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

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Gary OS, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    Brian Camp
    Since Thursday evening I've watched 28 episodes from my box sets of "Adventures of Superman," all in preparation for a blog entry commemorating George Reeves' centennial today, Jan. 5, 2014. Here's the link:

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  2. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I believe 2014 might be the worst year yet for b/w releases since the late 90's, which was the birth of TV on DVD. Right now I count exactly 3 b/w releases for the first three months of this year. I'm not counting repackaged releases (like Bewitched) or those that have previously been released in complete sets (like Dobie Gillis). I also count the split season releases as one (like Rawhide S7).

    That's a truly dismal number. It might get a little better as the year moves forward, but at this point I doubt we'll average more than a couple of new b/w releases per month, which will be the worst ratio since about 1999.


    Gary " oh well, at least my wallet will be happy" O. :P
     
  3. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    As a quick follow-up, if just three companies released as many b/w season sets as they did last year, I'd be absolutely thrilled. I'm speaking of Timeless, TGG and CBS. All three of those companies also released color seasons of shows I bought, so they really got a lot of my money. If these companies could just match their output from last year it would be great. Unfortunately, from what I see and hear, that's almost assuredly not going to happen. I'm concerned none of them will match last year's b/w release numbers. This is why I personally feel like the ride really is coming to a close. But if that's the case, all I have to do is look at my shelves filled with b/w favorites and a smile crosses my face. So it's all good in spite of the apparent bad news.


    Gary "TGG in particular was a pleasant surprise last year, releasing a dozen or so b/w season sets" O.
     
  4. maskedmala

    maskedmala Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, 2014 might be the worst year yet for b/w releases and one of the reason for this is the fact that two companies are now really quiet compare to what they used to be.- TMG (Timeless Media Group) is not the same company they used to be before the buyout by Shout, in fact TMG is almost dead.- TGG (The Garr Group) after a promising and spectacular start (Highway Patrol, Bat Masterson, Sea Hunt, Ripcord) the last offering from that company is My Mother the Car (a color sitcom from the 60's) and nothing coming from them after that.Both of these companies were a big part of the B&W TV on DVD world but it seems no more.
     
  5. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Bingo, on both counts. It's really a shame too. :(


    Gary "Timeless has all but dried up since the Shout takeover, and in terms of b/w releases things don't look to get any better this year" O.

    P.S. I really, really, really do want to be wrong [fingers crossed].

    P.P.S. This doesn't mean we won't see A-N-Y b/w releases. Of course we will. Just not nearly as many as in years past from what I can tell right now. The b/w output will simply be way down in the companies I've mentioned (unless a minor miracle takes place).
     
  6. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I think the bright spot is that CBS is doing HD transfers for Our Miss Brooks. I know that doesn't ultimately guarantee a DVD/Blu-ray release but it's a bright spot. I just have to wonder what's going to come out of the clear blue to surprise us this year.
     
  7. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Right now that's the best guess for a "pleasant surprise" on the b/w front, Ron. No doubt about it. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.


    Gary "the other one that would qualify in my book is The Rebel, but we'll just have to wait and see if that one makes it" O.
     
  8. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    Does anyone know whether Our Miss Brooks was particularly different on television than on radio. I never thought it was that great of a radio show.
     
  9. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I hope we see The Rebel as well and Our Miss Brooks is a pleasant surprise.
    From the information we have so far Warner Archive should be releasing more Black and White TV shows than they did last year so thats a small win on the positive side.
    We know more Maverick, Dr. Kildare and Sugarfoot are on the way this year as well as Bronco.
    They have strongly hinted at 77 Sunset Strip for this year as part of their quote: "more long awaited classic TV shows". That quote most likely includes some color shows as well.
    They also mentioned that they plan to remaster The Dakotas for a release "if not this year then in 2015".
    The Dakotas news should make a few people happy in this forum :)
     
  10. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    Other than the concern with changing priorities at Timeless, I'm not sure I get the concern about 2014. To a large extent, a decline in B&W releases will be a product of the success of releasing black and white shows. For example, TGG could have held back and released the shows they released in 2013 over time instead of all at once. In other cases, where CBS is releasing color seasons of shows that began as black and white (Gunsmoke, Petticoat Junction, Beverly Hillbillies), I see that as a good thing. If I look back two or three years ago at many of the all black and white shows I wanted most (Beaver, Dennis the Menace, Hazel, Dobie Gillis), they all now all out in full. For 2014, I am still hoping that we may see more ZIV releases and I am looking forward to finishing Maverick. Of course, to me, the one most inexplicable absense from the black and white tvshowsondvd is the rest of Bilko. The fact that it is apparently still stalled is the most frustrating aspect to me of the black and white situation.
     
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  11. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Of course there will always be some decrease as series are finished off or move into color. I get all that. But Timeless and, to a lesser degree, TGG were giving us some of the lesser known titles - of which there are many, many more. If they are slowing down, that's a bad sign for b/w TV on DVD overall.


