1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Could The Defenders Be Released on DVD?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ian K McLachlan, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 1999
    Messages:
    2,093
    Likes Received:
    1,186
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Peter Fitzgerald
    And why this wasn't a seemingly insurmountable obstacle when Universal released complete Seasons 1-6 of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS in Region 1. As far as I can tell, every episode of both AHP and AHH was based on a previously-published short story, so this isn't some new legal wrinkle that suddenly cropped up in later seasons. Granted, the first set or two of AHP were released while the big TV-on-DVD boom was still in full swing, but the last two released seasons, in particular, streeted well after the economic downturn and when studio support of older catalog product had already cooled considerably.

    Also, unless my memory on this is faulty, wasn't the entire run of THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR made available for streaming in the US on Hulu a few years ago? Since streaming isn't traditional over-the-air (or cable/satellite) broadcasting, aren't new contracts required, insuring all legal clearances, before copyrighted material is given the green light on a new media platform (be it streaming, DVD/Blu or download)?
     
    Darby67, LeoA and Flashgear like this.
  2. Message #62 of 831 Mar 31, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,607
    Likes Received:
    5,079
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Real Name:
    Randall
    IMHO...only sloth and disinterest has prevented Universal from releasing season 7 of AHP...as with the previous 6 Hitchcock Presents seasons, all or almost all of the teleplays were adapted from short stories usually, but not always, published in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (often within months of the episode's original airdate), or published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Michael Shayne Mystery, or sometimes Saturday Evening Post, Collier's etc...sometimes by the original writer, but mostly adaptations by commissioned writers for Shamley Productions...I assume that Hitchcock/ Shamley and now Universal would own these sources outright...

    But when you examine the literary sources and teleplay adaptations for season 1 of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour, you do notice a Significant Change in that the teleplays were now adaptations derived from (mostly) Previously published Novel length books...by my count, 21 of 32 season 1 episodes were adapted from previously published full length novels...(a greater proportion of stories for season 2 and more so with season 3, are once again adapted from short stories) ...with a few original commissioned teleplays...rarely, if at all, adapted by the original author...I assume the contract language for explicit and implied successor rights might lead to a number of complex interpretations...perhaps if Universal themselves retain custody to release it themselves in R1 (if ever) rather than licensing a third party, the rights clearances are a great deal more easily accomplished...who knows?

    The fact that Universal was able to successfully license this property to third parties for Australia and the UK leaves me wondering if the successor copyright contract laws in British Commonwealth countries somehow facilitate that to happen in a less complex process than here in the United States and unfortunately, Canada...

    Really hoping for a complete release of The Defenders...
     
    Darby67 and Peter M Fitzgerald like this.
  3. Message #63 of 831 Mar 31, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
    Pathfiner

    Pathfiner Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    477
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Cornwall, England
    Real Name:
    Jeff
    besides the original sixties b/w series of 'The Defenders' starring E.G.Marshall and Robert Reed there were two (I think) later color TV Movies circa 1997 starring Beau Bridges with an elderly E.G.Marshall as a retired Lawrence Preston - Bridges was his grandson I think

    hopefully those might either be included or issued together in addition to any future Defenders set....?

    I quite like actors Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell - they COULD have made a decent pairing in a later hard hitting serious version...

    ....but instead we got the usual 'take the rise out of itself' semi-comedic runaround OTT claptrap not worthy of the show title name...

    God save us from modern TV execs...
     
    HenryDuBrow, Darby67 and Flashgear like this.
  4. Dave Lawrence

    Dave Lawrence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    1,071
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Texas
    Real Name:
    Dave
    In all, there were 3 Showtime movies - 2 with Marshall and 1 final movie without him. I recall reading that Showtime decided that there wasn't a future for the series without Marshall.

    I'd love to see a release of the complete series and the 3 Showtime movies.
     
    Pathfiner, Darby67 and Flashgear like this.
  5. ChrisALM

    ChrisALM Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    881
    Likes Received:
    500
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    Chris
    I don't understand the problem either. Universal released 6 seasons of Presents in R1 - it took a while but they managed to get those 6 seasons out. And now there seems to be no way to at least release or license S7 in R1?
     
    Darby67 likes this.
  6. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,607
    Likes Received:
    5,079
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Real Name:
    Randall
    I think that most, if not all, of the third party licensing complications that deterred Shout from releasing Hitchcock Presents/Hour are found in the literary sources for the teleplay adaptations for Season 1 of Hitchcock Hour, about two thirds of that first season...I think Shamley/Hitchcock had a more uncomplicated copyright history when the show's producers were routinely commissioning short stories, a lot of which first saw print in monthly publications with their co-owned media licensing...principally, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine...TV rights to adapt previously published short stories from many other publications were also obtained, of course, and some original authors like Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Eric Ambler, Robert Bloch, Link and Levinson, and especially, Henry Slesar adapted many of their own original short stories...

