The Fugitive Tv show on DVD?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Keith_R, May 18, 2005.

  1. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    Hey all, I was talking to a good friend the other night who is very interested in knowing if The Fugitive television show will ever make it to DVD.

    I did a quick search here and didn't see anything about it. A glance over at Tv Shows on DVD didn't pull up anything either.

    So, is there a chance of this show making it to DVD or is it impossible? Any word on this?

    Thanks![​IMG]
     
  2. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    I assume you're referring to the ORIGINAL "The Fugitive" (1963-1967)...right?

    If so, then...YES...it's gotta be coming to DVD sooner or later.

    I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that "The Fugitive" ('63) WILL eventually make it to full-season DVD releases.

    I have no specific details, nor am I privy to any "inside" knowledge in this regard. I'm just saying this based on the FACT that "The Fugitive" ('63) is/was one of the very best TV shows in all television history (not to mention that the final 2-part episode, "The Judgment", still ranks as one of THE highest-rated TV programs of all-time).

    In short, it's just TOO GOOD to be kept without a DVD release forever.

    These were the same type of thoughts I had a few years ago re. "The Andy Griffith Show" as well, when I hadn't the slightest of ideas that it would see any DVD release soon; and in just another week, we'll have two full-season "TAGS" sets.

    I can only hope I'm also correct in this "premonition" re. "Fuge" -- "starring David Janssen as 'The Fugitive' -- Tonight's episode -- 'Fear In A Desert City!' " [​IMG]

    I'm a bit disappointed that "Fuge" doesn't have one of those "Sign Up & Vote" webpages on the Amazon website (like many yet-to-be-released shows have there).

    Approx. 50 "Fuge" eps. were released on VHS video over the years (via "Republic Video" and "Nu Ventures Video"), which is over one-third of the entire 4-year, 120-episode series' run. But having these shows cleaned up and unedited (a la the top-notch "TAGS" DVDs) would be an ideal arrangement, and is much-anticipated by this Fugitive/Janssen fan.

    I, just yesterday, was re-watching some of my VHS tapes of "The Fugitive" (taped in 1995 off of 'A&E' when that network would air multiple eps. every weekend), and each time I watch these shows, it strikes me {every time} how TRULY GREAT these shows were/are. The writing; the acting; the guest stars; and also the excellent Pete Rugolo music score are all just first-rate all the way down the line. Even into Season 4 (the one & only "in color" year), the shows were very good. Although some of the last-season eps. were a bit below the standard of the earlier ones. But there are still many good "Gerard Chases Kimble" episodes during that last season, too.

    If "The Dukes Of Hazzard" can warrant multiple seasonal DVD releases, then, IMO, there's simply NO WAY on this Mortal Coil that a far-superior program like the original "Fugitive" series is NOT deserving of similar Digital treatment!*

    * = No offense to Daisy Duke fans (heck, it's hard NOT to admire those nice gams [​IMG]), but let's face it -- "Dukes" isn't exactly Shakespeare! [​IMG]

    And if some of the many TV shows that are currently getting DVD issues are actually considered more deserving of such treatment than is a classic like "The Fugitive", then all I can say is -- we MUST be residing in some kind of 'topsy-turvy' world where everything is turned upside-down. (** End Sermon **)

    The following 'Fuge' message board is one to check periodically for possible DVD news. .......

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fugiti.../?viscount=100

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    The Fugitive is one of my all-time favorite TV series too, but what A & E aired were re-edited versions syndicated by World Vision. I don't recall anyone else showing their butchering the opening theme and having it morph into Act 1! Even WWOR EMI Service (when it still existed) in the mid 1990s did a far better job when they aired it the way it was meant to be seen: Uncut and with limited commercial interruption.

    It was in the 1980s when I first saw The Fugitive in reruns. Even then it was uncut on a PBS station -- WNJN from Trenton, New Jersey.

    I don't know how many more years it will take to get the 1960s series on DVD, but if and when it happens no digital remastering will be necessary with these film prints: They're in excellent condition to begin with!
     
  4. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Good to hear that. That should mean we'll get Dick Van Dyke-like and Andy Griffith-like PQ when we do see these shows finally released (knock wood).
     
