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WKRP...Complete Series Coming Soon! (See Post #109)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm guessing that in the case of Carol Burnett, Columbia House licensed the music (rather than the owner of the series) so when Time Life put episodes out, they would have to pay to license that music again. With WKRP, I can't say for sure but if Fox has been licensing music recently, they must be getting the rights in perpetuity (unlike when the show was made, they'd now know to cover all their bases in terms of selling the show in the future) so I'd imagine that handing the show over to Shout wouldn't affect Fox having the music.

    Keep in mind that, I did say "I'm guessing that", "I can't say for sure" and "I'd imagine that". :)
     
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  2. albert_m2

    albert_m2 Second Unit

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    That's exactly my point. When I say that fans need to be realistic, that they need to be realistic. And that means reducing expectations to what Shout can accomplish.
    No, the songs weren't built in to the show's planned DVD release because there was no such thing. The show suffered through low ratings in the 1999-2000 season, well before season sets became the norm for TV.
     
  3. Ken_Martinez

    Ken_Martinez Second Unit

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    Guys, Shout isn't a naive, brand-new, fly-by-night outfit, and it's not a secret that WKRP has been (with one VERY unpopular exception) MIA for the entire existence of home video because of it's music issues.

    They knew damn well what they were getting into with this show, so I'm sure this set will be as pleasing as it can possibly be.
     
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  4. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    I never watched this show when it was on , but I caught up with it in reruns and liked it . So, the songs aren't a really big issue for me. It would be nice if it has the original music,but even without clearing up the music issues , I'll be buying .
     
  5. chas speed

    chas speed Second Unit

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    TV shows like SCTV and Crime Story had a LOT more music to clear then WKRP. Clearing WKRP should be a piece of cake compared to those shows. I think every second of background music on SCTV was "borrowed" from somewhere and until it went to home video they had never bothered to clear one second of it. Dave Thomas once joked that they just "forgot" to pay for clearance. The amazing thing was they did get away with it for all those years.
     
  6. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    hey guys,

    the glass isnt always half empty !!!!
     
  7. Curtis F

    Curtis F Stunt Coordinator

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    I am excited about this. I am sure there will be some music edits, but if they can at least get a higher percentage of the music than Fox did, I'll be happy. At least get enough that they don't have to cut dialogue or cut scenes.
     
  8. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Pretty surprising and pleasant news. First Bob Newhart and now WKRP. Oooooo! As Les would say.
     
  9. Claude North

    Claude North Second Unit

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    One thing I would like to see, and I don't know if any company has ever done this, is a guide to whatever cuts (if any) are made. Whenever I see on the back of a DVD box the disclaimer that some episodes might have been altered from their original broadcast form, I'm always curious to know exactly what the alterations are. Also, I think it might smooth a few ruffled feathers is people knew that a certain song is no longer available for licensing, or that the cost to license a song is prohibitively expensive and would require the end product to be sold at an unreasonably high list price.
     
  10. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    IIRC, when Sony cut Love and Marriage from Married With Children, I think more people were offended by the Syndication cut episodes than were offended by the theme song removal, because Sony actually explained the situation.

    And I still don't know how Mill Creek got the theme song. I hope Shout does as well at their WKRP re-try.
     
  11. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    Claude, we managed to get a complete list of the songs cleared for China Beach from Time Life before the set was released:
    http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/China-Beach-Complete-Collection/18122

    As for the disclaimer on the back of the box; I know CBS uses this on a TON of their releases, even ones without any edits. It's a "cover our butt" disclaimer that the lawyers insist on using in case something has been edited. It even appears on sets that they're 99% sure are completely intact. Crazy, right?

    I'll definitely mention to Shout! Factory that it would be nice to get a list of the cleared music for WKRP, once they're done with the licensing.

    I'm fairly certain I've shared this before (maybe not on HTF), but here's a secret for music licensing you may not be aware of. When a major studio licenses a song, they license it for all territories (the world), and all media, forever. When a smaller studio like Shout! Factory licenses a song they're only doing it in the region they release in (North America), for DVD (though Shout! has gotten into some streaming for a few things), and for the term of the contract. It's obviously much cheaper for Shout! to license a song for a DVD sold within North America for 5 years than it would be for Fox to license a song to use on any media around the world forever. This also explains why you'd see some music differences on the Columbia House releases of Carol Burnett compared to Time Life; the rights didn't transfer over to Time Life. Hope that helps.
     
