Top 10 TV DVDs Ever (so far)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Randy A Salas, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    I did an article Tuesday on how the Chappelle's Show DVD has quietly become one of the biggest TV DVDs ever. It's still in the top 10 more than 18 weeks after its release.

    In doing research for the write-up, I asked Video Store Magazine to compile a list of the biggest-selling TV DVDs to date, which I included.

    Due to a technical gaffe, my write-up has not been made available on the Star Tribune's web site, so I'm reposting the wire-service version of it here for those who might find it of interest:


    It's interesting to see how even the biggest-selling TV titles--despite the boom in the genre--don't really sell that much compared with movie DVDs. The Simpsons S1 would fall somewhere between Gangs of New York (no. 43) and Spy Kids 2 (No. 44) on last year's top-sellers' list. It's also interesting to note HBO's strong showing despite its pricing strategy.
     
  2. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Supporting Actor

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    As much as I love the Chapelle Show, because of the low pricing on the show, I don't think it is fair to put it on this list without mentioning it costs much less than the other TV shows on DVD listed above because the price of the show factors in how many units they sell while most movies are priced pretty much the same when they come out new.

    Paul
     
  3. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    I agree that pricing is a big issue. I see the purchase of a movie as a "one off". Purchasing a TV series can be a long term financial commitment. Plus most of the programs on the list above can be had for free (Sopranos excepted)in one form or another during reruns, syndication, etc.
     
  4. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    The price of Chappelle's Show, $26.99, is certainly a factor in its success. But it has made Video Store's list--a list ranked by unit sales, not revenue--because it's a multidisc set, just like the others.

    Also, keep in mind that other TV shows, many from Columbia TriStar, have been released at similar prices, yet none of them is in the top 10.

    I am adding MSRPs to the list to give people an idea of how that might affect sales. Obviously, The Sopranos is the most impressive among the top sellers since it costs so much and has still sold well.

    It's also apparent that older TV titles take a back seat to newer shows.
     
  5. RyanAn

    RyanAn Screenwriter

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    Except for the HBO releases and Friends, I own all the shows in the top ten. It does have a lot to do with price, but quality is incredibly important. If I want a certain title, I will pay for it. I bought Chappelle's Show - Season 1 for $19.99, and I love it dearly, but I was equally excited about having to pay only $29.99 for the first season of Simpsons.

    Ryan
     
  6. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Randy, thanks for posting that it was very well done IMO.

    None of this has surprised me given all the discussion on this topic that has gone on here and fits along with what I've learned from you, Gord, David Lambert, among others.

    I guess the only thing that really surprises me is the gap between sales numbers for the Simpsons sets. On one hand I shouldn't be, because season 1 has been out for so long, but that doesn't explain why 2 has been out for a year longer than season 3 and has sold like 300,000 copies more and is still 700,000 copies behind season 1. I mean we know from Fox that typically these sets sell within the same range of one another and I can accept that season 2-3 are in the same range as each other, but that's a bigger gap than I expected between season 1 and 2.

    But as you said in your follow up post, the trend is for newer shows, and I hope people look at that and are able to see that it is in the best interest of the studio to release current shows while they're hot and that the market for classics is maybe not so lucrative. I'm hoping this will help shift some people's expectations, although maybe that's hoping for too much on my part.
     
  7. David*P

    David*P Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for posting this info...I had been wondering if there was a list of the top selling TV on DVD somewhere...I find it interesting that it's mainly just the same shows on the list, really not surprising just interesting. And kind of disheartening that older shows aren't on there but that's not surprising either.

    I'm also surprised that the first season of Simpsons is so far up on the list considering everyone says how they really don't like it.
     
  8. Paul_Stachniak

    Paul_Stachniak Screenwriter

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    Dave deserves it, his show is absolutely amazing. I still don't understand why the first season of the Simpsons sold so much compared to the others. Season One was awful compared to say Season Four which was probably the best season they ever had.
     
  9. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    It has been around for three years, which doesn't hurt. Most of the titles in the top 10 have been around awhile, which makes Chappelle's Show's accomplishment, even at a lower price, even more remarkable.

    I've updated the list to include release dates.
     
  10. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    The first season of The Simpsons is considerably cheaper than the others.
     
  11. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    One thing that I'll point out about "Chappelle's Show" and it's success is this: never have I seen it be so highly recommended by store staff at various retailers.

    I mean, once at Best Buy I was practically accosted by an employee recommending it to me. He was very insistant. On another occassion the same fellow forgot that he'd told me about it already, and started to repeat himself. I've also gotten recommendations at Target and Wal-Mart.

    It's made me wonder if there was some "spiff" (a small cash kick-back, usually $1-$2 per copy sold, offered by the manufacturer to salesmen to push and successfully sell a particular title) involved with this show. I've asked a few salesmen I trust, and was told "no". In fact, I was told that they have never experienced a spiff offer for any DVD title (although they've gotten them on, say, computer software).

    So yeah, there just appears to be some genuine enthusiasm for this release, and that translate into salesmen who are pushing it to the customers (at least in my experience). How often does that happen? Certainly, noone's jumped my case to try to get me to buy X-Files, Star Trek, Green Acres, Friends, or Dr. Quinn.
     

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