Mad About You - With Pilot Episode Sports Night PLUS Pilot Episode

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MishaLauenstein, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. MishaLauenstein

    MishaLauenstein Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    Misha Lauenstein
    What's going on here.
    Why are these shows touting the Pilot episode on their packaging.
    The Mad About You pilot was the first one aired. I remember watching it.
    epguides.com shows the Sports Night pilot airing on
    September 22, 1998.
    So why would they even mention it?
    To me, a 'series' means all episodes that aired.
    Any unaired episodes, including earlier pilots, would be worth noting on the packaging as these are bonuses.
    Is this the result of complaints by buyers of the All In The Family that the 1st Season set didn't contained any of the UNAIRED pilots?
    Could the people who put these things out really be that stupid? Or should we blame the marketing people?
    Also, with regard to Sports Night, the word PLUS indicates to me that it is a BONUS episode, whereas the Mad About You one is merely silly and not something I could sue over. [​IMG]
    Anyone have any insight into the minds of these jokers?
    Misha
     
  2. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2001
    Messages:
    2,308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i don't understand... do you have a problem with the Mad About You DVD? or just Sports Night?
     
  3. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2001
    Messages:
    2,308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i think i know what you mean now, but remember the Twin Peaks DVD did NOT contain the pilot.
     
  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    17,971
    Likes Received:
    2,355
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    There are often times rights issues with the pilot episodes in which the pilot episode can't be included. I bet we'll start running into this as a problem as TV on DVD becomes more common.
     
  5. GaryEA

    GaryEA Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2001
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The marketing and art departments of studios will sometimes use anything useful on the package to make the overall presentation more attractive to potential buyers.

    Disney has even gone as far as to say that the art on the disc is a "special feature" - a move clearly directed at the uninitiated DVD buyer ("Look honey. It's even got art on it!", said one husband to his wife), but one that looks ridiculous to a steady DVD buyer.

    The use of the term "pilot", a phrase known by people in the industry and most buyers who pay attention to these sort of things, may seem mundane and almost puzzling to us, but to the folks who have no idea what it means, they might think of it as an additional bargain. It isn't false advertising, and most pilots are named just that; "Pilot".

    I agree with you. If it was an un-aired pilot, then THAT'S a special feature. But to tout an episode that would be a part of the set no matter what as an added value is silly.

    They could be trying to stem off any questions customers might have if there's confusion if the entire season is on there (a la Twin Peaks). Somehow, I doubt this but it's one possible reason.

    -g
     
  6. MishaLauenstein

    MishaLauenstein Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    Misha Lauenstein
    I think the Twin Peaks is probably the answer as to why they put it on the box now so that they won't get phone calls from people.

    If so, the Mad About You method of saying WITH Pilot Episode is the right way to go.

    Sports Night's use of the word PLUS seems to be just plain WRONG! I have never seen PLUS used to mean WITH or INCLUDING on any other packaging. I always assumed it was a legal definition, like the difference between Fresh Squeezed and Squeezed Fresh.

    Anyway, now everyone will have to do it because from now on, when I pick up a box without that claim, I'll be thinking, "Hmm, is it missing the pilot?"

    So, where's the sticker that says "NOT MINUS laugh track".
     
  7. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2001
    Messages:
    11,380
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think this is a matter of how the show's producers handled it from the start.
    In the case of both Mad About You and Sports Night, the first episode in the series - the first one made, broadcast, etc.; first in every sense of the word - IS the pilot. "PILOT = EPISODE #1", in other words.
    However, with both All In The Family and with Felicity (and I Love Lucy and Star Trek: TOS, for that matter!) there was a separate "pilot" - or in some cases, pilotS - used to try sell the series to the networks. They may or may not have been broadcast, but in every sense of the word, they were a pilot. MaY's first show was also a pilot in that sense, but it was re-utilized as Episode #1 afterward. Once & Again had the same situation.
    In the case of the others, a separate show was designated as Episode #1. "Pilot(s) < Episode #1".
    Felicity did go ahead and air the pilot, and a week later aired "Episode #1 ('The Last Stand')". Semantics, really.
    But enough to justify a comment on the DVD box that mentions its inclusion. As some said, a selling point, to be sure.
    After all, All In The Family didn't have the pilot included. The Jeffersons, as a spin-off, didn't have it's "pilot" (a 5th-season ep of AitF) on the Season 1 set...we have to wait for the fifth DVD set of AitF for that! So there's nothing really wrong with touting the pilot ep's inclusion...when it's definately a separate show.
    I agree that it was silly for the Sports Night set to mention the pilot as part of it's extended title. After all, Once & Again doesn't, so it's not like Buena Vista was going for consistancy here.
    As for Mad About You, it doesn't mention it in the title of the set. Just in passing on the back. It might have been just "filler copy" by the marketing guys. Or perhaps there was genuine concern that the public might not realize that "Pilot = Episode 1" here. On the other hand, such an issue didn't affect Sanford & Son.
    In the end, this long essay makes me realize that both studios are treating this with an inconsistant policy. Perhaps different groups in the Design or the Marketing Depts. are each doing their own thing.
    In the end, it doesn't really matter what's on the box, it's what's on the discs. Between TVTome.com and the IMDB, plus gazillions of fan-based sites, it's not hard for the DVD crowd to figure out what they are getting and what they are missing. However, it IS true that not every DVD household is internet-savvy. I guess those just need to keep an eye out for off-line reviews, or do other forms of research. It's not like anyone can trust DVD marketing any more than they could trust any other category's marketing, eh? [​IMG]
     
  8. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2001
    Messages:
    11,380
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Boy, that post was rambling enough! Did it even make sense?

    I've had a long and tiring day...forgive me, okay?
     
  9. GaryEA

    GaryEA Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2001
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You did good Dave!
    (pats him on the back and hands him a beer)
    [​IMG]
    -g
     
  10. MishaLauenstein

    MishaLauenstein Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    Misha Lauenstein
    Great post. I totally agree. We've got to thoroughly research everything on the internet before we buy. It's that odd time, though, when you spot something in the store that you didn't know was out and you're reading the package to see if you can justify getting it without going on-line and then you realize you can't and put it back and go home and log in and ....
     

Share This Page