Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gone

The last blog post started off as a discussion on why we aren't seeing continued releases of certain shows on DVD, and drifted into talk of piracy, censorship and what the definition of a blog is.

We created this blog as a way to discuss slightly off-topic material that wasn't being covered on the main site. It's also a way for us to get feedback from our users in a public forum. It was not set up to debate whether it's right or wrong to buy pirated material. We don't support piracy, and we're not going to provide the means for others to try to justify why they support it. There was an attempt to end the discussion in the previous thread, and that only intensified it, and brought along the issue of censorship. The thread was censored because it contained pro-piracy posts. This is a blog attached to a respected industry website; there are things that won't be tolerated here, and the piracy discussion that went on in the previous thread is an example of that.

We've enabled moderation of posts for now while things cool off and get back on track.

Gord

33 Comments:

At June 22, 2006 7:13 PM, Blogger ericpaddon said...

What I have to say about this is on my own blog, and I stand by those sentiments completely.

However, if you want to throw rocks at me on my blog for saying how I feel about this course of events, rest assured I won't delete the posts.

 
At June 23, 2006 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you! I haven't had time to read that many posts, so I don't know what all was said. But some people go way overboard.

If people want to say stupid stuff, they can say it somewhere else.

You are a very reliable source and have connections with studios and if they would see this and decide not to give you any info then this site would be no more.

 
At June 23, 2006 8:44 AM, Blogger Eric said...

It's your blog and you can do what you want, but... what a cowardly move. You have the ability to delete individual comments, so use it. That post had a lot of good discussion that is now lost.

 
At June 23, 2006 11:11 AM, Blogger Kevin T. Rodriguez said...

I'm a little impressed with you guys. I mean, there's FINALLY something on this blog worth discussing, and you go and get rid of it! I thought we had a sign that we would see less posts on baby birds and lightening and more posts on DVD discussions, but I guess that's what I get for thinking.

 
At June 23, 2006 11:30 AM, Blogger Snowfie said...

I disagree. I think the cowardly move would have been to leave the discussion. You can't please all the people, all of the time.

It's your blog and you can do whatever you want with it. But as a fan of your site, I want to thank-you and show my support. I think emotion-based, heated discussions only lessen the integrity.

 
At June 23, 2006 12:45 PM, Blogger Gord Lacey said...

Yes, it was a good conversation, but the talk of piracy and censorship moved the discussion away from the main topic. I figured it was easier to delete the entire thing than be accused of censoring posts we didn't like. The whole thing, good posts and bad, is gone.

The whole point of this blog WAS for off-topic posts from Dave and I, and was mentioned in the very first posting on this blog. Dave and I often get emails from people wanting to know a bit about our personal lives, and this blog was a place where we could share some of that. It's also a place to run some editorial, stuff that doesn't fit on the main part of the site. It's a place for anything we want.

While Eric was involved in a civilized debate over piracy, not everyone was. There were other posts that were pro-piracy, and a decision was made to remove all the piracy discussion. When that continued then I toasted the entire thread, including all the comments. I looked for a way to close comments on a thread (just a single thread), but couldn't find one, and it was only after I had deleted the entire post that I discovered the ability to moderate the comments.

The people at the studios have never told me to fight the piracy issue, that's something I decided on my own. The studios don't own the site, and I've lashed out at them when I feel there's a need to. Dave and I often get more information than they release to the general public, and that can influence the tone of our posts. We could betray that trust, but it would just work against us. If I posted how much money the record companies wanted Sony to pay for the license to the Married... With Children theme song do you think they would take my call next time I had something to ask them? What about the next time I email them to suggest they look at a title? No, probably not. The site is a two-way street, with information flowing from the studios through us and to the consumers, but it also goes the other way around. I like being able to pick up the phone to call someone at a studio when there's a problem with a set, or when I have a question about why something is done a certain way. Those contacts are key, not for maintaining the site, but for passing information from the consumers to the studios.