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  12. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    Here's a link to the changes in the Fox season 1 DVD set. While this is really outdated, it might help to compare what is currently being shown on Antenna TV versus those DVDs. It's at least a starting place to begin a list of what music is in the series. At least for season 1.

    http://zvbxrpl.blogspot.com/2007/03/wkrp-dvd-not-ok.html
     
  13. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    The irony of that is they still got sued over a song that slipped through the cracks on a Family Ties episode. I'm still laughing about that. I guess I just have a taste for gallows humor.
     
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  14. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    There's another thread around here on the issues of music clearances. In it, a person who seemed fairly knowledgeable explained that one reason it is particularly expensive for big studios to clear music is that their practice is typically to clear it for all possible uses for all time.
    Conversely, licensees can sometimes get clearances more cheaply because the use and time frame is limited. If Fox has been clearing up some of the issues with WKRP, my guess is that it would carry over to Shout based on that.
     
  15. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I wonder if sometimes this is why music rights owners (and these are not always the artists, by the way!) will balk at agreeing to a license. If the terms of the agreement are very vague ("all possible uses for all time" is pretty vague wording, you must admit), then perhaps that is why they don't want to agree. I mean, what happens if some new technology comes along later which really screws them out of money they ought to be due, but no longer are due because they agreed to this license for some DVDs of an old TV show? Let's face it: if you're the owner of the rights to a major piece of music (say, "Stairway to Heaven" just for an example), you don't want to suddenly find out that you no longer own the rights to your song because you signed those rights away to a DVD studio because 10 seconds of that song were included on an episode of WKRP. Right? These people are VERY protective of their music rights. Fans of TV-DVDs (clearly I'm one of them) have to recognize that, and recognize that this is sometimes why we'll get TV-DVDs with most of the rights cleared, but maybe not all of them. StarVista/Time-Life got SO much China Beach music cleared, but not 100%. I clearly think 100% is unrealistic for WKRP, but if Shout! can get the cleared percentage in the high 90s then I'll be a very happy camper (yes, I'm a huge fan of this show, with high standards, too!).
     
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  16. LeoA

    LeoA Cinematographer

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    Any corporation with a significant music library is well versed in licensing it out and can manage a deal without inadvertently signing away their own property. So I don't think that explains the difficulty here.

    The problem is largely the lack of flexibility. The rights holders for some content can't see the forest for the trees and realize that a small excerpt of one of their properties for a decades old tv show not only can't support but doesn't justify the same type of fee as if something like Hollywood came calling and wanted the latest and greatest as the theme for their next movie.

    That creates some unfortunate situations from time to time when a realistic proposition can't be agreed upon with the end result being that neither side ends up benefiting.
     
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  17. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    Weren't the syndicated reruns of WKRP changed from the original network versions with regard to music replacement? I seem to remember that being mentioned in one of the monolithic threads here on the subject. If this is true, then which "version" might we be getting with a complete series set? Would they be trying to replicate the original versions or some form of the syndicated versions?
     
  18. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    When the show first went into syndication shortly after the original run, the series kept all of the original music. After that, the licensing expired and the original music could no longer be used. In the late 90's (around the time that VHS box sets were being released of 'The Best Of' of several MTM sitcoms) the series went through a drastic retooling. Generic music was inserted into the series, but because of the way the series was produced, several scenes had to have voice actors redub new dialogue over the existing dialogue. Some scenes were edited out all together to eliminate the music.

    As to which version we might be seeing on this new set, I couldn't say. I'm hoping that Fox and Shout pull out the 100% original masters and attempt to clear the music from those tapes. Like Dave said above, if they can clear upwards of 95% of the music, the set should be almost like the original run of the series. If not, we may get something close to, but maybe better than the late 90's syndicated version. From what I've heard, the recent Antenna TV run of the series had even more music restored than the previous late 90's syndicated package. I don't really know. I avoided watching it on Antenna TV because I knew is was going to be butchered.
     
  19. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (A general rhetorical question).

    More generally, has there been any music-heavy tv show dvd releases, which had ALL of the original music intact from the original first-run broadcasts?
     
  20. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Freaks And Geeks did but while it had a lot of known music, the series didn't even last 20 episodes.
     

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