Columbia-Tri-Star Backpedalling?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Andrew Radke, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    Andrew Radke
    I've been reading the reports on www.tvshowsondvd.com about both "Mad About You" and "The Larry Sanders Show". I have to say it's pretty disheartening, especially to those who have purchased season sets of these series. Fans of these shows have been chomping at the bit awaiting future seasons, only to learn that they'll be getting nothing more than a "best-of" release. What a slap in the face!

    Now this makes me wonder if CTS plans to do this with any other series. I'll admit, I'm not a fan of either "Mad About You" or "The Larry Sanders Show" but what they're doing is NOT right. To release 1 or 2 complete season sets, THEN waiting at least 2 years only to find out that the next offering is a compilation makes no sense.

    I've personally been awaiting the 3rd season of "The Jeffersons". It's been over a year and a half since season 2 hit store shelves. If I find out that a "best-of" is all they're going to offer next, I will be totally outraged. They shouldn't start what they can't finish. Simple as that. If they're pulling this stunt on two of their titles, who's to say they won't do it to others.

    They can sugar coat it all they want by saying "We're testing the waters to see if it'll sell." but I'm not buying it. "Larry Sanders" didn't sell well due to the outragous retail price. I find it difficult to believe that "Mad About You" didn't sell well. Hell, the first season obviously sold well enough to warrant a second.

    In my opinion, they're doing everything ass backwards. They had the right approach by releasing "best-ofs" of "Married...With Children" prior to releasing season sets. But they're definitely backpedalling. You don't release a couple of seasons, only to follow it up with a best-of. Like I said, it's a slap in the face to the consumers who spend their hard-earned money on season sets with the expectation that subsequent seasons will follow.

    I'd like to know your opinions on this matter. I simply don't think it's right.
     
  2. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    Andrew, these are shows that have sold poorly for them in season sets, and shows where the stars are interested in picking their favorite episodes and have a compilation released. Notice how they aren't doing this with shows that have been selling well?

    While you may look at a "best of" as being a bad thing, is it worse than them not releasing anything else?



    I think we need to look at TV-on-DVD as a new fall season. While a show is picked up with the intention of it running 22 episodes for the season, the ratings will decide the fate of the show. Now with TV-on-DVD the studios are releasing shows and the sales determine subsequent sets. I haven't talked to ANY studio that has said, "Yeah, we're just releasing season 1, and we have no plans to follow it up." The studios start releasing product with the intention of finishing the run of the show, but if people aren't buying it then they'll turn their attention to something that can make more money for them.

    Gord
     
  3. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    And before anyone accuses me of taking the side of the studio, I promise you that I tell the studios that the consumers want season sets. When I posted the "select your favorite Larry Sanders episodes" on the site I made it VERY clear that the fans were going to be ticked off, and I let them know about any complaints I received, and the responses in the forums. They told me that nothing had been decided yet, and I should also point out that there's still the possibility of more season sets in the future.

    I've always viewed TVShowsOnDVD.com as a way to bridge the gap between the consumers and the studios. I try and present the feelings of each side to the other side in a constructive manor that's beneficial to both parties.

    Gord
     
  4. Vincent Matis

    Vincent Matis Second Unit

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    Isn't it another case of the egg and the chicken?
    Now people will be cautious and probably won't buy 1st season sets until all season sets are released. But they will never be released since S1 will not sell well?
    I'm holding off buying "Married... with children" for example to wait for all seasons to be released.

    Not for currently running series of course...
     
  5. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    In the internet community that tracks release dates, maybe that happens. However, among the general audience that finds out about new releases by seeing them in the weekly Best Buy print ad? Not so much, I imagine.

    Remember: You Are Not A Representative Sample.

    Also, that course of action leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
     
  6. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Yes it is, I harken back to an older thread called between release nervousness where I basically made this point.

    Basically, my thought was that if I wait to buy all seasons of a show until they are all released, then I've helped make sure no show ever got past the first season.

    I'm still waiting for the Jeffersons, I was hopeful long after most had given up hope for a second season of Mary Tyler Moore, and you know what I can still enjoy the first 2 seasons of the Jeffersons and the first season of MTM while I wait.
     
