When I did the demographic study that I posted on, it occurred to me to take a closer look at how it relates to shows caught up in music rights issues. Here, I feel my original premise continues to hold true with regard to music rights. I'm just wondering if the Warner Big 4 detective shows will ever come out, since sales of these shows might not offset the cost of obtaining the music rights. After all, do four historically lightly syndicated 50+ year old shows have enough sales potential to offset the costs (which I'm guessing aren't cheap) of putting them out in their original form? Is there enough of a market for them to at least break even in an MOD program? I don't know. Personally, I'd love to see them (especially Eye) but I am skeptical.
The Wonder Years, on the other hand, is in a category by itself. It's an immensely popular show with a devoted following and a built in market. The ongoing anticipation of it's release has actually given it more publicity and, in turn, will probably increase potential sales. I am of the opinion that whatever distributor that might take a chance on this one would be pleaseantly surprised at the generated profits. To me, I think that if someone does eventually put it out, it has Time/Life written all over it. Please note that even though another show of that era, Drew Carey, faces similar issues, Wonder Years blows Carey away with regard to popularity so I wouldn't expect a release on that if Wonder Years doesn't come out. IMO.
I'm assuming Ozzie and Harriet won't have any music issues as the studios will be dealing directly with the heirs.
Those are the polarities, but what about the shows in the middle? I'm speaking of the shows with "some" music that needs cleared. These always make me scratch my head because most of them I can't even remember any music in them other than the theme. I guess it has to do primarily with background or incidental music. I remember hearing one of the guys from Shout say that they weren't going to look in to getting Maude because of music rights. What?? Maybe I'm a little dense, but I cannot remember any music in Maude other than the theme. For that matter, if any music (save the theme) was replaced on Maude, would any of us really care? This isn't quite WKRP we are talking here. Someone told me recently that Chico has the same issues. Again, other than the theme and some incidental music, where is it? I hate replacement music as much as anyone, but for a show like Maude or Chico and the Man, I would gladly take it if it meant a complete release, I'll say again though, no replacement on the themes. That's just not acceptable. Sometimes I wonder if the studios sometimes just use that excuse when dealing with fans because they don't want to tell us that they just aren't interested in releasing a particular title. IMO