Is there any reason(s) why "AIRWOLF" has not returned?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MartyG, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. MartyG

    MartyG Extra

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    Anyone know why Universal are taking forever to releases Seasons 2-4 of the Eighties action/adventure cult classic, "Airwolf", starring Jan-Michael Vincent, Ernest Borgnine, and created/executive produced by Donald P. Bellisario ("Magnum, p.i.", "Quantum Leap", "J.A.G.", "N.C.I.S.") ?

    I've e-mailed Gord Lacey and David Lambert, to see what they can do.

    To express the immense, international interest in Seasons 2-4 of "Airwolf", visit this petition:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/nm54910c/petition.html

    And also, believe it or not, a full-size, detail-for-detail replica of the original "Airwolf" helicopter, is being made as we speak - visit the following websites for more information and photos, as well as info. on replica 2nd/3rd Season flight-suits and replica flight helmets, as used in the original series:

    http://www.airwolf.tv

    http://www.airwolfthemes.com
     
  2. Bonnie*F

    Bonnie*F Stunt Coordinator

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    David Lambert (TVShowsonDVD.com fame) posted the following link http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=5868
    on 6/17 which in turn links to a magazine article that explains why certain shows are not going to get subsequent season releases. And Airwolf is one of them.
    Personally, I would like to add season 2 and 3 to my collection. Sorry, 4 was just changed too much from the previous ones. If they had introduced the changes a little slower, maybe I would feel differently. I hope your petition works. Good Luck!
     
  3. ElizM

    ElizM Agent

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    Airwolf is a great show. I remember it well. Just bought the S1 dvds. They should arrive in a day or so. I really hope we see seasons 2 & 3.

    I will buy them asap.
     
  4. RogerH

    RogerH Supporting Actor

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    I wish they would come out too. Come on Universal [​IMG]
     
  5. MartyG

    MartyG Extra

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    Well, I sure hope that those Universal bastards decide to "farm out" "Airwolf" to a smaller publishing studio...
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Why does everyone seem to assume that if a studio issues one season of a series they're automatically going to release all of them?

    When a new series debuts on televisoin people understand that it might get cancelled and not run a full 24 weeks, much less a full 7 years. If the ratings aren't there, the show goes away. Nobody thinks the studios or networks "owe" "complete" series to fans in that context. The same is true of books, magazines, movie series, etc.

    Why are DVD releases assume to be the only thing in the world that is immune to market forces? If season one doesn't sell well enough to return a profit, or enough of a profit to be worthwhile to the studio, there won't be a season two. This isn't a difficult concept. Or at least it shouldn't be.

    Economics is all about the allocation of scarce resources that have alternative uses. The time, money, and raw materials required to produce a season of Airwolf (a show I happen to like) could be used to produce another series or six or seven feature films. All of the resources (the time and skills of digitizers and compression experts, menu designers, space on replication schedules, warehouse space and transport) needed to produce a DVD disc are finite, and any decision to produce "X" at a given time necessarily involves a decision not to produce "Y". The studios are thus always in the position of having to choose among competing demands. There aren't binary "right" and "wrong" choices in these situations. There are no answers that can make everyone happy. There are, at best, trade-offs. That's the reality.

    And "farming a series out" doesn't make the profit picture easier, it makes it harder. The third party company must pay a license fee to the original studio, and then pay all the other costs of producing the DVDs. There are very few series that are exactly on the profitability bubble they need to be to make something like this work. (Seres "X" being marginally profitable to the studio if produced, but so much less than other series that it makes sense to do those and license "X" to someone else. Market researching indicating that "X" has a high enough sales potential at the necessarily higher price point the third party will have to charge to be worthwhile for the third party. How many shows like thathave there been?)

    The only other case where this works is a show the studio has little confidence in where a third party comes to them and offers a substantial license fee to issue it. (In most cases the mere third-party approach will cause the studio to reconsider and release the series itself on the theory that "these guys might no something we don't" and "100% of something is better than 20% of something.")

