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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Stephen Wight, Oct 17, 2005.
Are there any shows,out on dvd,that were released because of on-line petitions?Just wondering.
I think that Wonderfalls was released because of the strong support of the online petition/poll located on savewonderffalls.com
That is the first example I could think of.
- cheers, Michael
wasn't Freaks And Geeks brought to DVD over a petition as well?
I know that there was a petition to release the classic Western series "Bonanza" on DVD that was sent to Artisan several years ago. After some time went by, Artisan eventually did release a "best of" collection that contained 8 episodes. Fortunately, none of the episodes on this collection were from the 31 episodes of the series that fell into the public domain and have been released by numerous budget DVD companies. Artisan listed the set as "Volume 1" but there has never been a follow-up. I'm guessing that sales of volume 1 were soft. To date, this remains the only official release of "Bonanza" on DVD and when you include the "public domain" episodes, less than 10% of this series has had some form of DVD release. Not very good when one takes into consideration that "Bonanza" ran for 14 seasons, the second longest running Western series (Gunsmoke, with 20 seasons, takes top honors). So basically, the petition resulted in a few crumbs.
I know that SeaQuest is coming to dvd because of the petition/poll from tv shows on dvd.com.
I don't want to bring up bad memories, but I think My So-Called Life was released because of a petition...
why is it bad memories? or because they took it out of print so fast?
There was a huge issue regarding the release of the series with a bonus disc and a collectibe lunchbox. I think the guy who did the whole thing even got arrested... it was this big thing. Anyone else know the whole story?
What about American Gothic didn't it's release have something to do with petitions or tvshowsondvd.com voting?
The story of My So-Called Life on DVD is a long and sad one. In a nutshell, it took much longer for the set to be released than originally planned. Initially, this was to be available exclusively from an on-line retailer named Another Universe. People placed orders months before the set was actually released, only to see their credit cards billed (sometimes 2 or 3 times) long before the discs were even manufactured. When it was annnounced that the discs would be available from other retailers as well, many people tried to cancel their orders, but were unsuccessful in obtaining refunds. When the owner of Another Universe was arrested for fraud (for another matter unrelated to the DVDs), there were still many sets of the 'bonus items' (a lunchbox and a bonus disc) in the warehouse that hadn't been shipped. Many of these eventually found their way to their rightful owners, but there are probably still some people who paid for a set long in advance and never got the promised bonuses.
Double post deleted
I don't believe any series has been released solely or even primarily because of an on-line petition, and I believe the studios essentially ignore such things entirely now. When letter writing campaigns for shows were a novelty, they had an effect - witness the original Trek. But when semi-permanent fan organizations emerged that ran four or five conventions a year, attracting many of the same fans and speakers, and newsletters made it easy to organize such things, their impact was greatly reduced. Same with written petitions. For awhile 'net petitions and e-mail campaigns also had some novelty value, until it became clear that mail-bots, auto-signatures and petition signature trading were grossly inflating the apparent numbers. When the signal to noise ratio dropped too low, the studios (and the networks and the book publishers) simply tuned out.
When you have entire websites devoted to petitons it becomes far too easy to generate them (a handful of people can "generate" a million signatures or e-mails with very little effort.) The studios know this. They tune things out. While letter-writing campaigns still have a little more credibility (because letters take more effort and they cost money to send) even they have been discounted sharply in recent years. Any piss-ant series with a fan website can generate 100,000 letters begging a network to keep it on the air. Once upon a time that 100,000 might have represented several million viewers who weren't reached by the campaign or couldn't be bothered to write, and the networks took notice. Now that same 100,000 might be 99% of the fan base of a show (or 110% when you add in all the guys who agreed to write a letter in support of show "X" in exchange for one in support of show "Y")
I think one petition - the Babylon 5 widescreen petition that was started in late 1997 or early 1998 did have an effect - albeit a negative one in the short-term. Warner Bros. toyed with getting into TV on DVD early on with a low-ball B5 release modelled on Paramount's original Trek release - two episodes per disc, no extras, 4:3 only, no remastering. Basically the cancelled VHS release ported to DVD. I think the petition - which was a rarity on the 'net in those days - persuaded them that their cheapo version, planned for the winter of 1999, would not sell, so they cancelled it. Later, when Fox had shown that TV on DVD might be viable after all, and Warner Domestic Television had paid for new widescreen masters for the Sci-Fi Channel broadcasts of B5, Warner Home Video was able to produce a DVD release that met virtually every spec demanded by the petition site, including 5.1 remixes and inclusion of some of the bloopers.
But I don't think another site has had a similar impact, and I don't think the B5 site could have worked much past 2000. It was a matter of getting out there early in the DVD format's history and early in the studio's experience with the web that gave it its impact. Today it would be one of a hundred sites pushing one of a thousand shows and it would be lost in the background noise. Also the studios have enough experience with market research and what sells and what doesn't that they don't need that kind of fan input. They do better monitoring this site and TV Shows on DVD as a check on their own research than to look at fan-driven petitions.
I always thought petitions were sort of embarrassing and pathetic; I used to go to SciFi cons in the 80s and remember a "Save Starman" petition going around. It was accompanied by a rather elaborate booth dedicated to the resurrection of that series. At the time, the show had been off the air for about a year and a half (an eternity in programming), and I figured the chances of reviving it were impossible at best...! I didn't sign the petition, but the people operating the booth put as much zeal into their platform as do those who go to prisons to protest the death penalty! I just couldn't understand people putting so much effort into saving a show that was at best, mediocre. I'm sure the nets and studios feel the same way.
At some point there will be so many petitions of this kind that they will serve no purpose and be ignored by the studios, if they are not already. The same became true of people writing into the networks to try to save cancelled shows.
At the very least the studios should make a habit of letting people come to their websites and vote on shows they want to see on DVD.
Yes, the petition was an important part of getting F&G to DVD, but it was run by the creator and executive producer of the series, not a group of fans.
They are. See my post above. I've heard from a number of people in the business, including Joe Straczysnki, creator of B5, and they all say that obviously organized letter-writing campaigns have next to know impact and that e-mail and internet petitions are simply ignored these days. The saturation point was reached years before most of the petition sites even went up.
I think new sets of Mary Tyler Moore
were recerntly released due ressure that was
put on Fox by the fan base via the Internet.
I know Fox didn't want to release any more
seasons because of poor sales. I also know a
lot of noise was made on this forum by fans
upset over that initial decision.
Good to see that Fox took the risk and released
more seasons and I hope it has paid off well