Genre tv shows, dvd and syndication...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by todd s, Nov 29, 2001.

  1. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    One thing I have noticed about being a Trek fan and going to a few conventions. Is that not only are the 10's of thousands of scifi fans obsessive about getting related products. But, they are most of the time pretty ahead of the game on home entertainment. How many people still bought the Star Trek shows on vhs even thought it airs in syndication. The quality taped at SP is just a little better, yet we still buy them. And how many of these people will be or have bought the shows on dvd. I have all the Original Series and TNG on vhs that I bought from the store. I have already gotten all the Original series on dvd and as soon as I can preorder it, I will be getting TNG. I did however stop buying DS9 and Voyager on store bought vhs, because I figured I would rather have them on dvd and my SP vhs tv copies would be sufficient. This is what happened, I believe, with Babylon 5. They release the show on vhs. Then rumors(whether official or not) of a dvd release are heard. Now most fans who would buy the entire show on vhs/ld don't. We would know this, because usually we are the ones who visit this and other websites that tell of the rumor. So sales of the vhs/ld drop off. You can't tell me that a show that was saved from cancellation, put onto TNT and then still is a ratings success in reruns on scifi channel won't sell on dvd?

    This brings up my point about other genre shows and syndication. There are so many tv shows that are not big in syndication, but would sell on dvd. For example Space Above & Beyond, Battlestar Galactica, Flash, etc. I would be happy with these shows just coming out uncut and with a pristine picture and sound. Don't get me wrong I would love extras. My point is that even though a lot of the shows I like are in syndication. Their will always be 2 groups of people. The ones who only watch off tv and the ones who will tape or buy a show they like. And by the success of Columbia House's tv collections club. Their is a big market for the buying crowd.

    I really hope we start seeing more obscure(& some non-obscure) tv shows coming to dvd.

    (end rant)
     
  2. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    I've said many times, I'd LOVE Space: Above and Beyond on DVD! I'd tape it off Sci-Fi if it didn't have all those damn trivia bugs! If Sci-Fi is looking for a new show to produce, it out to be this one.
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I've always thought that Sci-Fi should start up their own video club for these neglected shows. But then that would be sabotaging their own airings wouldn't it?

    Count me in for any and all SAAB discs
     
  4. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Cartoon Network puts out DVDs of the cartoons they air, although not in season boxsets.
     
  5. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    Jeff,

    I have to disagree. Their are plenty of shows and movies that I have on tape or dvd and yet when I am sitting around watching and I see it on. I probably still will watch it. For example, one of the premium channels keeps airing "The Replacements" and I still watch it over and over. Same with the X-Files, for which I have all 4 seasons. I think it has more to do with the "Collectors" mentality more than anything else. It comes down to the fact that their will always be people willing to buy a show, even if they can tape it off tv.
     
  6. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    I love buying TV shows that have been released on DVD.
    If money was no concern then I'd own them all [​IMG]
    Gord
     
  7. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    I'll be buying the B5 disc for sure to support getting the show onto DVD and if I didn't have such a money problem then I'd definitely buy at least some of the ST:TNG season box sets. [​IMG]
     
  8. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    I really believe that DVD will have many many TV shows put out in that format. It is really just a matter of time. It took years before VHS had a lot of TV shows in that format and with DVD being far superior it is just logical to happen. The only question is how will it happen, in best of sets or in season boxed sets.
     
  9. Lance Kern

    Lance Kern Auditioning

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    There are many genre television shows that I would LOVE to see on DVD!!! Perhaps DVD will grow to the point where studios will pry open their vaults looking for "new" old material to release. I am sure that many current popular, classic, and cult titles will be released in the future. However, many shows will undoubtedly fade into oblivion. So what makes a television series a good candidate for DVD release? I honestly don't know. There are a few "no-brainers" like Star Trek and The Twilight Zone whose popularity and/or cult status ensured DVD releases. Currently, A&E is releasing "cult" British adventure and sci-fi shows (with mixed sales). A&E is planning more releases of some rather esoteric shows from the old ITC catalog (assuming sales go reasonably well with the current releases). I wish A&E every bit of success. Finally, there are DVD releases of vaudeville-type comedies and variety shows from the embryonic days of television, the 1950's. So, given the sheer volume of TV shows past and present, where does one begin? Most everyone has a cherished television show they would love to see again on DVD but may not have any broad commercial appeal. This is the problem in addition to the disdain some studios have for "black & white" and/or "vintage" material. Given that, here are some of my personal favorites and recommendations that I'll sneak in (Are you studios listening?):

    The Outer Limits (rumored to be in the works);

    Thriller (hosted by Boris Karloff);

    Honey West;

    Peter Gunn;

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents;

    One Step Beyond;

    Way Out;

    The Invaders;

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea;

    Lost In Space;

    The Time Tunnel;

    Land of the Giants;

    Kolchak, The Night Stalker

    Some of these titles have little hope of ever seeing the light of day again. However, quality DVD releases of these and other shows could invoke new interest in these titles and other classic television. Columbia House Video seems to have caught on to this. Otherwise, all the best to everyone!
     
