Is the b&w era of TV on DVD slowly coming to an end?

jcroy

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smithb said:
With that in mind I have most of what I viewed back then, and a lot more that I never knew even existed. So my initial reaction would be "how much could still be left?" that would be a great interest. Obviously, when you participate in a forum such as this you find out quickly how little you really know about the shows of that period, and how much interest there still is. So for me now, it is about finding the gems I never knew about.
However, there you have a problem:
- Age and interest wise, I am probably a better then average candidate for the studio's to market to. And if my demand for TV shows from the b/w era is waning based on what is left on my wanted list, and my knowledge of TV shows from that period in general, how must that look to the studio's making the decisions on what to release.
...
Other then some noted titles that have had large cult followings for decades (e.g., Twilight Zone), releases from this period have not exactly been flooding the marketplace. Many titles have even tended to only trickle out slowly and stall occasionally. So with even more obscure titles from a general knowledge standpoint, I would say it is unlikely they will ever be released.
So Yes, I agree with the assumption that as the focus continues towards more and more obscure titles, the end is coming closer and closer due to smaller returns on higher risk titles.
Speaking for myself, I've been noticing the same thing for 1980's era shows in genres I'm interested in.
I'm around a decade younger, where I was a kid of the late-1970's and 1980's. I was mainly into cheesy action type tv shows, with lots of gunfire, explosions, destruction, car chases, etc ... and other forms of physical violence. (Shows like The A-Team, Knight Rider, Airwolf, Miami Vice, Dukes of Hazzard, MacGyver, etc ...).
In the 1980's cheesy action tv show genre, at this point it appears to be mostly slim pickings left. Most of the major action shows and some of the lesser known ones, have already been released on dvd.
I've been reading through wikipedia and other websites, searching for other 80's action shows I forgot about or missed completely. So far I haven't found many which greatly interest me.
I've also been looking into action and cop type tv shows from the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and 1990's. With the exception of shows I watched in reruns, for some reason very few of these non-80's action/cop type shows have struck an "emotional resonance" for me. (I've been "blind buying" the dvds of some of these non-80's shows, such as: Baretta, Renegade, The Commish, early seasons of Hawaii Five-O, Dragnet, etc ... ). As far as I'm concerned, to me these shows are not much different than watching episodes of modern shows like CSI, Law & Order, etc ...
At this point, I don't have much hope in seeing many further dvd releases of yet-to-be-released cheesy action type tv shows, which could interest me.
B&W tv shows aren't the only niche, where this is happening.
 

ahollis

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Originally Posted by Richard V /t/317650/is-the-b-w-era-of-tv-on-dvd-slowly-coming-to-an-end/30#post_3887802
Might have been Hey, Landlord.
Hey, Landlord was in color. The peacock spread his feathers for the one season it was on.
 

ahollis

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Originally Posted by MattH. /t/317650/is-the-b-w-era-of-tv-on-dvd-slowly-coming-to-an-end/30#post_3887783
Great thread, guys. I've really enjoyed reading it.

Just got me to wondering: since TV production had switched to full color by around 1966-67, what was the last series to be produced totally in black and white? It would have to have been a show with a short run since shows like Bewitched started in b&w and switched to color. Was it Honey West?
It would have had to be on ABC or CBS for I believe that NBC had moved to all color by then. The Judy Garland Show would have been the last of the B&W variety shows. One of the reasons it died, was that it was on opposite of the colorful Bonanza.
 

ahollis

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Rawhide, The Adams Family, The Munsters, Honey West, Perry Mason (Except for the one episode in color), and McHale's Navy either ended their runs in the 1965-66 season or only lasted one season and all episodes were in black & white. NBC's schedule that season was all color. The other networks were hit and miss with color. Also Burke's Law/Amos Burke-Secret Agent was a black & white series that ended the 65-66 season, but was revived in 1994, in color, so it counts and then it does not count.

Which by the way, I do wish they would finish the Burke's Law seasons. That was a really a great show. As a little kid, I remember sitting in my grandparents bedroom watching that show, for it was a favorite of my grandfathers. Thank goodness Honey West is on DVD and it is still a hoot to watch.
 

