Friday, March 30, 2007

WKRP DVD Not OK

I got a copy of the first season of WKRP in Cincinnati and the news is not good. Which is disappointing to say, because I was lobbying for this release and believed – and still believe – that it would have been possible to reduce music costs without damaging the integrity of the show. That’s not what’s happened here.

Below I have compiled a list of music changes on the new DVD. As you can see, it’s pretty similar to the list of music changes from the late ‘90s syndication package; some of the generic music and overdubbing is the same in both versions. But I was prepared to be OK with this set if it was better, or no worse, than that syndication version. Unfortunately, it’s worse in two ways. One, there were a number of songs that were retained in that syndication package (which ran on Nick at Nite and elsewhere) that are replaced here. Songs like “Dogs” by Pink Floyd and “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley are now gone. And second, because most of these episodes don’t allow the music to be separated from the dialogue track, they’ve dealt with this problem by cutting footage from several episodes.

I’m not making Fox out to be a mustache-twirling villain here. WKRP is a tough property to bring to DVD. First, the original elements may no longer exist, so the copies they were working from were probably the same copies created for the late-‘90s syndication package; that’s why some of the generic music from that package is heard here. (On the other hand, while the original elements may not exist, the original soundtracks certainly do, for the most part. All you have to do to put a song back is take the same scene out of the older syndication versions, which are easily available. So if Fox had had the budget to put back these songs, they could have done so.) Second, music licensing costs are just insane these days. Third, other MTM properties have not sold well for Fox of late, which probably made them unable to justify much of a budget for WKRP.

But ultimately, this isn’t a good way of dealing with the music problem. I felt, and still feel, that you can create a legitimate DVD release of WKRP by changing songs at the margins (songs played only in ten-second snippets; songs that aren’t identified by name or timed to the scene) and leaving in the “essential” songs. But in this DVD release, there's little more half-a-dozen real musical recordings left in. There's the songs performed on the show by Detective and Hoyt Axton, and two or three songs played by Venus, and that's about it.

It's possible that Fox meant well. They’d been getting requests from fans to release it, so they did. And many of the songs that were cut are just incredibly expensive, like Pink Floyd. But ultimately, if they couldn’t afford to release the show with more music than they've included here, this might be one of those cases when they should have turned a deaf ear to fan requests. After all, they knew they couldn't afford to keep the music; we fans didn't. Or perhaps it would have been better to start with a best-of disc, focusing on episodes without much music (good sales of that disc could have justified a bigger budget for the first season).

There are two positive things to be said for this set: There are some extras (two audio commentaries by cast members and creator, and two featurettes), and the episodes look pretty good for videotaped late ‘70s episodes. Since it's cheaply priced, it might be worth buying if you want DVD-quality copies of some of your favorite scenes. Most of the best-known scenes didn’t have rock music in them, so the turkey drop, the Chi Chi Rodriguez report, the Ferryman’s Funeral Home commercial, etc, are here, and if you haven’t seen them in a while, you can see them here.

But still, this isn’t exactly “WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete First Season” as it says on the box. It’s more like “WKRP in Cincinnati: Extended Highlights from the First Season.” To get the complete first season, we’ll need to wait for the copyrights to expire, or for Fox to give up and license the show out to a smaller company.

-----

WKRP in Cincinnati, Season 1 DVD
List of Music Replacements and Cuts


Pilot
“Queen of the Forest" by Ted Nugent replaced with generic music.

Pilot Part 2
“That Old Time Rock n’ Roll” by Bob Seger replaced with generic music.

Les on a Ledge
Song at the beginning replaced.

Hoodlum Rock
The songs (by the band Detective) are intact, but the episode is a cut 22-minute syndication version. The original full-length version is available at the Museum of Television and Radio.

Hold-Up
All songs replaced.

Bailey’s Show
All but one song replaced. Footage is cut from two scenes.

Turkeys Away
“Dogs” by Pink Floyd replaced. Much of the scene has been cut out entirely.

Love Returns
Rock songs replaced. Part of a scene has been cut.

Mama’s Review
The clip of Venus in the booth, which was the only "cutaway" clip taped especially for this episode (this is a clip show) is cut and replaced with a clip from the pilot.

A Date With Jennifer
“Hot Blooded” by Foreigner replaced. 22-minute cut syndication version.

The Contest Nobody Could Win
All songs replaced. Someone has re-dubbed the people calling in about the song identification contest, so that they're now identifying fake songs and groups.

Tornado
Elvis Costello song "Goon Squad" replaced. Some footage cut.

Goodbye, Johnny
“Surfin’ U.S.A.” by the Beach Boys replaced.

