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Not a Snowball's Chance


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 Frank Soyke

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Posted March 03 2013 - 11:18 AM

We have been treated pretty well in this hobby with regard to seeing many of our favorites released (or on the way) but the one travesty is knowing that certain genres have no chance of release, I mean, heck, we still stand an outside shot of Batman and Wonder Years coming out eventually, but what about the ones with no possibility. I'm talking specifically about two genres: 1) Game shows - Let's face it, we aren't ever going to see Password or Match Game in full season sets. I do understand why shows like The Price Is Right or To Tell The Truth wouldn't appeal to a wide audience due to the lack of celebrity presence, but you might think that shows like Match Game, Password, or Tattletales that have substantial celebrity participation might be in at least some demand. I personally would LOVE to have full seasons of Hollywood Squares. Won't ever happen though. 2) I'm not a big fan of soaps, but I know a lot of folks are. Either way, I think we can all agree that we won't be seeing a Days Of Our Lives complete set anytime soon(or ever). I realize that considering the # of episodes (of both these and the game shows), putting any kind of set together would be a daunting task to say the least for the distributors and it they would have to expect a HUGE financial return in order to even attempt it. It was done with Dark Shadows, but that show kinds of stands apart from other soaps due to it's immense cult status. And, I just want to throw in my personal favorite, Captain Kangaroo. Judging by the posts I read daily on this forum, we seem to have multi-generational representation, so I think it's safe to assume a lot of us grew up with the Captain. I would just love to see a set of at least one full season. I was just wondering if you folks would engage me in a little dream guessing. Not a personal want list per se, but a "shot in the dark" guess as to a show or two from these genres that might have even a tiny chance of release in the future. I know they all probably are definitely never happening but why not do a little educated dreaming?

#2 of 17 Ron1973

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Posted March 03 2013 - 11:47 AM

I'd say any of the daily kids programs like Sesame Street or Mister Rogers will never see full season sets.

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#3 of 17 Jack P

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Posted March 03 2013 - 12:00 PM

The ideal time to have done game shows for one's own personal collection was when Game Show Network was in its prime from 1994-2004. I knew that given how so many cable channels eventually become worthless that that was the time to record as much as I could of what was shown and as a consequence I now have in excess of 7000 game show episodes on tape that I have been transferring to DVD recently, including almost the entire run of Match Game, all extant episodes of What's My Line and the majority of the other B/W classics too that GSN aired. I would note that even when aired on GSN there were problems with episodes that couldn't air because of clearance issues (Match Game for instance could not air episodes with Valerie Bertinelli or Price Is Right model Anitra Ford; and all the one-time cast members of Hill Street Blues who appeared on Password Plus nixed their appearances, as did Bob Newhart his apperances on Tattletales). Some kinescopes from the 50s are lost for certain B/W shows and let's not forget that MANY daytime game shows from the 60s and 70s were wiped out of existence leaving us with just a handful of episodes like the original Jeopardy hosted by Art Fleming. It's because of that I think it was miraculous enough we got a second chance to see many of these shows again on Game Show Network in its prime and that we were savvy enough to have our VCR's rolling and now we can back them up on DVD. To me I really don't need to see official releases that would have to go through an even bigger clearance nightmare issue (just think of all the musical performances that took place on a show like "I've Got A Secret"; and keep in mind that music clearance issues will FOREVER keep any version of "Name That Tune" that still exists locked in the vault forever) to be satisfied with what there is thanks to the rerun window.

#4 of 17 Frank Soyke

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Posted March 03 2013 - 12:17 PM

I watched quite a few of the Match Game and Password eps on GSN at the time, but unfortunately I was one that was not smart enough to tape them at the time. I remember waiting and hoping for them to air the late 60's- early 70's Hollywood Squares (Charley Weaver years) that I watched as a kid but I don't remember GSN ever showing them. When I was collecting VHS tapes in the early 90's, I was fortunate enough to get some eps of both Squares and 60's Password from another collector, but the quality was iffy at best.