    Gary "yes, we've got most of the well known b/w titles, but there are so many more that I'd love to see released" O.
     
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  12. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Surely you are talking about me, among others. :D
     
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  13. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    I hope MPI can release the remaining seasons of the Donna Reed Show.
     
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  14. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    This is really true. I think many of us were hoping for shows like World Of Giants , Waterfront , Evergaldes , Dragnet , etc . And I wonder what's going on with the many unreleased Desilu shows like December Bride , Peter and Gladys , Whirleybirds etc . I have my fingers crossed on Desilu's Our Miss Brooks .
     
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  15. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    And me. :)


    Gary "I'd definitely be interested in 'The Dakotas' if/when it is released" O.
     
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  16. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    Warner's is our best friend right now. As someone pointed out, they have many b/w's still on their slate from their on-going ones to some new ones. The only problem with them thus far is that they seem to shy away from releasing sitcoms in general, let alone b/w ones.
    Sadly, other than the Indy Rifleman sets, that seems to be about it right now on the horizon. Apparently, Shout/Timeless has little interest in b/w anymore and save for these Miss Brooks hopes, CBS doesn't seem at all interested on doing anything more with the b/w shows left in their library.
    Honestly, I'm pretty good with all that's been released on b/w over the past years. If we could see the Rebel and if Warner's start bringing Hawaiian Eye seasons out. I think it will be a great year.
     
  17. ChrisALM

    ChrisALM Supporting Actor

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    It looks as if WB will continue with their westerns and move into their detective shows as well.
    It sounds like we will be getting the last volume of Steve Canyon.
    Rifleman sets are also moving now, we can hope that continues all the way through.
    Not sure where we stand with My Living Doll, I'm Dickens, He's Finster - Volume 2, Barbara Stanwyck Show, Burke's Law, Tales of Well's Fargo, Zane Grey Theatre, My Favorite Martian - Season 2 and the various unreleased ZIV shows.
    The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet is uncertain, but as long as Sam Nelsen is involved, we can have some hope for that.
    We have Rawhide coming from CBS/P, and I hope more Gunsmoke. I wish they would continue, or license out, One Step Beyond and Sgt. Bilko to finish them off. Our Miss Brooks would be welcome good news if there is a DVD release. They are also doing Bluray season sets for Andy Griffith Show, Honeymooners Classic 39 and I love Lucy, but I already have DVD sets of these, so my interest is not as much there as it is for new b/w releases.
    Not sure if MPI has anything planned. They did the nice Honeymooners set, maybe they could do Jackie Gleason's American Scene Magazine years.
    TGG Direct and Timeless are quiet, which is not good news. Losing Timeless to Shout has been a real blow for b/w releases. I hope TGG Direct will continue with more ZIV shows.
    Will there be a surprise somewhere along the way? Last year, I never expected Stanley, The complete Dobie Gillis set, or Edie Adams Show, so it's certainly possible.
    Overall, I am not near as optomistic for this year as I was last year. There are still plenty of good b/w shows left, but there are definitely fewer releases ahead, with the exception of WB.
     
  18. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    Whether b&w or color, I'd like to see some more vintage Christmas shows/specials. I really enjoyed watching the Danny Kaye, Lawrence Welk and Dean Martin DVDs I got during the Christmas season.
     
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  19. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    Last night I was in Book Off (used book/DVD/CD store in Manhattan) looking over b&w TV shows on DVD. I thought their offerings were way overpriced, especially since they're used, and particularly the public domain sets (e.g. "Decoy" with Beverly Garland and "26 Men" with Tris Coffin). I was intrigued by "The Adventures of Robin Hood" first season set, and "The Buccaneers" complete set. Each was $10 and each was put out by Mill Creek. I opted not to get them until I've had a chance to locate some episodes on YouTube and watch them to see if they're worth getting. (Never saw "The Buccaneers" and haven't seen "Robin Hood" since childhood.) Don't know if I want to have the whole sets if I decide I don't want to see them after sampling a few eps.

    Anyone have these sets and have some reactions they want to share?

    I wound up buying "Riverboat" (1960), put out by Timeless/NBC Universal, therefore not P.D., and starring Darren McGavin and Burt Reynolds. It had five episodes and was $5. Okay price. I researched it at home and learned that the five eps. on the disc were all made after Reynolds left the show. So, no Burt. :( I watched one ep.: "The Quick Noose." For a series set along the Mississippi in the 1840s, it looked more like a western than anything else. Not the most compelling plot or characters.

    I also bought a $5 DVD of "Transformers The Movie" (1986 animated), which I'd previously only had on VHS.
     
  20. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    The first season Robin Hood Mill Creek sets uses pd quality prints. For the rest of the seasons, Mill Creek seems to have copied the UK Network DVDs from what I have heard. You can probably find the Robin Hood Mill Creek complete series set for around $10 on the net. There is also a thread around here or maybe two about releases put out by Network in the UK. You might check that out.
     

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