Are Reunion Shows signs?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MattPeriolat, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    Just a thought here: recent reunion/retrospective shows seem to be flags that DVD releases are coming. Case in point, Dallas had a reunion show just before the first season came out on DVD. Happy Days just had a reunion show, which would be an encouraging sign for Season 2.

    So, now we have two more: a look back at the first five years of Saturday Night Live and a reunion show for One Day at a Time. We've already heard noise about One Day at a Time on DVD, but what about SNL? These theories have been repeatedly shot down, but could a best of of the first five years be possible along with this doc?

    Or am I reading too much into the nostolgia trend? Thoughts?
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I doubt there is any connection, especially since the networks that air the reunion specials do not (as a rule) share in the DVD revenues.

    If the recent spate of reunion shows has any connection with DVD it is more likely that network execs have noticed now much interest there still is in some of these old shows, how old the (surviving) stars are getting, and how well the last reunion show did in the ratings. None of the reunions I've noticed lately have had the kind of clear "tie-in with a release" aspect that the usual "behind the scenes specials" about new theatrical releases always do.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  3. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Sounds like Joe has a bead on this theory. Regarding theatrical releases, that looks like there's a tie-in issue (ie "Bewitched", "I Dream Of Jeannie", etc).

    Those of us who are waiting for particular series releases sometimes wish there wasn't a tie-in issue....like, the supposed upcoming movie remake of the "Six Million Dollar Man" and Universal's delay in releasing S1 of the "bionic" series DVD's until that movie gets released [​IMG] ...it's not that I don't like these movie remakes, just that it sometimes delays the TV/DVD's.

    "Give me the original TV series DVD's first" [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    The networks themselves may not make revenue on the DVDs but the parent companies who own the networks and, often times the studio producing the DVDs, sure do.
     
  5. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Lorne Michaels, the creator and for 25 of its now 30 years Executive Producer of Saturday Night Live, owns Broadway Video which has released countless VHS and DVD Best-Of sets of the show over the years.

    I saw NBC's special covering the first 5 years on Sunday night, and I hope they plan to cover later eras as well in the future.

    But I won't buy the Best-Of compilations. Years ago when I still used VHS I was fortunate to find a video store that had some old SNL tapes for sale released on the Warner Bros label, including one of the greatest ever -- Steve Martin in one his numerous times hosting: it was the Emmy-winning show he did in 1978. It ran 64 minutes but other than Steve's "King Tut" number I'm not sure if there was a real musical guest that night or not. The shows I also had on tape hosted by Buck Henry (two on one tape, including the last with the original cast in 1980) and Robert Klein (1975 and 1979 episodes) each had the musical numbers cut.

    I also managed to get a hold of a tape with Milton Berle from 1979 duplicated for me back in the 1990s by someone who worked at Broadway Video....and he did the transfer for me for free from the master!! I knew the Berle SNL was withheld from syndication. He was only going to do 1 show for me, so I actually had a choice. If it wasn't for that I would had him duplicate the equally rare Louise Lasser show OR the first SNL Exec. Produced by Dick Ebersol and hosted by Chevy Chase from April 1981 (which I had seen in its 90 min. entirety on Comedy Central many years ago). Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo had already been on the show since November 1980, but the rest of Jean Doumanian's cast was fired! It was also in that 13th show of the season, in which Chevy got to anchor Weekend Update for the first time since he quit in 1976. He even got his old set back! Ebersol rebuilt the show over the summer of 1981, and it was better than ever by that fall.

    I have yet to see complete SNL shows released on DVD, but that would be nice! I would buy pristine and unedited copies of them faster than The Man from UNCLE on DVD. The fact that 9 hour sets of NBC's SCTV Network 90 from the early 1980s are on disc now, there is actually some hope for Saturday Night Live.
     
  6. Jon F.

    Jon F. Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally, I think there is a direct correlation between the two. There certainly was in the case of the SEINFELD special.

    It would make a lot of sense to kill two birds with one stone: they would make revenue off of airing the special AND have interviews for the DVDs. Many celebrities were complaining at one point about participating in DVD releases because they weren't making any money off of them. I expect they would be making money from the airing of reunion specials.
     
  7. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    Well, I'm completely resigned to the fact that we'll NEVER get season sets of SNL. Just far too many issues involved with the music rights and other factors. I was just hoping for a new best-of set with more material.

    Bottom line, I'll take whatever I can get at the time and hope for more if the sales demand it. With Sunday night's SNL special coming out on DVD, I suggest you all get it, then maybe the message will get out.
     
  8. David*P

    David*P Supporting Actor

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    I would think there is a direct correlation because it only makes sense that if people are going to be aware of the original show via a reunion special, movie remake, etc perfect time to release the original show as it will be on people's minds.

    Sadly, this wasn't the case with "The Nanny" which had a reunion special a couple months ago.
     
  9. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Moving this to the SNL topic. [​IMG]
     
  10. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Yep, you've got it! I am 99% sure that there is a connection, and it works for some movies too. Case in point - "Bringing Up Baby" was on the tube last year, roughly a month before the DVD release was anounced.

    Others that I can think of are "License to Drive", and "Summer Magic." They aren't on for years, and then they show up, and then they get released.

    Glenn
     
  11. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    The answer is: it depends.

    For instance, Happy Days S2 is NOT currently on the schedule for anytime in 2005. There may still be licensing going on with that.

    One Day At A Time was mentioned last September as "coming soon" in the ad that accompanied the "227" release, but Sony hasn't said a word about it since and is known to not be coming anytime in the first half of 2005. If its in the works for beyond that, I am unaware of it. Despite the "coming soon" remark, the studio could have re-thought it and changed their mind. Or simply changed the schedule.

    The Nanny *IS* coming...overseas. Nothing planned for R1 just yet, despite the reunion and despite a "coming soon" thingie of its own.

    SNL is not coming in season sets.


    So yeah, sometimes a reunion show is a sign. Sometimes it isn't.
     
  12. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Reunion shows & reunion movies have been going on for a long time (remember the My Three Sons reunion from the late 1970s) so I don't believe it necessarily correlates to a DVD release.

    The similiarity I see is that:
    (1) Reunions are (usually) reserved for popular shows

    (2) DVD releases are (usually) reserved for popular shows

    Sometimes (1) and (2) intersect.

    Regarding movies, TCM often showcases classic movies that Warners Home Video is releasing (as a cross promotional tool). However I don't think one can state that just because a movie appears on TV for the first time in awhile that it must mean it will be on DVD soon. There are a ton of movies on TCM and FMC that aren't on DVD and aren't likely to be anytime soon.

    Steve
     
  13. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    Just curious. Why can't they aire the Milton Berle episode? And why is the Louise Lasser episode so rare?

    Thanks!
     
  14. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I don't remember the reason why the Louise Lasser show was kept out of syndication, but Milton Berle was regarded as a sort of control freak in his SNL appearance. According to a book on Saturday Night Live that I read years ago, the entire show aired only once and Mr. Television was barking orders at all of the actors and even director Dave Wilson and his crew up on the booth! That must have been in rehearsal, because none of that showed on screen, however. When I first watched the tape of that show in 1996 it seemed very normal. Not all of the sketches were that good, but the highlights of the show included Berle's monolog (he even got to do a second one later in the show to continue what he didn't get to finish at the beginning) and also when Uncle Miltie played The Widettes uncle. The Widettes as you recall, were a family of people with gigantic butts. It appeared in a handful of SNLs in the late 1970s. At the end of this particular sketch, they watch a movie on Berle's rear end! [​IMG]
     

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