  7. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    So you're the reason! Argh! BUY NOW! [​IMG]




    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    You know, I can sort of understand the "I won't buy season X until season Y comes out" mentality, for this reason: sometimes the early seasons are not the ones a fan likes the best. There are some shows where the first season might not be interesting enough, on its own, to make me want to own it, but where I might buy it as part of a collection of the complete series. This, however, is a fan thing, not so much an average-buyer thing (it's been proven that each season of a TV show sells about the same, meaning that a show won't sell any better once it "hits its stride," nor will it sell any worse after it "jumps the shark").

    However, if I do like the first season of a show, I think it's worth owning regardless of whether the other seasons are available. It's a cliche, but it's better than nothing. And so are best-of sets.
     
  9. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    But how are we to know if a 'Best of' sells well? CTHV went that route on Designing Women last year and I haven't seen a news of either 'It didn't sell well' or 'It sold great, S1 is coming XX/XX/XX'. Any news would be a relief at this point, but CTHV has to be the most tight-lipped studio. It's really aggravating when its a show you really care about and would like to own in the only way its possible to see un-cut episodes. [​IMG]
     
  10. peggy

    peggy Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally I think you should consider yourself lucky that you got the second season, so many shows don't it make it that far.[​IMG]
     
  11. Stephen Ford

    Stephen Ford Stunt Coordinator

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    I would rather have nothing than a best of set as it makes me have to decide if Im going to buy it, knowing I will have to buy season sets on top of it in order to get all the episodes (if they ever get relesed)

    They make a complete mess of releasing Larry Sanders and now we have to put up with a best of because they could not put together a decent season 1 boxset.

    It was far too expensive for 13 eps and the transfer was below standard and they wonder why it sold badly.
     
  12. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    Stephen,
    And Larry Sanders season 1 came out in Feb, 2002. It was an early season set, and Columbia TriStar's first (along with All in the Family Season 1). It's easy to look back at something and say, "wow, this blows" but you have to remember when it was released and look at it in that context. Parmaount looks foolish to have released 2 episodes of the original Star Trek on one disc now, but they released volumes 11 and 12 the same month that the first season set was released.

    It's also very hard for these companies to gauge interest in the DVDs they're trying to market. I was a consultant on the two Kids in the Hall DVD sets, and I have a number of friends that are big fans of the show. Out of the 7 friends I have that watch the show, 1 has purchased the first season. Now these are close friends that know I worked on the sets and ONE of them bought the first season (the second season hasn't hit retail yet, so he's off the hook for now). I'm sure you can imagine how hard it is for these companies to predict sales if you use my "friends" as an example of the average consumer.

    Gord
     
  13. Jack_C

    Jack_C Auditioning

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    Gord,

    Do you know what Columbia's plans are for Married With Children and the King of Queens? I know these questions have been asked a lot but you seem to have connections at Columbia TriStar. Will we ever see 3rd seasons of either show or will we be stuck with best of DVDs. Thanks in advance.
     
  14. Juan Books

    Juan Books Stunt Coordinator

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    This is it buddy. I'm not buying a SINGLE release from Columbia until most of the series is out. I don't care if I don't get utterly worthless "best of" sets down the road. I truly hate those mother****ers...
     
  15. ScottCor

    ScottCor Stunt Coordinator

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    The thing about best of sets is if you're a fan there will always be some episode that you really loved that isn't included. The same as music cd's where your band releases it's greatest hits(and they have no box set), and you think oh that's great then you look over the list of songs and see that one song or two you really loved isn't included and it kind of kills the whole cd for you because you will always think how much better it would have been with those songs. It's stopped me from buying many a collection..and for the record I will not buy Def Leppards greatist hits until they add two songs from the first album...LOL
    Same with TV show releases, if you're a true fan it will eat at you and also bug you as a collector..takes all the fun out of buying it when good stuff is missing.
     
  16. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Warning this is kind of long...

    I'm going to take a position in this thread, that might not be popular but its the way I feel.

    Lets put aside the question of when to buy a season set, when first released, or after all have been released, because that is not the central issue.

    I can't believe the way some of you talk about Columbia Tristar. It seems to me that in this thread, and in other discussions there is an attitude to put it simply of: "Hey they put out the first season, so damn them for not putting out the entire series even if the first season didn't sell."

