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Time/Life Press Release: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Series

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ronald Epstein, May 9, 2017.

  1. nobajoba

    nobajoba Stunt Coordinator

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  2. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I think it's been said that what's on Prime is just like the Time-Life discs (not interlaced).
     
  3. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Besides the comment from a poster on Roobarb's, here's a DVDTalk review from Jesse Skeen (who has posted in this very thread). His review states that he has bought/watched these (season 3), not just relied on the words of others...
     
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  4. John Karras

    John Karras Second Unit

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    One of the unfortunate realities of the digital age. There's a way to do it properly, and oh so many ways to destroy the integrity of the source material.
     
  5. MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    Jesse writes in one part: "The results were at times rather painful to watch, with the quick zooms appearing jerky and some of the quick cuts being briefly divided across the middle with one shot on top and the next on the bottom."

    Really? If I'd read that before I acquired this I'd have been dubious about it, but I have no idea what you're talking about. I'd say to those that are bothered by any of this, don't buy it. Don't watch it.

    If those who feel this way want to do something about of which they speak, this forum isn't the place to do it. The only thing you might do here is get some people not to watch or buy it out of your concerns. For others, ENJOY watching the series like I am. As "nobajoba" wrote: "It's ok if it bothers some, and it's OK if it doesn't mean anything to the rest of us."
     
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  6. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    All this talk about the presentation, and especially the comment above about "quick zooms appearing jerky" and "quick cuts being briefly divided" caused me to pull my S2 set to see what, if anything, I may have missed.

    Background: I worked in a broadcast control room from 1978-1999 and have extensive experience with 2" video tape (Ampex Quad systems) and the foibles of video production with that format as well as the tube type color cameras of the era.

    I watched S2/E4 and saw no evidence of "jerky zooms." If someone knows of a specific episode in which this is on display (S1, S2, or S3), post the information and I'll look at that one. I *did* see "images being divided on cuts." Every instance of this I've seen looks to be either caused by the physical editing (they cut the tape and spliced it together) of the episode *or* sync issues between cameras. Camera sync being off can cause all kinds of anomalies from shifting video during cross fades to cuts that jump/shift or have that "divided image" effect due to the cut changing mid frame electronically rather than at the start of a frame as it should. There are also camera anomalies (vertical bands on the edges of the screen) and the occasional banding issue (record or playback heads not being properly aligned) and drop-outs (a white spot or streak on the video), although both issues have been rare in the episodes I've seen so far. Resolution is about what you'd expect from a color 2" video taped product of that era.

    When it comes down to it, I'm not seeing frame rate issues others claim to see. If these *have* been deinterlaced, they were done very well and, to me, do not have that "soap opera" effect. In fact I think it looks quite good for a video taped program of that era and displays many of the issues I'd expect to see from such productions, even at the network level.
     
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  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    That’s the whole point- as these were shot on video they SHOULD have “that soap opera effect”, and do on the older DVDs! They look more like film on the Time-Life discs.
     
  8. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    No, the TL sets look like 2" video tape - except for the portions that were obviously shot on film.
     
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  9. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Maybe your TV is compensating for this? Most TVs have "signal processing" turned ON by default, and if you don't turn all that stuff off, it can give that shot-on-tape look to things which aren't (and maybe, to ones which were improperly encoded).
     
  10. MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    TIme Life has a new box set devoted to Robin Williams. A treasure trove for Robin Williams fans. There's HBO specials, and segments from all sorts of talk show appearances, interview shows, cable series, Saturday Night Live and episodes of Mork & Mindy and more. (For me, a little Robin Williams went an awfully long way.)

    Since he was on Laugh-In '77, I thought I'd look and see if anything from that series was included, since that's one of the first TV appearances he came to be known on. Although in the Time Life descriptions of what's on this release they mention all the shows he performed on or guested on, they do not mention Laugh-In '77. However, I believe the following section on one of the dvd's is indeed from that series:

    • Robin Meets Mr. Sinatra
    • Original Air Date: November 2, 1977
    The very brief clip I saw on the Time Life promo video indeed looked like it was from that show and that date above is when it aired on NBC. I believe that would make this the first time anything from Laugh-In '77 was made available this way.
     
  11. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Didn't realize you had network experience-- interesting!
     
  12. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Parts of the series were available on a CED disc, but that was a test/promo disc that wasn't for sale to the public...
     
  13. MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I remember you linking me to a page with some images from the series on it!
     
  14. Mark Y

    Mark Y Supporting Actor

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    I've picked up Seasons 1-3 so far.

    I do notice the frame rate issue. The image is compromised and it looks a little like film versus video. But it isn't bothering me as much as I expected it to. Still, they shouldn't have messed around with it.

    One question: I watched the edited half-hour reruns on Nick At Nite some 30 (gulp) years ago. Those were obviously edited -- where the NBC peacock should be, they had the show's title and Gary Owens' voice saying "Get ready, America! Here comes Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In!" But I also remember when the cast and guest stars were introduced at the beginning, their names would bounce onto the screen and land in the lower third. That's not on any of the shows I have watched. Is it "missing," or was that sonething that was added for the edited reruns?

