Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rant #62: Why Are My Era's TV Shows So Slow To Come Out On DVD?

Alluding to my recent The Lucy Show post, I am glad to tell you (If you don't already know) that several of my era's TV shows--I am talking about shows from the mid to late 1960s--are finally starting to come out on DVD.

Sure, the major shows have already been released, but I am talking about the second- and third tier stuff--not just The Lucy Show, but The Patty Duke Show, The Mothers In Law, another season (finally) of My Favorite Martian ... this is a treasure trove of stuff that has been sitting around for way too long in studio vaults.

Once the DVD era arrived, and consumers demonstrated that they would buy old TV shows in this format, studios released hundreds of titles, most of them from the 1970s up to the current day. But there were scant releases from my era, the 1960s. I think that had to do with the fact that so much of those shows were in black and white rather than color. Would consumers buy black and white shows?

Certainly, shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits proved that anthologies would sell no matter what color they were in. But would sitcoms? Studios released titles like Leave It To Beaver, only to release one or two seasons and then nothing else. Others released product in both colorized and original black and white versions, such as Bewitched.

Then all of a sudden, these types of releases stopped. It was easier to get The Facts of Life than it was Beaver.

Now, the studios are mining their vaults again, and with shows like The Patty Duke Show ready to come out, there is no telling what else will find its way to DVD soon.

However, the wait for these titles has been ridiculously long. I hope that the first volume of these titles is followed by succeeding seasons, not stopping altogether like Beaver did with the second season. I notice that My Three Sons has hit a wall with the second part of the first season (another rant--why split the seasons, other than for pure greed?)--but I hope this trend does not continue.

And, for crying out loud, when will the third season of Beaver come out? And where is Dennis the Menace?


  1. I'm a fan of Have Gun Will Travel, after 3 seasons on DVD they stopped. I've been waiting 4 years for the other 3 seasons to hit DVD.
    Good to see the Patty Duke Show hitting DVD.

  2. Have Gun Will Travel was a great show, but again, I think the studio execs believe that if the show is not in color, it won't sell. I disagree.

    Beaver is only out for two years, and I have been waiting for a few years for the next season. My Three Sons? I just don't know if that whole series will ever come out, as it ran for so long and probably, sales weren't that high of the two sets for the first season. Another one is Mr. Ed--they put out a few sets several years ago, but, finally, they are releasing the first season soon.

  3. One old show that's been a hit is Hawaii Five-O, fans had been wanting that on DVD since DVDs came out but CBS/Paramount hesitated for years and when they released the first season it was one of their biggest sellers, every season has sold well and probably better than any recent "hit" series they put out (season 7 comes out in Nov.), fans are out there and want the old shows.

  4. You bet! I think the old, color hour long shows do better than the old, black and white sitcoms. I can't give you a reason why, but those shows--mainly from the early 1970s, like Mod Squad, Mannix, and the like--just have hit a positive nerve with the DVD buying public. I think part of it is the "cheesy" aspect, with the hair and clothes of the era, but I think that people also like that these shows aren't "in your face" like many of today's dramas. They let the story unravel and let the viewer take it for an hour ride.

  5. I agree, they let you think and enjoy the episode,that might be why a current show NCIS is a hit,it's made in the old style (but with the current added and i think un-needed sfx gore).
    Mannix that's a show i need to get on DVD, Mod Squad don't think i've seen that since it's original run, tv was more fun back then. :)

  6. TV was more fun back then--at least for me--and I want to collect as many of my favorite TV shows from that era as possible.



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