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Universal Why can't they do TV on DVD Right?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Dave Scarpa, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    From the Review of the Dragnet Set on DVD Talk , it loks like Universal Foobar'd up another TV Release. It suffers from the same problems as the Battlestar Galactica set, which was spread about a combo of Double sided, single sided disks. Dragnet has Disk one being a Flipper with 7 disks on each side, Disk two only has 3 eps on Side One and Side two Blank, and Disk 3 has a CD Audio program. What's the matter with Universal? Are they really saving that much money doing stuff like this ? THe galactica set is an authoring disaster and a few of my disks are showing errors from getting scuffed becasue they are artworkless flippers. I passed on Buck Rogers, I wanted Dragnet but may pass again, I can't wait to see what they do with Quincy. Add to that the Quantum Leap Music Fiasco and my god their a horrible Studio. I really want Night Stalker but Shuuder at what they'll do to it...
     
  2. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I bought my first TV set from Universal recently, Kojak, and had mixed feelings about the set. I'm not so against flipper discs . . . two discs from the Kojak set had 4 episodes on each side and the third had four episodes on side 1 and two on side 2. However, it really would have been nice to add some extras to that side like surviving cast/crew interviews, network promos, etc. but it appears that Universal has little interest for this sort of thing with many of their TV releases. I was really disappointed that they failed to include the pilot movie "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" in this set. To their credit, Universal did include the pilot with their Munsters Season 1 release, but that was pre-existing material and was easy to include. I have the Dragnet 1967 set on pre-order (I like the series too much to take a pass on it), but Universal really blew it by keeping side 2 of the second disc blank. Would it have really killed them to, perhaps, go into the vaults and add a few bonus episodes of the original 1950s Dragnet, specifically a few copyrighted episodes that haven't been seen anywhere in decades? There are a ton of the public domain releases out with comparatively few episodes (maybe three dozen); fans of the series would have really appreciated seeing some of the copyrighted episodes. The addition of a Dragnet radio show is nice (and appreciated), but Universal really could have done better.
     
  3. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Seems i read the upcoming season 3 of Columbo will be a flipper this time. Universal is on the top for movies and TV i want, but the bottom of what i buy just because of the "i don't care" presentation we get from them.
     
  4. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    That one says it all for me. They happen to be the rights-holders for some that I'm wanting big-time. I agree with the points here but if the eps are un-cut, that's the bottom line for me. How about it on some of the sets mentioned in these posts? Are there some cut eps in any sets? I own a few of Uni's sets and from what I can tell none have cut eps in them.
     
  5. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I don't believe that any of the Kojak episodes are cut, though some of the dissolves/fade-outs where the commercials would have been originally placed appear to be abbreviated on a few of the episodes. Frankly, I hadn't seen the series in such a long time prior to the DVD release that it's quite possible that it's the way the episodes were originally filmed and edited. However, I can confirm that the original Universal/MCA logo/theme music at the end of each episode is missing on all episodes (the modern Universal logo/theme appears at the beginning of each episode). For me, that's a minor issue, but for purists . . . . .
     
  6. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I looked at the Dragnet and Quincy boxes today, and Quincy has some music replacement. I don't think it's a deal breaker like with the Quantum Leap sets, since music didn't exactly define Quincy, but now you know. I greatly fear the future Magnum sets, when music started figuring in more prominently.
     
  7. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    I have no problem with either the Galactica or Buck Rogers sets. I have found no authoring errors, and am quite pleased with the quality of the transfers. Granted, I had to replace the Buck Rogers set once, but that was due to the set I ordered from DDD having a floater (which I will not tolerate, even if it plays fine). Both sets have been relocated out of the digipacks into custom cases, using custom artwork. Would I prefer single-sided discs? Sure - because I like the artwork, not due to scuffed discs; never had one). Am I losing any sleep over double-sided ones? Nope. I am just glad to have the series. Just my $0.02. If you want to look to a studio who is quite clueless (or apathetic) when it comes to their TV catalog, try Columbia/Tristar....
     
  8. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    "Quincy" episode layout (on 3 flippers):

    Disc 1/A: 3 episodes (75 mins. each)
    Disc 1/B: 1 episode (75 mins.)

    Disc 2/A: 2 episodes (90 mins. + 75 mins.)
    Disc 2/B: 2 episodes (50 mins. each)

    Disc 3/A: 4 episodes (50 mins. each)
    Disc 3/B: 4 episodes (50 mins. each)

    A bit awkward on the layout, with side "B" of Discs 1 and 2 having only one episode. They could have eliminated the "B" side of Disc 3 by better allocating
    the space.

    The good news is that the episodes all appear to be uncut, with the first six presented in their original "movie" formats. Five were broadcast in 90-minute timeslots, while one was a 2-hour event. The five 90-minute movies were shortened to an hour for syndication, and the 2-hour episode was divided into two parts. All are presented here as broadcast.

