CBS Mod Program

What other CBS titles would everyone else be willing to support, for blu ray releases? 3 Stars

with CBS doing the two seasons of “The California’s” via the mod program, what other CBS titles would everyone else be willing to support, for blu ray releases? considering that they are done correctly!

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  1. All I can currently think of:

    One Step Beyond
    (Complete Series official release)
    Way Out (shot on tape, so maybe not any kind of visual boost from Blu, but I'd like it on either Blu or DVD)
    Great Ghost Tales (ditto)
    Trackdown
    The Lineup
    The Greatest Show on Earth
    Richard Diamond, Private Detective
    (whatever sub-set of this series CBS controls, if any)
    The Millionaire
    Amos & Andy
    (I seriously doubt this one will ever have a chance, alas)

    And any of these, which I'm still unsure whether they are with CBS or with other entities:

    T.H.E. Cat (if CBS indeed has this, it goes to the very top of the list, my #1 grail show, although I think it's probably with Universal)
    Captain Nice (also probably with Universal, though I'm not 100% sure)
    Panic! (a.k.a. No Warning)
    Q.E.D. (a.k.a. Mastermind)

    All the other unreleased and/or stalled series I want seem to be mainly with Fox (both Fox proper and Four Star) and Universal, as well as a couple others with Sony, WB and MGM… and some independent owners (I would guess… such as Wichita Town).

  2. dana martin

    with CBS doing the two seasons of "The California's" via the mod program, what other CBS titles would everyone else be willing to support, for blu ray releases? considering that they are done correctly!

    What is the "mod program"?

  3. Johnny Angell

    What is the "mod program"?

    Manufactured on Demand sometimes erroneously equated with burned discs. Usually small batch burned or pressed discs are made at a time

    Several smaller companies use a version, but at least 2 major lines are already MOD
    Sony Choice — though this line seems to be in limbo and I'm not sure it's progressed beyond the first few releases.
    Warner Archives

  4. I've had the MOST WANTED series with Robert Stack on my Amazon pre-orders since March 8th of last year.
    CBS finally got around to BEST OF THE WEST last year after it was on my pre-order list for about a year as well.

  5. Too many to list, but they have my support for much of their vintage catalog.

    Some would be disappointing (I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show), but only because their previous Blu-Ray's were so impressive. Just their pre-existing HD transfers without all the TLC that went into their first Blu-Ray attempts, would leave these as automatically inferior.

    But they're still favorites and I'd love to up the picture quality for the remainder of both series, flaws and all.

  6. LeoA

    Too many to list, but they have my support for much of their vintage catalog.

    Some would be disappointing (I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show), but only because their previous Blu-Ray's were so impressive. Just their pre-existing HD transfers without all the TLC that went into their first Blu-Ray attempts, would leave these as automatically inferior.

    But they're still favorites and I'd love to up the picture quality for the remainder of both series, flaws and all.

    What scares me, and this is not something that CBS is to blame for, is when does the picture quality become TOO good? Just on DVD releases of The Beverly Hillbillies, it's REALLY obvious when the background is fake. As you got up to S8 and S9, a lot of the scenes were filmed in front of a screen, especially the Washington, D.C. and Silver Dollar City episodes. Those are painfully obvious in VHS quality-I can't imagine what blu-ray would do to them.

  7. Peter M Fitzgerald

    All I can currently think of:

    One Step Beyond
    (Complete Series official release)
    Way Out (shot on tape, so maybe not any kind of visual boost from Blu, but I'd like it on either Blu or DVD)
    Great Ghost Tales (ditto)
    Trackdown
    The Lineup
    The Greatest Show on Earth
    Richard Diamond, Private Detective
    (whatever sub-set of this series CBS controls, if any)
    The Millionaire
    Amos & Andy
    (I seriously doubt this one will ever have a chance, alas)

    And any of these, which I'm still unsure whether they are with CBS or with other entities:

    T.H.E. Cat (if CBS indeed has this, it goes to the very top of the list, my #1 grail show, although I think it's probably with Universal)
    Captain Nice (also probably with Universal, though I'm not 100% sure)
    Panic! (a.k.a. No Warning)
    Q.E.D. (a.k.a. Mastermind)

    All the other unreleased and/or stalled series I want seem to be mainly with Fox (both Fox proper and Four Star) and Universal, as well as a couple others with Sony, WB and MGM… and some independent owners (I would guess… such as Wichita Town).

