"I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" reportedly coming

Steve...O

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Mark Evanier, who writes the newsfromme.com blog, had this to say
I don't know if that show — which starred John Astin and Marty Ingels as two hapless constriction workers — was ever syndicated. Until recently, I don't think I'd seen an episode since they originally aired on ABC for the 1962-1963 season but I've always remembered it as a very clever, funny show. But a week or two ago, I saw one and I was delighted to see my memories validated...an experience you may soon be able to experience for yourself. Two different sources are telling me that a complete set of all 31 episodes is currently being prepped for DVD release early next year.

I've never seen an episode, but this is good news for fans vintage era shows.
Steve
 

Michael Alden

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Yes, I've known about this being in the works for almost a year now. There was originally an issue as far as putting together all of the elements but that has now been taken care of. I can tell you it will be done by Smore Entertainment who has already put out several other rare sitcoms. I don't know when the official announcement will be yet.
 

Bert Greene

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Great news. Although the series was before my time, I do have a bootleg tape of four episodes, and I found it to be a pretty darned funny (and rather wacky) show. I was wondering what other things S'More had plans for, after their very welcome initial releases. I'm particularly glad to hear this, because there really hasn't been any nifty surprises lately in tv-dvd announcements, and I was getting a bit disheartened. As for "Dickens/Fenster," although the spotlight is on Ingels/Astin, it also features fun work from Emmaline Henry, whom I've always liked. Again, excellent news.
 

Michael Alden

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You'd be amazed at the hoops that have to be jumped thru to get ahold of some of these shows. First, you have to find something that's not controlled by the major studios. So right away that knocks out 95% of the shows. Then you have to find an individual who not only owns the rights but is willing to go through the trouble for something that, let's face it, isn't going to be a big seller or make anyone much money. Unless the person who produced the show 40 or 50 years ago is still alive, you are then having to deal with family members, who chances are don't really have any emotional attachment to the show. So with them, it comes down to what's in it for them and unfortunately with obscure shows that are 35, 40, 45, 50 years old, not much. And then, if you do make it through all of that, there's the matter of actually finding a complete set of prints. Shows that bombed and had no syndication were not exactly a priority to anyone as far as preservation went. Up until the 80s, if there was no syndication market, a show had no value. Pre-cable explosion, pre-home video market. So many of these properties were doing nothing but taking up space (and costing storage fees). Oh, and then another stumbling block is the bootleggers. Ozzie and Harriet was being considered but there are too many dollar DVDs that are available of the show that people buy at Crapmart to make a legitimate release viable. So the 14 years of pristine masters will sit in the vault while the few horrible quality episodes make the rounds.
 
S

silverking

Michael Alden said:
Yes, I've known about this being in the works for almost a year now. There was originally an issue as far as putting together all of the elements but that has now been taken care of. I can tell you it will be done by Smore Entertainment who has already put out several other rare sitcoms. I don't know when the official announcement will be yet.
This is good news. I don't normally buy comedy releases but will make an exception here.I haven't seen it since the early 60's but still recall one episode 'The Joke' in which discussion about wether a joke is funny or not causes a strike. I thought it was one of the funniest TV episodes ever.
 

Jeff#

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This sounds like it may be a good show. I read about "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" many years ago. John Astin had only done drama before that time (such as when he had a small role as a member of a wagon train going through the desert west in The Twilight Zone episode "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim").
When it comes to early 1960s sitcoms though, I'd much rather see one I have seen "Dobie Gillis" or one I haven't "Hennessey" get released on DVD.
 

Bob Hug

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According to a press release at Image Entertainment, beginning in January 2007, Image will be the distributor for S'more Entertainment products. S'more's DVDs had been previously distributed by the St. Clair Entertainment Group. I'm guessing that Dickens/Fenster might be the first release under the new distribution arrangement.
Link: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix....714&highlight=
 

Michael Alden

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I hope you do enjoy it. The deal for the release fell through due to ABC. Although all paperwork shows otherwise, they are claiming to have a percentage of the rights and are demanding to be compensated, thereby making a release financially not viable. So unless something drastic happens to change this, the show is not coming out.
 

Jeff#

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This show was OK, but not so funny that ABC needs to protect their rights to a 45 year old sitcom that probably wouldn't sell too well other than to Addams Family fans who might buy it just to see John Astin.
 