Johnny Comes Back
All songs replaced with generic music.

Never Leave Me, Lucille
“Everybody Rock n’ Roll the Place” by Eddie Money replaced, with some dialogue cut. The episode originally started with Les singing “Heartbreak Hotel”; that scene has been cut.

I Want to Keep My Baby
All songs replaced except one Bob Marley song. Some footage cut from several scenes.

A Commercial Break
All rock songs replaced. Johnny singing "So Long for a While" has been cut.

Who is Gordon Sims?
One song replaced.

I Do… I Do… For Now
Jennifer’s doorbell, which played “Fly Me to the Moon,” is replaced with a public-domain song.

Young Master Carlson
All songs replaced, even the theme from Patton, a Fox film. Some footage cut from one scene.

Fish Story
All songs replaced. A scene of Venus singing is cut.

Preacher
All songs replaced.

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Update: I wasn't clear about how many episodes in this set are from 22-minute syndication masters (not counting the episodes that have had some footage cut from the full-length 25-minute masters.) There are two: "Hoodlum Rock" and "A Date With Jennifer."

Update 2: A couple of people in comments have wondered how I got a copy this early, which is a fair question. The answer is that Fox sent out advance review copies this week. I believe other writers/reviewers got their copies of this set at the same time I did; I was just the first to write a review.

Update, April 13: - I added a few music changes and cuts to the list that I didn't catch before.

292 comments:

1 – 200 of 292   Newer›   Newest»
Daniel said...

Sorry, but I absolutely refuse to buy this, much as I like the show. I refuse to send Fox the message that they can butcher a series the way you've described them doing with WKRP and get my hard-earned dollars for doing it.

tish said...

I agree with Daniel, but, what about sending a few of the artists your comment and see if they can raise a snit with the cement-blocks-at-FOX?

tish said...

I agree with Daniel, but, what about sending a few of the artists your comment and see if they can raise a snit with the cement-blocks-at-FOX?

Matt Watts said...

I wonder if this will have an impact on the bootleg DVD's... It could make people more interested in seeing/acquiring unedited versions and drive the bootleg sales up.

Anonymous said...

This confirms everything I suspected about this DVD. If you are a HUGE fan of this show as most of us are, the music is half of the experience. Can you imagine Les Nessman putting on his wig without "Hot Blooded" playing in the background? I can't and I will never buy a WKRP DVD without the original music included. Thank God I videotaped my favorite episodes from KDOC 56.

Jim said...

I too refuse to purchase this set and will probably look at the bootleg options that are out there. It's not like Fox, giant media conglomerate that it is can't afford to put the music into the show. Even if they just did some of it, I would be alright, but actually removing footage altogether is unacceptable. Damnit, it's a show about a freakin' radio station. Gonna need some music in there, and it should be relevant to the era of the show.

Anonymous said...

I get a vibe you're the SAME PEOPLE who will cry and whine "IF" the Wonder Years is ever released without original music?!?! You ALL need to just suck it up and stop "whining" like a bunch of babies! Be happy that this show was released AT ALL! You're lucky that Fox even went to the trouble to put it out in this form. None of you likely even know the amount of work and $$$$$$$$$ it would take to put out the show with "original songs". Thanks to all of you who cry about it, they likely won't even put out seasons 2-4. It sure as hell is better than the crap bootleg series sets on Ebay that sell for 100 bucks and ILLEGALLY! As I said, stop your "whining" and just be grateful Fox even released it! A real fan of the show would understand and know the troubles Fox went through and be satisfied.

I'm disappointed in all of you.

vidterry said...

Ya know, there is usually a reason that 'anonymous' posts as 'anonymous'. The postings are often so outrageous, so confrontational, so out of the mainstream of thought on the subject that even though no one would know the person if he/she DID post a name, they are still afraid to.

There are two reasons why bootleg copies of stuff exists. First, because the owners of -- whatever -- won't bother to make it available, period. Others who want to enjoy it get it...however.

Second, such a crap version is released that some just won't pay for it. Even messy, jittery, badly cut pirate stuff -- that is substantially complete -- is intellectually better. In this case, I'm glad I have my own originally recorded WKRP episodes with ALL of the music. If I didn't, I still wouldn't buy this expurgated BS stuff.

Terry in Iowa

phmooney said...

Anonymous praises Fox for the amount of work they put in on this. Seems to me that putting out a quality, complete product would require less work and be better received than attacking whatever elements they can get their hands on with an editing meat axe. I won't have this and, in its present release form, I won't miss it.

PatH

Anonymous said...

