The future of Warner Archives vintage TV releases

3 Stars

I’m wondering since the DVD market has shrunken considerably, and Warner is now going back to their original premise of not remastering but using whatever elements are on hand, what will happen going forward. I really can’t see any future possibilities for shows which do not have existing tape transfers. At least all of the MGM shows acquired through Turner have one-inch transfers, even if they’re 30+ years old, they don’t look bad. However, the WB shows, like Room For One More, Adam’s Rib, The Little People, Mr. Roberts, etc., I doubt were ever put to tape and I just can’t see them spending the money at this point for shows of that stature.

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Kevin Collins

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42 Comments

  1. I am no doubt the only person on earth who gets kinda excited to see an unrestored 16mm print come up on my DVD set, aren't I? At least I know the show wasn't futzed with…:banana::banana:

  2. dawnshadow

    What exactly is this statement based on?

    Mr. Novak was done using the old Turner one-inch tape transfers from the 80s. I'm not interested in movies but people I spoke to who are tell me that some of their newer releases look abysmal.

  3. George Feltenstein, Senior VP of Classic Catalog Marketing at Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, announced the first season of Mr. Novak will be released in early 2018 in a DVD set by Warner Home Video. Prints will be struck from the original 35mm camera negatives.

    So they even went back on an official announcement? That is disappointing indeed.

  4. dawnshadow

    So they even went back on an official announcement? That is disappointing indeed.

    "Novak" still looks very very good, just not to the CBS remastering standard of "Gunsmoke" excellent, which few (if any) of WB's remastered releases ever truly attained either. What this means is that you just can't make assumptions that the quality of all future WB releases will be as consistent as before. While they won't be remastered from original film elements, they should still be based on decent pre-existing video masters, at least most of time. Which means potentially waiting for reviews before committing, like most do when it comes to non-studios related releases (e.g. Shout!).

  5. smithbrad

    "Novak" still looks very very good, just not to the CBS remastering standard of "Gunsmoke" excellent, which few (if any) of WB's remastered releases ever truly attained either. What this means is that you just can't make assumptions that the quality of all future WB releases will be as consistent as before. While they won't be remastered from original film elements, they should still be based on decent pre-existing video masters, at least most of time. Which means potentially waiting for reviews before committing, like most do when it comes to non-studios related releases (e.g. Shout!).

    I don't have a problem with the old one-inch transfers. I think they look perfectly fine. My point was, if they wouldn't spend the money on Mr. Novak then would they be willing to spend it on transfers on other, even more obscure shows.

  6. Movie releases on DVD I doubt are being done with new transfers because it's only if a movie is being redone for Blu-Ray that a new mastering would be done and I've heard no complaints about Warner Archive Blu-Ray movies. If it's a movie on DVD it's more apt to be a reissue of putting an old transfer back in print.

  7. As far as Mr. Novak S1 is concerned, it was a disappointment that it didn't happen with transfers from the original 35mm OCNs as originally promised, but I hardly begrudge the resulting DVD release from the old TNT transfers, for they look fine to me…of course, I would have loved to see them in the standard set for the Dr. Kildare releases…one thing about the Mr. Novak film sources that the old tape transfers inherited was significant, although not extensive, film frame damage to two episodes, one that was just a momentary scratchy sequence (less than 10 seconds max) in one of my absolute favorite episodes, Fear is a Handfull of Dust and another more noticeable and longer lasting longitudinal scratch (35 secs.?) sequence during the final S1 episode Senior Prom…neither incident is anywhere sufficient to bug the hell out of me. I'll post screen caps from Senior Prom soon, including of the film damage, over in the Novak thread I started in the near future… and I just want season two of Mr. Novak released in just this fashion, as S2 has at least the same proportion of truly great episodes! I was much less enthralled with Eleventh Hour, being a little more of a hard slog for me to get through the more hysterically emotive psychodramas presented therein, but there were some supremely brilliant episodes there as well, enough of them that I want the second season too.

  8. The DVD market has already had it's heyday, so at this point I'm just glad whenever a rare, short lived show from the 1960's comes out on DVD. I'm not interested in all of them, but if one that I like gets released I will buy it.

