After the quick post-broadcast release of the first season of Malcolm In The Middle
, Fox Home Entertainment looked forward to releasing The Complete Second Season
on DVD as well. In fact, plans were originally made to have that set in consumer hands before 2003 was over.
So why the delay? The answer is given by Randy Salas, DVD Columnist and Entertainment Wire Editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune
. In his new article
today, "Facing The Music: Legal Hurdles Can Keep TV Shows From Coming Out On DVD," Salas explains that music rights costs can affect more recent shows than WKRP In Cincinnati
or Beverly Hill 90210
'Malcolm' in a muddle
Even current shows can be problematic. Last year, Fox released a three-disc set of the first season of "Malcolm in the Middle," a show that debuted in 2000. The set sold well enough to merit a second-season release, but higher costs to clear the music have so far scuttled the project, (Fox Senior V.P. Peter) Staddon said.
The article discusses how only the most recent TV series took into account the idea of clearing music for DVD and other home video uses at the same time as clearing it for broadcast, and that anything previous to a few years ago (the start of DVD's mass-market era) can run into this kind of trouble. "When they were creating these shows, they didn't pay for stuff they weren't going to use," TVShowsOnDVD owner Gord Lacey is quoted as saying. "Now it's coming back to bite them."
To learn more about this issue, which can possibly affect anyone's favorite shows (including how much you pay for them), we encourage you to read Randy Salas' excellent article
in its entirety (free registration may be required).