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Josh Steinberg

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Ask 10 people you know who aren't TV collectors or historians about short-run shows that aired 50 or more years ago, and you'll get blank stares. I'm not saying that many of these shows don't have value. They are just not commercially viable.

Agreed.

I love being a collector and I love finding old, obscure stuff as part of that hobby.

But we can’t assume that our very specific hobby is shared with the same passion and enthusiasm as a general audience.

And I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that a show that flopped decades ago would suddenly appeal to a wide audience if only it was made available today. Most of the time, it wasn’t an accident that these shows were canceled the first time around.

The vast majority of TV viewers in any era simply want to turn on the box and be entertained for a little while. They’re not looking to be archaeologists.
 

LouA

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Agreed.

I love being a collector and I love finding old, obscure stuff as part of that hobby.

But we can’t assume that our very specific hobby is shared with the same passion and enthusiasm as a general audience.

And I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that a show that flopped decades ago would suddenly appeal to a wide audience if only it was made available today. Most of the time, it wasn’t an accident that these shows were canceled the first time around.

The vast majority of TV viewers in any era simply want to turn on the box and be entertained for a little while. They’re not looking to be archaeologists.
True, but there are a few of us still willing to give an unknown creaky show a tumble!
 

Josh Steinberg

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True, but there are a few of us still willing to give an unknown creaky show a tumble!

Absolutely!

It’s just that our numbers aren’t sufficiently large to justify expensive work to create new home video masters for properties where there’s no other market for the rightsholders to market them. At this point, disc releases are more likely to be side effects of a cable or streaming network licensing a title and paying for transfers.
 

Pmprod7

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In another article about Netflix they had an executive there saying they like going after shows that lasted only one season or less to put on the site (although they probably mostly mean ones from the last twenty years and not thirty to sixty years):
I see he mentions Harry-O 1974 but the others are more modern shows.
I wonder how the site CTV is getting transfers of their old Columbia shows on their Throwback section. Did they have a problem with finding them in the vaults?
Also I don't know where Bob Bakash of ViacomCBS stands at getting old short lived shows to put on Paramount Plus.
The frustrating thing is that other executives and audiences only care about the present and future shows and act as if all those obscure shows from earlier than the 90's are a foreign element they don't give any thought to.
They have to do something with all those enjoyable TV shows that lasted short amounts of time but are still entertaining. They can't just let them rot in the vaults never to be seen again.
 

jcroy

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They have to do something with all those enjoyable TV shows that lasted short amounts of time but are still entertaining. They can't just let them rot in the vaults never to be seen again.

The only way something sees the light of day under current circumstances, is if Viacom appoints a film preservationist to run the entire Paramount/CBS division with the power to call the shots and set budgets.
 

Chip_HT

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In another article about Netflix they had an executive there saying they like going after shows that lasted only one season or less to put on the site (although they probably mostly mean ones from the last twenty years and not thirty to sixty years):
Just to clarify, that blog post is from 2010. The Netflix and streaming landscape have changed immensely in the past decade.

I see he mentions Harry-O 1974 but the others are more modern shows.
The "he" in question is the blogger, not the executive.
 

Wiseguy

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Forgot about the Chicago Teddy Bears (1970) Dean Jones and John Banner
and the King and I (1970) with Yul Brynner.

For some reason the short lived series from the sixties and seventies have my attention. Chicago Teddy Bears sort of was like Hogans Heroes set in 1930's Chicago. Why can't we have that kind of creativity with television today? Television had standards back then.

--jthree
The Chicago Teddy Bears premiered in Fall 1971. John Banner was still on Hogan's Heroes in 1970-71.

The King and I on TV was called Anna and the King (based on the title of the book and non-musical movie). It premiered in Fall 1972 immediately before another sitcom based on source material previously adapted into a motion picture* - M*A*S*H (the only season it was broadcast on Sundays).

*This isn't the first time this occurred. Two years before ABC premiered (on Thursdays) Barefoot in the Park immediately followed by the premiere of The Odd Couple, two more sitcoms based on source material already adapted into motion pictures. In both cases, the first series only lasted a few months while the second lasted for years and are now considered classics.
 

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