  5. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I agree. I just hope it's sooner rather than later. Same goes for other great shows from that era: Get Smart (said to be on its way within the next year), Batman, the Man From Uncle.

    Seems to me that the TV on DVD market has been a little slow this year in terms of great old shows making it to the format. I keep a running list of things that are coming out that I want, and it's pretty slim this year so far.
     
  6. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Oh, yes, you can bet your bottom dollar that the A&E rebroadcasts were edited in other ways, too, to squeeze in more commercials.

    I wonder whether Worldvision did the "new" episode captions or if A&E did...
     
  7. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Yeah, I think you're probably correct here. I think my A&E versions run about 46 to 47 minutes if I'm not mistaken.

    But that time WOULD be a "trimmed" time by about two minutes -- because I know that the "Republic Video" VHS versions run for 49 minutes each, including all credits and the teaser "trailers/previews" at the beginning. (Shows ran a lot longer, circa 1960s, than they do today. What is it now -- about 41 minutes per hour-long show, sans commercials? [​IMG])

    BTW -- The "Republic" VHS tapes I have DO have the original Title Cards and Voice-overs on them.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=video
     
  8. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Another possiblity I didn't address in my post is that they might be otherwise uncut and actually be time-compressed. I read somewhere that Worldvision did the old time-compression number on some of their syndication packages, so maybe that's what they did to The Fugitive.

    Doesn't change how I feel about the editing, though. Some collectors find time compression just as bad (if not more so) than editing.

    My ideal would be a release along the lines of Twilight Zone with complete, unmonkeyed-around-with episodes, commercial bumpers and "next-week" promos and restored video, remastered from the original elements (not from '80s-era video transfers).

    This series now being owned by Paramount, though, we'll be lucky to get just uncut episodes period, let alone any of the frills I mentioned above.
     
  9. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    Where can these "sign up and vote" webpages on the Amazon website be accessed?

    Paramount Pictures has (allegedly) been quoted (somewhere online) that THE FUGITIVE (ABC 1963-67) is currently being looked at as a possible "best of" limited number of episodes edition DVD collection. Probably to test the actual retail market for the entire tv series.

    Looking at what television properties are (generally) being made available on DVD lately I tend to feel that the world (as we know it) is all upside down!

    Jeff T.
     
  10. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I have no doubt that if and when THE FUGITIVE ever sees the light of DVD-day it will be uncut and complete without any re-editing of the Act 1 credits. What was shown on A & E were versions that fortunately never appeared anywhere else. When I wrote to A & E to inquire at that time, they told me it was done just for them.

    Since I was born 1 year after the series ended I really don't know if they had previews of next week's episodes or not. Every reruns I've seen didn't have those.

    I purchased some of the VHS volumes of Fugitive episodes released in the 1990s. A goateed Barry Morse was in his 70s when he taped special intros remembering the series. I really hope these are included in a future DVD release.
     
  11. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    They're actually "Register Your E-Mail Address To Be Notified By Amazon When This Show Becomes Available" webpages.

    But they also say that by registering your e-mail address, it also counts as a sort of "vote" for the show's DVD release. Amazon claims they "will let the studio know how many customers are waiting for this title".
     
  12. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Well, IMO, I'm very glad that Paramount has the video/DVD rights to "The Fugitive" -- because I certainly have had no problem whatever with Paramount's prior TV-On-DVD boxed sets. In fact, they're some of the best-quality sets I have -- including "I Love Lucy" and "Andy Griffith". Both have excellent PQ; obviously a nice effort was put into those transfers by the Paramount folks. I only can assume that any "Fuge" DVDs will follow suit. (Not to mention Paramount's first-rate choice for packaging nowadays; i.e.: 'ThinPak' keepcases. [​IMG] [​IMG])
     
  13. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    ---
     
  14. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    I just watched an episode tonight that I was transferring with original commercials. Doesn't matter how many times I see it, it still amazes me what a great show this is. If it's not the best drama in American TV history I'd like to know what is. IMO Paramount is foolish if they don't do this series justice with proper season sets, remastered and not the time sped versions that run 46:30 that they inherited from Worldvision. So far the only 2 former Worldvision properties that have seen a DVD release are Combat (timesped format) and Doris Day Show (episodes run 24:00 so I don't know if they are sped or cut). Not counting the One Step Beyond PD releases since Worldvision was so on top of things they let the show copyright lapse.
     