What happened to the news that the orignal producer of the show was working to replace any music with new "era-correct" music? Like replacing Hot Blooded with More than A Feeling, etc.

I don't consider generic music to be era-correct. Without Hot Blooded, that scene with Les putting the wig on is ruined.

If Apatow can get a small series like Freaks And Geeks out with the original music, I have a feeling MTM is playing scrooge here.

Dustin said...

Too bad they couldn't have packed this chock full of extras to make up for the missing music.

knownote said...

How anyone can sympathize with Fox on this is beyond me. I guess "anonymous" might actually WORK for fox!

The music in this series was esentially a "character" in the show. This would be like releasing a M.A.S.H. dvd without Hawkeye because they didn't want to pay him residuals.

I'll NOT buy this, and I urge others to NOT buy this, and further, to e-mail or phone Fox and let them know WHY.

To say they can't AFFORD to licence this music is ridiculous.

I'm a recording artist myself, and I can get recordings rights to most songs for around $100 or LESS. If I can do that, I would imagine FOX could negotiate a much better deal than I ever could.

Anonymous said...

In a response to the last poster, Apatow did fight to get the music kept in Freaks & Geeks. True. But he did charge the "true" fans $150 for the set to make up for it. And $50 for th eregular version. There were only 13 episodes. Other series are less for twice the episodes.
The average rights to license a song for DVD release by a major rock band (Foreigner, Fleetwood Mac) is upwards of $10,000 per song. With the amount of songs that WKRP has, that is impossible. At $30 a set, they would never make it back (as only about $7 from each set is seen by the studios). I don't agree with them cutting scenes, but do you want them to DJ announce Foreigner and have stock music instead?

Scott In Sacramento

Anonymous said...

Look at the Freaks & Geeks dvd release. This hour show used up to 7 rock songs per episode. It retained EVERY SINGLE SONG USED IN THE SERIES. The dvd release was only $45 dollars. Look at the list: The Who, Van Halen, Greatful Dead, Rush, Deep Purple, Kiss, Santana, Ted Nugent, Styx, Cheap Trick, Cream, Queen, Moody Blues, Journey, Janis Joplin, Allman Brothers, Kansas, XTC, Supertramp, Joe Jackson, Bob Seger, ELP, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston, Jethro Tull, David Bowie, Black Flag, Jackson Brown, Warren Zevon and even Dean friggin' Martin. Are you getting my point? Don't fall for Fox's excuses. Apparently, IT CAN BE DONE and at a reasonable price! Too bad I won't be buying WKRP. Now Fox can say, "see it wasn't gonna sell anyway."

MollyLateBloomer said...

Hear hear to "knownote." My first thought, too, was that "anonymous" must work for Fox (sorry, "the-network-who-must-not-be-named"). I do actually have a bootleg copy of WKRP that I got off of eBay, and I'm very, very glad that I got it. There's no guarantee that You-Know-Who's print would be any better, and at least the copy I have carries the spirit of WKRP. Shame on You-Know-Who for wishing to be THE media conglomerate and yet is too cheap to even make the attempt. I just canceled my pre-order with Amazon.

RoIn said...

This is certainly disappointing but, ultimately, not terribly surprising. The issues involving music licensing are very, very complicated and often go beyond mere expense -- in some cases the license holder of a particular song simply says "no" and will not allow a song to be used for any price.

Also, "Freaks and Geeks" was able to use all the music in its DVD release because the DVD rights to those songs were negotiated at the time they were negotiated for the show's airings. Back when WKRP was in first run on CBS VHS was brand new and the idea of people buying episodes for home viewing was an alien concept. Any rights that were cleared for the handful of episodes released on VHS have long expired.

Below is a link to an interview done with the maker of the documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom" which discusses some of the ENORMOUS complications and hurdles involved in music licensing. Give what is involved it is surprising we're even getting what we are getting with WKRP.

http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/06/mad_hot_ballroo.html

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Freaks & Geeks "special dvd", it was $120 not $150, The $45 release had 6 discs packed w/ extras. 23 Check it out on Amazon. It was 18 not 13 episodes but it was an hour show. Just setting the facts straight.

RoIn said...

$45 for a "Freaks and Geeks" set is what Amazon and other sellers who discount generally sell the set for. The list price from the manufacturer is $70.

Sputnik said...

What a disappointment. What a HUGE disappointment. It's one thing to overdub music, but to cut segments of the show completely? I won't see Les Nesman singing "Heartbreak Hotel"? Carlson won't be asking Johnny if he here's dogs barking? I'm not questioning whether I should buy this because I didn't get all of the music. I'm questioning whether I should buy this DVD because it's less complete than even the '90s syndicated version. I would have spent two or three times as much for even a version with a few replacements, but with all the scenes intact.

