Why are there no "Bonanza" season sets?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Elena S, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Elena S

    Elena S Supporting Actor

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    Obviously music clearance isn't an issue. So why hasn't this popular series been released in season sets? I'm fed up with the PD releases -- I want the whole show! Isn't there enough demand for it -- at least the first five seasons?
     
  2. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

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    I've been watching Bonanza on the TV Land Saturday mini-marathon. I was just saying the other day I wish these were out in season sets. On the TV Land episodes you can tell they cut them when they come back from a commerical and they start talking about something that happened and you didn't see it. Full uncut season sets would be great.

    I've also been watching Gunsmoke. Never watched those as a kid but have been enjoying those also.

    Anyway here's another vote for Bonanza.

    Jim
     
  3. Lutz Koch

    Lutz Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    Count me in as another longtime fan of both Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Been watching both of them throughout the sixties right until they ended in the seventies, and they are way, way up near the top of my list of must-have shows. Why do we still have to wait for classics such as these?
     
  4. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I love the last 5 years (1968 to 1973) the best and also the 1970 to 73 episodes with Mitch Vogel as Jamie Hunter -- an orphan eventually adopted by Ben Cartwright in a 1971 episode, with the approval of sons Hoss and Joe.

    The writing and acting were still in top form....at least until Dan Blocker's death in May 1972. Aside from the Loss of Hoss in the 2 hour season premiere "Foreever" (which writer Michael Landon never explained), half of the final season's 15 episodes coincidentally suffered from weak writing because everyone knew it was coming to an end. There were also no comedies in the 1972-73 season.

    1968 was when the show took on a slick newer look from a photographic standpoint, with lots of zooms and jump cuts -- techniques taken from feature films of the day.

    I also enjoy the classy, and totally different BONANZA theme used from Blocker's last 2 years from the 12th and 13th seasons. There were 3 versions of that theme alone. In addition to how the show was shot visually, David Dortort also modernized his show in that regard. Although after Blocker died, he had composer David Rose bring back the third version of the original theme with a new instrumental. The last 3 years are only shown on the Hallmark Channel these days, and they cut the hell out of them just as TV Land did with the other package of episodes. The previously unsyndicated (until 1988) episodes start late in the 6th season in 1965, and start with "Lothario Larkin" guest-starring Noah Beery, Jr. That's the only one from those with Pernell Roberts seen in the opening theme, even though Adam isn't in the episode, because that's around the time Roberts left the series.

    But if BONANZA ever came out in season sets, they would have to start from the early seasons. Those are good too, but unfortunately many of those were already released in public domain packages from several distributors.

    Michael Landon's Little House on the Prarie was put out with its first 8 years (1974 to 1982) already. All they have left is the 9th year, after Landon left and little Shannon Doherty joined the cast in "Little House: a New Beginning". I don't like either Little House, however, but it has a huge following in its own right.
     
  5. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Artisan owns the rights to Bonanza and issued a licensed "Best of" collection of 8 episodes about two years ago. Incidentally, there are 31 "public domain" episodes and these are from seasons 1 & 2. Although it's a small collection, the Artisan release, fortunately, does not duplicate any of the PD episodes. However, after the initial release, Artisan has not shown much interest in releasing subsequent volumes of Bonanza.
     
  6. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Artisan isn't interested in releasing more BONANZA episodes, because everyone else releasing the same early episodes over and over and over again did a botch job (at least from what people who spent money on those have told me), and that includes scrapping the original theme because the estates of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans wouldn't extend the music rights.

    It's a damned shame that BONANZA -- one of the most famous American shows of all time, has been given such disrespect in video releases. The film prints needed were already remastered from the original negatives for TV reruns. It just hasn't happened on home video.

    When I think of western TV series given the royal treatment, GUNSMOKE is the first to come to mind. Others includes Have Gun, Will Travel, The Wild Wild West (even though there were no extras and the same cover art on every volume), Rawhide, and now Wanted Dead or Alive.

    I guess high-quality CBS westerns are held to a higher standard than those produced for NBC, such as BONANZA. Even "The Deputy" with Henry Fonda & Allen Case seems to be stuck in Public Domain Hell.
     
  7. MichaelColvin

    MichaelColvin Stunt Coordinator

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    My guess is that as time passes and Artisan is looking to continue its sales, and as the low hanging DVD fruit goes away, more time will be spent on this title. Remember, that we don't see or hear about anything being worked on behind the scenes in case it doesn't work out, because no one wants the added pressures...

    cheers, Michael [​IMG]
     

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