    Not to be pedantic but track down is owned by fox as is Richard diamond, so those would have to be released by fox or more likely shout. The cat, Mr nice, panic and great ghost tales are owned by universal because they aired on NBC.

    With that out of the way; I would like to say that I don't see the MOD program becoming a warner archive equivalent, I see them releasing a few tepid catalogue titles like the Californians and maybe a few more but that's it.

  8. BobO’Link

    Such scenes have always been "painfully obvious" to me in most productions – no matter how or where I've seen them and no matter what the quality of transfer. One of the reasons I've never been able to get into most Hitchcock films is his tendency to use rear-screen intercut with location, frequently in a single scene. It *always* takes me out of the film. It's bad enough that some TV shows did this for many outdoor scenes but at least those tended to be for the entire scene. That a director with Hitchcock's pedigree does this in the same scene in a major film just makes me shake my head in wonder.

    Things get "too good" for me when wires holding props/planes/etc. become obvious. Frequently it was felt that by the time a film was transferred and then projected, such "tells" would not be visible. It's the same with many TV shows. They counted on the lower quality of the medium to hide how things were done.

    Example of "too good": the 1953 War of the Worlds on DVD. The strings holding up the alien ships show, taking me right out of film. No way did Byron Haskins or George Pal intend for that to be. We can only hope that the blu-ray (please, Paramount: license the damn thing!) will hide them via digital magic.

  9. Rick Thompson

    Example of "too good": the 1953 War of the Worlds on DVD. The strings holding up the alien ships show, taking me right out of film. No way did Byron Haskins or George Pal intend for that to be. We can only hope that the blu-ray (please, Paramount: license the damn thing!) will hide them via digital magic.

    Another one where the hd resolution is "too good", where strings/threads moving stuff can be seen easily, is the bluray version of the mid-1970s show "The Invisible Man".

  10. Matt Hough

    You can see wires in the 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still as Gort is carrying Patricia Neal.

    Gort has to be one of the greatest robots in all of sci/fi. But he’s also one of the most poorly executed designs ever. He’s still bad-ass and I love the movie.

  11. Rick Thompson

    Example of "too good": the 1953 War of the Worlds on DVD. The strings holding up the alien ships show, taking me right out of film. No way did Byron Haskins or George Pal intend for that to be. We can only hope that the blu-ray (please, Paramount: license the damn thing!) will hide them via digital magic.

    I'm pretty sure those wires were visible on 35mm prints at the theater when it was released. I never noticed the wires growing up watching it on small tvs from broadcast and then VHS. But later in the early 90's I got it on Laserdisc and watched it on a 50" TV and that was when I 1st noticed the wires. The original 35mm prints were definitely sharper than a Laserdisc at 425 lines of resolution.

  12. Randy Korstick

    I'm pretty sure those wires were visible on 35mm prints at the theater when it was released. I never noticed the wires growing up watching it on small tvs from broadcast and then VHS. But later in the early 90's I got it on Laserdisc and watched it on a 50" TV and that was when I 1st noticed the wires. The original 35mm prints were definitely sharper than a Laserdisc at 425 lines of resolution.

    Prints were sharper, but film also had grain, dust, scratches and gate weave, all combining to help hide that sort of thing. The stability of digital, even at lower resolutions, makes things like wires stand out all the more.

  13. When they screened a new, at the time, 4K restoration print of The Wizard of Oz at AMPAS years ago, they talked about doing that restoration and then being able to clearly see the wires in various places and occasionally see things holding up greenery in the backgrounds you'd never noticed before. They made the decision to erase them.