FanCollector

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I think Matt meant the last series to premiere that went on to be entirely in black and white. Otherwise the list, as you point out Allen, would be quite long.
 

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Speaking of NBC and all color, was I Dream of Jeannie their last show to premiere in black and white? I remember the producer being interviewed in TV Guide and he mentioned the special effects were difficult to pull off in color but they were going to go to color anyway.
 

jcroy

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MattH. said:
Speaking of NBC and all color, was I Dream of Jeannie their last show to premiere in black and white? I remember the producer being interviewed in TV Guide and he mentioned the special effects were difficult to pull off in color but they were going to go to color anyway.
The first episode of "Get Smart" was in black & white. (At least on my Get Smart complete series dvd box set, and according to wikipedia and tv.com).
The rest of season 1 of "Get Smart" is in color.
According to wikipedia and tv.com, both first episodes of "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Get Smart" premiered on Saturday September 18, 1965 on NBC.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ethan Riley /t/317650/is-the-b-w-era-of-tv-on-dvd-slowly-coming-to-an-end/30#post_3888307
Was there ever a time when there were large quantities of B&W tv dvds being released?
Absolutely! B/W TV on DVD was being released in far greater quantities just a few years ago. I did a quick comparison of the final quarter of '08 vs the first quarter of this year and it looks like we are only at about 25% of what we were then, if that. There were months in the 2000's where we'd hit a dozen or more b/w releases, and most of the time we could expect at least half a dozen new releases. We certainly aren't hitting those figures now. So we are down. And while I agree that a large percentage of the more well known classics have already been released (though even many of those languish with slow release schedules or have been stalled out), there are still a few big name titles that have yet to see proper season set releases. And when you add in what we might call second tier shows (and what is or isn't a 2nd tier show is often a matter of opinion) the list is still quite long. There's plenty of gold left to be mined, so to speak.


Gary "well placed anecdote, Joe - it definitely proves our point" O.
 

Richard V

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ahollis said:
Hey, Landlord was in color.  The peacock spread his feathers for the one season it was on. 
Oh damn, my mistake. Could have sworn it was b&w.
 

Richard V

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Gary OS said:
     Quote:
Absolutely!  B/W TV on DVD was being released in far greater quantities just a few years ago.  I did a quick comparison of the final quarter of '08 vs the first quarter of this year and it looks like we are only at about 25% of what we were then, if that.  There were months in the 2000's where we'd hit a dozen or more b/w releases, and most of the time we could expect at least half a dozen new releases.  We certainly aren't hitting those figures now.  So we are down.  And while I agree that a large percentage of the more well known classics have already been released (though even many of those languish with slow release schedules or have been stalled out), there are still a few big name titles that have yet to see proper season set releases.  And when you add in what we might call second tier shows (and what is or isn't a 2nd tier show is often a matter of opinion) the list is still quite long.  There's plenty of gold left to be mined, so to speak. 
Gary "well placed anecdote, Joe - it definitely proves our point" O.
OK, based on Gary's post. Top Tier B&W Series still unreleased in DVD: 1. Ben Casey 2. Dr. Kildare 3. The Defenders 4. East Side/West Side 5. Twelve O'Clock High (except for final color season) 6. The Lineup
2nd Tier B&W Series : 1. Mr. Novak 2. The Gallant Men 3. The LIeutenant 4. The Breaking Point 5. The Human Jungle 6. The Eleventh Hour
All series not necessarily in that order. More nominations certainly welcome.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard V /t/317650/is-the-b-w-era-of-tv-on-dvd-slowly-coming-to-an-end/30#post_3888748
Oh damn, my mistake. Could have sworn it was b&w.
You did swear.


Gary "sorry, I couldn't resist - especially in a thread about b/w shows where such language would have been a no-no" O.
 

