Site News -Info From The Warner Brothers TV-DVD Chat at the Home Theater Forum
What's Coming? What's Not Coming? What's Still Up In The Air?
Posted by David Lambert
Our great friends at The Home Theater Forum held a live online chat last night with Warner Brothers, with a TV-on-DVD theme! Warner stocked the chat with execs who stuck around for about 3 hours, trying hard to answer everyone's questions the best way possible. For a complete list of the Warner execs there, and for complete info from the chat, please read the chat transcript at HomeTheaterForum.com!
Our thanks to HTF leaders Ron Epstein and Parker Clack, and the entire staff there, for organizing and hosting the chat. We also appreciated seeing friends there from other DVD News sites, like SitcomsOnline and HomeFrontOnDVD. Gord and I mostly sat on the sidelines, since we get to talk to many of these execs all the time. The one question I did ask was to prompt Warner to spill their guts for anything that hadn't been asked about yet, but the reply was to talk about the already-announced Popeye DVD, which I guess they overlooked the fact that this particular audience pretty much already knew the details about that release. Oh, well!
Again, please head to the chat transcript for full details. Below I have highlights from the chat, mixing up the bullet points into a pretty random order and then breaking them up into "Coming Soon!" (actual announcements), "Sounds Hopeful" (stuff that's not scheduled now, but might get on the schedule later) and "Sounds Doubtful" (items which it didn't sound like they would see the light of day anytime too soon). At the bottom are two extra sections, one talking about High Definition format releases in general, and another giving some insight into the decision-making process. Between here and there, skim through the list and see if you can spot titles you're interested in, and what their fate may be!
Veronica Mars - Season 3 will be announced later this month.
Nip/Tuck - Season 4 will be announced in the next few weeks.
Warner has plans for Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Drew Carey version) for later this year, to release the "Volume 2" set with the rest of the Season 1 episodes, uncensored.
Tom and Jerry - Spotlight Collection Vol 3 this fall
Robot Chicken will have a new release this fall, which will be announced within a month.
Warner is working on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and hopes to announce something later this year.
Formal announcement soon for Roots: The Next Generation; nothing yet on Roots: The Gift or Queen.
A question asked if Warner had yet contacted Earl Kress in regard to a statement on his blog that he found some material for Josie and the Pussycats which should appear on the upcoming DVD as a bonus. Warner's reply was simply "stay tuned for exciting news on Josie and the Pussycats soon." TVShowsOnDVD checked with Kress, who said he had not been contacted by Warner.
Looney Tunes - Golden Collection Volume 5 is coming this holiday season: 60 remastered shorts (titles to be announced later) on 4 DVDs. The Bugs Bunny Show, seen as "excerpts" on the Golden Collections is being considered for a 50th Anniversary release. No news now on "Looney Tunes Wartime collection."
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians coming later in 2007, to follow up Legendary Super Power Show.
Filmation's Aquaman coming later in 2007, to follow up New Adventures of Batman and New Adventures of Superman.Other DC Comics-related shows from Filmation and in Super Friends lineup are being considered.
Tiny Toons is "hopefully in 2008."
A question about Hanna Barbera titles The Smurfs, Pac Man, and The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Hour was answered thus: "we plan to make an exciting announce concerning one of the above titles (ooh the mystery!) at Comic-Con in July. stay tuned."
The O.C. - The Complete Series: Warner has plans for an "awesome" release later this year, but could not share details at this time.
Men in Trees is being looked into, but Warner needs to figure out what the network plans are for the remaining episodes produced for Season 1.
Perfect Strangers is being evaluated for Season 1 release in 2008.
Third Watch is being evaluated for 2008 release.
Drew Carey Show - Season 2 decision will be based on sales of just-released first season.
Falcon's Crest - no plans at this time, but they will keep it under consideration.
Flamingo Road - no plans at this time, but they will keep it under consideration.
Alice is being evaluated for further DVD release, but no plans yet.
Regarding further DVDs for Mama's Family, Warner does not own the unedited masters, only the syndicated versions. Another season is being evaluated, but Warner needs to know if fans will support the release if the syndication cuts of the episodes are all that they can provide.
Warner will consider Eight is Enough
Looking into releasing Shazam! (live-action and animated) on DVD.
Silverhawks is strongly being considered.
Cow And Chicken - Being Evaluated.
The Zeta Project - Being Evaluated.
Night Court - No plans to continue yet, but will continue to consider.
Growing Pains - No plans to continue yet, but will continue to consider.
Life Goes On - No plans to continue yet, but will continue to consider.
Family Matters - Being evaluated for a potential 2008 release, but music costs are fairly high.
BBC titles My Famly - Season 3 and Life on Mars are in consideration, but no plans.
Warner will look into TV-DVD releases of Alvin and the Chipmunks based on a suggestion during the chat.
No plans yet for releases of "telefilm sequels" and "spinoffs" such as Gilligan's Island/Planet or Dukes/Enos, but Warner is considering the best way to approach this.
