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WKRP In Cincinnati: The Complete Series Review (See Posts #218 & 356 for Info)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Brian Himes, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. AndrewCrossett

    AndrewCrossett Second Unit

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    I'm not faulting Shout for using this version, just saying it would have been nice to have the very different syndicated version as an extra. It would have been a good selling point.

    IMDB apparently has no idea this version exists, either. Have we had any confirmation that this was in fact the original broadcast version?
     
  2. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    That's one of those cases where it would have been nice to have someone familiar with the show working on it, so they could have said "wait a minute, this is the original master, but the ending is totally different from the version we've seen for 35 years... what's up with that?"

    But, I'm guessing they were just checking runtimes and music, and the runtime was correct.
     
  3. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    I don't know when the series was prepped for syndication, but I haven't watched it since about the mid-80s, and the only version I remember is the one with Vincent Schiavelli and Johnny saving the day.
     
  4. classictvfan40

    classictvfan40 Second Unit

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    Thats the one I just saw on Hulu.
     
  5. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    Yes. Everything in that section of the episode is the same as the original.
     
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  6. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    Since I think I was the one who brought up the speculation here, I don't think anyone has actually confirmed that the version of "The Contest" included on this set is truly the original broadcast version. I guess only those who worked on the show would actually know for sure (and even they might not remember) or if someone actually videotaped that original airing in January of 1979.
     
  7. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    I've asked a couple of people who worked on the show about "The Contest," but... they don't remember so far. (It was 35 years ago, after all.) Maybe someone's memory will be jogged after they see the set.

    If I had to speculate on what happened - and this is only speculation, you understand - I believe "Contest" may have been the last episode taped before they were placed on hiatus, and it was aired after they received a surprise pickup for the rest of the season. (The show came very close to being canceled after the first 8 episodes aired.) Maybe they used this opportunity to tape a new ending for the episode where Johnny Fever could save the day, instead of the station just being humiliated again.

    Like I said, that's only speculation. It wouldn't explain things like running times or why TV Guide lists John Wheeler as the guest star, and it wouldn't explain why a master tape of the original still exists (if they just reshot before airing, wouldn't they have thrown out the old scenes?). But it would explain what we know, that there are two different, complete versions of the episode in the vaults.

    Maybe someone from the show will remember and let us know exactly what version was made when, and which one aired first.

    Obviously it would have been better if both versions could have been included on the set. But I can't blame Shout! for not knowing about this: fans didn't know, people who worked on the show never mentioned it before (and apparently some of them don't remember), and there's virtually no precedent for this. (I have never heard of an episode that isn't a pilot existing in two complete, different versions with different actors.) We'll just have to live with the fact that we need to hang on to that crummy Fox DVD set for one version of the episode.
     
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  8. AndrewCrossett

    AndrewCrossett Second Unit

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    There's only one answer: it's an incursion from an alternate universe.

    If so, I hope it is a universe where music licensing is less insane.

    It could be that the producers and writers were running scared, on the brink of cancellation, and desperately trying to "punch up" episodes to make them funnier. This version might never have actually aired, in fact. IMDB doesn't list this episode as a credit for John Wheeler (although it will probably have to now).
     
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  9. spartandrew15

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    Felder's lawsuit was settled in '07. I wonder what his lawsuit has to do with the Eagles licensing music for movies & TV. Which brings me to also respond to another poster's comment...
    Well, ever since the Eagles settled with Felder 7 years ago (and after Felder sued the band in '01), here is a rough list of film & TV shows that have featured Eagles songs since then via IMDB:

    [*]Cold Case in 2005
    [*]Entourage in 2005 and 2006
    [*]The Simpsons in 2005 and 2014 (the Treehouse of Horror XVI ep is to be released in the Season 17 DVD in December. That episode features "New Kid in Town". Assuming that the Simpsons producers signed music rights for all media not just broadcast - it was 2005 for goodness sakes - the song should be kept for DVD.)
    [*]The Sopranos in 2001 (a season 3 episode featured "Hotel California" and was released to DVD in 2002)
    [/list]
     
  10. AndrewCrossett

    AndrewCrossett Second Unit

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    All those shows had network or HBO budgets behind them, though. Shout has to come up with the money on their own. The Eagles license may have been available, but too pricy for them.
     
  11. Matt.Koz

    Matt.Koz Stunt Coordinator

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    I was under the impression that the Perry Como vocal had been replaced in Bah Humbug. To my ears, sounds like the same song, different vocalist. Ca anyone confirm?
     
  12. johnnyelectron

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    David Letterman just two weeks ago spent an entire segment on how he wanted to have Paul play an Eagles song and the stage manager/producer (whomever she was at his left) said "STOP" - 'you cannot use an Eagles song on a TV show or you'll get sued" - they checked with their legal counsel, who also confirmed that The Eagles won't 'stoop to using their music on TV shows' - then Dave threw out a number of $250,000 - and I don't know if he was serious, or not, but seemed to indicate that was the going rate if you really wanted to use an Eagles song by his band to introduce a guest. Amazing how he spent 6-7 minutes making the Eagles look like a bunch of pigs for a quarter mil for just a 30 second segment of their music.
    Obviously, Shout! can't justify a quarter mil for either the Eagles, Pink Floyd or The Beatles. Granted, I'd love to have the dog bark segment with Pink Floyd intact, but it just isn't financially feasible.

    Also, here's some video they probably don't have: "Andy" is shown leaning against a desk saying, "During this Christmas season we wanted to show our most requested show" and it segued into the 'Turkey's Away' episode. Wonder if that video introduction was just for syndication and if that intro segment that he made was included - but it would have been while they were still filming the show a year or two later. Perhaps it was the same amount of time as the cut Pink Floyd segment? Anybody recall that?