    With season 1 of AHH, you see adapted teleplays derived from long since published full length novels...Cornell Woolrich, Andrew Garve, John Bingham and others...only one I can find that was adapted by the original author was Richard Matheson, from his own novel ("Ride the Nightmare")...the other third of the season's teleplays were short stories via the usual route and some original stories commissioned for the show...season 2 and 3 seem to not be as potentially complex as the sources reverted to the previous pattern of licensed and commissioned short stories...

    I remember reading that Hitchcock, Joan Harrison, Norman Lloyd et al, would use a myriad of literary agents to purchase story rights anonymously, believing that had the authors known that it was for Hitchcock, they would have pressed for more money...rightfully so...perhaps some authors or their estates have pursued legal action with Shamley/MCA/Universal over the intervening years?

    Seeing as AHP and AHH have been successfully licensed to third parties for dvd in the UK and Australia...as I've already said, one is left wondering if legal conventions in the British Commonwealth allow for more easily accomplished third party licensing in new media...and that current legal interpretation of the original contract language in the USA and Canada complicate to an expensive extreme Shout or other third party to license it here...

    All this doesn't let Universal off the hook for their own shabby treatment of this prestigious heirloom property...they could do the right thing and release it themselves!
     
  7. Message #67 of 831 Apr 1, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
    Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    5,208
    Likes Received:
    7,392
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Alan
    (deleted by carab)
     
  8. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,103
    Likes Received:
    368
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    This is a show that should be released, along with those other 1960s NY-based shows The Nurses and East Side, West Side.
     
  9. Message #69 of 831 Apr 3, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
    Pathfiner

    Pathfiner Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    477
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Cornwall, England
    Real Name:
    Jeff
    I do wonder with shows such as The Defenders, also The Name of The Game and those shows Charles mentions above - that is shows that 'raised the bar' re public thinking about current affairs, organised crime, corruption, legal and morale issues etc (i.e. shows that made us stop and THINK about issues )
    - if it is NOT deemed that desirable to have such (often successful award winning) shows out as opposed to say the endless issue of the more 'run of the mill' formularised 'shoot em up' rather bland cop, CSI, and law shows that just see stereotypical 'nasty men' getting their just desserts etc, that is very STANDARD FARE style shows that don't encourage us overweight 'couch potatoes' scoffing our junk food as we watch to think much...plus we get all those very formularised comedy shows too that again DON'T require much thought etc

    it's as if the last thing TV execs want today is an audience who are used to QUALITY television with a stronger expectation for more such shows with the TV 'Quality bar' now firmly fixed in a position 'lowered' ....(??)

    Look how 'dumbed down' the recent Jim Belushi / Jerry O'Connell (both totally wasted) 'flippant' remake version of 'The Defenders' was compared to the original hard hitting sixties version....

    I know some decent shows HAVE come out on DVD of course, but these seem the exception rather than the rule, and an enjoyable but much more formula legal show like say 'Perry Mason' (where the real killer is always in the courtroom at the end !) or say largely non violent 'Columbo' (where the exposed killer always gives up quietly without any struggle at the end !) always seem to get preference both for 'classic TV' reruns or DVD releases etc, over a show such as The (original) Defenders where the guilty sometimes got off, the innocent sometimes were executed etc (as in real life !), that is shows that made the viewer more aware....

    it seems today they want us to be unthinking unquestioning viewers and therefore we get TV like that ...and quite magnificent shows such as The (original) Defenders and those others I mentioned above get wrongly left in the TV archive...
     
    Darby67 likes this.
  10. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,673
    Likes Received:
    2,326
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Read many of the thoughts from frequent posters in this forum. They detest the idea of shows that are about issues and morality. They want good old dumbed down same old same old and its not just the picture they want to be in black and white! Grays where things aren't clear cut and clearly defined are troublesome to many. To each their own. I like a dopey sitcom or drama as much as the next person but I also like shows that make me think as well. And I don't have to agree with a show's point of view in order to appreciate a program. Every David Kelley show pushes his agenda but I can still enjoy his shows, most of the time, even though I get tired of his preaching. But the bottom line is sales, not quality, and quality shows always translate to sales numbers.
     
