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Is the b&w era of TV on DVD slowly coming to an end?


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#2081 of 2322 Gary OS

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Posted March 31 2014 - 09:31 AM

I attended a film fair here in the UK this weekend & got chatting to Renown films one of the stallholders . Renown are mostly known for releasing old British 'B movies from the 30's to the 60's.

It appears they have the rights to all the Four Star catalogue 'Burke's Law, 'Big Valley' 'June Allyson','Black Saddle' etc.etc.for the UK, Scandinavia,& curiously Africa.They have just re-released 'Honey West' here.

I enquired if they planned to release any further Four Star material & they told me
that a clause in their rights stated they could only put them out if they could guarantee to sell a thousand copies. Not much chance of that for these old B/W shows in the UK. I thought it interesting that perhaps a similar clause exists for whoever hold the rights in the US.

 

Wow, that's really sad.  Not that the company isn't producing these Four Star series, but that they feel they couldn't even sell 1,000 copies of any of them.  I'd have thought selling 1,000 sets wouldn't have been that hard, even for older TV series like these.  Shows what I know.

 

 

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#2082 of 2322 Silverking

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Posted March 31 2014 - 11:50 AM

Agreed. But bear in mind a lot of Four Star shows such as Richard Diamond & most of the westerns (apart from Big Valley) never played here so there is no nostalia factor to boost sales.


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#2083 of 2322 FanCollector

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Posted March 31 2014 - 11:59 AM

Also, there is the difference of population scale. The equivalent amount in the U.S. would be about 5,000-6,000. I do wish that there was a little more transparency about sales so we could know what the realistic expectations should be. VCI touted Burke's Law and Honey West as big sellers, but we don't know the company's usual sales figures. Did they sell 5,000 copies? 10,000? Burke's Law obviously did well enough to warrant a second, slimmer edition of the first volume but how do we know what the actual numbers might have been?
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#2084 of 2322 Silverking

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Posted April 01 2014 - 01:15 PM

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'Bilko' aka 'The Phil Silvers Show' aka 'You'll Never Get Rich' the complete series + extras is scheduled for UK release in July. Horrendous price but I'm sure it will drop. You can check it out on Amazon UK. I imagine a US release will be in the offing.
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#2085 of 2322 Mike*HTF

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Posted April 01 2014 - 01:36 PM

Here's a link.

£124?!



#2086 of 2322 LouA

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Posted April 01 2014 - 06:16 PM

'Bilko' aka 'The Phil Silvers Show' aka 'You'll Never Get Rich' the complete series + extras is scheduled for UK release in July. Horrendous price but I'm sure it will drop. You can check it out on Amazon UK. I imagine a US release will be in the offing.

Great news ! I'll be ordering this  - I have a multi-region player . I think at this point it would be "iffy" for a US release . Paramount hasn't done anything with the show in years . But we can hope , and meanwhile the complete series is finally coming out .



#2087 of 2322 ChrisALM

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Posted April 01 2014 - 07:33 PM

I wonder what the prints will look like? The Region 1 Season 1 set looked nice.

If the R2 release holds up quality wise, I'll eventually get it. But I sure wish CBS would have released a complete series set for this.



#2088 of 2322 Gary OS

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Posted April 02 2014 - 05:56 AM

Can someone quickly post how many b/w TV series WBA has released so far this year? 

 

 

"between CBS, Timeless, Shout and others, it seems like b/w releases have slowed to a crawl" O.


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#2089 of 2322 Jack P

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Posted April 02 2014 - 06:34 AM

"Maverick" S4 and "Dr. Kildare" S2 I think are the only two this year.   The last season of "Cheyenne" and S2 of "Sugarfoot" were late 2013 releases.



#2090 of 2322 Gary OS

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Posted April 02 2014 - 06:38 AM

Okay, that's what I thought.  But I wanted to make sure. 


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#2091 of 2322 Professor Echo

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Posted April 02 2014 - 12:43 PM

It would indeed be very interesting to study the sales figures for many releases, but ultimately it would probably curtail a lot of discussion on this forum. Is that a good or a bad thing? ;)

#2092 of 2322 Ron1973

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Posted April 03 2014 - 03:57 AM

'Bilko' aka 'The Phil Silvers Show' aka 'You'll Never Get Rich' the complete series + extras is scheduled for UK release in July. Horrendous price but I'm sure it will drop. You can check it out on Amazon UK. I imagine a US release will be in the offing.

