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Bob Newhart Season 1 in April (1 Viewer)

Doug Wallen

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Glad to see it is so high on the sales list. Just watched the first 4 episodes and found myself laughing out loud.:D

Haven't seen anything recently that causes me to do that. Here's hoping that more seasons are released and that extra's find their way onto the discs. :emoji_thumbsup:
 

Marty M

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Saw the first 2 episodes last night. Bob Newhart was a genius when it came to the telephone conversation scenes. I am going to enjoy watching all the episodes.
 

Randy Gray

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I watched the first three episodes last night and while the timing seems to be about right the opening on eps 2 and 3 are shorter than 1 and 4. Also I don't believe there's an ending tag scene on 2 and 3 before the end credits. Are these eps for sure uncut? Just found that a little strange.

Randy
 

Jaime_Weinman

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The episodes are uncut. Sometimes they used a shorter version of the title sequence, but that's from the original broadcasts. And as long as they have the producer credits just before the end titles, you know that the tag scenes are intact (though the chapter stops don't always indicate them as tag scenes).

BTW, Fox has included nine chapter stops for each episode -- really a commendable thing when other companies put out half-hour sitcoms with no chapter stops whatsoever, not even at act breaks (I'm looking at you, WB).
 

MattHR

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I just watched a few episodes from each disc. I have to say that I was very disappointed with the quality of the transfers. Fox has done such great work with other filmed shows from the same era (MTM, MASH, PLANET OF THE APES), so I expected similar quality.

While shot on film, the transfers are somewhat blurry and very drab in color saturation. Grain was to be expected due to the source material. Compared to MTM and MASH on DVD, this set looks about as good as an off-air VHS dub to my eyes. The audio is also the worst I've heard from a major studio release. It has an unacceptable amount of hiss, crackles, pops and distortion. Whenever there was a loud outburst of audience laughter, I'd reach for the remote to turn down the sound. It was just too harsh sounding. Several scenes had very muffled audio, but it may have been that way originally. It seems that sometimes an actor would walk away from another while still speaking, but the sound-person on set would not follow with the microphone, so the dialogue would trail off and become unintelligible.

The retail price point of only $29.95 should be an indication of what to expect. I can forgive the lack of special features. (There are none). The 24 episodes are spread out (4 per side) over three DVD-10's. (Why not eight episodes on three DVD-9's?) The thinpak cases list the episodes on the backs, but do not indicate which episodes are on which sides. (One can assume they are in order, split evenly over the discs).

I would imagine that Fox, armed with the sales figures of MTM Season One, decided to cut corners on BNS fearing similar sales results. The two shows are from the same era and are very similar, so it's a logical expectation.

I would rather have paid more for the set, to get the same quality transfers as the sets Fox has produced in the past. I understand that market conditions have forced the studios to cut costs, and the results are starting to show.
I was afraid of this.

First, Columbia starts cramming too many episodes per disc. Then we have the continuing problem of music rights and edited episodes (all studios affected). Now, we seem to be seeing a trend reversing the acceptable level of transfer quality (some of Anchor Bay's Cannell shows, Universal's inconsistencies, and now Fox).

Maybe this was another case (like ALF) where the syndicated versions were in better shape than the uncut ones. Prior to DVD, the studios had no reason to remaster or restore old shows in their original, complete form. There was no use for them. Any new transfers or remasters would have been done for the edited, syndication versions. The edited footage was of no value...until now. The cost of newly remastered transfers for 24 episodes (per season!) of a sitcom from the 70's vs. expected DVD sales in 2005 becomes a proposition difficult to justify.

If this is the case, this is where the dilemna arises for the studio:

1) Release high-quality, low-priced, edited versions and consumers complain.
2) Release low-quality, low-priced, uncut versions and consumers complain.
3) Release high-quality, high-priced, uncut versions and consumers don't buy (ending any chance for further seasons).

It's a situation we're growing uncomfortably familiar with, but it sucks when it's one of your favorite shows that is affected. Isn't this hobby a blast? :angry:
 

MattHR

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I forgot that Martha Scott played Bob's mother on the show from '72-'77. She also played Steve Austin's mother on "The Six Million Dollar Man" from '74-'77 on another network. It reminded me that Jennifer Darling played Oscar Goldman's secretary on both "SMDM" and "Bionic Woman", while playing Dick Van Patten's secretary on "Eight is Enough" the same year.
 