Gary OS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard V /t/317650/is-the-b-w-era-of-tv-on-dvd-slowly-coming-to-an-end/30#post_3888751
OK, based on Gary's post. Top Tier B&W Series still unreleased in DVD: 1. Ben Casey 2. Dr. Kildare 3. The Defenders 4. East Side/West Side 5. Twelve O'Clock High (except for final color season) 6. The Lineup
2nd Tier B&W Series : 1. Mr. Novak 2. The Gallant Men 3. The LIeutenant 4. The Breaking Point 5. The Human Jungle 6. The Eleventh Hour
All series not necessarily in that order. More nominations certainly welcome.
I like that list, Richard. I think Lassie has to be high up on my Top Tier list (season sets I'm talking about). Same would go for Ozzie & Harriet, with fingers crossed we see it happen down the road. Dobie Gillis would probably qualify as a Top Tier show as well, at least in terms of name recognition. Then again, who knows nowadays.


Gary "more later - gotta run" O.
 

smithb

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Besides just listing unreleased series, it would help if some in the know could elaborate on information that could help better understand the likelihood of a series ever being released.
For example,
- are masters available?
- has it been converted to video?
- what shape is it in?
- when was it last broadcast?
- studio in control of the rights and any potential rights issues?
I'm not all that knowledgeable on all the bits of information that would indicate whether a release is more likely for a title, those above just came to mind. But i think it could help better understand the possibilities. For example, "Twelve O'Clock High" and "Lassie" continue to be broadcast and the prints look decent, so I would think something else must be standing in the way (i.e., Classic Media for Lassie?). Then there are other titles like "Defenders" where the prints I've seen are pretty questionable, and I don't think it has been broadcast in some time (cost might be the issue?).
So if someone started a list and those with a strong knowledge of the industry threw in their "two cents" on each title, it might provide a better understanding to the rest of us of the possibilities going forward. just a thought.
 

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smithb said:
Besides just listing unreleased series, it would help if some in the know could elaborate on information that could help better understand the likelihood of a series ever being released.
For example,
- are masters available?
- has it been converted to video?
- what shape is it in?
- when was it last broadcast?
- studio in control of the rights and any potential rights issues?
I'm not all that knowledgeable on all the bits of information that would indicate whether a release is more likely for a title, those above just came to mind. But i think it could help better understand the possibilities. For example, "Twelve O'Clock High" and "Lassie" continue to be broadcast and the prints look decent, so I would think something else must be standing in the way (i.e., Classic Media for Lassie?). Then there are other titles like "Defenders" where the prints I've seen are pretty questionable, and I don't think it has been broadcast in some time (cost might be the issue?).
So if someone started a list and those with a strong knowledge of the industry threw in their "two cents" on each title, it might provide a better understanding to the rest of us of the possibilities going forward. just a thought.
The problem with Twelve O'Clock High is that it is owned by Fox and they currently have no interest in releasing older shows especially b & w and seem to no longer be willing to license anything out either. I wish that would change as thats a show I would love to get.
On a more positive side: The Gallant Men is being Prepared for release by Warner Archive and I seem to recall they have mentioned The Lieutenant is being considered.
 

Gary OS

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Originally Posted by smithb /t/317650/is-the-b-w-era-of-tv-on-dvd-slowly-coming-to-an-end/30#post_3888758
Besides just listing unreleased series, it would help if some in the know could elaborate on information that could help better understand the likelihood of a series ever being released.
For example,
- are masters available?
- has it been converted to video?
- what shape is it in?
- when was it last broadcast?
- studio in control of the rights and any potential rights issues?
I'm not all that knowledgeable on all the bits of information that would indicate whether a release is more likely for a title, those above just came to mind. But i think it could help better understand the possibilities. For example, "Twelve O'Clock High" and "Lassie" continue to be broadcast and the prints look decent, so I would think something else must be standing in the way (i.e., Classic Media for Lassie?). Then there are other titles like "Defenders" where the prints I've seen are pretty questionable, and I don't think it has been broadcast in some time (cost might be the issue?).
So if someone started a list and those with a strong knowledge of the industry threw in their "two cents" on each title, it might provide a better understanding to the rest of us of the possibilities going forward. just a thought.
That's a great idea, Brad. I don't know the answer to most of those questions when it comes to most series, but I'm sure people here can chime in every so often.