    In neither case can the studio just "decide" to license a series to a third party. There actually has to be a third party willing to pay for the show. If all of them have looked at the season one sales for a given series and also decide they can't make money on it, the studio can't "farm it out."

    The fantasy is that the studios have the time, money and resources to do whatever they want, and that every TV show no matter how obscure can and will sell enough copies to make lots of money. Therefore any decision not to continue a series is personal, somehow obscurely the result of "greed" (although how greed is sastified by not selling something is never explained) and the generally viciousness of the studio execs, who are supposed to have a moral obligation to release every episode of every series they start, even if they have to lose money to do it.

    In this veiw, since there are no actual economic constraints, petitions and protests can get the studios to slit their own throats by releasing unprofitable series, and studio home video executives will cheerfully do so, without fear that their bosses might very sensibly fire them for doing their jobs so badly.

    Unfortunately, there are economic constraints and economic realities which cannot be altered by petitions and protests. Ditto the actions based on those realities.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  7. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    I have most of the Columbia House DVDs of Airwolf, so they did farm it out once!
     
  8. Al_D

    Al_D Agent

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    When Airwolf was first released it listed for the same price as other releases that had 24+ episodes and it only had 11 episodes. It took me a while to purchase the set as I did not feel as if I was getting the best bang for my buck in entertainment time, even though I absolutely love the show. Season 2 and 3 had 22 episodes each and Season 4 had 24 episodes so I would not have a problem getting them.
     
  9. ElizM

    ElizM Agent

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    Did Columbia house release just season 1 or seasons 2 & 3?
     
  10. Jonny P

    Jonny P Supporting Actor

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    It was indeed rather "pricey" for 11 eps...

    Of course, I think Universal tends to be rather pricey as a general rule. I do believe that might have stifled sales of the set.

    I own the set...loved the show as a kid. I'd like to see more "Airwolf" released.
     
  11. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Eliz i am missing 2 episodes from season 2. I know one of them has Airport 77 footage, and i have the first 6 episodes of season 3. I know they didnt finish the series, but i dont know how i missed a season 2 disc. Columbia House just seemed to send what they had. I dropped them because of price, and i kept needing to exchange scratched discs. For almost $25 a disc i better not have 1 scratch!
    If Universal released season 2 and 3 i would buy them, for the right price, and no DVD 18s.
     
  12. JeffCNY

    JeffCNY Agent

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    You've a valid point here, Joe. I >used< to think there was some basic level of commitment to customers that could be called into play, but obviously that's become an absurd expectation nowadays.

    But, there IS a difference between releasing vintage TV product and, to use your comparison, to an in-production TV show.

    A four-season show from the 60's or 70's or whenever is, technically dead media. It's over and done with, and while it sits in a studio vault it costs the studio nothing (saving storage, copyrights, etc.) but it also doesn't earn anything. Therefore, a DVD release of an old product quite literallly generates money from nothing. The product has a proven track record, either in its original ratings, or syndication sales over the years, and it's safe to assume they know what will earn something and what won't.

    For obvious reasons, an in-production show is entirely different that I need not detail.

    I suppose my major gripe (and I do understand why shows are abanonded if First Season releases generate so little revenue as to not make any output of expense in marketing, mastering, advertising, legalities, etc. worthwhile) is that --- despite all this --- the studios still regularly make rather grandiose announcements for Season 1 releases of shows like HAWAII 5-O (which ran for 10 or more seasons) when it's almost laughably transparent that whatever fan base the show has (and, fans = customers) will be miraculously lucky if they ever get beyond a Season Two release.

    Finally --- and this is important, not all but MANY television shows never hit their stride until the 2nd season. By then, the production team found out what (or who) didn't work, and made adjustments accordingly. Therfore, invariably, the most beloved characters or episodes or story-lines, never materialize until the 2nd or 3rd or even 4th season. And, fans may well prefer to wait for (at least) the 2nd season before rushing out to buy. By abandoning shows after the 1st or 2nd season, everyone loses.

    Ok --- I know that was long-winded, but your well thought out comments deserved at least half that much in reply, I figured. [​IMG]

    Jeff
     

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