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Freaks and Geeks - Official Press Release: April 6 is the day!

Posted by David Lambert
Tuesday's edition of the Chicago Tribune ran an article (free registration required) about Freaks & Geeks, and the success story of getting this show onto DVD. Mentioning that it "turned out to be over a million dollars in licensing for the music," according to show creator Judd Apatow, they pointed to tens of thousands of petition-signers who made this release happen in spite of the cost. And Apatow gave the network execs who fought for this show their due: "We did a commentary with the executives from DreamWorks and NBC," he says with a chuckle. "It was one of the executives from NBC who was always fighting for the show to survive, so one of the commentary tracks is all about the politics of why a show like this doesn't make it." The Tribune story by Joshua Klein is a good read; check it out!

Yesterday we received a note from "MB," who saw the latest print issue of trade mag Video Business, and let us know that Freaks & Geeks was mentioned in a sidebar column. It mentioned that the upcoming April release of the 6-Disc set, at an SRP of $69.98 for all 18 episodes of the hour-long show (including 3 that never aired). More was mentioned, but frankly all that was covered with today's press release.

This morning Cory Johnson alerted us to the official Freaks & Geeks press release, which had just come down on the PR Newswire. It loudly proclaimed "The Freaks Have Protested. The Geeks Have Petitioned. Shout! Factory And Dreamworks Television Succumb to the Pressure and Releases to DVD The Critically Acclaimed, Emmy Award-Winning Series." Here it is, for your reading pleasure. This has been a long, hard battle...but the fans have won!

Freaks and Geeks the Complete Series

Deluxe Six Disc DVD Set Boasts All 18 Episodes With the Original Music, 28-Page Collectable Booklet and Over 40 Hours of Bonus Material Including Director's Cut Pilot Episode, 28 Audio Commentaries, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Cast Auditions, and Much More - in Stores April 6, 2004

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The fans demanded it, and so it has come. The award-winning*, most critically acclaimed television series to be canceled during its first season, "Freaks and Geeks" will finally debut as a six-DVD set on April 6th from Shout! Factory and DreamWorks Television. "Funny and tender and often achingly real," (TV Guide) "Freaks and Geeks" continues to receive editorial praise and maintain an active cult following four years after the last episode aired in 2000. Starring Linda Cardellini ("E.R.," Scooby Doo 2), John Francis Daley (View from the Top, "The Geena Davis Show") and James Franco (Spider-Man, "James Dean"), "Freaks and Geeks" follows two siblings and their friends as they experience the trials and tribulations as high school outsiders in a Detroit suburb circa. 1980.

When series producers Paul Feig and Judd Apatow discovered nearly 40,000 "Freaks and Geeks" fans had signed an online petition pledging to buy a future release of the DVD, they quickly prompted executives at Shout! Factory and DreamWorks to brave the music licensing issues and commit to a Freaks and Geeks DVD release. The result is a six disc set containing all 18 episodes, three of which never aired on network television, with original music intact and over 40 hours of bonus material.

Both Apatow and Feig have provided input and pulled materials to create a truly fan-worthy DVD set, and their feelings about the project are clear. "We're thrilled that 'Freaks and Geeks' is finally being released on DVD, but what is most thrilling is that it is coming out with all of the original music. People said it would be impossible to release the show with all those great songs by artists such as The Who, Billy Joel, the Grateful Dead, and a zillion others. Shout! Factory made it happen. I don't know how they did it; I just know I love them for doing it."

Freaks and Geeks - The Complete Series DVD set is packed full of bonus materials, including a director's cut of the pilot episode with behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, outtakes, alternate cuts, blooper reels and no less than 28 audio commentaries by the actors, directors, network executives, crew members, obsessive fans, and even parents of cast members. A 28-page collectable booklet contains a Q&A with Apatow, an essay by Feig and plenty of geeky photos.

About Shout! Factory: Shout! Factory is a multi-platform integrated entertainment company that was started by Richard Foos -- co-founder of Rhino Records, Bob Emmer -- former Warner Music Group and Rhino executive and Garson Foos -- former Rhino executive. It focuses on audio music catalog development and home video/DVD projects and television properties. Conceived as a broad-based retro pop culture entertainment label, Shout! Factory video and DVD projects range from live music and music documentary programs to offbeat special interest titles ranging from animation to sports content. Shout! Factory DVDs and CDs are distributed by Sony Music Entertainment.

* 1999 Emmy(TM) Award for Outstanding Casting in a Comedy Series

Very exciting, yes? Stay tuned, because we'll be back in the not-too-distant future with cover art for this baby.

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