Law and Order (& spinoff) release pattern revisited -Dave or Gord please help !

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mark Silver, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Mark Silver

    Mark Silver Stunt Coordinator

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    I am revisiting this issue because while I understand the previously stated reasons and rationale for the "dual track" release patterns for these three shows, it would be be nice if NBC/Universal would develop some sort of consistency.

    It is my hope that this thread will be visited by the fantastic at Tvshowsondvd.com so that they may be able to get some answers.

    Let me preface this by stating that I intend to buy every season of L&O, SVU and CI.


    To recap for those joining us late to the debate

    L&O Season 1 was released in October 2002. Season 2 was released 19 months later in May 2004. In between, Season 1 of both SVU and CI were released in October 2003.

    Sometime in Spring 2004 it was announced that the release schedule would change and instead of staying in sequential order in Sept 2005 they would be releasing the "current" season of each show to capitalize on advertising for the new fall season. So we got L&O Season 14, SVU Season 5 and CI Season 3. It was explained either officially or unofficially that there would be dual release tracks(meaning both old season and new seasons on separate schedules)

    In May 2005 L&O season 3 was released without any sign of the other two spinoffs.

    Last week Season 2 of SVU was released without any word about CI Season 2 (The only season missing to complete the set).

    Moreover this year they did not release the "current seasons" in September this year. They have announced Season 4 of L&O to be released in December.

    While I applaud the apparent schedule acceleration of the original series, which is the one I want the most anyway, my simple question is:

    IS THERE A PLAN AT ALL and if so WHAT IS IT ?

    Barring an announcement in the near future, it appears that they have abandoned their "current seasons" plan.

    Why is it so hard to release 3 to 4 season of each show per year ?
     
  2. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    A plan? A plan?!! Universal?!

    [​IMG]

    Hoo, that's rich! [​IMG]
     
  3. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    I don't believe there was ever an announcement of a dual-release schedule - it was a one-time thing, more or less.

    Also, any word on a release of Law & Order: Trial By Jury?
     
  4. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Maybe the 14th season didn't sell well enough to continue that schedule. If it had sold like gangbusters then you can bet that we'd be getting season 15 right about now instead of season 4
     
  5. MichaelColvin

    MichaelColvin Stunt Coordinator

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    At least in my opinion one of the reasons why it didn't sell as well it should have is because of the fact that the 3 'latest' seasons of L&O (14, 5 and 3 respectively ) were in full screen and not widescreen even though it was one of the few shows that were formatted for HDTV.

    That plus the strong syndication schedule with TNT and USA.

    But I'd love to see Trial by Jury in widescreen!

    - cheers, Michael
     
  6. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Really? I have to say, given that NBC has even switched Las Vegas and SITCOMS over to widescreen now, if the Law & Order shows were composed for HDTV, then the NTSC versions would be widescreen.
     
  7. Mark Silver

    Mark Silver Stunt Coordinator

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    You are all operating under a premise that I don't know to be true. None of us have any idea how well the "current seasons" sold.

    Personally, I really hope they continue releasing the original series in order, they release Season 2 of CI, then Season 4 (hopefully both this year), and they release Seasons 3 and 4 and 6 of SVU (in order and hopefully this year).

    That way the two spinoffs would be up to date and the original series could plow allow and eventually catch up to Season 14...15...16 etc. in a couple years.

    Despite the fact that L&O started as a self contained show, it has become much more self-referential as a result of the spinoffs, revisitations to prior characters, etc.
     
  8. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

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    With 19 unreleased seasons between the francise (and it is all essentailly the same show... they could release a season every two months for the next several years...

    So I just want them to speed up the release schedual. This is a show though that I wouldn't hazard to guess what Universal is thinking about in terms of the releasing.

    As for the widescreen issue, while I do think that they should have released the seasons that were shot widescreen in widescreen, it's important to remember that it was composed for full screen.
     
  9. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    So far, 10 seasons out of the collective 26 complete seasons have been released on DVD (that's not including the current seasons of L&O/SVU/CI) at the following rate:

    2002: 1
    2003: 2
    2004: 4
    2005: 3

    I agree with Katherine that at least six seasons next year would be good, probably in this order:

    February: Law & Order: CI S2
    April: Law & Order S5
    June: Law & Order: SVU S3
    August: Law & Order: TBJ
    September/October: Law & Order S6/SVU S4/CI S4
    December: Law & Order S7
     
  10. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    After seeing an episode of NYPD Blue in widescreen, I'd have to say that not every show should be released widescreen. It's possible the creative people behind the show prefer the full frame version, so that's why it was released that way.

    Gord
     
  11. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    I know I'm fine with the show in fullscreen. It's not the same as, say, Alias, Lost, Smallville or Desperate Housewives.
     
  12. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I tend to think if Dick Wolf wanted this widescreen, it would be, both on the DVD and the SD broadcasts.
     
  13. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    Especially considering that more and more of NBC's programming in particular is being shown letterboxed (The West Wing, Crossing Jordan, Surface, Las Vegas (I think), Medium, The Office, My Name Is Earl (I think), E-Ring, ER and Inconceivable).
     
  14. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Does NBC have any non-L&O drama left that aren't widescreen? Nothing is leaping to mind.
     
  15. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    Not that I can think of. Heck, their comedies are starting to turn to letterbox form now.
     
  16. AndrewWickliffe

    AndrewWickliffe Second Unit

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    CI Season 2 is coming out in the UK on Nov. 21
     

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