Gary "when we add in stalled or abandoned b/w shows, the list of vintage TV yet to be released is actually still quite large" O.
 

Gary OS

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Although I've taken matters into my own hands with some series, here are a few stalled, and/or abandoned, and/or very slow release schedule, b/w series I'd like to see completed:

The Untouchables
Mr Peepers
Joey Bishop
Make Room for Daddy
Rawhide
HGWT
Highway Patrol
Gunsmoke
Naked City
Lone Ranger
Zane Grey Theater
My Three Sons
Route 66 (hopefully finished this year)
Real McCoys
Mr. Ed
Lawless Years
Loretta Young Show (not every ep released yet)

And if we count compilations, or "Best of" DVDs, here are just a few that need Season Set releases:

Lassie
Ozzie & Harriet
Dragnet (50's)
and dozens more.

Some that haven't even gotten out of the blocks yet would include:

Rin Tin Tin
Bachelor Father
Dobie Gillis
Dr. Kildare
Our Miss Brooks
and dozens upon dozens more.

I don't buy into the attitude or train of thought that says we've basically tapped out the b/w material and that's why we are seeing a slowdown. There are reasons, but lack of material isn't one of them!


Gary "I honestly don't think we will see a turnaround, but it was fun while it lasted and there are still some goodies yet to come" O.
 

Regulus

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Gary OS said:
Although I've taken matters into my own hands with some series, here are a few stalled, and/or abandoned, and/or very slow release schedule, b/w series I'd like to see completed:
The Untouchables
Mr Peepers
Joey Bishop
Make Room for Daddy
Rawhide
HGWT
Highway Patrol
Gunsmoke
Naked City
Lone Ranger
Zane Grey Theater
My Three Sons
Route 66 (hopefully finished this year)
Real McCoys
Mr. Ed
Lawless Years
Loretta Young Show (not every ep released yet)
And if we count compilations, or "Best of" DVDs, here are just a few that need Season Set releases:
Lassie
Ozzie & Harriet
Dragnet (50's)
and dozens more.
Some that haven't even gotten out of the blocks yet would include:
Rin Tin Tin
Bachelor Father
Dobie Gillis
Dr. Kildare
Our Miss Brooks
and dozens upon dozens more.
I don't buy into the attitude or train of thought that says we've basically tapped out the b/w material and that's why we are seeing a slowdown.  There are reasons, but lack of material isn't one of them!
Gary "I honestly don't think we will see a turnaround, but it was fun while it lasted and there are still some goodies yet to come" O.
I've "Taken Manners into my own hands" quite a few times myself. :D
 
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Just want to briefly say I'm in complete agreement with Gary O, it's not due to being tapped out of material, there are TONS of shows from the 1950's and first half of the 1960's that have never been touched for any kind of release (yet, I hope).
Yes, I know we won't see them on pressed DVD or for sale in Walmart (I haven't bought a DVD at Walmart in about 7 years), but they can certainly be part of the burn on demand market. Some of the shows have alreday been converted to digital and are airing on Antenna TV and MeTV (Burns and Allen and Bachelor Father for example). It would be a relatively easy matter to package them for release as burn on demand DVD's.
 

Gary OS

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Quote:
Regulus said:
/t/317650/is-the-b-w-era-of-tv-on-dvd-slowly-coming-to-an-end/30#post_3889686
Just want to briefly say I'm in complete agreement with Gary O, it's not due to being tapped out of material, there are TONS of shows from the 1950's and first half of the 1960's that have never been touched for any kind of release (yet, I hope).
Yes, I know we won't see them on pressed DVD or for sale in Walmart (I haven't bought a DVD at Walmart in about 7 years), but they can certainly be part of the burn on demand market. Some of the shows have alreday been converted to digital and are airing on Antenna TV and MeTV (Burns and Allen and Bachelor Father for example). It would be a relatively easy matter to package them for release as burn on demand DVD's.
I'm sure MOD programs will pick up some of the slack. I'm just not sure how much. Nor am I sure how much of their current pricing structure I can take. LOL


Gary "then again, where there's a will there's a way" O.
 

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