You've got to wonder why these producers had to cut so much out of the show that they eliminated scenes, when Miami Vice came out with practically all of the music intact. Why should we be grateful? This is not something Fox is giving us out of the goodness of their heart. This is less than half of a show that Fox wants us to pay full price for.

---jps

roin said...

"Miami Vice" didn't use nearly as much music as WKRP did, so it was easier to license. Also, a factor that isn't discussed much here is that sometimes the license holder to a certain song simply does not want the song used and says "no." In those cases there is no choice but to replace the song.

I'm disappointed too, particularly since original word was that great care had been taken to replace what needed to be replaced with something relevant rather than just generic music and that Hugh Wilson himself had said a good job was done in the regard. I am also not saying that Fox is totally innocent in the matter, but I am saying that the issue of music liscenecing is much, much more complicated than it might seem at first.

Also, it has been reported that Fox has been skittish about this project due to poor sales of other MTM shows (rumor has it that future releases of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" have been canceled, leaving three seasons unreleased, due to poor sales). Given all of this it is surprising that there will be ANY DVD sets of WKRP.

Dave (Mr. Stereo) said...

It has always driving me crazy that the record companies and the publishers still don't get the fact that this is advertising for their songs. Sure fox sill make money off the DVD, but it will still generate interest in the music. How many TV shows that use popular music have turned you on to a song and made you go out and buy the CD(buy and download the MP3)? I'm sure there's at at least a few. I know that's the case with myself. The point is, this is another instance where the powers that be aren't getting it. Where they should be working together-they think they can make an extra buck by doing this. So what happens? Do the record companies or publishers win? No, because Fox didn't license the music? Does Fox win? No because fewer people will buy the WKRP box with the replaced music. If the 2 had worked together and come to a compromise, wow! they could have both made money by plugging the fact that the set has all the original music in tact! What a concept. Sad that people are too greedy to realize their own stupidity.

Curt said...

Well.... I'm disappointed to say the least. But not surprised.
Leaning heavily towards cancelling my Amazon pre-order.
If even Jennifer's doorbell has been yanked, what is the point?
And they couldn't get the music from PATTON??
Why waste my money.

Anonymous said...

i have no sympathy for fox. they're just trying to make a buck here, they don't give a shit about the fans. so don't whine about how hard it is to license the music, because if they really cared, they would have gone through the extra trouble.

Sexy Beast said...

I can understand all of the alleged "purists" who are upset about the music. But, you had to know that there were going to be replacements. Any of the posts about this show coming out on DVD have ALL mentioned that the music would likely be different. I will buy the DVD, becuase the show is freaking funnier than hell, and is a classic. It's not funny or a classic becuause of the music, but becuase of the writing and acting. The music simply adds some character and background. I didn't watch the show to hear what music Johnny Fever and Venus would play. Get a grip, people.

RoIn said...

It's possible they could not get the rights to the theme from "Patton" because the rights holder did not want it to be used in this context. Maybe, maybe not, but there ARE factors that go beyond Fox just being lazy. Just because "Patton" is a Fox movie does not mean that Fox owns the rights to use the theme music for WKRP.

Yeah, Jennifer's doorbell was an amusing part of the show, but not buying the set just because it has been changed? Even without it there are still the great scripts, the endearing characters, and the very, very funny situations. Sure, I'm going to miss a lot of the music, but was the music the only reason we fell in love with this show in the first place?

Sadly, convoluted music copyright laws are a fact of life and by and large it comes down to either having the show on DVD, or having it be lost forever. As much as I'll miss a lot of the music, I choose the former.

Arcade said...

How can they even show "The Contest no one can win"?
If they cut out all the songs then there is no show left.
Do you mean to tell me they can't even play the Star Spangled Banner.

Anonymous said...

I am upset about the music changes as everyone else is. Figured at worst, we'd get the music from the syndicated versions of the episodes. Sadly to say, that is not the case and it is a much worse hachett job.

Will I still buy it? Yes for 3 reasons:
- It is fairly inexpensive
- My taped versions are in bad shape and it will be nice to have a fairly clean and clear DVD version
- Overall, if I am reading correctly, outside of "Hoodlum Rock" and "A Date With Jennifer" these will be the original versions of the episodes. Even episodes where a scene was trimmed for music reasons I would assume are longer than the syndicated versions.

