Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Television DVD Releases

I was going to buy the Cosby Show Season One DVD Set, but look at the Amazon comments: apparently, syndicated versions of the shows are being used instead of the originals. This reviewer, Brad, puts it best:

Over the years, television commercial breaks have lengthened, and older series in syndication have suffered for it. When you watch a rerun of your favorite TV show, it can have anywhere from two to four minutes edited out to make room for more commercials, depending on the show's age.

"The Cosby Show" is no exception to this rule. During the 1984-1985 season (when the show debuted), the average length of a half-hour show was twenty-four minutes with about six minutes allotted for commercials. In 2005, the average length of a half hour show is twenty-one minutes. So the versions we see umpteen times a day on TBS, WGN, Nick At Nite and various local stations have more than two minutes cut out of them.

But that's okay, because the upcoming release of "The Cosby Show's" inaugural season will include all the footage from the NBC airings we haven't seen in over twenty years, right?

(plagiarist note: wait for it!)


In their infinite wisdom, Carsey Werner and UrbanWorks have decided to allow consumers to plop down a good portion of their hard-earned cash for the syndication edits of one of the most beloved sitcoms of the 1980s, without any warning on the packaging that these are, in fact, not the full-length episodes (even lying to us by stating in the original press release for the set that they were using "all original NBC network versions, including the pilot episode, which are approximately two minutes longer than the syndicated versions").
Wait, I found a picture of Cos laughing at Brad forking over his aforementioned hard-earned cash:

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I don't know if I'm this fanatical over The Cosby Show (or any show other than maybe The Simpsons) but I certainly can understand the uproar over this. I'm guessing it was an error on the company's part (note: pretty big fucking error, guys), as there's no reason for deliberately misleading consumers. The company should try and correct this ASAP - anybody who reads the Amazon reviews (and I do, on every product I buy) will most likely re-think their purchase.

I cannot wait for The Muppet Show: Season One, however. Time-Life used to have the rights to The Muppet Show, and when they lost the rights, they sold their backlog of DVDs - the entire 15-volume set - for $60. DWS and I tried to jump on the bandwagon but were too late. At least these releases will have some extras.

Truth be told, I don't think I've seen any of the Season One episodes. The eps that stand out in my mind are the ones that had Mark Hamill, Christopher Reeve, and Elton John.


At 8/03/2005 2:19 PM, Blogger Brian said...

I very much dislike when they do this. It gets worst when they dilute the movies into special edition, director's cut, super platinum edition, etc.

6 different versions of The Crow are available. WTF?????

I am currently working with some format producers and for TV Land and they work hard keeping continuity. But c'mon if you are going to f'in charge us up the butt for the price of something, give us the original product.


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