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HEARTS AFIRE on blu-ray? Don't count on it (redux)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by deepscan, Mar 14, 2019.

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  1. deepscan

    deepscan Stunt Coordinator

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    There is one show that is on my mind that we may perhaps never see on Blu Ray...the underappreciated and overlooked TV series "Hearts Afire" (with John Ritter and Markie Post), that ran on CBS in the '80s.

    This is one sad case where Lionsgate missed out on its rights. I can just betcha that not getting the video rights to (or acquiring the underlying rights to) this series was Lionsgate's biggest regret.

    As controversial as the show was, "Hearts Afire" was (and remains) a show ahead of its time.

    It is my understanding that this was an independent production (made outside of Sony, which produced and owns outright Mozark's previous series, "Designing Women"--their next series, "Evening Shade", was produced with CBS). There have been other companies involved with its syndicated distribution. It has been said that Genesis Entertainment (another indie company which produced a courtroom fiction series, "The Judge", that later merged with New World, and after being caught up in the Fox acquisition, split once again and today is known as the domestic distributor of the Michael Landon series "Highway To Heaven") was involved with the international syndication and may have also been the domestic syndicator as well.

    This much is known..the show is known to exist only on SD video masters (the "CBSStereo Sound" logo is shown at the beginning of each episode)--we don't know where or if 35MM elements are available), and the underlying rights are controlled by the Ritter estate and Mozark, and they decide how and when it can be released. It has seen two DVD issues, one by Image Entertainment (now RLJ), and the most recent one by Mill Creek Entertaiment. If Lionsgate attempted to acquire the home video rights, and was outbid for these rights, this may have represented a major setback for the company that has scored big on major independent output deals, such as their current ones with A24 and StudioCanal, but conversely missed out on other indie deals with Annapurna and Bleecker Street (it seems the tougher guys, like Fox and Sony, always snag them). We also know that the show is now available on digital streaming services with the FilmRise logo at the head of the episodes (this may indicate FilmRise bought at least the digital rights to the show).

    If indeed 35MM elements are either missing or tossed, then we may never see a blu ray or HD release of this series. So who do we blame for this? The Ritter estate, Mozark, Lionsgate, Genesis, or New World/21st Century Fox (itself about to be urseped by Disney). I hope someone can make some light on this issue...
     
  2. deepscan

    deepscan Stunt Coordinator

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    Once again fans...just another thread no one responds to. I know what you are all gonna say..."Thank you, next".
     
  3. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Supporting Actor

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    I loved Hearts Afire. Watched the entire network run and own the Image DVD release. I even liked it more when the format changed from D.C. to the small town where they ran the newspaper. Political humor badly dates a show with repeat viewings. Markie Post was the epitome of "smart and sexy" women in the 90's for me.
    hearts-afire-057f7feb-39ba-4b82-9ed7-6ba8571e4eb-resize-750.

    I consider the sitcoms of the 90's to be a second golden age of television surpassed only by those of the 60's. I never understood how so few of them made it to home video of any sort. I'd love to see the show in HD, but I consider it a miracle the show was released on DVD at all to be honest.
     
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  4. Bimbo19

    Bimbo19 Extra

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