    Darby67 likes this.
  11. Pathfiner

    Pathfiner Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    477
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Cornwall, England
    Real Name:
    Jeff
    as Bob Dylan once said;

    'money doesn't talk...it swears'
     
  12. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    3,365
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Gary
    Wonder who Neil could be thinking of? I don't know of anyone on these boards like that. :eek:

    In all seriousness, strawman arguments are so unbecoming - even on message boards. I, for one, have never said that shows whose subject matter deal with morality and issues bother me. It's only when I'm "yelled at" by writers and show runners that I get agitated. Being preached at is for church, and being taught is what schooling, parenting, and other aspects of life are all about. It seems to me that some folks confuse entertainment with education and television shows with classrooms. I'm well studied and take plenty of time in my 'real' life to study and deal with the many facets of morality and issues of the day. But when I come home from a hard day's work I prefer my entertainment choices to do just that - entertain me! Not drag me back into the heated political and social issues that consume most other aspects of all our lives. It's called "entertainment" for a reason. If an 'issue of the day' comes about in the natural flow of a show, fine. Just don't be so ham-fisted and in my face about it. That's really all I ask. Some of the social justice shows failed miserably in that respect, imho.


    Gary "just my opinion - others will obviously disagree" O.
     
  13. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    2,630
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Real Name:
    Ron Reagan (not that one!)
    Gary, if they had a "love" button, I would push love! I see TV as escapism; a way to unwind after a hard day. I want to come in and see Uncle Jed pondering that long talk with Jethro, or I want to see Bilko plotting his next scam. I want to take my mind off of things, not see more of what I've witnessed already; I can watch the news and get that.
     
    ChrisALM, Darby67, LeoA and 2 others like this.
  14. phenri

    phenri Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    461
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Paul
    I enjoy watching shows that are of their time; especially doctor and lawyer dramas that aired 40 to 50 or more years ago. I love seeing what was an issue back then and compare it to now. That and the guest stars that appeared on the show as well. This is what often entertains me.
     
    Ron1973, ChrisALM and Darby67 like this.
  15. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    2,630
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Real Name:
    Ron Reagan (not that one!)
    I'm the same way, especially medical dramas/adventures like Emergency! and Quincy, M.E. What was top of the line and new for the day now looks so dated and antiquated.
     
  16. Pathfiner

    Pathfiner Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    477
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Cornwall, England
    Real Name:
    Jeff
    yeah but then EVERYTHING is so "dated"

    - and especially today's TV....!
     
  17. TV_Fan

    TV_Fan Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Chris H
  18. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    5,010
    Likes Received:
    882
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Lee
    Thrilled to see this coming. I like the show a lot, but have only been able to see about a quarter of them, so it's like finding a treasure trove of "lost" episodes of a great series.

    I hope that sales are strong enough to continue the series, as there isn't a big audience that got to know the show via syndicated or cable reruns. At the same time, after releasing the Bold Ones sets, Shout probably has reasonable expectations of the demand for this series.

    I know the details are forthcoming, but from what we already know, they must have gone back to the masters for most, if not all, of these first season episodes. I'm glad they were able to work out that arrangement, and I very strongly wish that Universal would be more amenable to doing the same thing because we could have a number of other good series out on DVD if they would.

    Again, great news about this...and one point for the optimists in the hobby.
     
    Flashgear, Darby67 and JamesSmith like this.
  19. LeoA

    LeoA Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,810
    Likes Received:
    1,373
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    North Country
    Real Name:
    Leo
    Great to see, so I hope it pays off for them.

    While I don't think it's for me, I'm happy when any classic from this era makes it to DVD. Especially when it was as popular as this one, it would've been a shame to see DVD come and go without even attempting it.

    I hope they have some other surprises cooking. My Three Sons deserves a second chance and Petticoat Junction deserves to be unstalled, for two big ones from the 1960's.

    Hopefully some 3rd party is working with them on those like this example and some others from recent times out of the CBS vault.
     
    bmasters9, Flashgear, Darby67 and 3 others like this.
  20. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,240
    Likes Received:
    1,148
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    PA
    Real Name:
    Frank
    So not a big Norman Lear fan than, Gary? I realize that tv is a mirror of real life and vice versa, but I cannot handle show creators shoving their beliefs (mostly liberal) down my throat. I enjoyed watching Designing Women but I was always sickened at how Linda Bloodsworth Thompson would use the Julia Sugerbaker character as a ventriloquist dummy to espouse her own beliefs in those inevitable extended monologes at the end of each episode, especially knowing that if a conservative show creator tried the same thing, the networks would never allow it.Politics aside, don't shove you beliefs down my throat, especially when the other side isn't allowed equal time.
     
    bmasters9, Flashgear, LeoA and 2 others like this.

Share This Page