Monday, December 26, 2005

Why We Don't Post News To Tell You Something Is NOT Coming

Jim Harvey, who is one of our friends over at and the associated World's Finest site, had asked us to help him out a bit and see if we could find out the answer to a question he hadn't been having any luck with. He was wondering if we knew whether the upcoming X-Men 3 film would prompt Disney to release any box sets of the animated X-Men series from the 1992 Fox Kids Saturday Morning run. You know, like Disney did with The Fantastic Four.

We asked around with our contacts at Disney, and the answer seems to be "no". It's not on anyone's schedule, and there was no pussyfooting around with a cagey reply or anything like that. It's just not in the works, and we trust that answer. So, sorry Jim...and to fans of X-Men: there are no box sets presently planned to tie in with next May's film release. It seems like a bad idea on Disney's part, I might add, but there you go. There's still time for them to change their mind, of course.

In the meantime, one might ask, "so why don't you post this info as news at the TVShowsOnDVD News area?" We get asked that a lot: when we have info that something is NOT coming out, fans wonder why we don't share it and at least put them out of their misery. There's a lot of reasons, and I'm going to share a couple of them with you.

First of all, the simplest answer is that if we published news about what's NOT coming out, we could be at it 24/7. Every day there would be an update that Adam West's Batman is still not on the schedule due to legal issues, and Green Hornet is in the same boat. That WKRP, The Wonder Years and Ally McBeal face music-license-related cost issues that are huge obstacles to their release. That Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Airwolf, Kojak, The Larry Sanders Show, Mad About You and the most recent releases of The Osbournes didn't sell well enough to convince the studios to prioritize more season sets over other properties which may sell better.

Second of all, the next reason we don't tell you that something isn't coming out is because the studio could always change their minds, as they did with The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lost In Space. And then we would look pretty stupid for saying it wasn't coming, eh?

Just tonight I posted news that Police Squad! is probably going to be on DVD in 2006. A fellow at the Home Theater Forum told me (and others) that almost a month ago, and I arrogantly enough didn't take his word for it. Well, you can understand my's not the first time I heard that. But after a while, info from Paramount has bourne out his story (although no confirmation on his "June 2006" timeline just yet). So, a month ago I would have been posting info that Police Squad was NOT coming to DVD, and there I go and look all foolish for thinking that when it plainly wasn't true.

As I said, there are more reasons I could give you, but if those two don't convince you then I doubt the rest will. Sometimes Gord and I are accused of pandering to the studios and only passing on good news, not bad. While you all can ultimately decide that for yourselves, we don't think it's true because we say plenty of bad things about the studios, or at least hint around the edges at them (take my news posts today about Quack Pack and Goof I sound like I'm a fan of these 3-episode "best of" releases?) if not say it outright (check out recent news posts for Masters of Horror and The Real Ghostbusters).

As far as it goes, this "it's not coming" stuff really doesn't qualify as "bad news" so much as it is "non-news". We get e-mail from readers sometimes urging us to post info from such-and-such star or producer who said at a website or in an interview that their show isn't coming because of some reason, but we don't post that sort of thing because, again, we could post that sort of thing all day long and then the situation could change when we least expect it. We make exceptions only when it is to correct a mistake we made ourselves (Birds of Prey is my best-remembered example) or to change a wrong perception so huge that we're just getting buried in e-mail asking for positive news that just isn't true (the Adam West Batman being a great recent example of that).

So please understand why we don't often post about that sort of "non-news". When we have something you need to know, rest assured we're all over it!


At December 26, 2005 7:52 PM, Blogger peggy said...

That is a very interesting topic to address because at first thought common sense would say that of course you can't list that kind of news because as you stated you would be at it all day long. I questioned why anyone would even ask you that and then I read farther down and found out the answer to something I have wondered.
I am a fan of Kojak and had been hoping that the second season would be coming out even thought I haven't heard anything and now I see that it didn't sell well. It would be nice if there was somewhere on the net where fans could find out how well something actually sold so that they could draw their own conclusions instead of getting frustrated when season after season of one shows keeps coming out and the show they are wanting doesn't.
Of course I guess that wouldn't help those people that are wanting information about a show that hasn't even had a first season released.

Anyway thanks for yet another post full of interesting information.

At December 26, 2005 8:10 PM, Anonymous Steven said...

I understand the volume of shows which are not planned for release is too high for you to spend your time trying to report on them all. I am sufficiently grateful for what you are already doing that I would not want to risk breaking things.

On the flip side, it would seem to me that the distinction between "studio doesn't think it will sell" vs. "there are legal/rights issues" is significant. Sending letters, etc. might be able to influence the former; but would seem pointless in the latter case (yes?). So I find myself wishing that there was a good source for knowing at least that bit of information for my favorite, but unreleased, shows.

At December 26, 2005 8:32 PM, Blogger Dave Lambert said...

I would say that the best place to find out the info on what is selling slowly and which shows have legal issues is going to be ("HTF"), which we have a perpetual link to on our site, as it is our official discussion forum. The day-to-day members there often are very in-the-know about these subjects, because folks visit who supply this info and tend to answer the questions like these.

If for any reason HTF is not a good choice for you, then is the alternative. It's a bit more wild 'n wooly there, but some prefer the less-structured approach. But the same type of info gets circulated there as well.

At December 26, 2005 8:40 PM, Blogger Gord Lacey said...