    This isn't from Warner Archive, but still waiting on VCI for that 2nd season of Burke's Law to be released, that one really needs to be released.

    Heard awhile back that Please Don't Eat The Daisies would be coming to DVD, but nothing has happened which makes me wonder if there might be some elements issues with the episodes.

    How about The Cara Williams Show? Any chance of this one coming out on DVD? I imagine probably not but it's another 1960's sitcom I'd like to add to my DVD library.

  9. Lecagr

    This isn't from Warner Archive, but still waiting on VCI for that 2nd season of Burke's Law to be released, that one really needs to be released.

    They long ago gave up the rights to do anymore releases. A certain other label that came into the Four Star Catalog could have done it a few years ago when they had the chance, but alas their philosophy was westerns only.

  10. ^^^
    I've noted before, years ago VCI wanted to continue to release more Burke's Law, and why wouldn't they–it was a huge seller for them–but that Fox (who is said to have/had the rights to it) wouldn't do it. Someone commented that they (Fox) did that quite a number of times…okayed a release of something for one season, but then stopped. It's been so long (a decade or more) that I don't recall the finer details/points of the matter.

  11. If they are not concerned with remastering, then maybe there is hope for the Banana Splits Adventure Hour. At this point I'd be happy to have straight transfers of the one-inch tapes, as long as they are the complete shows.

  12. Mark Y

    If they are not concerned with remastering, then maybe there is hope for the Banana Splits Adventure Hour. At this point I'd be happy to have straight transfers of the one-inch tapes, as long as they are the complete shows.

    And also…
    The Flintstone Comedy Hour/Show (1972-73)
    The Mumbly Cartoon Show (1976)
    CB Bears (1977)
    Skatebirds (1977)
    Yogi's Space Race (1978)
    Jana of the Jungle (1978)
    The New Fred and Barney Show (1979)
    Casper and the Angels (1979)
    The Thing (1979)
    The New Shmoo (1979)
    The Flintstone Comedy Show '80 (1980-81)

    ~Ben

  13. That's really a shame if Fox has blocked a DVD release of Burke's Law season 2. Still having some hope it will be released, if not from VCI then from another studio, but it seems like the chances are slim.

  14. Lecagr

    That's really a shame if Fox has blocked a DVD release of Burke's Law season 2. Still having some hope it will be released, if not from VCI then from another studio, but it seems like the chances are slim.

    I've been holding off purchasing season 1 precisely because season 2 never materialized. Perhaps Shout, ClassicFlix, or other distributor could pick it up.

  15. Darby67

    I've been holding off purchasing season 1 precisely because season 2 never materialized. Perhaps Shout, ClassicFlix, or other distributor could pick it up.

    I had been holding off also purchasing season 1, but recently decided to order it and I've been enjoying the episodes so of course now I'm eager for season 2. Maybe it eventually will be released.

    Another cool thing the season 1 DVD from VCI has is old commercials, they're included as bonuses on the discs.

  16. Lecagr

    I had been holding off also purchasing season 1, but recently decided to order it and I've been enjoying the episodes so of course now I'm eager for season 2. Maybe it eventually will be released.

    Another cool thing the season 1 DVD from VCI has is old commercials, they're included as bonuses on the discs.

    Lee:

    I really should purchase the complete first season. I had not heard of the show until I started reading posts about it here at HTF and I was intrigued, so it would be a blind buy for me. I just hate to start purchasing a series only to have the distributor stop releasing more seasons (i,e, the Defenders). I guess some Burk'e Law is better than no Burke's law, but as many collectors on here know all to well, a stalled series release is very frustrating..

  17. I don't hold out much hope for ever seeing season two of Burke's Law, and really sorry to hear that Timeless had a chance and passed, because they had been releasing some non-westerns while they were still in business.

    I'd recommend buying season 1 anyway. Burke's Law is too much fun of a series to pass on. The mysteries themselves are no great shakes, but the enjoyment is watching Gene Barry as Amos Burke interview all the guest stars. The show had great quality guest stars, and you could tell that they were all enjoying their 5 minute stints as murder suspects. And the vintage commercials are a blast to watch.