  10. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Lance,
    I like your style. You'll also be pleased to know that A&E will start putting PETER GUNN episodes out on DVD, beginning this Spring, I believe. The Digital Bits "Rumor Mill" once mentioned Paramount working on DVDs of THE INVADERS a while back, but no word about it since.
    My current "want list" of 1950s & 1960s cult/genre TV on Region 1 DVD, would include:
    * THE OUTER LIMITS (original)
    * (Boris Karloff's) THRILLER
    * WAY OUT
    * HITCHCOCK HOUR
    * ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS
    * THE FUGITIVE (original)
    * THE WILD WILD WEST
    * THE ADDAMS FAMILY (original)
    * SUSPICION (short-lived suspense anthology hour, by the HITCHCOCK crew)
    * M-SQUAD
    * DRAGNET (a few episodes from the 1950s version are out)
    * MAVERICK
    * THE INVADERS
    * LAND OF THE GIANTS
    * LOST IN SPACE
    * JONNY QUEST (original)
    * ADAM ADAMANT LIVES!
    * ULTRAMAN
    * More ERNIE KOVACS (a 2-DVD set is out now, but there's much more that could be released)
     
  11. Tiffany A

    Tiffany A Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Peter...I just saw a docudrama based on Ernie Kovacs life...can't remember the name. It was mostly about his marital lfe and child custody battle (very sad). However, it did show parts of his genius...I would love to see his programs. I have never seen anything with him in it! Are his shows in sindication?

    He seems very unique!!!
     
  12. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Tiffany,
    I think that docudrama you saw was called ERNIE KOVACS: BEHIND THE LAUGHTER, though I could be mistaken.
    Kovacs' work isn't syndicated, because it encompasses several different programs he made over the course of a decade, on different networks. He had a morning show in the mid-1950s, with skits and a studio audience. He did videotaped specials in the late 1950s & early 1960s with no audience (or laugh track). He did another live morning show in the early 1950s with no studio audience. Also a game show with celebrity panelists called TAKE A GOOD LOOK. Since much of his work was done for live TV, all that survives of that stuff are some kinescope films, which weren't really intended to archive such programming much longer than a delayed broadcast to stations that weren't on a live feed. His videotape work, which contains much of his pioneering work in TV special effects comedy, is in greater supply, although alot of it was erased (so the tapes could be re-used for TV news and the like), or otherwise disposed of to make more room in the vaults where it was being stored.
    Thankfully, his widow, Edie Adams, managed to save a great deal of material that was otherwise doomed to such a fate. Some of this material (including the stuff he's remembered most for...the Nairobi Trio, Percy Dovetonsils, the all-silent "Eugene" special, etc) is collected on the 2-DVD set I've mentioned, released by a small company called Kultur (formerly known as Whitestar Video, I think). The 5 episodes of "The Ernie Kovacs Show" contained on the DVDs (and a set of VHS tapes, released many years ago) were originally run on PBS stations in the mid-late 1970s. This is where I first saw his work. It's a mixture of comedy bits he'd done over the years, primarily from his later shot-on-tape specials.
    Some of it is quite funny; other bits are just surreal (and not necessarily meant as comedy...sometimes he liked to create surrealist imagery set to music); some stuff falls completely flat, or suffers from the primitive (to us) video technology he had at hand...yet remains interesting to watch as a curio from another age. This is what later lead to LAUGH-IN, then SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and SCTV, which, in turn, inspired DAVID LETTERMAN, KIDS IN THE HALL, CONAN O'BRIEN, SPACE GHOST COAST-TO-COAST, MR. SHOW, etc.
    Still, there is much more of the material Edie Adams saved that isn't currently available on DVD (or VHS, for that matter). A&E did a BIOGRAPHY show on Kovacs a year or so ago, and it contained some tantilizing clips that aren't in the DVD set. There's a hilarious snippet, a parody of HOWDY DOODY, where Kovacs (as the "Buffalo Bob" character), gets into an argument with the Howdy Doody-like puppet, pulls out a pair of shears, and clips its strings...the camera cuts over to the "Peanut Gallery" of kids in the studio audience, all staring at the scene in shocked silence.
    Another bit from that BIOGRAPHY show was a satire on the then-popular gameshow "Beat The Clock" (where husband & wife contestants have to complete silly stunts before the 60-second timer runs out), called "Whip the Wristwatch"; while the couple tries to finish some contrived, idiotic task (such as stacking multiple teacups, one atop another, using only one's teeth), host Kovacs says halfway through, "Let's make this just a little more interesting!", pulls out a pistol, and shoots the husband in the arm!
    There's more of such stuff that I'd love to see on DVD. I believe Edie Adams (who owns it all) is anxious to do this, although perhaps the various DVD companies aren't currently interested.
     
