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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Josh Sieg, Feb 17, 2004.
How come this series is coming out so FAST?
They want it out on the market, and people are buying it.
Because it's the very best TV program ever made in the history of mankind. (Which is a pretty good reason to release all the seasons with rapid dispatch.)
And .... the fact that Paul Brownstein Productions and Image Entertainment, Inc., are two smart outfits....by producing all 5 seasons at virtually the same time, making them very appealing to the "completist" DVD collectors among us. And, knowing that every season is a winner, certainly doesn't handicap the chances of each season set selling well.
Although there *are* of course many younger folk who've never ever seen even one episode. But Image is no doubt counting on good word-of-mouth advertising helping to move these fabulous season sets. I hope it's working. Although, for the most part (except for a few Van Dyke loyal fans here & there), there doesn't seem to be a huge interest in these DVD sets amongst the on-line "Forums" on the Internet (probably due to the generation gap between the age of forum members and the age of this classic TV show). And that *is* very unfortunate IMO. Because these Dick Van Dyke sets are THE definitive TV-on-DVD boxed sets on the market today (IMO, of course).
Also --- Another reason they're coming so quickly is the fact that they've actually been in the works, and "in the can", for close to three full years now (with the original release date for ALL 5 seasons slated for October 3, 2001 -- on the 40th Anniversary of the debut episode). (Per www.dvdondvd.com.)
Then why don't Columbia TriStar release AitF all at once? Huh? Explain that to me.
Beats the heck out of me. I'm not privvy to Columbia 's DVD marketing strategy.
But, they obviously want to see how previously-released seasons sell before committing to future products (which is how nearly all the studios approach these matters it seems).
But, Dick Van Dyke's case was approached a bit differently (thank goodness ) by Image Entertainment. They took a chance and produced all 5 seasons within a short timeframe.
I'm nearly 100% positive that even if Dick Van Dyke Seasons 1 and 2 (released simultaneously) had sold virtually ZERO copies, we STILL would have seen all the other seasons released. Because, just nine days after the Season 1 & 2 release, I received info on the remaining three release dates (meaning they had them planned out, and probably totally completed, well in advance, even before the first sets streeted).
Granted, Image *could* have back-pedaled and halted future sets, but considering the many years of effort and TLC that had already been put into these 158 episodes of the program for their eventual release on Digital Disc, I'm doubtful they'd have canceled future releases even with super-rotten sales. A big gamble? You betcha. I hope it's paying off, big-time, for Brownstein and Image! They've earned it!
It was a huge gamble for image and one that I also hope pays off, but there is another reason I suspect Columbia didn't follow this strategy, the Dick Van Dyke show was only on for 5 seasons whereas AITF was on for 9 seasons, which no doubt factored in to image and their putting this all out relatively quickly. If the series had been a 9 or 10 season show I doubt they would've taken that strategy.
I agree with Casey.
Another factor may be the devoted fan base that the "Dick Van Dyke Show" has. Image knew it would be taking a gamble, but they also knew that there was a core audience out there ready to buy this set. There were a handful of episodes that have long been available on public domain releases and if these were consistent strong sellers (as I suspect they were) then Image would have had access to that information as well. This is not to say that AITF doesn't have devoted fans, but it seems that Van Dyke's fans did a better job of making their wishes known.
In it's day, "All in the Family" was a groundbreaking, landmark show; I used to watch it myself. I've heard reports that it has not performed very well in syndication which may indicate that it doesn't hold up well with today's audiences. That may account for the less than expected sales Columbia experienced. You can't create demand when it isn't there to begin with. You might be able to attract some extra buyers though attractive pricing, etc. but if people aren't interested in the show to begin with then the DVDs won't sell no matter what the price point.
The way for AITF fans to get these seasons out quicker is to do some legwork and come up with appropriate mailing addresses and phone numbers for decision makers at Columbia and contact them directly.
One other factor I guess going along with what Steve said, is that AITF is really dated in terms of its humor with a lot of Nixon/Ford/Carter jokes, and stuff that was pretty topical for 1970's America. Dick Van Dyke with a few exceptions used more timeless humor and jokes that weren't specific to the time period that it took place in, so that's another reason that The Dick Van Dyke show does real well.
Yes, indeed, Casey. No doubt you are correct here.
In fact, Carl Reiner did this specifically, so as to NOT "date" the show in any manner (or very little anyway). Very intelligent forethought on Mr. Reiner's part I've always thought.
There *are* a few instances of "time stamping" TDVDS -- Such as at least 2 references to the President of the day, JFK (one by "Happy Spangler", the old-timer who gave Rob his first job, in the tie store); and in the episode where the gang goes to Sam Pomerantz' hotel, we see "Jackie Brewster" do some "dated" impersonations, including JFK).
But the *only* example I can think of where you can tell even the time of year it is would be the S.3 Christmas episode.