There are countless examples of things we've gotten changed due to requests from users, or causes we've started ourselves. When people started emailing me about the quality of ADV's Farscape Starburst DVDs I contacted the company and within a week they had announced they wouldn't use the DVD-18s anymore. It took longer to get Universal to switch, but they haven't announced a DVD-18 TV title for a few months now. Fox is next. I stood face-to-face with a top exec from HBO and told her that HBO needs to improve their bonus material because it's quite poor compared to the other studios, and they charge a premium price for their sets. I sent her a list of DVD producers that have done excellent releases, and they've contracted a few of them for projects (which aren't out yet).

Acting as a bridge between the studios and consumers is extremely difficult. We rely on both sides in order to survive, and both sides accuse us of taking the stance of the other side. We're going to mess up at times, and when we do someone will point it out. Removing the entire thread may not have been the best solution at the time, but that's what was done.

Gord
P.S. In case anyone missed it, Alfred Hitchcock Season 2 news was posted earlier today.

 
At June 23, 2006 5:46 PM, Anonymous Chaim Mattis Keller said...

I'm happy to have the pro-piracy comments removed from this blog and its connected, excellent web site.

That said, since my entirely legitimate comments were deleted along with it, I will repeat myself here:

As consumers, our only control over producers is to decide to buy or not buy. If what we want is full-season sets, and what they give us is selected episodes, and we buy them, how will they know that what we REALLY want is the season sets? They see people buying selected episode discs, they'll assume we want these selected episode discs.

Buy stuff we don't want in order to show our "support"? If we buy what we don't want, they'll never know what we DO want.

 
At June 24, 2006 8:05 PM, Anonymous Pablo Esparza said...

I have to say that maybe one of the reason they just cancel series it's that USA has changed a lot since the early 80's, the time where all these series were exhibited.
But the problem with some companies it's that they never think that these series that maybe don't sell well in USA may have some fans on other countries.
Maybe a policy on having these releases out with subtitles on more languages, not just english and french, maybe spanish, chinese, would let the sales raise on international fans of these series.
I'm from Latin America, and here we don't get a lot of old series released. The only series that are from before 90's are i think Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Fantasy Island. All the rest of the tv series are from 1990 to now (The Nanny, 24, X-Files, Nip/Tuck, Lost, Desperate Housewives, McGyver).
Some Zone 1 DVD sets of tv releases get here by online retailers, and they sell because they are rare and there's interest on them.
I think Disney, Columbia and Paramount are some of the companies that have not taken this step in tv sets. There are lot's of series that are famous in latin america (Who's the Boss has even been remade by local tv with the license of Sony Pictures) but there's no release here.
The same with Married With Children, there's a local remake, but no Original Series DVD.
Thanks for the space for my opinion

 
At June 28, 2006 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave it to Eric Paddon to be involved with screwing up another forum... he's tried to so the same thing at the Film Score Monthly board, and several others, who've had the good sense to ban his ravings.

 
At June 28, 2006 12:56 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Sorry to hear you had these problems. Unfortunately, running a blog can be tougher than it should be.

I'm not going to fuel the fire, so let me simply say that I understand why you did it, and I've been in your shoes. I have deleted comments and posts too.

If people do not like the way you run your blog, they have the freedom to exit and not come back. Those are my sentiments towards the matter.

You have my support.

 
At June 28, 2006 10:23 PM, Blogger ericpaddon said...

Just to set the record straight, I was not banned from the board Mr. "Anonymous" mentioned.

Oh, and so sorry he lacked the courage of his convictions to identify himself.

 
At June 29, 2006 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just for fun, google "Eric Paddon". He seems rather compulsive about this type of thing. I'm not surprised the discussion here went south.

 
At June 29, 2006 10:12 AM, Blogger ericpaddon said...

reRegarding the discussion here, the people in charge had this to say:

"While Eric was involved in a civilized debate over piracy, not everyone was."

I think we can already tell that "civilized debate" is most assuredly beyond the pale for those who make hateful posts from a cowardly cloak of anonymity.