#5 of 17 Jack P

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Posted March 03 2013 - 12:41 PM

GSN did air the syndicated nighttime HSQ from the 70s, as well as half the episodes from the 1968 NBC primetime run between 2002-2004. Altogether they aired about 150 episodes but only one NBC daytime show (a "Storybook Squares" special from 1977).

#6 of 17 AndyMcKinney

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Posted March 04 2013 - 02:32 AM

GSN did air the syndicated nighttime HSQ from the 70s, as well as half the episodes from the 1968 NBC primetime run between 2002-2004. Altogether they aired about 150 episodes but only one NBC daytime show (a "Storybook Squares" special from 1977).

I think there are several reasons as to why GSN only aired the syndicated and prime-time Hollywood Squares shows: 1. for rerun reasons, those would "play better" from the network's perspective, because of there being no "straddling" (i.e. no games/contestants continuing from episode to episode). Every episode was "self-contained". 2. when the episodes were discovered, no one ever said if any daytime episodes were found, or if they were, how many. Most likely, the majority of recovered episodes were from the syndicated/night-time runs, because both of those runs were likely spared from the "great archive purge", as the US networks mostly wiped tapes of daytime and late-night programming, but not prime-time programing (and syndicated shows would've been stored separately, as they were for off-network distribution). If any daytime stuff was found, it may have been random, scattered episodes, rather than long, continuous runs. I do recall reading that GSN "screened" the episodes that were discovered to see which 150 they wanted to air, as they were looking to exclude ones with too much 'politically incorrect' stuff in them. They tried those 150 episodes, but ratings weren't what they expected, so they never leased any additional packages from Sony. They just aired that "Storybook" episode later on as a one-off for Halloween.

#7 of 17 vnisanian2001

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Posted March 04 2013 - 04:34 AM

Peter Marshall said in his book that 3,500+ tapes were discovered of HS. But it was never proven that there were some daytime ones in there, as for all we know, some of them could have been copies, as before the days of satellite broadcasting, syndicated programs were bicycled.
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#8 of 17 AndyMcKinney

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Posted March 05 2013 - 05:06 AM

Peter Marshall said in his book that 3,500+ tapes were discovered of HS. But it was never proven that there were some daytime ones in there, as for all we know, some of them could have been copies, as before the days of satellite broadcasting, syndicated programs were bicycled.

Exactly! This is just purely guesswork on my part, but I imagine what was found in that warehouse discovery (the people were actually looking for Dark Shadows tapes, as I understand it) was likely the prime-time NBC run, the whole of the syndicated 1972-81 run (and probably multiple tapes for each of those) and, perhaps, the Saturday morning version of Storybook Squares. All of those likely escaped NBC's "wipe/junk" list, as none of those were daytime or late-night programming. And, who knows, maybe there was some daytime Squares in there, too (since we know that there are some pre-1978 examples that exist on 2" tape, the GSN-broadcast Storybook episode being one example), but almost certainly not the entire run, as the daytime run of Squares, when combined with the syndicated and prime-time runs, would have been well in excess of 3,500 shows. We'll probably never know what still exists of the daytime show, however, as there probably won't be any more reruns on GSN or anywhere else (barring, perhaps, the odd special).

#9 of 17 handley

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Posted March 05 2013 - 05:41 AM

I'd love to see as many American Bandstand and The Tonight Show episodes that still exist, but it ain't gonna happen in my lifetime.

#10 of 17 Jack P

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Posted March 05 2013 - 05:50 AM

There was a time when you could buy any extant episode of the Tonight Show in the Carson vault on VHS for a stiff price, but you got the whole episode with ads. That was before Carson's disgraceful nephew Jeff Sotzing shut down the archive and decided henceforth we would have to make due with the umpteenth repackaging of stale clip material (showcasing IMO the worst facets of Carson, bad sketches, boring animal bits and stand-up comics from the 80s) which was then followed by the butchered half hour programs that are worthless as well from giving us the proper flavor of what Carson in his prime was like. Meanwhile, Sotzing still hasn't even put back up the show index that for people like me who depended on it to help track down the broadcast date of some clip material or a random program we obtained from a trade of off-air recordings, was essential. What a joke we could get full UNCUT episodes of Cavett but not Carson.

