Would you buy shows you haven't seen 100 times in syndication?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mark To, May 8, 2004.

  1. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Just curious as to some of the buying habits. It seems that what is getting released, for the most part, are the shows that have constantly been run. The "TV Land" version of television, which is the same dozen or so shows from each decade that have remained popular in syndication. So here are my questions. For those folks who like the Sherwood Schwartz type fluff shows, would you buy It's About Time if it got released? For the Screen Gems, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie fans, would you buy Second Hundred Years, Gidget, Occasional Wife, Love on a Rooftop? For the Get Smart, spy spoof lovers, would you buy Double Life of Henry Phyfe? For the unreleastic 60s show fans of things like My Favorite Martian, would you buy My Living Doll?
    What I'm asking is does a show have to be something you've constantly seen or would you go for something that has run very little or not at all in the last 30 or 40 years. And I know some younger people like shows before their time. What about you, would you buy something you'd never seen based on write-ups or from what you read in Total Television?
     
  2. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Your question is kind of all over the map, but I'll give it a shot.

    1) I'd never buy a tv show I hadn't seen. So that eliminates all of the shows you asked about except Gidget.

    2) I'd certainly buy a show I had only seen very few times (each episode once or less than once). For example, I'd buy CPO Sharkey (the episodes I saw I saw only once on their original tv run). I'd also buy Knot's Landing (again, I've only seen some of these, and only once).

    3) Basically it boils down to rewatchability. If I'd enjoy watching them again, I'll buy them whether I've seen every episode multiple times (e.g., MASH, The Brady Bunch), or only some epsidodes (e.g., Reginald Perrin).

    4) Even if I would like to rewatch it, I'm not going to buy MAR versions like Kung Fu. [​IMG]
     
  3. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    I think it depends to a degree. I am finding myself more open to sampling shows from a similar genre and timeframe as ones I already enjoy. For instance I have just about assembled all the "Twilight Zone" boxed sets (just got Box 4 today and have just one more to go), and once that is finished I am willing to give both "Outer Limits" and "Night Gallery" a chance even though my exposure to those shows consists of only four episodes in the case of "Outer Limits" and one with "Night Gallery."

    Likewise, I would buy "Columbo" in an instant as its my favorite, and I would be willing to buy similar 70s cop/detective shows like "McCloud", "McMillan And Wife" and even the shorter lived failures of the NBC Mystery Movie wheel that I have never seen.

    Oh and regarding "CPO Sharkey." I wonder if I'm the only one who taped every episode in the Comedy Central "Dishonorable Discharge" marathon of 1992 when they ran every episode in order one last time to mark their permanent removal of the show from the channel? [​IMG]
     
  4. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    Well, I'm far more inclined to buy tv-series I haven't seen to death. I just can't get all that excited over the release of some tv-show that I've had almost continuous access to for twenty straight years. Even if it's one I like very much. For example, I love "The Dick Van Dyke Show." It's an old favorite. I enjoy it dearly. But, darn, the episodes are just too engrained in my memory banks. Granted the extras, the print quality, and the lack of commercial intrusions are impressive advantages, and in many cases might indeed sway me. I've been gradually learning how marvelous these advantages are, and I think my potential purchases are expanding because of them.

    Still, most of the TV-Land warhorses don't interest me too much. Too much over-exposure year after year. I don't quite see myself purchasing Lucy, Honeymooners, Bewitched, Jeannie, Bradys, Hillbillies and such. There's a second tier of somewhat less-seen series that I'm far more apt to go for. Add to that a wide variety of obscurities, which I'd very likely jump at. So, I'm probably an anomaly in that I'd undoubtedly purchase Schwartz' "It's About Time," but NOT "Gilligan" or "Bradys."
     
  5. david_slater

    david_slater Stunt Coordinator

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    it dont matter how miny times its been shown.
    if i like it i buy it.
    simple as that. i dont trust the networks to keep showing the shows i like to see. there are a ton of shows i like they dont show anymore. so now i get them anyway i can.
     
