We've been passing along word here since January
that HIT! Entertainment was planning a DVD release of Fraggle Rock - The Complete 4th Season
for the later half of this year. That would be finishing off the DVD releases with the final season of the show, including the 1987 episodes that fans generally call "season five." However, HIT! views it as one big "fourth season," despite there being a nine-month gap between the "13th" and "14th" episodes of that 26-episode group.
We even passed along an April report
from our friends at "The Muppet Newsflash" website that a specific release date had been provided for a 4th Season DVD release: October 28th. And, as late as the San Diego Comic Con on the last weekend of July, reports from people who were there
say that the Fraggle Rock
panel there (on July 27th, featuring "Red Fraggle" and her performer, Karen Prell) said that the 4th Season set was still mentioned as being among HIT!'s plans. However, earlier this month (August), fans who sent inquiries directly to HIT! Entertainment began getting told something different by the customer service staff.
At the Comic Con, it was announced
by HIT! and by their current distributor, Lionsgate Entertainment, that November 4th
will see a release of Fraggle Rock - The Complete Series Collection
. This is going to be a 20-DVD set, with all 96 episodes included in "custom premium, collectible packaging" (no pictures of which have surfaced yet), covering all 4 seasons of the show. This item has a list price of $139.98 SRP, and can be pre-ordered from DVDEmpire
as of this writing (subject to change) for $99.38, after discount. The indication at the time of the announcement was that this would arrive in stores as a complement to the separate release of Season 4 on DVD. Now the studio tells us differently, confirming what some fans have heard from the customer support staff at HIT! Entertainment.
According to one spokesperson at HIT!, and another for Lionsgate, the plan is to only release Fraggle Rock - The Complete Series Collection
this November, with no current listing on the schedule for the 4th Season as a separate DVD set. HIT tells us that they are focusing on the Complete Series
release in order "to celebrate the (25th) anniversary of the show." We should point out, though, that nothing was said to indicate that a separate Season 4 release was never ever going to happen; just that it is not on the schedule at this time.
Our thanks to reader William Mitchell for writing in to us with info about this situation. We know that this isn't good news for quite a few of you. We did pass along our feedback to the people at HIT! and Lionsgate that there are fans who are upset over this decision: people who purchased the individual season sets for the first three seasons, and who simply can't afford, in the current economic climate, to re-buy those seasons as part of a $100-ish "complete series" package, just the get the final 26 episodes. While we didn't get an immediate response from our studio contacts to that feedback, we were told that it would be passed along. If something comes of that we will let you know, so stay tuned!