Any insight on Ally McBeal?

ChadKo

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With Picket Fences finally coming to DVD, and the announcement of other David E Kelly shows, does anyone know about Ally McBeal, if and when this may come out?

Chad
 

Jay_B!

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all we can do is keep crossing our fingers that Brothers And Sisters becomes a big enough hit that Fox will see enough interest in Calista Flockhart to release this
 

Jeff#

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It's not a DVD release of Ally McBeal that interests me, but I'd like to see reruns of it come back on television. I saw the first 4 years when it originally aired on FOX, but that 5th and final season (2001-2002) when Ling became a judge and Bon Jovi became a regular are the only episodes that missed since something else was on at the time that prevented me from tuning in. Does the FX channel still repeat this series?
 

Jay_B!

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FX hasn't aired Ally since early 2004.

To be honest, as someone who watched the whole series in first run, and would buy seasons 1-4 on DVD, season 5 is probably one of the worst final seasons I've ever seen. There were a few shining moments that season, such as the post 9-11 Christmas episode, but for the most part, the last season was weak and tedious and still painful to think about all these years later about how badly that show crashed and burned in the final season. There's a key storyline that season that friends of mine who never watched the show thought I was actually making up, but it was true.
 

Jeff#

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I don't expect the final season of most TV series to be anything to E-mail home about, but I still want to see it being the viewing completist I am.


And if I wanted to collect this show on DVD I'd go for the entire series.

A show I would absolutely want to buy ALL of is Hawaii Five-O, and that's in spite of the 12th / final season being terribly written and acted (which has nothing to do with James McArthur having quit the show at the end of the 11th year and no explanation given to what happened to Danny "Danno" Williams).
 

Jeff#

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I was wondering about a 4th season episode in which an over-60 Dyan Cannon (as Judge Jennifer "Whipper" Cone) got naked. Was that Dyan who was nude or a body double, because if it was her she looked great for her age!
 

Michael Alden

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The complete series is available in the UK in one big box for a very cheap price, something like a little over $100.

And if you were a fan of the show, why didn't you just record it on a VCR while you watched whatever else was on? Back in the VCR days I sometimes recorded 3 or 4 shows that were on at the same time.
 

Jay_B!

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will you stop playing supreme to everyone else because you've been recording from tv since 1978? Newsflash, you're you. We're not you. Some people out there never thought Ally would just vanish from the airwaves the way it did. I honestly figured it would hang around in reruns for awhile much like how X-Files, Buffy and other Fox-owned hour long TV properties from the mid-late 90's can still be found in reruns.
 

Michael Alden

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After the Fox run it had a good 2-3 year rerun cycle on FX. If you wanted to catch any missed episodes there was ample opportunity. I'm sorry if my being able to figure out how to see shows when they are available to me conveys superiority to you. That's like blasting someone for carrying an umbrella on a cloudy day and staying dry while others get wet. I guess I can understand as no one likes to be reminded they made bad decisions.
 

RoryR

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Wow, its actually more like not taking an umbrella on a regular day, which takes a turn for the worse and starts raining.

A few years ago there was no reason to believe the show wouldn't stay in reruns or come to DVD.

I guess people don't like being told they should be psychic.
 

Elena S

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I don't believe it ran that long in reruns. Seems like it was only a year or maybe even less. What a shame, since the show was so well-done -- until, I agree -- it really crashed and burned in the last season. I've never seen a show take as bad a nosedive as this one did.
 

Jeff#

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I did tape it while I had another show on a different network at the exact same time. That was during the first 4 years. Sometimes I would tape the other show instead, and watch Ally as it aired. By the start of the 5th season, I had two other series instead of one going up against Ally. With only 1 VCR I couldn't record both, so I dropped Ally. I can wait until FX or someone else brings it back. The show was popular enough to come back in reruns again.

Oh, and when FX rerun Ally McBeal for that limited time they kept moving it all around the schedule at different times of the day, so I never knew when it was on. I'm pretty sure that FX cable didn't show it for even a year. The series was good, but it wasn't a top viewing priority for me and still isn't.
 

Eric_Bee

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Two of my DVD players can play multi-region. Do the UK episodes have all music intact. I heard mixed reports on whether the UK season sets, when released individually, had all the music.
 

Michael Alden

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That's a good question. I don't know how to find out and I have no intention of A/B ing all of the episodes alongside my tapes to check.
 

Christian Preischl

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Real Name
Christian Preischl
I've never heard anything about the UK releases not having the original music. Can you point me to specific examples? All I can say is that I certainly didn't notice any changes when watching the DVDs. And you'd think any replacements would be very easy to spot since pretty much everything that ever played on the show is very recognizable.
 

Jeff#

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I think they're getting the original music for those show shouldn't be hard. The only musicians they have to deal with are Vonda Shepard (who also played herself and she sang about 95% of the music heard on the show), the estate of the late Barry White, and occasionally Aretha Franklin!
 

Mary_P

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Even if that were true -- and I don't think it is in this case -- it's not that relevant. Music rights involve much more than the artist who made a particular recording. It has more to do with every company that owns a piece of the publishing rights for a particular song, which can sometimes be several companies for a single song, depending on how many credited writers a song has and whether they have the same representation.
 

Jeff#

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Yes, but didn't Vonda and Barry own their own music?

I mean Vonda Shepard is a songwriter as well as a singer.
 

Mary_P

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Quite possibly, but what either of them wrote is a fraction of the music that's used in the show. I believe some of her originals were used in the series (such as the main theme), but most of what Shepard sings in the show are covers of well-known songs originally done by a wide variety of artists. Have a look at the track listings of the released soundtrack albums for the series. The first one alone uses songs by artists from Dusty Springfield to The Exciters to Blue Swede. (I'd say B.J. Thomas, but they did use the "ooga-chaka" version, so it's Blue Swede.
) Most if not all are covered here by Shepard, with some of her original works as well.

Just found a website listing the music used in each episode, along with writing and performance credits:

http://www.geocities.com/merrystar3/season1.htm

Start assembling a list of every credited writer here, and you'll see how daunting it might be just to get season 1 out with its music intact.
 

Jay_B!

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exactly.

I remember FX started airing Ally reruns in late 2001. At the time, I thought "well, The X-Files is out (a Fox series) and Buffy will be out in a few months (another Fox series), I bet we'll be seeing Ally on DVD within a year", that was five years ago.
 

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