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Thread: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,66696,00.html
    Copyrights Keep TV Shows off DVD

    By Katie Dean 02:00 AM Mar. 01, 2005 PT

    WKRP in Cincinnati was one of the most popular television shows of the late '70s and early '80s, but it is unlikely ever to be released on DVD because of high music-licensing costs.

    The show, which centered on a fledging radio station with a nerdy news director and wild disc jockeys, had a lively soundtrack, playing tunes from rock 'n' rollers like Ted Nugent, Foreigner, Elton John and the Eagles.

    For many TV shows, costs to license the original music for DVD are prohibitively high, so rights owners replace the music with cheaper tunes, much to the irritation of avid fans. And some shows, like WKRP, which is full of music, will probably never make it to DVD because of high licensing costs.

    "The indication from the studios is that we may never see (WKRP in Cincinnati) because of all the music that would have to be licensed," said David Lambert, news director of TVShowsOnDVD.com, a clearinghouse of information on TV shows released on DVD. "As the DJ spins the record as he's talking to Loni Anderson, if there is music playing even for a couple of seconds, then the people producing the DVDs would have to license it."

    Fox Home Entertainment wouldn't provide an official release date for DVDs of the show.

    "It's not totally dead in the water, but there is a huge obstacle of music licensing," said spokeswoman Shari Rosenblum. "It's being looked at and it's on the radar."

    DVD sales are credited with driving studio growth, and TV shows on DVD have been a surprise -- and lucrative -- market, according to a September 2004 Merrill Lynch report. The report estimates that consumer spending on TV DVDs will grow from $2.3 billion in 2004 to $3.9 billion in 2008.

    But serious fans want the whole show, not mangled scenes missing critical music.

    "The fans don't want syndicated cuts. They don't want the songs replaced. They don't want anything censored for political correctness. They want to see it in the way they originally saw it broadcast, enjoyed it and fell in love with it," Lambert said. "You can almost always count on some music replacement. We've got entire theme songs being replaced."

    There are plenty of examples, he said. The original theme song for the show Married ... With Children -- "Love and Marriage" sung by Frank Sinatra -- was replaced on the third-season DVD. Fans also complained when the song "Nights in White Satin" by the Moody Blues was missing from a critical scene in the Wiseguy DVD set. The second-season DVD sets of Quantum Leap and Northern Exposure both contain noticeable music replacements. And DVD distributors don't always reveal on the box cover that music has been replaced, either.

    Only selected episodes from the first season of Ally McBeal have been released in the United States because of the high cost of music licensing. But in the United Kingdom, where different licensing deals have been struck, viewers can order all five seasons of the show.

    "I think the studios are a bit shortsighted," Lambert said. "A lot of fans -- if they understood the situation -- would gladly wait a little longer and pay a little more to get the complete, original version."

    However, there are exceptions. Moonlighting is one of the success stories. After more than two years of lobbying by fans, the first two seasons of the show are scheduled for release this May with the music intact.

    "I was unwilling to replace the music," said Moonlighting creator and executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron, who now produces Medium. "I felt that was integral to the show. That really stymied its video and DVD release for years."

    At one point, Anchor Bay Entertainment, one of the DVD distributors that held the rights, suggested cherry-picking the episodes, releasing only those that didn't contain music.

    "I said, 'That's absurd. I have no interest in you doing this,'" Caron said.

    Navigating music licensing issues can be more difficult for shows where the music experience is central. The producers of one current show, American Dreams, went to extraordinary lengths to prepare the show for DVD.

    American Dreams centers on a family in Philadelphia in the tumultuous 1960s. Motown tunes and folk songs play throughout. Two of the teenage characters regularly dance on American Bandstand, and the show includes some classic footage from the '60s show. It also re-creates the Bandstand experience, with modern stars like Usher playing Marvin Gaye and Hilary and Haylie Duff playing the Shangri-Las, among others.

    For the release of the first-season DVD last fall, executive producer Jonathan Prince watched every episode again and rated the importance of every song in each episode. A "1" meant the song could not be replaced; a "5" was unimportant to the story.