  14. There are several shows I would like to see through their MOD blu program:
    Beverly Hillbillies/ Petticoat Junction (I don't care whether they start over on blu or just start off right where they are currently, although I would settle for both finished on dvd alone)
    Touched By An Angel
    -the rest of I Love Lucy
    Gunsmoke/ Bonanza (same as Hillbillies/ Junction)
    7th Heaven
    -some of CBS's recent/ ongoing scripted shows (the NCIS's, Elementary, etc)
    I don't know on a few of these shows whether videotape was used at all (which would probably cancel out all hope), but a lot of these, and a few more of their sitcoms would be shows I would buy/ upgrade if made available.

  15. Worth

    Prints were sharper, but film also had grain, dust, scratches and gate weave, all combining to help hide that sort of thing. The stability of digital, even at lower resolutions, makes things like wires stand out all the more.

    That sort of thing is also why the special effects for the Star Trek: The Next Generation had to be done over for blu-ray. The originals were good enough for NTSC resolution, which hid many sins, but HD showed every single flaw.

  16. Don't blame me. I buy as many as I want that I can afford. But I just can't buy everything I want when it's a new release. Many of the shows that have had the "poor sales" excuses have been shows I bought, so how am I supposed to feel about being left hanging high and dry for shows we have been waiting to see finished for by now a decade or more?

  17. John*Wells

    Mayberry RFD S 1-3

    While The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, USMC are properties of CBS/Paramount, Mayberry RFD belongs to Warner–and I have kept hoping Warner would release Season 2 and 3 thru Warner Archives.

  18. BobO’Link

    The sad reality is DVD still outsells BR by a ~2:1 margin and most people feel DVD is "good enough" for TV fare. Many studios have abandoned BR releases for new series as they just don't sell as well, even those well suited to the medium. That makes them less likely to take a chance on classic TV series.

    I think there is more to why Cheers hasn't been started on blu. I think the fact that it is a SITCOM is why it isn't available, as it seems like there are very few sitcoms, past or present, being released on Blu-ray (which is why I, personally, hope that MAYBE the CBS MOD program can work around that).

  19. Rick Thompson

    Example of "too good": the 1953 War of the Worlds on DVD. The strings holding up the alien ships show, taking me right out of film. No way did Byron Haskins or George Pal intend for that to be. We can only hope that the blu-ray (please, Paramount: license the damn thing!) will hide them via digital magic.

    We've had some "spirited" discussions about this film in other threads regarding digitally removing the strings or preserving them. Passionate people on both sides of the argument.

  20. Astairefan

    I think there is more to why Cheers hasn't been started on blu. I think the fact that it is a SITCOM is why it isn't available, as it seems like there are very few sitcoms, past or present, being released on Blu-ray (which is why I, personally, hope that MAYBE the CBS MOD program can work around that).

    With that show there's also the music rights issue. The DVDs were a mess in that respect IIRC. This is what really bothers me about CBS/Paramount: they either give you uncut shows or remastered shows but not both. It's like they cut back on one to pay for the other. I doubt this will change in Sumner Redstone's lifetime.

  21. BobO’Link

    Such scenes have always been "painfully obvious" to me in most productions – no matter how or where I've seen them and no matter what the quality of transfer. One of the reasons I've never been able to get into most Hitchcock films is his tendency to use rear-screen intercut with location, frequently in a single scene. It *always* takes me out of the film. It's bad enough that some TV shows did this for many outdoor scenes but at least those tended to be for the entire scene. That a director with Hitchcock's pedigree does this in the same scene in a major film just makes me shake my head in wonder.

    Things get "too good" for me when wires holding props/planes/etc. become obvious. Frequently it was felt that by the time a film was transferred and then projected, such "tells" would not be visible. It's the same with many TV shows. They counted on the lower quality of the medium to hide how things were done.

    This stuff never really bothers me. There's so much artifice in older movies and television that after a lifetime of seeing it, I just take it as part of the suspension of disbelief you have to bring to things from the studio-bound era. It's also fascinating to track the changes from location shooting to rear projection to backlot filming to indoor sets (sometimes all within the same sequence!). As far as strings go, that stuff brings me back to my youthful fascination with special effects artistry. And digitally removing strings from a Gerry Anderson Thunderbirds marionette isn't going to make it seem more 'real' to me!

    What I find much more disheartening is the vast amount of CGI and digital manipulation in *current* films and TV. I feel like we've come full circle back to 1940s artificiality, but without as much creativity and artistry.