Warner hopes to continue releasing Fresh Prince but music costs are high; they are trying to address that.
No plans yet on season sets of Maverick but they will continue to look into it.
Thundarr the Barbarian is being looked into.
Teen Titans has been selling well in the current "full screen" format, and Warner is willing to consider adding widescreen versions in the future.
Herculoids is being looked into.
Sea Lab 2020 is being looked into.
Duck Dodgers is being looked into.
Jetson's ('80s version) is being looked into.
Jonny Quest ('80s version) is being looked into.
The Pebbles and Bam Bam Show is being looked into.
No plans for Dexter's Laboratory at this time, but willing to consider it.
No plans for Johnny Bravo at this time, but willing to consider it.
Courtship of Eddie's Father is on the long list, but no plans yet.
Please Don't Eat the Daisies is on the long list, but no plans yet.
Chico and the man is on the long list, but no plans yet.
Knots Landing - Sales of Season 1 were very soft, nowhere near expectations. No plans for Season 2, but Warner recognized a lot of support for this title during the chat and it was pointed out that S2 introduced Donna Mills as "Abby Ewing," a very popular element to the show that fans would have been waiting for.
Murphy Brown - Sales of Season 1 were not high enough to warrant further releases, especially in light of high music costs. "If we see a high surge in sales for season 1 we'll happily consider a season 2 release," they say.
Regarding China Beach: "a great show which we love to release but the music clearance cost are extremely high."
Everwood fans make it clear that there is support for this title on DVD, but music costs are prohibitive and Warner is evaluating if they can make it work with music substitution, but at this time they just don't know.
Home Front has an avid fan base that Warner appreciates, but music is "very very high" and don't know if the DVD base is large enough to release it; they are keeping it on the long list, though.
The single-disc Static Shock release had disappointing sales and further releases are unlikely.
Step By Step - No plans at this time.
Hogan Family - No plans at this time.
Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - No plans at this time.
No plans for more Huckleberry Hound
Brimstone - no plans.
Opposite Sex - no plans.
Run of the House - no plans.
Fish Police - no plans.
Bucky O'Hare - no plans.
Spaced - no plans.
Freddy's Nightmares - no plans.
No plans for 1984 mini-series Lace or the 1985 sequel, Lace 2.
Quick Draw McGraw is highly doubtful at this time due to music clearance issues.
No plans for more live-action Superboy at this time.
No plans for '60s show The Roaring '20s at this time.
No plans for Maximum Bob at this time.
No plans for BBC's The Goodies at this time.
No plans for Our House at this time.
No plans for Head of the Class at this time.
No plans for Love Sidney at this time.
No plans for Huck Finn at this time.
No plans at this time for Against the Grain, NBC's '90s football-themed family drama
No plans for Captain Planet at this time.
No plans for Jamie Foxx - Season 2 at this time.
No plans for Living Single - Season 2 at this time.
No plans for Wayans Brothers - Season 2 at this time.
No plans for ROC at this time.
No plans for Redd Foxx Show at this time.
Warner states that they do not own the rights to the Twin Peaks pilot episode.
Ed is not a title Warner Brothers owns.
Parker Lewis Can't Lose is not a title Warner Brothers owns.
In regards to questions about titles in a high-definition disc format, this is the general summary of how Warner responded: "As a leader in the HD category we are seriously evaluating all of our content for release on HD and BD." Also, it was brought up that lists of titles on unofficial sites (HighDefDigest.com was mentioned) may contain information on potential high-def releases, like Friends, which Warner states did not come from them. However, they say to "Look for exciting TV on HD-DVD and Blu-ray news later this year."
Finally, there was this interesting question and answer into the entire process of "evaluating" titles:
You have mentioned several times that you are 'evaluating' series for release. Can you please tell what goes into those discussion and who is questioned in regards to this? Also...on older shows, why the trend of releasing first seasons of long running programs, and while I know that sales play a role, what about the folks that rushed out to purchase the title on the release that are then left holding the bag on their favorite series?
We always release series with the full intention and hope of releasing the entire series on DVD. Unfortunately, sales don't always warrant this. A lot goes into the evaluation of potential series - looking at sales of prior similar series...consumer research...costs to master and clear music - both of which can be substantial and prohibitive for release. we also try to get a sense of how avid and passionate the fan base is. All that said - if a series is profitable for release, we will release it and continue to release it. it is not an easy evaluation or decision. We ponder it carefully. unfortunately, there is often a drop off in sales from season 1 to subsequent seasons on classic titles. this is also a major issue for classic tv series. not necessarily the same issue with shows currently airing.
Well said, and the same sort of thing that Gord and I have heard from different studios, again and again. And a great question on Rowan's part. Again, thanks to the folks at HTF for putting on the chat, and to Warner for participating and giving as much info as they were able to. Stay tuned for further development on titles mentioned above!