Via Facebook:

 

 

 

We promised you some exciting news....and here it is!! We are currently working on the forthcoming DVD release of seasons 1 - 4 of The Phil SIlvers Show....although that's all say at this time....

Amazon have now uploaded their pre-order ad.....I can tell you that the advertised price is only a guide at this time and may lower in price nearer the release date....(having said that it works at a less than £1 per episode!)

 


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#2093 of 2322 Gary OS

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Posted April 08 2014 - 06:20 AM

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Even with the recent news of the high-priced Bilko set, announcements for b/w titles are very, very sparse.  Anyone who disputes that this particular portion of the TV on DVD market is drying up needs to get their head out of the sand.  I knew this day would eventually come, but I was hoping we'd see another year or two of multiple vintage releases each month.  But it seems we've really reached the end.  Probably only a trickle here and there going forward. 

 

 

Gary "my crystal ball shows no significant 'rain' in the future - fortunately I'm prepared for a long drought with a solid library" O.


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#2094 of 2322 Silverking

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Posted April 09 2014 - 05:23 AM

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Couldn't agree more Gary. What surprises me is the way it has all come to an almost dead stop rather than a gradual wind down.

 

The  demise of Timeless  since the Shout takeover has more or less taken out the one company who could be relied on for a stream of releases of classic TV &  presumably  it worked for them.

 

Whilst I never really believed we would see the likes of 'Dragnet' 'The Defenders' & 'Adventures in Paradise' etc. I was hoping for more material from the ZIV & Four Star' catalogue before it when belly up. 

 

I know many are counting on Warners but I don't share that faith, some of their series thay have been supposedly 'working on' for years. Way too long to capitalise on a shrinking market. They might end up streaming them which I doubt appeals to a more mature audience who would buy these shows.

 

Ah well, good while it lasted !

 

Oh, the UK Bilko set has come down to a more realistic (still expensive) price a s at today.


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#2095 of 2322 Gary OS

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Posted April 09 2014 - 05:35 AM

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Couldn't agree more Gary. What surprises me is the way it has all come to an almost dead stop rather than a gradual wind down.

 

The  demise of Timeless  since the Shout takeover has more or less taken out the one company who could be relied on for a stream of releases of classic TV &  presumably  it worked for them.

 

Whilst I never really believed we would see the likes of 'Dragnet' 'The Defenders' & 'Adventures in Paradise' etc. I was hoping for more material from the ZIV & Four Star' catalogue before it when belly up. 

 

I know many are counting on Warners but I don't share that faith, some of their series thay have been supposedly 'working on' for years. Way too long to capitalise on a shrinking market. They might end up streaming them which I doubt appeals to a more mature audience who would buy these shows.

 

Ah well, good while it lasted !

 

Oh, the UK Bilko set has come down to a more realistic (still expensive) price a s at today.

 

 

All I can add to that post is a big A-M-E-N.  I see it all exactly the same way, Chris.  CBS doesn't look to be adding much of anything from their b/w catalog (maybe Our Miss Brooks, if we are really lucky), and you've summed up the Timeless situation perfectly.  And while I know there are some big fans of Warners here, I've just never been all that interested in the majority of their b/w material.  There are a few exceptions that I'd gladly pick up (The Dakotas being at the top of the list), but for the most part their set-bound shows just don't do as much for me as they do for others.  And that's fine.  To each his own.  But when I survey the b/w landscape and take all these factors into account, I can't find any room for optimism.  I'm not being pessimistic either.  This is just cold, hard realism at play.  Things are winding down in a hurry. 

 

 

Gary "it really is a pity that we haven't seen a few more rarities from the 50's seeing as how there are so many left untouched  -  sigh..." O.


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#2096 of 2322 JoeDoakes

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Posted April 09 2014 - 06:24 AM

The slowdown in B&W DVDs was inevitable given (1) the demise of Timeless; and (2) the release of many of the most desired B&W shows.  When I started posting on HTF, among my most wanted shows were the rest of Beaver and Hazel, and all of Dobie Gillis, Maverick, and Dennis the Menace, and they have just about all been released.  Gary, I think that you are way too pessimistic. I doubt if 2013's deluge will ever be repeated, but I would be willing to be that the next several years will see a number of pleasant surprises each year.  That's enough for me.