    Having said that, if I could pick one series that someone/anyone would "un-stall", I'd take season two of Burke's Law. (I'm assuming of course, that Gunsmoke isn't stalled, just on a really. slow. pace.)

  18. Darby67

    Lee:

    I really should purchase the complete first season. I had not heard of the show until I started reading posts about it here at HTF and I was intrigued, so it would be a blind buy for me. I just hate to start purchasing a series only to have the distributor stop releasing more seasons (i,e, the Defenders). I guess some Burk'e Law is better than no Burke's law, but as many collectors on here know all to well, a stalled series release is very frustrating..

    Yes I would recommend to go ahead and purchase the complete season 1 DVD. Currently Amazon has it for about $30, that's not a bad price.

    I waited too long to purchase the It Takes A Thief complete series. I thought about getting it when it first came out, but decided not to order, then a few years later when I was ready to order, the set had gone out of print. So I ended up paying more than I wanted to for a used set, but it's in very good condition and I'm glad I have it because it's a great series and I enjoy those episodes also.

  19. I was reading some old comments on other past threads:

    The liner notes in the Burke's Law set indicated that the intention was to get all the way through the show's run including "Amos Burke Secret Agent".

    The gist from all the posts I read, including comments from those who had been contacting VCI, is that they wanted to continue it, but Fox was holding them up for unspecified reasons. (Some comments said also that Fox was holding up Shout over more Peyton Place releases. Burke's Law had been one of VCI's top sellers. Such a shame.

  20. MartinP.

    I was reading some old comments on other past threads:

    The liner notes in the Burke's Law set indicated that the intention was to get all the way through the show's run including "Amos Burke Secret Agent".

    The gist from all the posts I read, including comments from those who had been contacting VCI, is that they wanted to continue it, but Fox was holding them up for unspecified reasons. (Some comments said also that Fox was holding up Shout over more Peyton Place releases. Burke's Law had been one of VCI's top sellers. Such a shame.

    Not sure if it was true but I remember reading on this forum years ago that after Fox saw season 1 was a successful release they wanted a lot more money for season 2 and Amos Burke Secret Agent. More money than VCI thought it was worth. That also makes sense if true.

  21. Randy Korstick

    Not sure if it was true but I remember reading on this forum years ago that after Fox saw season 1 was a successful release they wanted a lot more money for season 2 and Amos Burke Secret Agent. More money than VCI thought it was worth. That also makes sense if true.

    Whenever greed and money get involved it's the fans who lose out because then there are no more DVD's. It's a pity. Maybe this series will still one day be all the way completed but it doesn't sound promising.

  22. Darby67

    Lee:

    I really should purchase the complete first season. I had not heard of the show until I started reading posts about it here at HTF and I was intrigued, so it would be a blind buy for me. I just hate to start purchasing a series only to have the distributor stop releasing more seasons (i,e, the Defenders). I guess some Burk'e Law is better than no Burke's law, but as many collectors on here know all to well, a stalled series release is very frustrating..

    Well, Sean, I know how you feel, but I also highly recommend picking up Burke's Law Season 1. No use cutting off your nose to spite your face, or throwing the baby out with the bathwater, or whatever mixed metaphor you want to apply to the situation. 😉 Seriously, it's a very fun show, and I'd hate for you to miss out on a cool classic like this one, even if (sadly) we'll probably never see a S2. You still get 32 well-done mysteries, loaded with great supporting casts of up-and-comers and big stars on the way down. Glass half (or one-third) full, I'd say.

  23. The thing to remember about even old masters is they’re bound to be better than “alternate sources” which were just recorded off the air.

  24. Darby67

    Thank you Glenn, Lee, and Jeff for your positive endorsements for buying season 1 of Burke's Law!

    And do yourself a favor, don't read who the guest stars are. Just start watching the episodes and then marvel at the names that pop up when the credits roll.

  25. Darby67

    Thank you Glenn, Lee, and Jeff for your positive endorsements for buying season 1 of Burke's Law!

    Thanks Sean, sounds like you've ordered season 1 so I hope you enjoy the episodes, happy viewing!