    PS: Thanks Brian!
     
  13. spartandrew15

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    True. Could be the same reason why Shout couldn't license Chuck Berry or Beatles songs for this DVD release. The producers of Mad Men had to pay $250,000 for a Beatles song for an episode. I'm looking up Chuck Berry on IMDB right now and see that the shows/movies that use his songs often have been distributed to DVD by major studios that can afford to pay through the nose for Berry songs. Given the budget constraints an independent studio like Shout has to operate under, music licensing is a zero-sum game; licensing one of the incidental Beatles songs would come at the cost of a more important song that was probably referenced in a funny moment ("Tiny Dancer" for instance).
     
  14. Skywalker79

    Skywalker79 Auditioning

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    Bailey picks up an album cover in that scene, that could be a clue as to what song it was. I only have a bootleg copy and it wasn't the best video quality so I couldn't figure it out.
     
  15. AndrewCrossett

    AndrewCrossett Second Unit

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    Yet they were able to use Johnny's spoken-word Chuck Berry lyrics in the Rip Tide episode.

    It must be a lot cheaper if you just use the song rather than the original artist recording.
     
  16. Obtuse

    Obtuse Stunt Coordinator

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    I bet John Wheeler would know the story (as his scene was cut). Hope Mr. Wheeler gets any royalties he's due for this set, or at least the proper credit. (Sadly Vincent Schiavelli is no longer with us, so we can't ask him).
     
  17. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    Well folks, here are the final episodes of season 3.

    Dr. Fever & Mr. Tide: There are two music edits. First, once again The Rolling Stones song Sympathy For The Devil is gone. It has been substituted with some generic rock song with the same basic beat and tempo. There is no dialogue over the song so nothing is edited out of the scene. However, Andy does a bit of singing along with the song in a soft voice (almost a whisper) so the volume of the replacement song is loud enough to cover this up. The second music edit is the loss of Chic's Le Freak. It has been replaced with some generic disco song. No dialogue, just dancing so nothing is edited out of the scene. The kids dances moves really don't fit with the replacement song, but that's minor. This episode is presented in its original hour long version. Running time: 47:34. The bumper just before the tag scene is there.

    Ask Jennifer: No music edits due to there being no music in the episode. Running time: 24:55.

    I Am Woman: No music edits. The Gershwin song Lady Be Good that is played on the piano in the bar scene is intact. Running time: 24:58.

    Secrets Of Dayton Heights: No music edits. Running time: 25:00. The bumper before the tag scene is there.

    Out To Lunch: There are two music edits. The Bee Gees Jive Talkin' has been replaced by a song that sort of sounds like Jive Talkin' in that all you can really make out is the lyric 'talkin', talkin'. The original dialogue in this scene is there and has not been overdubbed. As expected, The Beatles Here Comes The Sun is also gone. It has been replaced by some generic piano music that seems to be more appropriate to a restaurant setting (which is where the scene takes place). The original dialogue is intact with no overdubbing. All of the other music in the episode is intact as originally broadcast. Running time: 24:56. The bumper before the tag scene is there.

    A Simple Little Wedding: No music edits. Running time: 24:36. The bumper before the tag scene is there.

    Nothing To Fear But...: No music edits. Running time: 24:54.

    'Till Debt Do Us Part: There is one music edit. Dave Mason's We Just Disagree is gone from the tag scene. It was not replaced with anything. The original dialogue is there with no overdubbing. Running time: 24:53. A silent bumper just before the tag scene is there.

    Clean Up Radio Everywhere: No music edits. I am also very happy to report that Dr. Bob Hayler reciting the lyrics to John Lennon's Imagine is there and has not been tampered with. I don't know what this cost Shout, but I'm betting it didn't come cheap. Kudos to them for being able to keep this episode 100% intact. The loss of the recitation of Imagine would have ruined the entire episode. Bravo! Running time: 24:55.

    Well, we have reached the end of season 3 and I'm pretty pleased. Outside of the redubbing of Johnny Olson's voice in the Real Families episode we have had little to no terrible overdubbing. In my opinion, all of the music replacements have been handled very well with no loss of dialogue.

    I'll be back tomorrow with the beginning of the fourth and final season. Since I have the weekend off, my goal is to have all of this finished on Saturday. I'm right on track so keep your fingers crossed.

    Until tomorrow....
     
  18. TJSBEATLES

    TJSBEATLES Agent

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    I know we all have our personal favorites that have disappeared, and I'm not saying this is anywhere near as big as the loss of "Dogs"... But losing "We Just Disagree" at the end of "'Til Debt..." is a rough one for me. It's the first time I ever heard that song or knew who Dave Mason was, and it ended the episode so well. In radio parlance, the end of the song hit the post - the final "oh-oh, oh-oh-oh's" were timed perfectly with the fade out of the last scene.

    I understand no Beatles (they're my favorite band, which makes their absence pretty rough - but given how expensive their rights are, I get it), no Floyd, no certain Stones, and even no Eagles. But when you look at the absences of songs from, for example, The Sports & Dave Mason, it makes one kind of scratch their head...
     
  19. AndrewCrossett

    AndrewCrossett Second Unit

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    Just out of curiosity... why did Johnny Olson's voice need to be redubbed?
     
  20. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    Brian, can you please answer a couple of questions for me?

    1) Is the voice of the woman who said she was beat-up by her husband in "Ask Jennifer", the original meek sounding voice, or the confident-sounding, redubbed woman, in the 1990's Syndication version? Please double check.

    2) Is it really that hard to clear Gershwin music, given that the Gershwin estate, along with Sonny Bono (and later, his estate) extended the copyright laws? Doesn't seem like so, given how much Gershwin music has been cleared on DVD releases of TV shows over the years.
     

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