Jaime_Weinman

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I agree that the episodes could look better, and like you, I suspect that syndication prints may look better. (The answer is to do what Paramount seems to have done with some episodes from Happy Days season 1, which is to use the syndication prints and splice in the missing scenes from less stellar-looking complete prints.)

But Randy Salas said on another board that the bad audio is part and parcel of the original show. "The Bob Newhart Show" had very bad sound mixing (Salas even quoted Peter Bonerz as saying that they had the worst sound mixing in the business), and that was covered up by the generally low-quality TV speakers of the time.
 

MattHR

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Whatever happened to Randy Salas? I know he still posts on the DVDTalk boards, but I rarely visit that other forum. This one is my home. Randy still writes for our local newspaper. I was wondering if there was ever a reason given for his abandoning this site.
 

David Lambert

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Matt, Randy told me he left because he felt unwelcome. He said he would make posts that contained accurate information, trying to set the record straight. Much along the lines of that Bob Newhart "bad audio" post at DVDTalk that was just mentioned. And the response to his efforts? He told me that people who had done no research, and sometimes just plainly didn't know what they were talking about, would argue with him to the death that he was wrong and they were right. He felt this happened on a regular basis, and who needs the aggravation?, he asked himself. One HTF post in particular - in a thread Randy was participating in - attacked newspaper journalists in general, and even though it wasn't specifically directed at him, he saw the writing on the wall and decided it was time to go.
 

JohnMor

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I've only watched the first six episodes, but I honestly thought the transfers were pretty good for a $29.98 set. The colors seemed pretty vibrant on my monitor, albeit the show had an absolutely abysmal 1970's color palette of beiges, yellows and oranges.
 

Rob W

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I had taped the entire series on VHS from a syndication run at least a decade ago and these are superior in every way. They are also superior to the VHS transfers in the Best Of TBNS box released many years ago from MTM. The harsh sound has always been present on many of the episodes I have and I guess we'll have to live with it. Are they perfect ? No, but they are better than a lot of the fuzzy transfers from the shot-on-video series of the 70's & 80's.

The MTM discs exceeded my wildest dreams but when the set underperformed I never expected to see Bob Newhart make it to DVD at all. I will continue to buy them, especially now that my VHS copies are starting to break up.
 

Steve...O

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Ditto. His posts were always informative and appreciated. Hopefully he will reconsider and give HTF another shot.

Steve
 

Paul Miller

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I just started watching the Bob Newhart Show on TV and the color on the episodes look great and the sound is no different or worse than when I was watching the show on NICK at Nite so I don't see the big deal.

I miss Randy too, he is a good guy and knows his stuff, but when it comes to newspaper journalists reporting on things outside of news and sports, a lot of the time they don't do their homework, make glaring errors which are hard to ignore, and because it isn't news or sports the newspapers don't seem to care. Randy is one of the good ones though, and he should take pride in that.

Paul
 

David Lambert

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Paul, I don't want to drag this thread off-topic, but I'll just make this one comment: when anybody - a newspaper person or anybody else - makes a glaring error because they didn't do their homework, the best way to respond is not to knock their profession. The best way to respond is with facts. Just say what the real fact is, name your source, and let that speak for itself. No need to knock anyone's career; if you went on about how system analysts get it wrong all the time, even if you weren't talking about me, I still might be offended and head off, too. :)
 

george kaplan

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Count me in the sad to see Randy gone camp. He always had good and interesting info.

I recall disagreeing with him occasionally about minor points, but that was just a difference of opinion. I certainly never saw him making any errors or not doing his homework about anything factual.
 

Steve...O

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One of the reasons I enjoyed Randy's posts was that, as the above said, he did do his homework and was factually solid. I know what Paul Miller is saying; too often writers don't take the time to do a quality check and make statements that don't hold water. This is not an indictment of the entire profession, just a realization that a few lazy ones can overshadow the work done by the good ones. That can be said about many other professions as well (including mine).

Steve
 

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