#11 of 17 GAMESHOWFAN

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Posted March 05 2013 - 06:53 AM

We have been treated pretty well in this hobby with regard to seeing many of our favorites released (or on the way) but the one travesty is knowing that certain genres have no chance of release, I mean, heck, we still stand an outside shot of Batman and Wonder Years coming out eventually, but what about the ones with no possibility. I'm talking specifically about two genres: 1) Game shows - Let's face it, we aren't ever going to see Password or Match Game in full season sets. I do understand why shows like The Price Is Right or To Tell The Truth wouldn't appeal to a wide audience due to the lack of celebrity presence, but you might think that shows like Match Game, Password, or Tattletales that have substantial celebrity participation might be in at least some demand. I personally would LOVE to have full seasons of Hollywood Squares. Won't ever happen though. 2) I'm not a big fan of soaps, but I know a lot of folks are. Either way, I think we can all agree that we won't be seeing a Days Of Our Lives complete set anytime soon(or ever). I realize that considering the # of episodes (of both these and the game shows), putting any kind of set together would be a daunting task to say the least for the distributors and it they would have to expect a HUGE financial return in order to even attempt it. It was done with Dark Shadows, but that show kinds of stands apart from other soaps due to it's immense cult status. And, I just want to throw in my personal favorite, Captain Kangaroo. Judging by the posts I read daily on this forum, we seem to have multi-generational representation, so I think it's safe to assume a lot of us grew up with the Captain. I would just love to see a set of at least one full season. I was just wondering if you folks would engage me in a little dream guessing. Not a personal want list per se, but a "shot in the dark" guess as to a show or two from these genres that might have even a tiny chance of release in the future. I know they all probably are definitely never happening but why not do a little educated dreaming?

They could take MTCH GAME and use 50gb Blu-ray discs - and get 50 episodes - which is 10 weeks of shows - which means 5 discs could do a full year of match game 74, then each season after, and match game pm on its own discs and etc

#12 of 17 GAMESHOWFAN

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Posted March 05 2013 - 06:54 AM

They could use 50 gb discs for MATCH GAME and get 50 episodes on per disc and that means 5 discs would cover the whole year

#13 of 17 JMFabianoRPL

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Posted March 05 2013 - 09:46 AM

Don't forget, they DID try game show box sets, though, yes, all but TPIR were celebrity-oriented. I kind of wished that Mill Creek would have continued BCI's work and released the planned Tattletales and What's My Line? sets, and who knows what else, but no dice. Just to have alternative sources for game show watching, since GSN has whittled its classic content down to 2-3 hours a day, complete with credit crunches and more. Heck, if the Jeopardy! set from way back when did better, Sony could have given us similar for Wheel (though I bet they'd try to pretend that pre-1983 and NBC/CBS never existed) and Pyramid. I'd like that! But...the Merv Griffin marathon GSN had upon his passing actually serves as a good mini-WOF box set. Non-game show-wise, with her passing not too long ago, I wish there was some vintage Sally Starr footage to unearth. And if you want to see more "no chance" programming, look under "Keep Circulating The Tapes" on TV Tropes.

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#14 of 17 AndyMcKinney

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Posted March 07 2013 - 03:07 PM

There was a time when you could buy any extant episode of the Tonight Show in the Carson vault on VHS for a stiff price, but you got the whole episode with ads. That was before Carson's disgraceful nephew Jeff Sotzing shut down the archive.

To be fair, I think the reason they shut the Carson Archive down was because certain unscrupulous "collectors" were making multiple copies of their purchases and flogging them on eBay. Yes, the tapes were expensive (as I recall, about $90 or $100 for the first show, and $75 for each one thereafter, with no more than 4 at a time), but if certain people hadn't been obsessed with profiting off of their purchases, the archive would've probably stayed open a lot longer. If those people had stayed underground and simply traded with one another, they'd have probably stayed off the radar, but the Carson Company saw the eBay profiteering and (sadly) were well within their rights to shut it down. I recall being very disappointed as they shut it all down at about the same time that I'd finally saved up enough money to select four more shows to purchase (mainly, I wanted the second of Rod Hull & Emu's two appearances on the show. I'd purchased the first one previously--for my mother who had fond memories of their act on other shows--and really wanted the second).