  6. Tom.W

    Tom.W Stunt Coordinator

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    I will generally try not to watch a show "into the ground" whether it be from my own collection or from an everyday airing on TVLand. I occasionally would watch a Dick Van Dyck episode off the air, but since its release on Time-Warner and Image, I held off until purchasing them.

    This poses an interesting question though, about the advantages of more or less exposure on a network like TVLand. As much as I'm frustrated by their yanking Gidget after only one or two months, maybe that will whet people's appetites who haven't seen the older shows. Those who don't remember it may be interested enough to commit to a dvd purchase. There a lot of people, say under 40, who have never seen b/w My Three Sons unless they caught it on Nick at Night in the mid eighties or didn't blink and miss it in 2000 on TVLand. I'd definitely like to see that one on dvd and maybe those familiar with the color eps would too. Is My Three Sons still in the Viacom, et al. library?
     
  7. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer
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    I'd be more likley to buy a show that I've never seen but looks promising (like The Sopranos) over one that I've seen 100 times in syndication. When my girlfriend asked for Friends on dvd for Christmas I wondered out loud why pay money for the same show that you can watch every day ota?
     
  8. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    I would definately buy shows that aren't re-runned to death in syndication. Some of these shows I've only seen once, and never again, shows like: The Secrets of Isis, Harper Valley P.T.A., The Farmer's Daughter, Sheena. Heck, I'll even purchase "My Living Doll" if the price was right. But---I won't buy any of the current shows that I haven't seen like Smallville or Buffy. I like 60s and 70s stuff, so I am more likely to make a blind buy from that era.

    In fact, I just purchased the boxed set of "One Step Beyond," even though its been years since I've seen it and I can't recall every episode like "The Twilight Zone," but I remember liking it.

    I even bought season 1 of Baretta. That was a blind buy. I was too young to care about it when it was originally on. I watched it all, but I sold it after I was finished with it. I think the reason why I bought it was because there weren't as many tv season sets out on the market at the time (a year ago or two ago) as there are now. Now there too much. I want it all.

    I even started subscribing to Columbia House's "Land of the Giants" dvd series. I don't remember that one at all. I don't think it was syndicated as much where I lived. That was a blind buy. I always liked Irwin Allen's "Lost in Space," so I figured I might like "Giants" as well, and I was right.
     
  9. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Hey, I think Mark would like different shows released on DVD!

    One thing I wonder about is cause and effect - both third-run and DVD are making their decisions based on the same things; which shows they think their audience wants, and coming up with the same results. There are certainly likely to be many lesser-known quality series, but it's quite cable airtime and DVD release is correlation, and not causation.
     
  10. Deb Walsh

    Deb Walsh Stunt Coordinator

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    Second Hundred Years? I'd buy that in a second. Ditto Farmer's Daughter, Love on a Rooftop, Bridget Loves Bernie, My World and Welcome to It, Occasional Wife, My Living Doll, Wendy and Me, etc.
     
  11. JasonPW

    JasonPW Stunt Coordinator

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    To get me to plunk down umpty-some dollars on an evergreen series that's been run to death and back, ya gotta gimme something I don't have. Commentary, deleted scenes, bloopers, appearances of cast members on other shows, GOOD documentaries, original commercials, etc. So for me it's:

    DICK VAN DYKE--yes
    HONEYMOONERS CLASSIC 39--no

    Also, good extras make a mediocre on-the-fence show a must-buy. Case in point: "Here's Lucy." This 1968-1974 show (sorry Lucy fans)is generally hideous--I know because it was in reruns when I was a kid. But its "Best Of" release will include commentaries from Carol Burnett and Luci and Desi Jr., bloopers, all kinds of rarities!

    There are only a few TV shows I would buy sight-unseen on DVD--disasters like the one episode of "Turn-On" or something like that.

    Doc
     
  12. Randi

    Randi Stunt Coordinator

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    Much to the disappointment of my non-dvd lovin' husband, I would blind buy Love on a Rooftop & The Farmer's Daughter.