TO respond to the Freaks & Geeks comments...F&G did NOT have the home video release rights to these songs. Judd Apatow had to go back and get them for a hefty price. He, himself, has said this. A couple of songs ended up being replaced on the F&G DVDs due to this. Same goes for "Undeclared" which Apatow was pissed about. He gave a couple of bands that were unheard of a break by using their music. They are big now and wanted ridiculous money for him to use it on the DVDs.

I understand my fellow 'KRPers pissed and wanting to boycott the release. But the problem is that Fox (and every other company) won't care and will just take it as a sign that the fans aren't willing to buy. All not buying will do is negate additional seasons being released. I do agree, they could've made up for the music slight with a packed CD of extras...more than just a commentary or two.

Overall though...very disappointing. I am one of the wacko fans who would've paid $50-$60 per season if we could've had the original length and songs intact. Incidently, I own the special edition yearbook ($120) F&G set. For a complete product, I'll pay!

The most painful cuts for me???
- "Dogs" from Pink Floyd in "Turkey's Away". "Hot Blooded" missing in "A Date With Jennifer" hurts...but I assumed it would be gone. It was missing in the syndicated package...unlike "Dogs"

Steve Scheiber said...

I'm profoundly disappointed. To say I'm a huge fan of this show is an understatement. I was a disk jockey when the show first came out, and the DJs loved it. We've all met the characters, and the exaggeration isn't as extreme as you would expect. But without the music -- which was as much a part of the script as the dialog, there is no way I can justify buying it. Sorry, FOX. Give me the REAL thing, and I'll be happy to spend my money.
Steve Scheiber

Anonymous said...

It's sounds like the episode "Turkey's Away" is now a turkey. Too bad, it's considered one of the 10 best episodes in television history. Even in syndication they kept the music intact for this episode.

I understand they had to replace music or there would be no set, but some scenes really needed to be keep intact. Do they understand who the target audience is for this set? I think these people would have been willing to pay a little extra to keep the essential scenes intact.

I was so looking forward to this set and was planning on buying additional sets as gifts. Now I doubt I will even pick it up. I doubt we'll ever see a Season Two set because I expect sales to be poor due to the extremely bad news on how they choose to deal with the music issues. Fox knew they had a tough situation here and still managed to drop the ball.

Ben said...

The folks over at TVShowsonDVD.com described Fox as being in a "no-win situation". I think rather than Fox being there, it's the fans who are really in a no-win situation here. If we don't buy the discs, Fox won't release any future seasons, citing poor sales. If we do buy the discs and Fox releases future seasons, they'll cut all the music out again and cite the successful sales of the edited first season.

Me, I'm buying it. Why? Well, first of all, my collection isn't complete--there are a couple of episodes from the first season I don't have, and quite a few from seasons two and three I'm missing. If I buy it, it at least encourages future releases. Secondly, these are reported to be longer than the syndication-length episodes; having the extra scenes restored will be nice.

But I also have the syndie eps I've taped bumped over to DVD, and I'm keeping those. I'm also going to look long and hard at bootlegs. I'm not saying I'll buy any--I'm just saying I'm going to consider it. And it's all Fox's fault--I don't like buying bootlegs and avoid them at all costs. But it's Fox's avoidance of all costs that's pushing me in that direction.

Had they done a proper set, had they included the music and charged $150 for the set, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. And I think a lot of the fans would have too. Enough, I think, to justify a limited release. I get the impression that Fox is trying to mass-market this release, trying to get impulse buys at Wal-Mart and places like that, but they would have done much better for themselves if they'd just left the originals alone, jacked up the price, and sold them through more specialized outlets.

Anonymous said...

Think about how bad the joke will bomb now without the Eagles "The Long Run" at the end of the "Doctor's Daughter" when Andy comes running in yelling in shock, "THAT'S A HIT SONG HE'S PLAYING!"

- Jersey73

RoIn said...

A lot of us here would have paid $100 or more for a set with all the songs intact (and that is assuming all songs would have even been available -- I find it interesting that nobody else here can bring themselves to acknowledge the very distinct possibility that some rights holders to some songs simply said "NO" to any price) but let's face it, there probably aren't enough of us who would pay that price to make such a move on Fox's part cost effective. Sorry to break this to people but Fox isn't going to release anything that they don't think will turn a profit, they are a business and that is the purpose of a business.

Boycotting won't, repeat WON'T get a DVD release with all, or even most of the songs intact. All a boycott will do is discourage Fox from releasing subsequent seasons. I'd rather people who have never seen this show get to see it in SOME form than not at all. Sometimes life offers us sad choices.

Anonymous said...