    For some odd reason, the "movies" have the "teaser" spots and the "Quincy" opening title/theme (from the regular series) before the episodes. I believe these were added later to the syndicated versions. After the teaser and title sequence plays for these "movie" versions, the credits for the movie-proper plays over the footage of the start of the episode. So we get to read "Jack Klugman as Quincy, M.E. in..., the movie's title, also starring, guest starring" etc. after just viewing the previous title sequence. It's a bit awkward, especially since they used differing type-styles for these "movie" episodes. These first six "movies" were broadcast as "specials" before the show began its run as a regular hour-long series, similar to "Columbo".

    While not quite as good as the transfers on the "Columbo" sets, "Quincy" still looks very good, similar to the many other shows of the era from Universal. They are very film-like, and look better than I've ever seen them before.

    I do wish Universal would drop the use of "flippers".
    I'd have preferred six DVD-9s in three dual-slimcases. At least they seemed to have dropped the DigiPak and standard-size Amarays in favor of the slimcases.
     
  9. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Was'nt Quincy Like Columbo first shown on the Mystery Movie of the week?
     
  10. Eric_Bee

    Eric_Bee Stunt Coordinator

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    As a follow-up to Greg S H's post above, I am curious as to what music has been replaced in Quincy. Thanks
     
  11. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

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    Giving Universal's history with music replacements you might as well start fearing the worst. I know I do.

    Chris
     
  12. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    It's pretty much a given. The only show that seems safe for now is Miami Vice, but we'll see.
     
  13. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Matt, I've been watching Quincy, and the movies do not have the Quincy title theme. The first episode that has it is Snake Eyes. I'm far from a Quincy expert, but I assumed the first "season" was a series of movies in the Mystery Movies lineup, and the second season was when it was decided the show would be a regular series. In that vein, it made sense that a theme was added.

    Like Starsky & Hutch, Quincy is a show that was on when I was growing up, but I didn't really watch. And like Starsky, there are some choices I regret all these years later. In Starsky, it was taking Huggy from his own establishment and turning him into a street hustler (rectified in the third season). In Quincy, it's dropping the Lee character. She's cute, she's spunky, and she keeps her chin up when Quincy's job interferes (which is always). I guess the actress didn't want to do a weekly series.

    Also, I have not yet encountered an obvious music replacement. There is a lot of music in Snake Eyes, but I guess it was safe since it is performed onscreen and not by the original artists.
     
  14. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer

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    I've been patiently waiting for Universal to put out The Bionic Woman on DVD, but I guess I need to start lowering my expectations on the quality of the presentation.
     
  15. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Other than music replacement, I'm pretty pleased with the Universal sets.
     
  16. Michael.J.Hayde

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    There's a few more than that. Shokus Video has ten volumes of four episodes each (nine on DVD), plus a special holiday episode volume, and just released an 11th volume of four episodes, all new to video. One of them, "The Big Barrette", is absolutely terrific - one of the best "Dragnet" episodes ever made.

    Michael
     
  17. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    I like the recent DRAGNET set, but agree that there was much wasted space that should've been used for either 1950s episodes that Universal exclusively controls, or (even more appropriately), the 1954 color theatrical DRAGNET movie (originally a Warner Bros picture, but Universal inherited it) and the 1966 DRAGNET TV movie pilot (though shot in '66, it didn't air until 1969). Perhaps these could be bonuses in future DRAGNET collections, but no future set will have the extra useable disc space (due to the smaller number of episodes in the first season) that the first set had.

    Tis a shame, especially considering how Universal packs 2-disc movie sets like the GARY COOPER COLLECTION and the upcoming HAMMER STUDIOS COLLECTION in a similarly small space. The bonus DRAGNET radio show CD was nice, but that's the sort of thing one could easily get through outfits like Radio Spirits, or internet Old Time Radio sites, whereas the above-mentioned movie/TV material is much harder to come by.
     
  18. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    I'm pretty happy with my Dragnet 67 set as well as with most of the other Universal TV shows on DVD that I have. I do have two gripes with them however.

    The first gripe is with the overuse of the Universal logo sequence. Do we really need to see it before every single episode of a TV show? It's bad enough seeing it before older Universal films where you get the new logo followed immediately by the original logo sequence but when it appears before each and every episode of a TV series, it makes me want to throw things at my TV.

    My other gripe is with music replacement. I've been pretty lucky with the Universal TV shows that I have been buying except for Las Vegas. It's really annoying hearing the music replaced in the opening credit sequence of the show when I am so used to seeing that with Elvis playing along.
     
  19. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    John, that makes 2 of us [​IMG] Unfortunately, the bionic series are tied up in legal/rights issues. I hope I'm wrong but I don't expect to see these released anytime soon.
     
  20. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    I picked up season 3 of Monk today, and Universal really screwed up with the packaging. Rather than following in the footsteps of Law & Order, Magnum P.I., etc. with new releases in slimcases coming out of the right side when looking at the front cover, the cases come out on the left side, like Dragnet 1967 and other newer Universal titles. It really messes up the way it looks on the shelves. To have the title on the side match up with seasons 1 & 2, the box has to be flipped.
     

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