 
At June 29, 2006 9:10 PM, Blogger Gord Lacey said...

Guys, I don't see any reason to attack Eric. While he was talking about piracy, he wasn't the one Dave and I had issues with. Please refrain from jumping on him. And Eric, don't provoke them ;)

Gord

 
At July 01, 2006 11:41 PM, Blogger Andrew Paul said...

I agree with a majority of the other bloggers. It is your blog, you are going to do whatever you please with it. It only takes about 5 minutes a day to create a blog. I encourage any pro-piracy people to create their own blogs, and express their opinions. It is much more fulfilling to blog, than to troll around picking fights in comment sections.

 
At July 02, 2006 4:28 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Gord, in the end, the site and this blog are yours. Therefore, no one has a right to say what should or should not be put in here or on the site.

If Gord felt that the subject matter was going more off topic than he was comfortable with, it is his decision to take whatever means necessary. He and Dave (don't mean to leave you out Dave!) are trying to help out us...the consumers...and he knows what works and does not work in his world. If we want the wonderful site to continue to be as brilliant and informative as it has been; if we want to receive information that it seems only TVSoDVD can seem to get, then we have to understand the finesse involved when dealing with being a mediator of consumers and conglomerates.

 
At July 03, 2006 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering if the guys who run TVShowsonDVD.com get a lot of freebie DVDs from the studios to review. After all, their reviews would be helpful in promoting sales of the DVDs, so I have to wonder if the studios send them free copies to review. This would explain their cavalier attitude about buying best-of sets. If I got a lot of freebies, I could afford to "waste some money" on best-of sets. But I already pay a lot for DVD sets, some of which I think have been overpriced, like Everwood, which I think accounts for the low sales more than lack of interest. So I hold off on buying best-of sets in the hopes I can spend that money more wisely on season sets later.

I don't think I should have to buy "best-of" sets to prove to the studios that the shows are marketable. The studios already make plenty of money and I have a hard time believing their profit margin is low on all these very expensive season sets out there now, that they can't afford to take some risks with season sets that may not sell well...

 
At July 03, 2006 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm also not sure I buy the studio's explanation that they use the best-of sets to "test the waters." We've all seen where they release a special edition of a movie on DVD and after everyone has bought a copy, they release a "director's cut" edition so fans will have to buy it again. The studios have all kinds of excuses for this but I think the real reasons is they've discovered they can make fans pay multiple times--it's the gift that keeps on giving. The studios truly are a business, they aren't just concerned with making money, but making sure the exact the maximum amount they can get, at the fans' expense. So, release What's New Scooby-Doo on 4-episode discs so the true fans will buy them, then buy them AGAIN when the season sets come along. Make them pay over and over and over. They're just plain greedy.

 
At July 03, 2006 8:46 PM, Blogger Dave Lambert said...

re: "I was wondering if the guys who run TVShowsonDVD.com get a lot of freebie DVDs from the studios to review. After all, their reviews would be helpful in promoting sales of the DVDs, so I have to wonder if the studios send them free copies to review. This would explain their cavalier attitude about buying best-of sets. If I got a lot of freebies, I could afford to "waste some money" on best-of sets."


First off, I'll point out that I haven't done reviews in years...no time! But maybe studios "take care of me" so that I talk good about them in news posts. Maybe. Er, nah.

Speaking strictly for myself, I get maybe 10 freebies a year, tops. None from the companies known for doing "testing the waters" best-of's, such as Warner has been doing a lot of lately. I get my DVDs the old-fashioned way: I spend cash for 'em. And a hefty amount at that.

And no, I'm not rich or in a job I'm currently well-paid to do (I'm underpaid at my full-time job, and not paid for TVShowsOnDVD at all except for the odd "bonus" Gord sends me...he just thanked me for 5 years of News Directing and thanked my wife and son for 5 years of putting up with it by buying us a cruise for my 10-year wedding anniversary...that's why you didn't see me post news during the first week of June). So how do I get all my DVDs? I'm simply obsessed. I'd love to get more freebies to help offset the huge cost. But the fact is, I don't.