IF we don't buy it, there will probably not be a second season. YES, the music was great, but so was the WRITING, the ACTING, and many others things about the show. I SWEAR I did NOT watch it because of the music. I NEVER changed the channel or walked away because I did not like the music they were playing, so as much as I DID like the music, it was NOT the reason I watched it.

So, DON'T buy it, and we will probably NOT get a second season.

Protesting will not change anything, as the show was almost not released anyway, so this will just result in us not getting any more.

RMH

Steve K. said...

I doubt they will ever "re-visit" these episodes again. Although I am dissapointed about the music substitutions, I still would like a copy of the show. It is the one single show I have been waiting for since TV DVDs first started coming out. It's ashame, I would have spent $150 per season for an uncut all music intact set. Instead, i will settle for a $25 set instead with some substituions. It just goes to show that too much greed will get you nowhere. And they wonder why the music indusrty is in the toilet these days? Too bad for them, but sucks for us as well, the fans.

Anonymous said...

Bootleg is the only way to go.

Anonymous said...

Count me as one of those people that was prepaired to live with the music substitutions as long as they left a few of the essential songs intact. We were lead to believe by reports on TVShowsOnDVD.com that they were working on enhancing the syndicated version of the show, not downgrading it! If they had included perhaps 5 more songs that were essential to the episodes, I would be recommending this set to everyone. As it stands now, I'm afraid I can't do that. What a shame.

I'll never understand why music licensing people can't work with the labels to keep art intact. It's a win win for everyone. As is stands now, the music rights holders get NOTHING! Doesn't it make more sense to work a deal and get something, plus further sales from people that hear the songs, than NOTHING!!! This could have been a great opportunity to promote some of this music all over again, perhaps even with an iTunes tie-in. These people need to start thinking outside the box.

Rick Phillips said...

Thanks for letting us know. For me WKRP is not worth having on DVD unless all the music and scenes are in tact. I agree with Daniel about sending FOX the message that they can pass off the butchered series to the fans. However it could also have a reverse effect. FOX could say that since sales are low there is no market for WKRP anymore. They would be wrong but that could happen. Still I won't wast my time or money on the butchered series.

Ella's Mom said...

Music clearance for video release is extremely complicated. It's not just the recording that needs to be cleared and licensed, it's the song itself. Many times, particularly with older songs, there are several different publishers involved. They all need to agree to license the song, and they all have to agree on a fee to be split between them depending on their ownership share. If just one of them balks or is completely unreasonable, the deal falls through. And then there are publishers and labels who simply do not want the song/recording included in the video release. This happens frequently when ownership has changed hands, or when the composer/artist has died and his or her estate is now in charge of the song/record. And lest you think I'm talking through my hat, I have been doing music clearance and licensing for nearly twenty years. It might sound like a fun job, but believe me, it can be a pain-in-the-patoot.

Miranda said...

For me, the issue isn't as much the omissions of the songs (which, don't get me wrong, sucks) as it is the fact that a lot of the episodes are the hacked-and-slashed syndication versions. The whole point of buying a show on DVD is that you're supposed to get the whole episodes. Feh.

Rod said...

>>but so was the WRITING<<

So the songs just magically appeared then? Or were songs written into some of story lines? Obviously several scenes were crafted around the songs. Consequently the writing suffers with the exclusion of the original music.

As for the excuse some rights holder(s) absolutely refused to license their music, get serious. Sure it's possible that someone refused...but everyone? The list of changes makes it clear that Fox didn't even make the effort. Scaling back from the syndicated version demonstrates that Fox chose to simply axe music, rather than release a quality product.

I agree with Jaime, there was a way to handle this without running into an exorbitant budget. Changes at the margins. License the essentials. Entirely doable. Seems like Fox didn't even try. And in their warped thinking, when it doesn't sell, they'll feel justified in their butchering of this classic series.

Anonymous said...

Once again a ridiculously greedy and short-sighted industry and ignorantly draconian copyright laws in this country will force me to buy the "illegal" copies off the internet. So there you go, your greed gets you none of my money instead of some of it. Not buying this.

RoIn said...

Read the article below for an eye opening account of the complications of securing music rights:

http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/06/mad_hot_ballroo.html

RoIn said...

Sorry, my last post did not have the entire URL:


Click Here: Check out "Stay Free! Daily: How did Mad Hot Ballroom survive the copyright cartel?"

http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/06/mad_hot_ballroo.html

RoIn said...

Add the following to the incomplete URL in above two posts to read article:

llroo.html

Obtuse said...

Very disappointing, but my pre-order stands, for a couple of reasons.

1: There will be (mostly) full-length episodes.

2: The video quality will most likely be better than that of the "unofficial" set.