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#2097 of 2322 Jack P

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Posted April 09 2014 - 06:46 AM

I'm among the fortunate who feels that from a personal standpoint, the 50s is a well that's already dried up in terms of titles of major interest to me.     I'd certainly get more R1 release of Bilko but it at least has enough out for casual viewing on my part.     I know we'll never see an official release of "Sheena" off the Nassour heirs prints which include the missing episodes not in the PD releases, so that means my #1 Grail title for the decade will always be just that (but I thankfully have the best quality copies of the 16 PD episodes).   "Dragnet" and "The Lineup" I have no hope for either.     That leaves just "Burns And Allen" and "Jack Benny" for titles that would excite me from the decade.     And with the early 60s B/W titles, I'm down to just unstalling "Burke's Law" and finishing "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" for Grail titles with the rest of "One Step Beyond" the other one that would excite me among the stalled.    I think Warner will come through with more B/W titles that I'd be happy to give a try when they do come out but those will be cake icing when they arrive.

 

Personally, I welcome seeing more obscure one season shows from the 65-75 period because collectively, the 50s and early 60s have done better in this regard.



#2098 of 2322 Gary OS

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Posted April 09 2014 - 06:57 AM

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Ray, I don't think I'm being pessimistic at all.  I'm just being realistic.  Last year, while very nice, wasn't a "deluge" in my mind.  It was a good year (especially the first half of it), but we've seen far more in years past.  I'll never forget the 4th quarter of '08.  Now that was a deluge, imho.  But regardless of personal opinions about what is or isn't a flood of releases, this year has to be considered as a very slow one in terms of b/w releases by any standard.  I guess you could be right and things might pick back up, but I'm just not seeing it in the cards.  Consider the following:

 

1) Timeless, a well known b/w releasing company, has slowed to a crawl now because of the Shout takeover.  That's a fact.

 

2) CBS, another studio we could always count on for b/w releases, has now moved into re-releasing classics in Blu.  The b/w series that they have been releasing on DVD are either slowing or are stalled.

 

3) TGG, a company that played a very big part in last year's 'deluge', hasn't released any more b/w shows since November of last year (My Mother the Car).  To the best of my knowledge there's no news of any more b/w shows forthcoming.  Perhaps they'll pick it back up, but we don't know of anything official so we are looking at a minimum of 6+ months from the last release to any potential new release (if any are even coming at all).  That's a substantial period of time that doesn't exactly engender optimism in me.

 

4) WB, a company that is still releasing some b/w shows, seem to be struggling with some of their more well-known b/w detective and a few adventure/western series supposedly because of music rights.  And since I'm not a big fan of most of what they are likely to release going forward, it's hard for me to be too excited.

 

The bottom line is that we have seen a huge dropoff this year in b/w releases.  As Chris stated upthread, it's been very sudden and it is discouraging for those of us who really enjoy 50's and early 60's TV.

 

 

Gary "not looking to argue with anyone, just stating what I think is the obvious" O. 


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#2099 of 2322 Jack P

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Posted April 09 2014 - 07:24 AM

Gary, isn't "My Mother The Car" a color show?    The only time I've seen clips of it they were always in color and it was a one season show.



#2100 of 2322 Gary OS

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Posted April 09 2014 - 07:29 AM

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One more point, in response to something Ray said:

 

 I doubt if 2013's deluge will ever be repeated, but I would be willing to be that the next several years will see a number of pleasant surprises each year. 

 

I completely agree with this.  I'm not saying there won't be any more b/w releases.  Of course there will be.  We agree on that.  Here's to hoping some of those pleasant surprises include Ozzie & Harriet, My Three Sons (done right), The Dakotas, and so on.  The reality is that the 50's and early 60's will always be my favorite era, and I honestly can't get enough of that time period.  Once the mid-60's hit I quickly become a lot more choosy.  I've got favorites from each of the color decades up through the early 2000's, but they become fewer and farther between with each succeeding year.  Only the b/w TV years offer a majority of shows that I know for sure I'll enjoy.  But to each his own.

 

 

Gary "it's been a great ride for sure" O.


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