And I've never let a freebie stand in the way of blasting a studio for doing the wrong thing. And I've never let the lack of a freebie stop me from praising a studio for doing the right thing.

So, to be blunt, your insinuation that I'm soft on the studios in some fashion because I'm well-bribed with freebies doesn't hold any water! :)


To address the main point: OF COURSE some studios are using best-of's as double-dips. In other cases, though, it is a legit try-out. For instance, what reason does Warner have to believe that F Troop would be a big seller so long after it was popular? How else can they gauge interest in the program in the DVD era? Ooooh, I dunno. Hey, how about seeing if a best-of release sells at all? If folks remember the show enough to be interested in that, then maybe the studio will consider a season set release.

In so many cases, it just makes too much bloody sense to test the waters! In other cases, though, I agree that a best-of release to "test the waters" seems ridiculous. Alice? Yes. Family Matters? Hell, no...release the damn season set already. On the other hand, I felt the same way about Night Court, and guess what guys...my retail contacts confirm that it sold poorly. :(

 
At July 04, 2006 12:00 AM, Blogger ericpaddon said...

I think one thing that didn't help the "Night Court" Best Of disc was the fact that (1) the pilot episode was ridiculously included, when that was already available on Season 1 and (2) they used two episodes that ran into a season finale cliffhanger and didn't pick up with how that got resolved the next season. That meant basically out of the six episodes, there were only three that were effective "stand-alone" ones.

 
At July 04, 2006 5:00 AM, Blogger Dave Lambert said...

I was actually speaking of Night Court Season 1, not the best-of disc that came later. Warner was trying to see if episodes featuring Markie Post as Christine would make a difference, because that's what everyone claimed was the case: no Markie = no sales. Well, apparently that didn't make a difference, either. Sales sucked on the best-of, even worse than on the first season.

No more Night Court on DVD, is my guess. I'm VERY upset about that one...it's one of my very most favorite shows, ever. Is it any wonder I pushed people to buy the best-of for that? I want the rest of the seasons so bad I can taste it, and Warner needed the support of NC fans to go for it. But no, folks couldn't be bothered to pick it up at Wal-Mart for $5.88, because it's a best-of and a waste of six bucks. :(

As far as the episode choice on that best-of, I agree it had those problems. But they made the choice to include the pilot again so that people who missed the first season set (and there were a lot of them) could get a feel for it, and maybe decide to go buy it despite not having Christine. And they included the first two parts of the 4-parter because they showed Christine becoming a judge and all that, so focusing on her and supposedly giving the consumers what they wanted (mo' Markie). I don't agree with the way they went, but then again from a consumer point of view we always tend to think that we know what's best for our favorite shows, and we don't see everything the studio sees. Not that the studio is always (or even often) right, for sure. But we have to keep in mind that our point of view is just one point of view, and not necessarily the one that counts! We don't own the property, after all. And as much as I wish I could hold a gun to Warner's collective heads and force them to release Night Court, that decision is way out of my hands, and the fact that I'm part of TVShowsOnDVD can do nothing in the world to change that.

 
At July 06, 2006 1:31 PM, Anonymous Chaim Mattis Keller said...

I'm a big Night Court fan too. I'm upset that they won't be releasing more season sets too.

But I'm not going to buy what I don't want. I don't want best-of discs. End of story. They want my money, they need to offer me the product I do want, which is full seasons.

In fact, since this is one of the things that TVShowOnDVD makes polls of: Is there ANYONE for ANY series who said they'd prefer selected-episode discs over full-season releases?

 
At July 06, 2006 5:38 PM, Blogger ericpaddon said...

I wouldn't "prefer" it, but I wouldn't mind if Warner did a "Best Of" set as a trial run for "The FBI" which was a show that evolved considerably over the course of its nine years.

 
At July 06, 2006 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A possible solution to the whole issue of abandoning a series on DVD may be what CBS/Paramount has opted to do with two recent/upcoming releases.

