No Quinn Martin shows

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mark To, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Is there some kind of rights issue concerning QM Productions? I mean this guy produced many quality dramas, none of which have come out or are even being hinted at.
    The Fugitive, The Untouchables, The FBI, Twelve O'Clock High, Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, Cannon. I mean, cmon, what gives?
     
  2. Joshua Lane

    Joshua Lane Second Unit

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    Well, did you consider that maybe they're just a bit on the old side? Most DVD consumers are in the 20-35 year old range, meaning they were born in 1970 or later. Most of these shows were already gone before the oldest even reached 10. And since the subject matter skewed more adult, I don't think many kids really ever saw these shows.

    I'm not saying old shows don't have an audience today (that's obviously not the case), but I'd wager a studio might be looking at other titles before they get to these. So, in that respect, there probably aren't any rights issues at all. The shows just might not be on their radar yet.
     
  3. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    The shows Mark names are all good shows and I'm surprised that none of them are at least in rumor stage.

    Joshua, I know what you're saying but I wouldn't say that they're old. There is a fair number of product available of shows that are the same age to quite a bit older than these.

    However, you do touch on what I think is a major factor in some of these series not being considered: lack of familiarity. I honestly don't remember the last time "Barnaby Jones", "Cannon", or "Streets" was ever syndicated regularly on a national cable network. (There were a few showings on TV Land, but that was before many cable systems carried it.) "The FBI" is currently seen in a late night slot on the Goodlife Network, which relatively few people get.

    Who knows, if Kojak (which is in all liklihood is only being released because of a remake) does decent business maybe that will bode well for the other 70's crime shows to be released.

    Steve
     
  4. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    If I read Paramount's syndication website correctly, it appears that The Untouchables is only available in the full uncut 50-minute-plus runtime and that The Fugitive and Cannon are available only in times of 46:30 or so. I don't think it says what Barnaby Jones' runtime is, but I'd say it's never been edited or time-compressed for today's era of 3- and 4-minute commercial breaks. Could that explain their rare TV showings and thus the unfamiliarity to most oldies-TV fans? TV Land, Chopmark and most other outlets would require a runtime in the 42-43-minute range, although I'm sure they are capable of time-compressing and editing a longer package on their own. I have some non-QM shows taped for me from Goodlife by a friend in a "neighboring" cable system, and they don't seem to cut or time-compress anything at all. The FBI, if it is available only uncut, could only run on Goodlife or a commercial-free station.

    I remember the TV Land showings of Cannon and (come to think of it) The FBI, but I don't think I've ever seen Streets in syndication, just on some Republic VHS. I remember seeing Barnaby Jones over 20 years ago, but memory fails as to whether that was in the early syndication of it or the latter part of the network run. The Fugitive turned up on Axe & Edit when the theatrical film came out and had a brief TV Land run a few years later, but that's about it for cable in the last 13 or 14 years.

    The QM series' lack of availability is odd, given that the man cranked out so many shows that ran for years (plus the much-requested "The Invaders"). I'm 38, so I guess I'm too old for the target audience of most shows, but I'd buy up any QM series on DVD. Besides just plain enjoying the series, I love the QM trademarks such as announced guest-stars, "Act I-II-III-IV-epilog" intertitles, narrators, etc.

    Incidentally, can the public access any other studios' syndication holdings and formats, as you can at paramounttv.com?
     
  5. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I am 36 and I would love for Barnaby Jones, Cannon and definitely the Untouchables to come to dvd. And I agree with Dan. That uncut 46-50 minute episodes are the reason these shows are not in syndication. Tv stations love those 40 minute shows for the 20 minutes of ads.
     
  6. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    And that's why we need more networks devoted to classic TV. TV Land is the equivalent of oldies radio, which plays about one tenth of one percent of the songs that cracked the charts. I know it would be a revolutionary idea but I would gladly PAY for a network devoted to UNCUT television shows. And I don't mean the same classic shows that have aired ad nauseum for the last 30 or 40 years. We have a hundred movie channels showing the same garbage yet for TV we have TV (Only Most Popular Shows) Land, Chopmark (as Dan so aptly put it) and GoodLife, which is great but no one can get. Any of the majors could have a great network with just their shows alone, especially Viacom, which I think I read owns 55,000 episodes of television shows. Or you can get the shows for free on Chopmark with 30% of the content missing.
     
  7. peggy

    peggy Stunt Coordinator

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    I belong to a group that would snatch up any QM productions in minute if they were available but then again I guess all of us aren't in the target audience of 20-35. That is too bad because back when I was in that age bracket I didn't have any spare money to spend on something like dvds. Now that I am in my forties and have a better income, I would love the chance to collect all those shows that I grew up watching. I would much prefer to watch them compared with the junk that is on tv right now.

    Btw- I have a lot of Barnaby Jones episodes from syndication and they are all 45 minutes long and have been edited to get all those extra commericals in them.
     
  8. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    You said, it Peggy. I feel the same way. I have seen very little since ~'96 on series TV that I'd be interested in on DVD. At least, the TV/DVD market is really taking off now and there's a lot of '60's-'80's stuff getting released considering those of us that were watching then aren't all in the "target" market age. I think there's something to this theory: There are a lot of 'boomers ("Baby-Boomers", that is [​IMG] ) that have the income and want these older classic series on DVD. I think that's some of the reason that they're releasing the older stuff. Whatever it is, it's great! Kudos to the studios for releasing more than just the recent series DVD's! [​IMG]
     
  9. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    I've been quite flummoxed over the past decade, seeing hundreds of new channels burst forth, including a ridiculous number devoted to movies, yet nothing new on the "vintage tv" front. Surely you'd think some corporate outfit would fashion a new channel devoted at least to the action/adventure/drama vein of old shows. There's such a staggering amount of material out there, entirely underutilized. The thought crosses my mind virtually every time I flip through the channels, and see an endless parade of often banal film fare.
     