#15 of 17 Jack P

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Posted March 07 2013 - 04:42 PM

There were ways that problem could have been avoided. Anti-copy software to prevent further duplication. Even raising the rates. But at the very least if the archive was going to be shut down that way, then Sotzing IMO owed it to the Carson fans to then go the extra mile to allow for a commercial release of *uncut* programs (not with commercials but with full program content at least) and not these half-assed half-hour versions which in many cases, rather purposefully I feel, were some of the very SAME programs that do circulate commonly among collectors in their uncut state. I too wish I'd had the chance to purchase some specific titles that I was never able to. The people who did get shows out of the vault concentrated heavily on the 1973-76 era of the show yet for some reason ignored many of the shows that still exist from the last two years in New York from 1970-1972 (though we did get the Tiny Tim wedding show and the oldest extant color program, New Year's Eve, 1965).

#16 of 17 AndyMcKinney

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Posted March 08 2013 - 05:39 AM

There were ways that problem could have been avoided. Anti-copy software to prevent further duplication. Even raising the rates. But at the very least if the archive was going to be shut down that way, then Sotzing IMO owed it to the Carson fans to then go the extra mile to allow for a commercial release of *uncut* programs (not with commercials but with full program content at least) and not these half-assed half-hour versions which in many cases, rather purposefully I feel, were some of the very SAME programs that do circulate commonly among collectors in their uncut state.

I suspect all the musical performances (including Tonight Show Orchestra music) would have cost way too much to clear to be commercially viable in their view (look how long it took to do the Carol Burnett Show, and even there, people have complained about the high price, and it didn't totally escape music-rights cuts, either). I would prefer uncut episodes, too, and have avoided the half-hours, but I can understand why the music would have been cut. I don't, however, understand them making many other cuts to the shows, to get them down to a half-hour. Would it have to do with clearing as few celebrity appearances as possible? Cutting stuff down for a "modern" audience? I'm baffled by the length of these cut-down, but not the fact that musical performances are almost all probably missing.

I too wish I'd had the chance to purchase some specific titles that I was never able to. The people who did get shows out of the vault concentrated heavily on the 1973-76 era of the show yet for some reason ignored many of the shows that still exist from the last two years in New York from 1970-1972 (though we did get the Tiny Tim wedding show and the oldest extant color program, New Year's Eve, 1965).

I wonder how persistent they were, though. One of the shows I purchased (a 1978 one) I had to really be a jerk about. They contacted me to say they couldn't find the tape and to please make another selection. I wrote back saying they should look again, and if they couldn't find it, to cancel the entire order. Later, the master tape for that one magically appeared!

#17 of 17 Jack P

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Posted March 08 2013 - 06:37 AM

Many of the cuts were designed to eliminate a celeb or two. You will in fact see awkward edits when some of the guests come out just to avoid showing the other guest they don't want you to see sitting on the couch! One episode that was released cut down from September 1972, eliminated an entire walk-in of Burt Reynolds who came out showing Johnny a gag version of his Cosmopolitan centerfold with Johnny's head in a Carnac turban pasted on it. Yet this SAME segment had once been included in a "Carson's Comedy Classic" episode. Go figure! "Carson's Comedy Classics" at least, you knew what you were getting and sometimes that often resulted in some lost gems from the 60s being included. Ironically, an alternate source for some Carson shows, partial and full, from 1969-1971 turned out to be the National Archives because the Nixon White House frequently had some of the programs taped if there was a guest appearance they wanted to review. These recordings were done by the White House off the Washington, DC affiliate and this is why for instance we have Spiro Agnew's interview segment from 1969, a 1971 show with just resigned Secretary of the Interior Walter Hickel, and a partial Woody Allen guest host show where Bob Hope appears to plug the upcoming patriotic bash in DC that the White House was organizing.




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