    Like since they put out season 1 of Larry Sanders they have some moral obligation to put out season 2, even if it only appeals to a small audience and even if doing so hurts there bottomline.

    I just can't understand why a person might think Columbia has an obligation to put something on the shelf that nobody or next to nobody is buying.

    When I buy a season of a TV show on DVD, I am buying exactly that, one season of a TV show. I'm not buying a guarantee for future seasons or any remote promise, I bought one season, its what I got and is all that the contract was for. If I happen to be the only one that buys the one season and a second does not come out, I do not have the right to claim that Columbia should release the second season only for me, just because I happened to buy season one.

    Are the best ofs, what we all want? No, of course we want season sets of a show, but the fact that they're willing to release a best of Mad About You set shows that they haven't closed the book completely on the series. I would think it far more discouraging for a show if when approached about the idea of doing just a simple best of collection they decided to not even consider the idea, and just left it at the "well season 1 and 2 didn't sell well, so lets just forget it."

    I'm actually going to praise Columbia for a second. I'm glad that this studio has released a wide variety of shows, ranging from All in the Family to the King of Queens, from What's Happening to Married with Children. I'm glad that they're releasing some of these shows at a relatively cheap price point, thus making them more attractive to me.

    Does this mean I'm happy with everything they've done? Absolutely not, I still think they needlessly split up the episodes with something like 9 9 and 4 episodes on 3 discs when it would work just as well to do 8 8 and 6.

    Fox is my favorite studio for TV on DVD, but there are some things that Columbia has done that I am thankful for. Yeah, Larry Sanders s1 and All in the Family S1 probably weren't the best releases they could've been, but as Gord has said they were the first CTS releases, and they've come a long way from there. Heck, for awhile I was beginning to think that every single columbia release of a TV show would be bare bones.

    So for me, calling the studio names, or threatening not to buy anything they put out doesn't really acomplish much.

    Just remember that these studios are businesses, and are out to make money and if something is under performing it probably won't be continued. If a soft drink company releases a new flavor and hardly anyone buys it, why is it ok for them to hault production but a studio is not free to do the same.

    Yeah, collector's mentality and such, but its interesting, I used to collect football cards but it doesn't mean I have every card ever put out. Collecting is a risk, and from a cost to the consumer stand point, waiting until the whole series is out on DVD would seem to me to make less sense than buying each release as they hit the shelves.
     
  17. ScottCor

    ScottCor Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I hated it when they screwed up my coke collection..lol..
    Seriously though people have a right to vent..most work hard for there extra spending money to buy these sets..look forward to them..on the scale of things is it a big deal...of course not..but people are passionate about their favorite movies and shows, and I respect that..thank god for that or this hobby wouldn't be nearly as fun. I think the studios are big enough to handle a few little bitch sessions here and there on the message board. I don't always agree with the exteme posts ,but at least the passion is there, and it's better then sitting on your hands and saying oh well.
     
  18. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    ScottCor, I think that's why they're getting the talent involved in picking the episodes. At least you know it's not some random person picking the "best" episodes, it's the star of the show that's picking his/her favorite episodes, not the best ones, but the ones they like.

    A&E also did a "Best of Thunderbirds" and asked the fans to vote for their favorite episodes.

    Gord
     
  19. Ray_Gootz

    Ray_Gootz Stunt Coordinator

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    Me I buy so much Tv on DVD that a break is a good thing, I almost shot myself when I found out Curb Your Entusism Season 1 was coming out the same time as Simpsns season 4, South Park season 4, Quantum Leap season 1, Wonder Woman Season 1 and Spider-man the 67 collection. It really killed me.

    If everything was coming out in an accelrated pace my wallet would self-destruct. I don't need all 11 seasons of Jeffersons in 2 years. I got Diffrent Strokes and 227 to buy!
     
  20. Randall Cyrenne

    Randall Cyrenne Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to Casey for your post. You said everything I was going to, so you saved me a lot of typing. We need to remember that selling DVDs is a business, not a right to wish-fulfillment. e.g. I liked Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (more or less)--- Does Paramount owe me a sequel (which was planned, along with a prequel) even though the first film didn't do well? Of course not.
     

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