, I'll bet there are surely less than 50 people even here that bought the full-series set. Some managed to get the abortive release a year earlier, some managed to get both, and there are still others sitting on the fence waiting for a couple more shoes to drop:
- that the series will be released in a full set with corrected discs to start.
- that the price will finally fall to what they perceive as the value point.
In this particular climate, I don't see a Blu-ray release anytime soon for THE FUGITIVE.