I'll probably (through the magic of video editing software)add the audio from the bootleg to the video from the official set where necessary to create my own de-luxe version.

Anonymous said...

These edits sound way worse than anything I previously heard about. I was under the impression that some of the songs would be replaced with other, known songs that they could rights to, not just "generic" music. If the show's creator OK'd this which I also heard, I am disappointed.

ericpaddon said...

I am not a fan of this show and wasn't going to get it, but I sympathize completely with those who are upset by this news. It's another reminder of why the bootleg market is a necessary evil for so many of us classic TV collectors, and not just for those shows that the studios refuse to release or abandoned after one year only.

Anonymous said...

A simple solution.

I have boots with the original music. Just like Fox has replaced these songs with generic music, why not just add back the original tunes to the new discs? Doesn't seem like it would be too hard.

Chuck Garcia said...

I have a 3 episode "Best of" VHS from the show that includes the pilot, and the classic Thanksgiving Day episode. This VHS was released in the 90s as a promotion to radio stations across the country. Each episode is complete, uncut, with music intact. I have copied the episodes to DVD, and since I refuse to watch the garbage they have now released that "pretends" to be WKRP, whenever I feel the need to watch the show, it's these 3 episodes that I'll watch. Also, I'll be on the lookout for bootlegs of the complete show, but I'll only be interested in buying bootlegs that were recorded no later than the early 80s, before syndication cut the length of the episodes and altered the music. Thanks Fox for making my decision so easy! :)

Anonymous said...

After reading that they had for lack of a better phrase "bastardized the original classic" I have cancelled by pre-book from Amazon....I will continue to enjoy my original broadcasts that are on BETA..No "DOGS" no DVD SERIES..

Todd Mitchell said...

Maybe it's me (and I apologize for not being a regular reader; just surfed in via the tvshowsondvd link), but who exactly are you and how is it that you managed to get a copy of the release almost a month in advance of the sale date?

Given that Hugh Wilson was quoted in the original press release as saying that he was "very pleased" about the restorations and the "minimal cuts" made, I'm a bit skeptical of this review.

Terry LeSure said...

I am VERY disappointed in the edits to WKRP; but I will still buy the sets.
First, because my original home-made VHS copies are degrading even though they are properly stored, and I don't have the luxury of time or $$ to re-record them over onto DVD.
So I guess I'll be liken to those other collectors who own several versions of a item...just to be a completist.
Gee!...it's not like I don't have more than one vers. of LOTR trilogies in my collection, and each one with a little more info added than the other to get my $$$, but in the end they're all the same.
I ultimately do agree that protesting, and arguing will result in no other seasons of WKRP being released.

terry lesure parma oh. said...

Bootlegs are your friends!

Now I WILL NOT buy bootlegs of new movies,or TV shows...but lets face the facts.
If you did not record a FAV show from the past yourself, how would you go about getting it NOW?
I've been to many genre/pop culture conventions and I have purchased bootleg sets of shows from childhood (Ultraman lets say) that I could not get otherwise, and have to have!
When they are released I go out and buy that set also.

Anonymous said...

"difficult" does not mean "impossible".

fox dropped the ball.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that the show had to be edited and that the original music couldn't be secured, however, this was expected. I'd prefer to have what is being released than nothing at all, which is what I was expecting to get. I have pre-ordered this set.

Mike said...

I just canceled my pre-order for the set. I expected the changes to be more on par with what we saw with the syndicated run, which wasn't great but at least retained songs they specifically mentioned in dialog (Dogs for example). To go so far as to cut the scenes rather than pay for those few songs equals a no sale for me. Guess I have to keep my NickAtNight tapes a while longer now.

Dave (Mr. Stereo) said...

I'm not just blaming Fox for this. There's a major greed involved with record companies & publishers that has gone on for years. They keep crying poverty but go on making millions every year. Even when they have the opportunity to MAKE MONEY by licensing this, they'd rather not do it by charging Fox too much to make it possible. Thus the Fans lose, the bands lose, Fox loses -everyone loses. It's like the record companies were dragged kicking and screaming into the online mp3 selling market only after bitching and complaining about people stealing and sharing songs on their own. If they'd embraced the technology right off instead of waiting for Apple to lead the way, then they wouldn't be where they are now(but that's another story).

Eric said...

Todd Mitchell makes a good point, now that I think about it. Why should we trust your credentials and how have you already gotten a copy? And are you sure the copy you've seen is the finished product? I've heard of these things being worked on until literally the last second before they are released. The release date has already been pushed back. If they weren't putting substantial effort into getting the appropriate licenses, would the date need to be pushed back? Or is it that the additional hatchet job work required more time? We did see the press release with Hugh Wilson approving of the cuts and substitiutions so either he was blowing smoke or we are not to believe this Jamie person.