  13. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Lance, I also like your style! Welcome to the HTF!! [​IMG]
    I'm not quite as bad as Gord, in that I wouldn't want to own every TV Show On DVD even if money wasn't an object.
    In fact, I just got through explaining that yesterday in another thread. However, I'd love for more choice to be out there for EVERYBODY, and in the past several weeks the studios have been on a roll! They have looked at sales of X-Files, Simpsons, and M*A*S*H from Fox and pre-release interest in Paramount's ST:TNG, and are now going for it!
    Yay!
    However, in the days prior to this sudden new awareness, there were small, tentative tryouts with many titles, but stores weren't so enlightened as to go along with the tryouts and so the DVD releases faded into obscurity, never to get the follow-up disc releases that were intended. [​IMG]
    One of these titles was on your list:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004RFDS/qid%3D1012047738/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F0%5F1/002-4642302-7039232
    This was released 5/23/2000, and sadly is now OOP. In fact, the company that put it out - E Realbiz - is gone themselves.
    Here's a synopsis:
     
  14. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  15. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    For a general discussion on the industry's approach to TV shows on DVD (and some of the reasons for the recent, sudden, change of heart) see this article from Thursday's Chicago Tribune. The same article was reprinted in yesterday's L.A. Times.
    Even some of the dimmer bulbs in the business are finally "getting it" when it comes to TV shows on DVD. (Realzing the DVD market isn't exactly the same as the VHS market. [​IMG])
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  16. Tiffany A

    Tiffany A Stunt Coordinator

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    Fabulous info Peter! Yes, that was the name of the movie! I will look for the DVD set...was that the same Edie Adams that was a singer with Steve (something)? Just wondering! I would love to see some of the old actors/comedians..wish they would put them on instead of repeating the same shows over and over!
    I say this as I am watching Almost Famous for the 30th time...[​IMG]
     
  17. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    No, you're thinking Steve Lawrence and his wife Eydie Gorme. Lawrence's recording of "Love and Marriage" was used as the theme song for Married with Children.
    I mostly remember Edie Adams from the White Owl cigar commercials she used to do - back when you could still advertise such things on television. (Ernie was a chain-smoker of cigars. One of them probably killed him, though not in the way you'd expect. The police who investigated the car crash that killed him suspected that he either dropped a lit cigar on himself or took his eyes off the road to light it.)
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  18. Tiffany A

    Tiffany A Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Joseph! I really liked that song on Married With Children...such a fabulous show!
    I can't believe the amount of knowledge at this site! It's like when I first discovered ebay and found all the old toys from my childhood that my parents tossed...(and bought them). [​IMG]
     
  19. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Tiffany,
    I got that docudrama title a bit wrong; it was really called ERNIE KOVACS: BETWEEN THE LAUGHTER. You must be watching the Encore channels these days. [​IMG]
    Edie Adams could sing too. She's only in a couple of things on the DVD set (she collaborated with her husband mostly in his live TV shows; the shot-on-tape specials mostly featured Kovacs with a regular stock company of four actors, two men & two women (neither of them Edie)) but one of the DVD's "bonus bits" features her doing a hilarious, spot-on impression of Marilyn Monroe.
    The price of the DVD set from Kultur/Whitestar is a little steep (about $10-15 more than, say, an average Criterion title), but it was worth it to me. I know that Amazon and DVD Planet carry it, I'm not sure who else does. Hopefully, you'll find a place that has it at a good discount. Happy hunting!
     
  20. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    I would LOVE the following shows on DVD:

    * THE WILD WILD WEST

    * THE ADDAMS FAMILY (original)

    * Land That Time Forgot

    * LAND OF THE GIANTS

    * LOST IN SPACE

    * JONNY QUEST (original)

    * Dexter's Laboratory

    and many others....
     

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