Extended episodes

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Alan Lee UK, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Alan Lee UK

    Alan Lee UK Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are, rightly, a lot of complaints on this forum when studios use cut episodes on DVD releases rather than the original broadcast version. How do people feel, though, about the other extreme - when extended episodes are used on the DVDs. The classic example here is Friends - most of the episodes on DVD have anything up to 10 minutes extra footage in them, so the original broadcast versions are unavailable on DVD (unless you buy the R2 sets!).

    Is this the right thing to do, or should the extra footage be included as 'Deleted Scenes'? Personally, I think the extended episodes are a good thing, and I can't see the join where scenes have been added to the Friends episodes. Having just watched the superb deleted scenes on The Office (US) season 1 set, it would have been nice to be able to watch these scenes included in their rightful place within the episodes.
     
  2. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Messages:
    2,342
    Likes Received:
    0
    I prefer having the original versions included on the DVDs, with deleted scenes as a separate bonus feature, or with branching if they want to go for extended episodes.

    With shows like The Office and The Amazing Race, I didn't actually see them the first time around so I'd prefer to see the material as it originally aired instead of having different versions.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    27,765
    Likes Received:
    4,528
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    To me, it points out the "more is better" point of view that some people seem to have. That being said, I'd believe that someone actually involved with the show is tasked with adding material the episodes so you have to hope that they are adding quality material as opposed to just putting every scene back in. Whereas syndicated episodes is more or less just some hack with scissors. [​IMG]

    Is there any show with scenes added directly back into the episode other than Friends?
     
  4. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't there are many, at least not any that do it for every episode like Friends did (which I like, because the scenes reinserted are relevant to the episodes and taken out to get broadcasts under time).

    One I can think of is Alias, where Season 4's "Nocturne" is shown with a scene removed for shocking violence by ABC (it's the Russian roulette scene). In the scene's case, it works brilliantly, since it deepens the experience of what Sydney's going through.
     
  5. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    2
    The thing is, there is not always one "true" episode length. I have worked on episodes where the first airing is actually thirty or forty-five seconds shorter than subsequent network airings, because the episode first aired just before Christmas and the network could sell more ad time, or because it first ran on an election night and the show was made shorter for news updates. I have also done shows where the syndicated cuts are actually twenty seconds longer than the network cuts. Which is the "true" version?

    The length of an episode of commercial television has nothing to do with a creative choice; it's imposed by a network (shows on HBO can be of varied lengths, so creativity is unchecked). Some episodes just come out longer than others, and benefit from being presented longer. Other times, the additional scenes pad the episode without making it better. As somebody has already said, bigger is not necessarily better.

    Incidentally, most syndicated cuts are done by the series' regular editor and approved by the show's producers.
     
  6. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Camas, WA
    Real Name:
    Mark Probst
    I could be wrong but I believe I heard that in the case of Friends it wasn't that scenes were added later, but simply the original longer cuts that the makers of the show started with before they were cut down to network time restraints. If you remember, the last season of Friends aired the longer cuts of the show and called it "super-sized" and shows ran anywhere from 32-37 minutes with comercials.
     
  7. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 1999
    Messages:
    3,238
    Likes Received:
    1
    The extended editions of friends include scenes that were included in countries without such ridiculous amounts of commercial time.
    Don't consider them "extended", consider them the appropriate length, and the original US broadcasts to be edited for time.
     
  8. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those were in a few cases per season, and those episodes run around 30-35 minutes on DVD.
     
  9. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    2


    But all shows run long before being cut down to time. Most shows are between three and six minutes too long in their first cuts ("Seinfeld" episodes were often eight or ten minutes too long). Now much of the cutting from these long cuts is actually just tightening -- taking out a line here or there, deleting some dead air between lines, cutting into scenes later or out of them earlier. Sometimes, whole scenes are cut. First cuts are generally very flabby, but many shows would be better with another minute or two of running time.
     
  10. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Camas, WA
    Real Name:
    Mark Probst
    This is slightly off-topic but it reminds me of another issue about shows remaining true to their original broadcasts.

    The M*A*S*H DVD's feature an optional soundtrack that ditches the laugh-track. Now the producers of the show hated the laugh track but were forced to use it by CBS because the network executives didn't have faith in the public's ability to know when something is funny. Watching these DVDs as the creators originally wanted them (no canned laughter) elevates the show from a sit-com to a much more theatrical experience.
     
  11. Wayne Klein

    Wayne Klein Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    1
    "The X-Files" boxed set does just that and you can watch it BOTH ways. When you go to the special features you can add the scenes back in via seamless branching (there's an X in the corner of the screen to note the deleted scenes).

    Universal's release of "Battlestar Galatica 2.1" will reportedly have the "Pegasus" episode in an extended edition as well. The 2.0 set has the regular edition as well. With all the problems Universal has had with their DVD releases (an example--my "Apollo 13" set purchased last year was scratched. I had to go through five returns before getting two discs that weren't scratched)I'm kind of glad they took this approach.

    I would like to have the option to view alternate versions of episodes as seen in other countries if there are additional scenes. I'm sure the quality would vary by shows weakened by the additional footage while others are strengthened (much like "The X-Files".
     
  12. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,598
    Likes Received:
    354
    I know the American Dreams dvd had "extended music" scenes but to tell the truth I can't tell the difference. The Simpsons typically have the option of playing deleted scenes while watching the regular episode. However, those scenes were all cut and the animation is not necessarily complete in each of them, and the branching option on the Simpsons dvds is incredibly clumsy and ineffective.

    My advice: if the original creators and editors want to reinsert scenes, by all means go ahead. If it's an older series in which most of the participants are no longer around, then keep those deleted scenes as extras.
     
  13. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    27,765
    Likes Received:
    4,528
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    Seamless branching would be if you could choose to play the episode with the deleted scene reincorporated or the original version. Not pressing the enter button when a prompt came on screen. At least the way that Fox set The X-Files discs up, you can see where the scene originally fit. That beats just guessing where it was originally in the script like a lot of deleted scenes that don't give you any idea of its placement.
     
  14. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    13,083
    Likes Received:
    767
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    I don't mind if they add new material, as long as the original footage is all present and accounted for.

    The upcoming release of "Surface" is reported to have added footage in all episodes. I think "Lost" might do this, too, since they often promote "extra scenes" that they show on Good Morning America or Entertainment Tonight.
     

Share This Page