  10. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    That's a big 10-4 Dan [​IMG] That's a great SciFi series that I'd love to get soon.

    Knoxville? I have relatives there [​IMG]
     
  11. David Grove

    David Grove Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I'd love the QM shows, too. I had forgotten about their format (Act I, etc.), but it was a, well, sort of dramatic touch (not suggesting that formating tricks replaces quality acting, scripts, etc.)

    I also remember some of the QM title themes as being sweepingly dramatic, with an arc like from the musical Romantic Period. Think, for example, of the theme from Twelve O'Clock High, if you are able to remember it.

    I guess I'm still on the TOH soapbox. [​IMG]

    DG
     
  12. Jason Bennion

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    I'm 35 and I fondly remember a lot of the shows mentioned in this thread. I was very small when they were on, but I remember watching them with my parents. I always liked the melodramatic voiceovers that introduced the QM shows: "Tonight's episode..."

    I'd love to see more classic tv on dvd or, as someone suggested above, a new cable channel devoted to uncut re-runs.
     
  13. andrew markworthy

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    Sorry to be the dissenting voice, but at the words 'A Quinn Martin Production' my heart used to sink. I think this may be a cultural thing - QM's peak output coincided with a golden age in Brit TV drama and programmes like 'Streets of San Francisco' suffered in comparison and were regularly cited by the Brit critics as prime examples of everything that was bad about American TV - comments included dreary and near-identical plots, wooden acting, unimaginative direction, poor production values, etc.

    I must stress that more recent US programmes are highly regarded over here, and I don't think QM 'sinned' more than other producers of the same period.
     
  14. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Kind of interesting perspective as I think almost all of the recent US programming is garbage and the best shows were the ones turned out from 1960-1965. Also, QM did The Fugitive which is easily one of the top 5 dramas in US TV history.
     
  15. Greig Forbes

    Greig Forbes Extra

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    Despite perhaps not being popular with critics in the UK, my recollection is that the Quinn Martin shows were huge hits over here, just as in the States. Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, The Fugitive were big prime time ratings winners and others like Barnaby Jones, Mannix etc were staples of the late night ITV regions for years and years.

    They may look a tad quaint now, but I never saw a Quinn Martin Production I didn't like at least a little bit. Crammed full of great TV faces and, for me, a big nostalgic part of my early TV upbringing.

    I'd agree they're well overdue for DVD release. What's the problem? They're the sort of shows that only the public liked.
     
  16. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    -- Jeff, I'm afraid I don't have any relatives in Irving, although I used to have a soft spot (in the days when QM shows were on) for a professional football team that plays there.

    -- Although formatting tricks do not a good series make, I'll always like the QM shows' trademark of announcing guest stars and showing them at the same time. You can learn how to pronounce the names of some stars this way, assuming the announcers were pronouncing them correctly. On "Streets," I learned that David Opatoshu is "ope-uh-TAH-shoe." The Untouchables teaches us that Robert Gist is "ghist" with a hard "G" and not a "J" sound. Robert Drivas (drive-us) guests on some show with an announcer, but it may have been Night Gallery where I heard his name. Now, if I can only find an announcement of Arthur Batanides on a QM show!

    -- Some shows may have a bad rap, like QM series--or "Gilligan," for that matter--but something must be right about them, or they wouldn't have so many fans after all these years. Gilligan, though, has had a continuous life in syndication and now home video, while the QM shows live on mostly in fans' memories and scattered VHS releases (sigh). I might grant you that the later QM crime/detective shows repeated plots/themes among each other, but I still have fond memories of them. For the earlier QM shows, I've hardly seen a single Untouchables, Fugitive or Invaders that I didn't enjoy immensely. Those shows may have tapped their formula dry at some point, but you couldn't prove it by me.

    -- Ever notice that Peter Rugolo's theme for The Fugitive opens with four notes that perfectly fit the title of the show (da-DA-da-da/the FU-gi-tive)? A lot of shows with instrumental/"no-lyric" themes seem to be written this way.
     
  17. James Landau

    James Landau Stunt Coordinator

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    I love Rugolo's theme for Richard Diamond, Private Detective, a wonderful show that I first discovered in 1988. I think he also scored a few episodes of Boris Karloff's Thriller. But it's been so long since I've seen The Fugitive that I hadn't realized he did that theme as well. Now I'm a bit curious as to how many other TV related themes he did. I wonder if he was as prolific as Bernard Herrmann?
     
  18. peggy

    peggy Stunt Coordinator

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    You can be sure the announcers were pronouncing the stars names correctly. I have a book that was written all about the QM shows and in it they talk about the great pride felt by the announcers that they were doing a QM production. I have to agree it was great to have the name and the how to pronouce it right there at the start of the show.
     
  19. andrew markworthy

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    So were On The Buses, Love Thy Neighbour, Seaside Special, The Generation Game, Celebrity Squares, Nearest and Dearest, etc. It doesn't mean they were any good. [​IMG]

    I should have added in my original post that for those as want QM then great - we all have innocent pleasures. However, I don't think that everyone out there is as anxious for these shows as some of the contributors to this thread, and this may account for their absence.
     
  20. Greig Forbes

    Greig Forbes Extra

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    I'm starting to get the vaguest notion that you're not a fan!

    You're right, of course, that popularity doesn't have a direct link with quality, but I think you underestimate the appeal these shows have. As more old series come out on DVD, I'm guessing they just haven't gotten around to these yet or that there may be some rights issues to be worked out. Thankfully, the opinion of critics won't be a huge factor or most of us would be deprived of a guilty pleasure or two.
     

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