Michael Alden

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Jeff# said:
This show was OK, but not so funny that ABC needs to protect their rights to a 45 year old sitcom that probably wouldn't sell too well other than to Addams Family fans who might buy it just to see John Astin.
It has nothing to do with "protecting rights" but it is more about typical corporate greed, which ABC/Disney/ESPN is all about. They don't care one iota if the show comes out or not so they have nothing to lose by trying to get a piece of the pie, rightfully or not.
 

mickeyTOR

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Why do we write the big studios off as being greedy just because they insist on getting their fair share? Fine, they're greedy. So what? So am I! So are you! Who cares?

They do have a right to these profits - and if their demanding what is legally entitled to them means that the project is cancelled, it's a shame, but in our 'supply & demand world' - that's life.

I mean, I was planning on releasing a DVD of Season 3 of Desperate Housewives on eBay later this year, but ABC and Disney stopped me. It seems they wanted their fair share of the profits. Go figure - the big guns always preventing me the little distributor and you the purchaser - from what it is that we want.

The reason that the project failed is because the those involved determined that it would not be profitable, plain and simple. It's a shame, but it's not ABC's fault, per se. They are obligated, and it is necessary that they demand a share of the profits that the contract states they earn. Simply choosing not too because this is a 'small project' where 'little profit margin' will be realized, simply doesn't cut it. Making such a decision this time could even work against them next time when they attempt to 'demand' their fair share of the profits from someone else who feels that their project is 'small' and with 'little profit margin'.
 

Michael Alden

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mickeyTOR said:
Why do we write the big studios off as being greedy just because they insist on getting their fair share? Fine, they're greedy. So what? So am I! So are you! Who cares?
They do have a right to these profits - and if their demanding what is legally entitled to them means that the project is cancelled, it's a shame, but in our 'supply & demand world' - that's life..
Uh, maybe because they don't have any rights or ownership of the show? Yeah, little thing like the fact that they don't own it and are just being assholes about it because they can. Other than that, nothing. Maybe you need to have a little more information next time before you post a comment on something you know absolutely nothing about.
So, if I own a multi-billion dollar company, according to you it would be okay for me to hold up a release and claim to have rights I don't have, just because I have a floor full of lawyers that I'm paying? Even if I know I don't have any rights at all but just because I have the money to bully someone. You must be a big fan of corporate America.
 

Jeff#

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Chas_Michael said:
Hi Jeff, are there any other I'm Dickens, He's Fenster episodes availble online?
If there are, I haven't found any yet. That site had other things I was more interested in (such as "The Defenders" with E.G. Marshall), and I just happened to find that one episode of I'm Dickens, He's Fenster.
There were about a half dozen episodes of "The Invaders" and "Route 66" on there too.
 

mickeyTOR

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Michael Alden said:
Uh, maybe because they don't have any rights or ownership of the show? Yeah, little thing like the fact that they don't own it and are just being assholes about it because they can. Other than that, nothing. Maybe you need to have a little more information next time before you post a comment on something you know absolutely nothing about.
Please. As if suddenly you're the the authority on what is right. You've given lots of opinions in this thread - but no facts. Stop jumping on other people for having a say. It is a forum after all!
 

Michael Alden

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Michael Alden said:
You want facts? How about the word of the producer and owner of the series? Is that suficient? How about that I've seen copies of the contracts? You really should understand that not everyone on here is a typical know-nothing fan and that some of us are actually involved in the industry. It's because of people like you and discussions like this one that most knowledgeable posters as well as people who work in the business avoid going on these forums.
 

Michael Reuben

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Michael Alden said:
You want facts? How about the word of the producer and owner of the series? Is that suficient? How about that I've seen copies of the contracts? You really should understand that not everyone on here is a typical know-nothing fan and that some of us are actually involved in the industry. It's because of people like you and discussions like this one that most knowledgeable posters as well as people who work in the business avoid going on these forums.
Actually, it's rude posts like these that drive people away. You have facts? Then please share them. There's no need to belittle other posters while doing so.
To everyone else: There is no need to debate Mr. Alden any further. Please move on.
M.
 

Tory

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I'm sorry if I might appear a little ignorant and optimistic but since ABC has no rights in it then whomever has invested time in the DVD project should release it, sue ABC and go to the press about any manipulations ABC is trying to pull but I guess some battles might cost too much money to fight. Is there anyone that can take up this case or any further legal help that can be pursued? In the least, can't someone in the press give ABC some bad press? I know there are some reporters that read these forums, a deep investigation of this sort of matter and any other examples would make a good story. Would it be possible to make the paperwork pubic?
 

You're right. Either they protect their rights or the law says that they lose their rights. So they have to stop anybody who infringes on their rights, whether it is a distribution company who thinks they have a right to it or whether it is an outright thief who merely blackmarkets stolen products on eBay.
 

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