  15. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    I have all of the NuVision VHS tapes that were released - 20 volumes with two episodes each, totalling 40 episodes. So yes, that's exactly a third of the series' 4-season total of 120 episodes.

    The quality of the episodes on those tapes vary, with some mastered from TV syndication tapes, and others from what look like 16mm network film prints. The taped episodes have the unfortunate time compression, making Pete Rugolo's magnificent score sound warbly. The film episodes are at the correct speed, but the actual print quality itself suffers from years of use.

    I taped virtually the entire rest of the series from the WWOR (EMI service) back in the '90s. Those too had time compression anomalies and I find them hard to watch. Still, they serve as the best I can get at this time.

    This great series desperately NEEDS remastering and NEEDS a full-series DVD release. It's too good to let it sit on a shelf somewhere.
     
  16. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    Unfortunately black and white shows, with a few exceptions, seem to be treated as some horrible relic of the past, like rotary phones and phonograph records. Never mind that the greatest period of television dramas occured from 1960 to 1966 during the black and white era. It will come out, either from Paramount or another source, of that I'm certain. What form it takes is another story. If the distributors of far more recent series like Alf, Cosby Show and Roseanne were too cheap and lazy to go back to the original source material, I don't know how willing a company will be to remaster The Fugitive. After all, many of these decisions are made by 25 year olds who are in power but know little or nothing about anything from the past.
     
  17. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    This has been my stance for some time while watching IMHO "crap" getting DVD releases while high quality shows stay locked in the vault.
     
  18. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    I think you mean "Nu Ventures". Right? Anyway, no biggie. And those tapes also include a special "introduction" by Barry Morse ("Lt. Philip Gerard") for each of the 40 episodes in that VHS video series. (Those intros might be kind of nice to have on a DVD release too.)

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/cus...869852-5319368

    Now seems like a good time to re-post the following blurb (re. Paramount's September 2005 acquisition of various Q.M. properties).......

    >> "As of 2005, the Republic Pictures holdings consist of a catalog of 3,000 films and TV series, including the original Republic library (except for the Roy Rogers and Gene Autry catalogs, which are owned by their respective estates), the pre-1973 NBC library (including Bonanza), most of the Quinn Martin shows (The Fugitive, The Streets Of San Francisco, etc.), and Aaron Spelling's catalog (The Love Boat, Twin Peaks, Beverly Hills 90210, etc.), and selected pre-1952 UA (High Noon, Copacabana, etc.) and NTA holdings (Fleischer cartoons, It's a Wonderful Life, etc.). These are now sold on video through Lions Gate Home Entertainment, while Paramount Pictures holds television and theatrical distribution rights. In September of 2005, Paramount will gain full use of the Republic library as they will inherit the video rights from Lions Gate."
     
  19. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    Ooops. Of course that's what I meant.

    Actually, at the time I was looking to acquire those tapes, I had difficulty with the volume that contained "Nightmare At Northoak". I found one in a store that had that episode and its companion story, but it was from Madacy in Canada. Awful quality at a slow speed. Ugh!

    Harry
     
  20. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    I just got offered a set of broadcast tapes on the show by a friend who works at a network that ran the show about 20 years ago. I'm tempted to take them but I just have to think that Paramount will put the whole series out a some point. But they sure don't seem to be in a hurry, do they? Not exactly sure what the mindset is for them to keep waiting on shows like this. It's not like Harrison Ford is coming back and doing a Fugitive II movie or something. Not that I'm not happy that 60s shows like Doris Day and Rat Patrol are coming out but ahead of Fugitive, Mission: Impossible and Man from UNCLE? Sorry, but those shows were way more popular, not only in the US but worldwide. Do any of the decision makers know anything about television? Or, if they don't, do they not bother to do some research?
     

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