The two series "Noah's Arc: Season 1" and "Laguna Beach: Season 2" will soon be released to retailers. However, "Noah" had earlier been available exclusively from the Logo Network website. "Laguna" meanwhile will be shipped three weeks before it arrives in stores if you order from the MTV website; an exclusive bonus disc is also included as another incentive. Both Logo and MTV are owned by Viacom, part of the CBS/Paramount media empire.

Both of these series are what can be called "niche" series, that don't appeal to a wide range of consumers due to their subject matter. For the record, "Noah" is a gay-oriented drama series and "Laguna" is styled as a non-scripted teen soap.

By making these titles available over their respective network's website, CBS/Paramount can gauge their popularity and can make adjustments in the volume of discs to manufacture. If the response for "Noah" was not favorable, CBS/Paramount would not likely have decided to release it to retailers, opting instead to keep it a Logo website exclusive.

Perhaps other studios could follow CBS/Paramount's lead by exclusively releasing titles that they feel may not garner a wide consumer base in order to gauge support.

Lastly, I do agree with the previous point that some sets are priced to high. In addition to "Everwood", I think that may have been a factor in the reported poor sales of the initial release of Buena Vista's "Once & Again: Season 1". BV practically admitted that when it released Season 2 and re-released Season 1 at lower prices.

 
At July 08, 2006 10:21 PM, Blogger Tony Island said...

I really think that price has a lot to do with the issue.

Look at Mary Tyler Moore -- the first season was way too high -- and not the best season (IMO) to justify the high price. No surprise that sales were flat. The last 3 seasons have been more reasonably priced and I'm hoping sales have picked up a bit so that the final few seasons will be released, too.

Unless there's huge justification (ie, tons of costly extras) most series, if not all, shouldn't be much more than $19.99 - $29.99 (depending on number of episodes). I mean, I love "I Love Lucy" but I find it hard pressed to shell out more than $29.99 for a series that is 50+ years old and incredibly popular (ie, money maker) in syndication. $44.99 (at Target) isn't going to cut it!

I have more to say...but will wait till later!

 
At July 11, 2006 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The original posts had some interesting ideas. Too bad about the taboo topic discussed therein.

It is a shame that shows (especially one of my all-time favorites Night Court) dvd releases have stalled. Good luck trying to read this (as my formatting is subpar). Sorry for the length.

In the spirit of the original post (DVD sets of shows cancelled/ in jeopardy before their run). Here is some non-interesting stuff (that will probably get deleted for lack of relevance). Just to touch on the prices of DVDs (not to mention the total lack of studio support - in terms of promotion). i will also choose to ignore distribution problems related to non-direct sales. i did an informal thing using prices at Amazon.com for multiple series (Night Court, Boy Meets World, and a show from the '80s that i recently discovered in the past year or so - Remington Steele). The methodology here is to assume that the max price i am willing to pay commercially is $1.50 and episode (i originally thought $1.25). If desperate/buy through direct sales i may be willing to pay up to $2.00 an episode. Here are the results. EV E is the value i would give to a set based on number of episodes, EV M is the value based on minutes, PPE is price per episode, PPM is price per minute (24 min 1/2 hr show, 45 min for 1 hr show).

Night Court Season 1:
Price: $24.99
EV E: $19.50
EV M: $19.56
PPE: $1.92
PPM: $.0798

Boy Meets World Season 1/2/3:
Price: $49.99/ $49.99 / $39.99
EV E: $33.00 / $34.50 / $33.00
EV M: $30.25 / $31.63 / $30.69
PPE: $2.27 / $2.17 / $1.81
PPM: $.1033 / $.0988 / $.0814

Remington Steele Season 1/2/3
Price: $31.99 / $29.99 / $31.99
EV E: $33.00 / $31.50 / $33.00
EV M: $35.93 all
PPE: $1.45 / $1.42 / $1.45
PPM: $.0297 / $.0278 / .0297