There's a great source of sales info, Video Scan, but it costs upwards of $30,000/yeah for access to the info. Unfortunately we're not in a position to subscribe to the info; it's geared towards the studios.

At December 27, 2005 9:45 AM, Blogger peggy said...

I do visit the HTF daily. One day I saw the link on your site and decided to see what is was all about and have enjoyed reading and posting there ever since. Because of that I generally know when a show has "issues" but rarely do I ever see anything about how a show is selling or if it isn't selling. LOL!

Back to the original idea of this post, I like the idea of a site where you know the what you read is going to be good news. In a far off comparison it is similar to Christmas in checking in to see what you guys have for us today.

At December 28, 2005 9:40 PM, Blogger Phoenician said...

I think that if a show is not listed, then it urges the fans just a bit to vote for those shows there interested in.

Like on the day I joined, I checked which shows that I wanted on DVD. Those that didn't have any news article I went to vote for.

At December 30, 2005 12:49 AM, Anonymous Delmo Walters Jr. said...

I contacted Scott Hettrick, an editor at Video Business, about the holdup over the 1966 Batman series. This is what he told me..."I can tell you that the reps for the family estate of creator/owner Mr. Dozier (William?) is holding up the release of the 1960s Batman TV series on DVD, from what I understand. Rumor has it that they have some longstanding dislike/distrust of Fox and may look to find someone else to release the series on DVD, but are in no hurry. There is apparently a similar situation with The Green Hornet series. That's all I can tell you for now. Let us know if you hear anything. Scott"

At December 31, 2005 7:00 PM, Blogger The Thomas Montalto Blog said...

Well, lets hope hope they change their mind about Happy Days. Did anyone really expect Season 1 to be a huge seller???

At January 02, 2006 5:38 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

I think there's a natural desire to want to know if one's favorite show is coming to DVD, but I have taken this approach: if has not said that it will be coming to DVD, then I know that, for the foreseeable future, it is not coming to DVD. You guys are so frickin' thorough with release info that it's unreal, so basically, I pretty much know if I don't see it on your site, it just ain't happenin' and maybe if I wait another year it will. That's how I handled "Full House" and "Growing Pains" anxiety.

When it comes down to series that have already had a season or two released, I suppose it's a whole different ballgame. Naturally one expects the follow-up, especially with a series that was a huge as "Happy Days." I have to admit that I'm pretty bummed out about the axe falling on "Mork & Mindy" and "7th Heaven," as I was fully dedicated to buying every single release. I'm still waiting to see if "Punky Brewster" is going to make it to season 3.

In order to keep DVD cancellations from happening, I employ a new strategy when I buy TV DVD sets. If a set is coming out that I really want to see completed, I get to the store the minute it's released and snatch it up. Not only that, but if it's a series that I really want to see completed, I'll buy multiple copies and use the extras for Christmas presents later. I want to do everything I can to cast my vote monetarily and contribute to their first week sales total. I have a feeling that many of these cancelled sets happen because consumers who want the show just say "oh, I'll get it soon, but not right now." And then, usually, they'll get it out of the used store, months after the studios have decided it's not popular enough to warrant a second season release.

At January 03, 2006 1:49 PM, Blogger charmedfan01 said...

i know what you mean about posting the news 24/7 but to tell you the truth it drives me crazy not knowing the fate my favorite tv show, who's the boss? although it would disappoint me 2 no end to find out if they gave up on would also give a sense of closure...of knowing what the studio thinks..

At January 07, 2006 4:49 PM, Anonymous JulieCooperLover said...

I wondered if anyone could expand upon the Ally McBeal issue? My girlfriend loved the series so I ended up getting the Region 2 sets from Amazon UK, who not only have full season box sets but also half series sets and a big whole series collection. If they can sort rights issues out for Europe then surely there must be some hope in us getting them in the US eventually.

At January 10, 2006 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, Disney has really been missing the boat with X-Men. They could have released season sets to tie in wiht the releases of all 3 movies. But instead they opted for some random episode volumes for the first two, and now apparently NOTHING for the third one.

This was a great series, and seeing how well the sets of Batman: The Animated Series sold (a show that many fans consider to be about on par with X-Men for intelligent animated fare from the 90's), they should really get off their duffs and get to work putting out this potential cash cow. I know I'd snap it up the second it came out.

- Zaranyzerak

At January 10, 2006 1:07 PM, Blogger Zaranyzerak said...

Boy, Disney is really missing the boat having the rights to the 90's X-Men series. They're sitting on a nice, big potential cash cow, what with the success of the movies, yet they're doing nothing with it. For the first two movies, we got random episode single discs. And now, apprently, with the third we're getting nothing. DO something with it, or hand the rights off to someone else.

Fans generally consider this to be on par with Batman: The Animated series for quality storytelling in an animated comic book adaptation. Disney should really sit up and take notice of how well the Batman sets have sold, take full advantage of the public's hunger for all things X-Men, and release season sets already! It's infuriating when companies have potentially red-hot properties sitting in their lap and do nothing with them.

I know I'd snap up a release of this X-cellent series the second it came out. And I know for a fact I'm not alone in this regard. My money's waiting, I want to spend it on X-Men! C'mon Disney, let me give you my money...

- Zaranyzerak

At January 10, 2006 1:08 PM, Blogger Zaranyzerak said...

oops...sorry for the double-post, didn't realize the first one went through...


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