    Prince kept music he deemed critical to particular scenes, as well as performances of guest stars and music for the Bandstand dancers. But some background songs -- when the kids get ready for the prom, for instance -- were replaced with "cheaper needle-drops" from the '60s. Prince said he doubted even hard-core fans would notice the difference.

    "I'm a music freak. This matters to me," Prince said. "We probably kept 80 percent of our music."

    "If they can't promise that the music is part of the DVD, you're going to have pissed-off fans," Prince added. Music is so critical to shows, it would be like "watching 90210 without Luke," he said.
    /r/reds

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Stinks for fans of the show, everything should get a DVD issue.

    I just want Mission Impossible out on DVD, I mean I saw Hee Haw is getting a release, WHERE THE HECK IS DAN BRIGGS and JIM PHELPS!?!?
    Go Gators!

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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Moonlighting is one of the success stories. After more than two years of lobbying by fans, the first two seasons of the show are scheduled for release this May with the music intact.


    This is great news! This was one of the most cleverly written shows ever, and I've always wondered why TV Land has never aired it. Anybody remember the episode when they remade the Shakespeare play? Which one was it, Macbeth? Brilliant and hilarious!

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Quote Originally Posted by macro


    This is great news! This was one of the most cleverly written shows ever, and I've always wondered why TV Land has never aired it. Anybody remember the episode when they remade the Shakespeare play? Which one was it, Macbeth? Brilliant and hilarious!
    How can I forget? It was "Taming of the Shrew" with Maddie as Katharina and David as Petruchio. Very appropos.

    Pay attention to the open sky

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Maybe someone told them that turkeys could fly! (loved that episode)
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    hm. never thought of this. haven't exactly been county down the days for a WKRP DVD release (though i did enjoy the show. well...i enjoyed Loni). however, this could affect other shows.
    one of the few present day shows i enjoy is Scrubs, which as far as i know still is not scheduled for DVD release. however, i remember quite a few instances where music was an intrical part of the show (one where Colin Hay follows Dr. and i just looked it up and it IS getting released on DVD, making this part of my post quite pointless. heh.

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    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCinatit
    i enjoyed Loni...
    I was always partial to Bailey Quarters myself. Loni was the style, Bailey was the substance. The actress who played her, Jan Smithers, pretty much went into hiding after the show ended.

    Here she is on Battle of the Network Stars:


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    Puffy 3:16 Puffy's Avatar
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Three words: The White Shadow.

    That needs to be released on DVD soon.

    That is all.
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    It would seem like they could come up with some form of alternative arrangement that would benefit both parties. I would think the recipients of the royalties would rather see something than nothing from these types of shows. Give them a reasonable up front licensing fee and a percentage according to sales, throw it into a pot, and divvy it up for royalty purposes.
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Quote Originally Posted by macro
    I was always partial to Bailey Quarters myself. Loni was the style, Bailey was the substance. The actress who played her, Jan Smithers, pretty much went into hiding after the show ended.
    http://imdb.com/name/nm0810453/bio

    After the show ended and until 1995, she was married to James Brolin, who is now married to Barbara Streisand.

    I agree, though, that she was far more appealing than Loni Anderson.
    /r/reds

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    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Music. The same reason I can't buy The Wonder Years on DVD.
    'When I'm not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.'
    -Snoop on his retirement

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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    We need Punky Brewster, Small Wonder, and Charles in Charge DVD sets too.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    They just put Miami Vice on DVD and it took years to get that out because of all the music royalties that had to be worked out.

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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Quote Originally Posted by zombie-a-go-go
    We need Punky Brewster, Small Wonder, and Charles in Charge DVD sets too.
    What about Blossom? :mhcky21:
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    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Why There May Never be DVDs of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Fanatic
    They just put Miami Vice on DVD and it took years to get that out because of all the music royalties that had to be worked out.
    That's what I don't get about all of these. Miami Vice, and Wonder Years in particular. Both of those shows released soundtrack CD's, the Wonder Years, even a box setup of music CD's. Surely they had to get royalties to do that. Why can't they use those same royalties on the DVD's, or why doesn't that speed up the process to release the DVD's?
    'When I'm not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.'
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