    So is my understanding correct, that the ones I would have seen in reruns were only the first three seasons and a little bit of the fourth? I'm looking forward to checking out the ones from the later seasons -- most likely I've never seen them before.
     
  15. Lecagr

    Lecagr Second Unit

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    I'm not a video expert but the shows look fine to me so I have no complaints.

    The cast members names appearing on the screen as Gary Owens announces them, as far as I know that was done for syndication, the original airings do not have this as seen on the DVD's from Time Life.

    Judy Carne is my favorite, she is cute and in my opinion she was the best one on the show. She felt that her talents were being underutilized and that's a reason why she left the show, I agree with her assessment. The show wasn't as good and wasn't the same anymore after she left. I have the complete series DVD from Time Life but I mostly watch seasons 1-3 and seldom watch seasons 4-6.
     
  16. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I can't speak to the 1980s syndication runs. I can see what Wikipedia says, but I'm not sure that's accurate. Someone else here probably knows for sure.

    The "seasons 1-3 and a little of the fourth" is definitely what was run on the defunct TrioTV network, although those were the original one-hour episodes (and even included the peacock at the beginning). Trio bought the rights to the 'first half' of the show's 140 episodes, so that was the pilot, seasons 1 to 3, and the first four episodes of season 4. I always assumed buying half the episodes was a cost-saving measure (other cable networks were known for buying smaller packages at the same time), though it is entirely possible that was all that was ever offered.
     
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  17. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Reading this thread really socked it to me. Boy am I glad I taped the Trio reruns and keep the Guthy-Renker discs on my hard drive.
     
  18. Lecagr

    Lecagr Second Unit

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    Martin P. in a previous comment mentioned The Joey Bishop Show complete series DVD, I agree that set is a mess with edited episodes. Unfortunately I took a chance and purchased it before any reviews came out and I ended up wasting my money. In 2004, Questar released season 2 on DVD and that set has uncut episodes except for one episode which has a little bit missing at the beginning.

    With Laugh In, Time Life gave us the complete 50 minute shows, as far as I know nothing is edited, I consider that a big plus. I personally have no problems with the video quality and the shows look fine to me but everyone's eyes are different so what looks fine to me might not look fine for someone else.
     
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  19. Message #319 of 371 Jan 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
    MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    I agree with you...and BobO'Link (post #306) who has experience...

    ...thinks they look like they should and I think they do, too...
    (I've been watching Time-Life's Red Skelton Show in Color episodes shot on videotape and they look the same to me as the Laugh-In episodes do. (The R.S. episodes are edited, but I knew that going in.)

    ....so when I read a post like this:

    ...who quoted someone complaining about it who admittedly "hasn't even seen it himself" then you have to wonder...

    By the way Matthew, the Trio and the Guthy-Renker discs and the Rhino Best of releases are all edited. Some of them
    are up to 6 minutes shorter. (The Decades airings are also edited and also sped up.)
     
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  20. MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    I watched these half-hour episodes when they were first syndicated to local stations in 1983-84 and I taped all of them that I could. (Some were shortened because of late running Laker games.)

    It is correct that the names on the screen were added for these episodes and not original to the series. Gary Owens also did some new voice-overs and there were some new graphics leading into and out of commercials.

    As for the half-hour syndicated episodes, I've never read anywhere how many they did or what exactly they were comprised of, but I once went through my entire recordings, from when they began in the fall of 1983 and began rerunning ones that I'd already taped the following spring, to try and figure it out.

    I believe they made 120 half-hour episodes and they were comprised of the first five seasons. No season 6. Some episodes over those five seasons were skipped (no half hours at all) and some of the episodes were edited into two half hours, and the credit sequence, obviously, edited into both episodes.

    They were not shown in any particular order that I could discern, either. For example, one of the episodes that was edited into two half hours may have run the two half hours weeks apart. In the first week I recorded these syndicated episodes, the half hours were from Episode #76, #49, #32, #40 and #57. The second week: Episode #1, #93, #25, #28 and #4.

    Of the 120 episodes I think there were, 31 hour episodes were made into 62 half-hour episodes and 58 more were hour episodes with one half-hour episode made from them, for a total of 120.

    As an example, here's the Pilot and Season 1:

    Pilot: 1967 special NO 1/2 hour syndicated release.

    Season 1:
    Episode 1 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 2
    Episode 3 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 4 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 5
    Episode 6 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 7 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 8 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 9 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 10 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 11 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 12 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 13 (1/2 hr.)
    Episode 14 (1/2 hr.)

    If you are talking about just the TRIO aired episodes that is correct. They aired the pilot, plus 70 more episodes.
    After episode 70 the syndicated episodes included 38 additional half-hours from seasons 4 and 5.

    If you, or anyone else, is really interested, I could make the time to post all the additional seasons and the syndicated half hour episode notations, as above for Season 1.
     
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