  22. Guy Foulard

    What I find much more disheartening is the vast amount of CGI and digital manipulation in *current* films and TV. I feel like we've come full circle back to 1940s artificiality, but without as much creativity and artistry.

    Yes, exactly. Because they can, they do. They used to be called "special" effects. Not so special any more. Almost any show seems monochromatic rather than real. DO they shoot things in natural color any more? Movies all seem shot in blue and grays or yellow and browns.

    When I saw a screening of ROCKY at AMPAS's Best Picture screening series years ago, the director talked about the scene where Rocky is alone in the arena where he's going to be having the big fight and he mentions his unease and that the giant poster/banner in the arena with his likeness…that they didn't even give him the right colored trunks. The director said the art department had painted that incorrectly and his trunks were supposed to be red (or blue?), but there wasn't time to fix it, so they added that line into the dialogue about his concern. It gave the situation a note of realism. He mused that if it had been made at that time we saw the screening, they would've just used a computer to change the color and that moment would have been lost.

    It's my opinion they manipulate so much in pursuit of some kind of perfection, not realizing that imperfection can seem so much more real here and there.

  23. MatthewA

    With that show there's also the music rights issue. The DVDs were a mess in that respect IIRC. This is what really bothers me about CBS/Paramount: they either give you uncut shows or remastered shows but not both. It's like they cut back on one to pay for the other. I doubt this will change in Sumner Redstone's lifetime.

    I don't disagree with you that there is more going on with Cheers. The main point I was trying to get across is the fact that sitcoms in general seem to be VERY poor sellers on blu (at least, as far as I can tell by their representation on the format), and that point alone is indicative of why that show (and so many others) aren't even being represented, especially since CBS's retail releases for the format seem to be more expensive, thus why we seem to get so many one-and-done releases on the format from them, even on their current shows.

  24. Guy Foulard

    It's also fascinating to track the changes from location shooting to rear projection to backlot filming to indoor sets (sometimes all within the same sequence!).

    It's always been about control during a shoot. Hitchcock, and other directors, preferred shooting in studios rather than location to rule out weather, transportation, sunlight restrictions and other factors that would disrupt a shoot. For TV it was a money factor. Moving everyone on locations takes more money. Especially considering the size of equipment 50 plus years ago.

    Digital tools today are used for similar reasons. Filmmakers can shoot the actors and then have the tools available to manipulate the world around them on the screen. This has been the goal of George Lucas for decades, going back to the young Indiana Jones series. I myself prefer films an movies that do location shooting. Seems to me that television from the 70's and early 80's went to at lot of time and effort to shoot outdoors and do some great stunt work that would rival a movie at the time.

  25. Blimpoy06

    Seems to me that television from the 70's and early 80's went to at lot of time and effort to shoot outdoors and do some great stunt work that would rival a movie at the time.

    Drama and action shows mainly. So many car chases. Sitcoms were the opposite; they became more theatrical because they (or at least the better ones) wanted to go back to having live audiences again. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is the precursor of the modern sitcom that has no laugh track or studio audience since it had neither.

  26. Blimpoy06

    Seems to me that television from the 70's and early 80's went to at lot of time and effort to shoot outdoors and do some great stunt work that would rival a movie at the time.

    In the 60s, The Fugitive did lots of on-location work, even if that location was all places in California imitating other parts of the U.S.

  27. I didn't mean to imply that television didn't start filming on location until the 70's. Just that the era of the rear process shot, especially while driving, was used less and less in that time. Route 66 shot all over the USA in the early 60's. Jack Webb was very realistic in shooting car scenes. Even leaving the rear view mirror on the windshield in shot. My statement was never meant to be absolute. Just picking up on the change in production values of the times.

  28. Hitchcock held on to his process shots too long into his career. Family Plot looks like a movie of the week at times. I agree on the mix of location vs. studio in car/outdoor scenes. I know why it was done, but it does take you out of the film. especially the indoor "outdoor" shots where everyone has four shadows. It just seems like the 60's started to take steps away from that staged look. And by the 70's it was common practice to do as much shooting outdoors as possible to keep that from being so apparent.

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