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Stephen J. Cannell is a cheap SOB
maritalbliss at 12:19PM, May 17, 2007
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Ethan, here.

I took the laptop today because I'm Mad As Hell!(dramatic pause) And I'm not gonna take it anymore!

The point? 21 Jumpstreet. The totalllllly awesome 80's cop action adventure drama and the coolest show I'd ever seen until Angel snapped Jenny Calender's neck. That 21 Jumpstreet. The one that I often wished for some way that I could watch any episode on a whim.

Flash forward twenty years.

I found the first season on DVD and then used it as precedent to talk Lynn into letting me get the rest. (he he…I love it when a plan comes together) Seeing as how it was out of print by the time I decided to consume, I was forced to scour the earth (well, north Texas) for the other four seasons. (I hate buying online…it takes the impulsivity out of spending).

Finally, triumphantly, they were all Mine! Mwaaa haaa haa. We sat down on the couch and fired it up! Awesome! Radical! Gag me with a spoon hurray for T.V.!!!

Then the music.

What the Hell!?

It started with the first season. It was great…but not quite as cool as I remembered it being. Something seemed amiss and I couldn't quite put my finger on it at the time but still, things like that happen so on with the show.

By the second season, something rotted in Denmark.

“Brother Hanson and the Miracle of Renner's Pond” was the episode that did it. It was one of my favorites. But not for the show, for the music. I could have sworn it was this grindy, bassy, techno-bible thing. And I could've sworn it was the first time I had heard Depeche-Mode on the tele.

No, guess not.

Keep in mind that I started tunin' in at 12. Long time. Its sometimes hard to remember specifics after such a time but come on, I couldn't possibly mistake it for the musac that accompanied Tommy Hanson talkining the miracle child off the roof of an ampitheater during climax. Could I?

Then “A.W.O.L.”

Made with Orange Crush. Positive. R.E.M.'s Orange Crush. Hup two three four. Follow me don't follow me! Missing!

A key ingredient had been deliberately left out of the awesomest undercover high school narc operation show…Ever! (I'm lookin' at you, Mod Squad.) This is the show that taught me how to stay away from heroin, and prostitution, and street racing, and and and and. Now it was a little lame.

And that made it a lot lame.

That something I remembered so fondly was a shell of its former self and for no reason than to save a few bucks. It's Art Dammit!!! The more I think about it the more pissed I get. The creator, Stephen Cannell is one of those guys. The people you don't think about until someone says who? The guy who wrote A-Team. oh. that guy. yeah. Every hour long action-drama created in the 80's belonged to this guy but he can't fork over the dough to get some liscensing instead of the jarring generic crap that came along with it.

Whatever!

Lynn didn't get my point.

“What if Buffy were Biff Nakedless?”

She understood and handed me the magic box so that I could vent to all you people. Yay!

You suck Cannell.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:53PM
ozoneocean at 1:20PM, May 17, 2007
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I loved that show… Man, don't tell me they screwed it? :(
Shiz…
It was so cool with the music! The first season was the best one.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
isukun at 2:20PM, May 17, 2007
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They did the same thing with the Greatest American Hero. Unfortunately, some shows use licensed music and the distributors have to relicense the music for a DVD release, especially if the original studio went out of business or lost the rights to the show. Some distributors don't think it's economic to pay for the music again, so they replace it with cheap shit.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Hawk at 8:22PM, May 17, 2007
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I only remember the theme song from 21 Jump Street.

This is the same exact reason they haven't made a DVD release of The Wonder Years. It was so chock-full of period music that reclaiming the rights to it is probably a nightmare.

I hate to see a favorite old show get changed. But I wonder if in these cases we're only getting the options of “rereleased with changed music” or “not rereleased at all.” The devoted fans must decide which is worse. And the people in charge of giving us our favorite shows on DVD need to start scrounging up the cash for those songs so that this decision is less common.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
isukun at 9:24PM, May 17, 2007
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This is the same exact reason they haven't made a DVD release of The Wonder Years. It was so chock-full of period music that reclaiming the rights to it is probably a nightmare.