    I do own the Dick Van Dyke dvds as I've finally been able to watch eps I've missed and I've been able to run some eps into the ground.

    I would buy a b&w Bewitched set but not a color set just because I haven't watched them as much. I certainly wouldn't buy Andy Griffith season sets but I would buy a Route 66 season set. I would even consider Dr. Kildare or a Ben Casey over ER anyday.

    Miss Randi
     
  13. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Randi and Deb sound like intelligent viewers in this Buffy-ized world we live in. I think our odds are not good on these single-season shows from the past, unless they've achieved a cult status (like The Prisoner). Some shows I would love to see I just don't think have a chance. Almost all single season shows from the 50s thur 70s, I would say there is very little chance. Some of the ones I think have a slight possibility are:

    Gidget - best of Sally Field's 3 series and has had some play on TV Land
    Time Tunnel - SciFi will always sell and it was a pretty good show (by Irwin Allen standards)
    Honey West - a minor cult show, first of the female private eyes. Black and white could hurt it.

    I would love to be proven wrong but I just can't see any other shows of this kind coming out. Not to say they couldn't sell if they were marketed properly but I just don't see it. There would need to be the kind of sub-licensing in place that we see with music for something to change. So, don't get rid of those He and She tapes from USA just yet.
     
  14. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    I would if I really like the show. I generally need to have seen at least a couple episodes before I will buy it, but if the buzz for something I haven't seen is huge ("Freaks & Geeks"), I will pull the trigger and buy it.

    I'll also buy something I haven't seen if I trust the people behind the show. For instance, I was ready to buy "The West Wing" without having seen an episode in my life because I knew Sorkin/Schlamme from "Sports Night", which I absolutely love. Luckily, Bravo started showing it in syndication just before season 1 came out on DVD, so I was able to confirm that the show is terrific.

    I've seen one or two episodes of "Undeclared" (and don't remember them), but I'm so impressed with "Freaks & Geeks", that "Undeclared" will be a release day purchase for me.

    Finally, I just heard that "Night Gallery" is coming to DVD. I have never seen the show in my life, but I will buy it because I love Rod Serling and the original "Twilight Zone" is still my all-time favorite series. I have seen very few episodes of the '80s "TZ" series, but I will buy it on release day.
     
  15. Roger Wink

    Roger Wink Auditioning

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    Yes, I would buy thinks that are run all the time in sydications for all the reasons above plus, my biggest one, they are complete on DVD, they rarely are in syndication. Footage is removed to make room for both national and local commercials, so you are rarely if ever seeing the full episode.
     
  16. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    How often a show is played in syndication really has no bearing on whether I'd buy it. For example, The Simpsons is on three times a day in my market area, but Fox can't put these out fast enough as far as I am concerned. Plus, DVD is a great way to see shows that are never in syndication -- The Prisoner, Danger Man, The Flash (as so many of said we'd like to see), and so on. For serialized shows, like Alias or Babylon 5, DVD is the best way to see them, IMO. You can watch them unfold at your own pace, not unlike reading a novel.
     
  17. Joe_Pinney

    Joe_Pinney Stunt Coordinator

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    I can recite "I Love Lucy" dialogue in my sleep (literally), but yes, absolutely I'd buy a heavily rerun TV series that I love on DVD for a few reasons - 1. no commercials (always a plus), 2. I can watch whichever episode I like WHEN I like, and it looks good, 3. I can rewatch a scene or episode as many times as I like, 4. if I have marathon viewings I can stop and start wherever I like (unlike a broadcast....well, until TiVo came along).

    I just wish the "I Love Lucy" DVDs were packaged better and more economically (and at a lower price point), and that the seasons were coming faster. Honest to God, that show is part of who I am as a person (yes, I spent many countless hours in front of the boob tube as a kid), so having DVDs of a show like that is like having a family album.

    Same goes for "Brady Bunch" or "Happy Days" or any other show that's a favorite of mine. It might be rerun often, but when and where is sometimes tricky, and I can't record every instance. DVD season sets are simply the best way to collect an entire TV series, heavily rerun or obscure.
     

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