Paramount: I Love Lucy DVD #2 has CUT episodes?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MatthewA, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I am very disappointed that a studio such as yourself who has insisted on quality releases could cut such corners with one of the greatest TV series ever made.

    DVD #2 of I Love Lucy has the episodes running at under 24 minutes, when they originally aired at 26 minutes.

    The best way to compete with Columbia House is not to offer the exact same product as them with a lower price, but with a better product.

    It's time to restore the episodes. There's no two ways around it.

    I have not seen the first DVD yet.
     
  2. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    The first disc did not contain any cuts....but I haven't gotten the second yet.

    I do know...for sure that Paramounts vhs two tape release last fall had cut episodes, which I thought was really low.
     
  3. Martin Blythe

    Martin Blythe Second Unit

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    I've been informed that there are no cuts to the actual Lucy program unless you are referring to the original Philip Morris ads, which indeed are cut back. Is this what you are referring to?
     
  4. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Martin, thank you for being present in this time of need.

    The fact that the episodes run under 24 minutes has me concerned. I know for a fact that prime-time TV was only allowed to have a certain amount of commercials until 1982, when the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) "Production Code" was ruled unconstitutional. This code regulated certain standards of broadcasting, including commercial time.

    In the 1950s through the mid-1970s, the maximum amount of time was 8 minutes per hour, meaning a half-hour sitcom would run 26 minutes sans commercials (the episodes on Columbia's All in the Family disc set run at this length). This rule was later relaxed to 10 minutes per hour in the 1970s.

    After the revocation of the Production Code, the amount of commercial time gradually increased. In the mid-1980s it was about 12 minutes per hour (I have tapes of television broadcasts from that era). At the dawn of the 1990s, it was about 14 minutes per hour (the average length of the last 3 seasons of "Golden Girls" at its correct length was about 23:30). Now it's about 16 minutes per hour. So that's why uncut Lucy episodes are longer than uncut Simpsons or Seinfeld episodes.

    I can live without the Philip Morris stuff, though it makes for an interesting supplement.

    In Gregg Oppenheimer's book, there is a quote from a man who worked at CBS, whose job was to edit the Lucy episodes for daytime reruns, where there were no such restrictions on commercials. He said that the average length of these episodes before the cuts was about 24-25 minutes.

    On the other hand, these episodes are longer than the ones shown on TV Land or on local stations, which is good, but I just can't shake off my fears.

    What film sources were used for the transfers? Is it possible to go back to the original negatives or other existing pre-print sources to check the length of the episodes? I do hope there will be a restoration of the film elements, as I would hate to see this show lost to the ravages of time and poor storage.

    If I could confirm that the show was indeed uncut I'd be more than happy to buy further discs.

    Hopefully there will be no such confusion with other TV series you choose to release on DVD.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Matthew,
    Whether you buy anymore discs is your decision, but Martin Blythe just stated that the episodes were not cut beyond the Philip Morris commercials.




    Crawdaddy
     
  6. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    Matthew,

    You do know that when cigarette manufacturers sponsored television programs, a nice chunk of time was spent on the characters of the show either plugging the cigarette manufacturer or smoking a cigarette from the sponser.

    In fact, I Love Lucy originally closed with Lucy & Ricky sharing a goodnight cigarette before going to sleep.

    The Vitameatavegamin scene even runs a bit longer with all the sponser references intact.

    Its very possible that nearly four minutes was devoted to nothing but selling Philip Morris' cigarette products.
     
  7. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I viewed the episodes, and I don't think that anything non-PM is cut, but some of the scenes looked a little sped-up to me, sort of like a PAL master would.
     

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