Remington Steele Seasons 4&5
Price: $34.99
EV E: $42.00
EV M: $44.10
PPE: $1.24
PPM: $.0264

What does this all mean? Well, at least for me Night Court Season One and the whole Boy Meets World series are not a good value (maybe other people who know about the release agree with me). This may also suggest that WB, in the case of Night Court, did not expect many units to move (if more sales expected probably a lower sales price). So, Remington Steele is a better value (except my copies have had problems, and they are on evil double sided DVDs). This also suggests pre-ordering or buying on release is a better deal (before stores jack up the prices to MSRP (or over). i thought that almost nothing was supposed to sell at MSRP.

 
At July 12, 2006 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a similar case here, as being a fan of "Who's the Boss?" which im STILL WAITING for sony to release season 2 on DVD!!! so im even more tortured id say then NC fans who at least have season 2 :-( ive had crazy searches anywhere, that might find me a bit of information on why , or when season 2 will be released. i cant jus accept that it got poor sales i love the show too much to believe that. heck id buy a million copies of it just to get season 2 released. my household already owns to copys of it. im really hoping for who's the boss? to get a season 2. id personally pay season to just make one copy of each of the rest of the seasons just so i could have it on dvd!!!

- Katy D.

 
At July 18, 2006 10:20 AM, Anonymous Chaim Mattis Keller said...

We Night Court fans do not "At least have Season 2." We have season 1, and then we have a so-called "Favorites" disk which offers us only five additional episodes.

Just to make things clear. We feel your pain, Who's the Boss fan.

 
At July 27, 2006 12:05 PM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

They need to put out Boy Meets World, Who's The Boss, & 7th Heaven next seasons. They make lots of money on each set even if they wait to put it out. They also need extras on Chamed & other Paramont pictures.

 
At July 28, 2006 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo, just found out that my favorite shows from the 1970s and 1980s are available online, any time!

http://www.aol.com/in2tv

 
At August 01, 2006 9:45 PM, Anonymous EBS said...

First of all, a HUGE tip of the hat to Dave and Gord, Around here we've long since been followers of TVSHOWSONDVD and it has long since been our homepage, because we can't let ourselves miss ONE bit of news!

Now, as far as the topics on best of releases...I guess I don't necesarily like it either because one of the house favs is being done this way by Warner, but if we don't support we don't have a chance...

I was happy to see F-Troop hit a full season one, that and warner doing discussions DOES tell me they are hearing us at least...

I feel like I too would try to pay whatever Warner wanted to have my title finish and it may still, we can only hope and intotv is awesome if its the ONLY way we can get the shows...but you better believe if we could have them offline, to watch in whatever order we chose to we'd be THRILLED!!!

And one other matter if I may...I want to have it said to Warner Brothers that seeing Life Goes On and knowing we couldn't have that title track, they did a flat out AWESOME job with their new theme, it grows on you and while I do miss the cast's rendition of the original, its by far a better feel that that of a Sony series which we do support in this house too and will because of the original uncut episodes.

Maybe Dave or Gord can chime in if they haven't, but IS there a reason that the studios wouldn't release a limited number of sets with the original things in tact for those of us willing to pay more for the titles we can't do without?

Thanks for hearing me, for a SUPER website and a blog where we can say what we feel within reason and be heard ;)

 
At August 02, 2006 6:08 PM, Blogger Gord Lacey said...

Maybe Dave or Gord can chime in if they haven't, but IS there a reason that the studios wouldn't release a limited number of sets with the original things in tact for those of us willing to pay more for the titles we can't do without?

Well...simply put, they can make more money putting their resources into another project. That's why I really wish the larger studios would consider licensing their smaller titles out to other companies. Unfortunately it's a bigger issue than anyone we deal could change; that's something that comes from the head of the studio. Eventually I think we'll see this happen, but not anytime soon.

Gord

 
At September 26, 2006 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to rant about this, here's a MySpace group for that (the first of its kind, I believe):

http://groups.myspace.com/
sickofsyndicatedshowsondvd

 

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