    In the event the rest of the series doesn't get released, having season 1 is better than nothing. Some season 2 episodes are up on You Tube, but I don't really want to watch them there, I'd rather have DVD's.

  26. Lecagr

    In the event the rest of the series doesn't get released, having season 1 is better than nothing. Some season 2 episodes are up on You Tube, but I don't really want to watch them there, I'd rather have DVD's.

    Most of season 2 and Amos Burke, Secret Agent has aired on MeTV and also on a Decades binge some time ago. Of course, not as desirable as a dvd release, but at least worth keeping an eye out for if you enjoy the series. I wouldn't be surprised if Burkes Law popped up in the slot currently occupied by 77 Sunset Strip.

  27. Lecagr

    The DVD market has already had it's heyday, so at this point I'm just glad whenever a rare, short lived show from the 1960's comes out on DVD. I'm not interested in all of them, but if one that I like gets released I will buy it.

    This isn't from Warner Archive, but still waiting on VCI for that 2nd season of Burke's Law to be released, that one really needs to be released.

    Heard awhile back that Please Don't Eat The Daisies would be coming to DVD, but nothing has happened which makes me wonder if there might be some elements issues with the episodes.

    How about The Cara Williams Show? Any chance of this one coming out on DVD? I imagine probably not but it's another 1960's sitcom I'd like to add to my DVD library.

    The Cara Williams Show was co-produced by Keefe Brasselle"s Richieleu Productions IAW CBS, so it belongs with CBSTD, but it will never see the light of day for a one-season show like that! Head on over to YT to catch a few eps uploaded recently by Vladimir Zworkin!

  28. oldtvshowbuff

    The Cara Williams Show was co-produced by Keefe Brasselle"s Richieleu Productions IAW CBS, so it belongs with CBSTD, but it will never see the light of day for a one-season show like that! Head on over to YT to catch a few eps uploaded recently by Vladimir Zworkin!

    Thanks James, yes I've seen some of those and they are awesome, the original commercials are included also. I'd really like this series to be released on DVD but I agree it's probably not likely to happen.

  29. oldtvshowbuff

    The Cara Williams Show was co-produced by Keefe Brasselle"s Richieleu Productions IAW CBS, so it belongs with CBSTD, but it will never see the light of day for a one-season show like that! Head on over to YT to catch a few eps uploaded recently by Vladimir Zworkin!

    Wow, the guy who invented television is still kicking around at 130 year old? Good for him.

  30. Warner Archives is releasing another vintage (1960s) TV cartoon series release, Johnny Cypher in Dimension Zero: Complete Series, on July 30th.

    https://www.wbshop.com/collections/…her-in-dimension-zero-the-complete-series-mod

    [​IMG]

    This was from Joe Oriolo (former Fleischer/Famous Studios animator, and the creator of Casper the Friendly Ghost), who gave us Felix the Cat (the 'magic bag of tricks' version, with The Professor and Poindexter) and The Mighty Hercules. Differing a bit from those, the animation for Johnny Cypher was done in Japan (ala Rankin-Bass) by Fujita Associates Inc (Speed Racer), though produced entirely for western consumption. Warner has this through Seven Arts; same deal as with their prior release of Marine Boy.

    Looks like Oriolo recycled the character designs of Hercules, Helena and Newton from The Mighty Hercules for his trio of Johnny Cypher do-gooders, when handing the work over to the Japanese staff. Not surprisingly, with these production companies involved (as well as voice talent of Corrine Orr as Johnny Cypher's companions, Zena and Rhom), this show looks like an odd stylistic hybrid of The Mighty Hercules and Speed Racer, in an effort to create a cheap rip-off of Space Ghost.

  31. Johnny Cyper is a curious choice by WAC considering how many unreleased HB cartoons they have left and quite a few Ruby Spears. Just like Marine Boy I have never heard of this and I don't think either were shown in the 70's or 80's in California when I grew up. For Japanese cartoons we had Speed Race, Gigantor and Kimba the White Lion but not these two. We also had the Mighty Hercules.

  32. I remember watching Marine Boy (and then Speed Racer) growing up in the 70s in Washington State, but don't recall ever seeing or hearing about Johnny Cypher. It does seem an odd choice to release…

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