Hopefully they are in fact making the effort to license the music. They released two “best of” DVDs that had the music ripped out of the episodes. I guess the real problem is, is it worth licensing the music for nostalgia shows which will sell a few thousand copies and then sit on the shelves? It makes sense that a publisher wouldn't want to spend that kind of money on something they don't expect to fly off the shelves.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
ozoneocean at 6:00AM, May 18, 2007
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Hmm, that's a problem. They shouldn't have to pay for the music again. That's another instance of the corporate music publishing industry crushing creative products. -Yes, the DVD publishers are big business as well, but the issue is a creative product being degraded because of opportunistic extra profit making and exploitation of bought rights.

I could understand if it was a direct deal with an artist, but even then visual artists don't even enjoy quite this latitude. The system is flawed… Ah well, nothing we can do except complain and avoid castrated products.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
isukun at 6:28AM, May 18, 2007
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Yes, the DVD publishers are big business as well, but the issue is a creative product being degraded because of opportunistic extra profit making and exploitation of bought rights.

Actually, not really. Likely they are simply charging the going rate for modern shows. Most modern studios take video sales into account when they license music, but most of those shows can also expect greater sales and make up some revenue when they sell to TV stations. The problem is that the older shows don't make much from syndication, anymore, and the studios can't expect to make as much from the video sales. The music industry usually charges for rights on a sliding scale based on expected sales, but for older shows the studios just want something cheap and simple to throw on the shelves to satisfy the few fans who demand it. They need to maximize profit in case it doesn't sell as well as they expected and generally that means spending long amounts of time haggling with rights holders or simply cutting music altogether.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
ozoneocean at 6:56AM, May 18, 2007
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But that's exactly the point Isukun. Those old shows had the music rights cut and dried, but having to organise to pay for the rights again for this kind of distribution is another hassle that just shouldn't be.
If there was some agreement introduced to simply have a flat, simple rate for music on TV shows produced before a certain date, (perhaps before the DVD boom?) it'd make a lot more sense and really help to streamline the industry rather then encourage second rate cash-in releases that aren't really worth the trouble to buy.

But again as I say, that's not likely to happen so it's good to know what DVDs to avoid ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
isukun at 11:16AM, May 18, 2007
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But that's exactly the point Isukun. Those old shows had the music rights cut and dried, but having to organise to pay for the rights again for this kind of distribution is another hassle that just shouldn't be.

Actually, my point was that they aren't paying for the rights again, they're paying for them for the first time. You pay for the rights to music based on the distribution method. Modern shows pay more because they factor in later video sales. It's kind of the same thing Red Octane ran into with Guitar Hero. With the 360 version of Guitar Hero II, they had to relicense the same music from the first two games so they could distribute them on the 360. In this case, the distribution method changes to DVD/video sales, so the distributor is in essence paying for those rights for the first time.

The music industry isn't giving them a bad deal on it, either. It's not like distributors are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. They release these old shows because they see there is some demand and they realize that these shows have already remade their production costs and then some. It costs them almost nothing to simply slap them on a DVD and send them off to stores. Distributors are looking to get as close to that 100% profit point as they can. The music industry doesn't expect to make a mint on these fees, they can't expect to make much from small transactions on old TV shows.

You also seem to be forgetting that most of these older shows are put out by larger studios and holding companies which are just using them to pad their own wallets. Their goal isn't to deliver a superlative product, but to put as much nostalgia pieces out there as they can to supplement returns on more popular video releases or make up for losses on shows and movies which bomb. In general, though, video releases of old TV shows are guaranteed profit for a distributor, even when they don't sell all that well. So, I find it is more likely than not the studio/distributor who is being cheap in most cases when they don't pay for the license simply because it marginally cuts into their profits.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
ozoneocean at 12:00PM, May 18, 2007
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You're missing the point Isukun. I took all that into account. It obvious, none of that is arcane.
I'm simply looking at this from the point of view of the TV shows as finished products (not the sum of many parts) and the consumer as being more important than the distributor or different rights holders despite the fact that it doesn't work that way.

And I bemoan that it doesn't.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM

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