Anonymous said...

There are some fans who claim they would gladly pay as much as $150 for a set with all of the original songs intact. There are other apologists for Fox which give all kinds of excuses for why Fox could not be expected to get every song. Some repeatedly mention that some artists might not even allow their music to be used.

Oddly enough, there are many possibly solutions between those two extremes, and I suspect that most fans were expecting some compromise. Most fans are not adamant that every single 10-second snippet of music from the original show must be on the DVD. It is utter rubbish to trot out that straw man argument, and then talk about how unreasonable that position would be.

Me, I just cancelled my pre-order. I might still eventually buy the DVDs, but there's no way I'm going to pre-order this version. Perhaps if everyone cancels their pre-order, then Fox will realize that they need to keep at least some of the key music. I, for one, would have a hard time convincing myself to spend $150 for the first season DVD's. But I would happily pay $30 for a single CD which had the entire "Turkey's Away" episode -- complete with "Dogs" from Pink Floyd. That scene in the show is integral to the whole episode. It is one of the examples of why Mr. Carlson feels he has to do this publicity stunt without consulting the staff.

If the removal of a song so ruins the scene that they have to cut the scene, then that song is important to the story. In WKRP, the music is one of the important characters in the show. The music is not just "background noise", the way it is in many shows. Songs are written into the script, and in some cases the script is written around a specific song.

Now, it's still just a TV show, and I am not saying people need to do anything extreme. But it does seem pretty reasonable to register our disappointment over this by simply canceling advance orders.

Here's hoping that the original story in this blog is merely wrong, and that the released set will be something more reasonable. But until I know it is, I'm not going to put in an advance order.

- Garance in Troy, NY

Angie Barr said...

I'm not buying this! This isn't even the show anymore. What is a trip to Jennifer's apt without the doorbell? THIS SUCKS! I am mad as hell and I don't want to take it anymore. Give me a petition and I will sign it!

Phil Inforeu said...

Re: knownote's comments that he can get rights to songs for $100.

I work in the industry, and mechanical rights to even minor hits can cost $10K and up for a DVD release. I just recently licenced a song from the late 1950s that was a middling hit. We used 5 notes from the chorus in a radio commercial that was running for a total of 4 weeks, and it cost nearly $10K.

There's no set fee schedule for music rights. Basically, the rights holder can charge whatever they think they can get away with. If they think the music is integral to the product, then they'll try to charge even more.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I get a vibe you're the SAME PEOPLE who will cry and whine "IF" the Wonder Years is ever released without original music?!?! You ALL need to just suck it up and stop "whining" like a bunch of babies! Be happy that this show was released AT ALL! You're lucky that Fox even went to the trouble to put it out in this form. None of you likely even know the amount of work and $$$$$$$$$ it would take to put out the show with "original songs". Thanks to all of you who cry about it, they likely won't even put out seasons 2-4. It sure as hell is better than the crap bootleg series sets on Ebay that sell for 100 bucks and ILLEGALLY! As I said, stop your "whining" and just be grateful Fox even released it! A real fan of the show would understand and know the troubles Fox went through and be satisfied.

I'm disappointed in all of you.

10:54 AM
-----------------------------------
SHUT YOUR DUMB ASS UP.

The public is NOT going to waste their hard-earned money on sub-par material. Without the public's hard-earned money, there would BE no Fox nor any other of these damned greedy corporations.

omacolt said...

I've been following this story for a long time and the music issue was going to be a sticking point if the DVDs were going to come out or not.

Buying the music copyright is tough. I heard how much the song "Sweet Emotion" cost for the opening sequence of Dazed and Confused. Linklater said the amount equaled the budget of some of his earlier films.

Back in 95 or 96 E! showed the entire series of WKRP and I taped it. I took those tapes and made DVDs. I rather have these DVDs that aren't the quality of store bought DVDs than buying a set which is not considered the exact episodes.

We liked WKRP because the music was as much of a character as the stories or actors. We would of not tuned in if the show had song that were not the originals.

I would of preferred MTM to not release these DVDs knowing it wasn't fair to their loyal fans to charge them for the exact episodes.

Fans would of complained, but not like this over the music which has been replaced.

Anonymous said...

Would you pull all your life savings out of the bank and flush it down the toilet??? Fox won't spend $40 million dollars to release a DVD set that is going to sell $10 million worth of revenue, and neither will anybody else (you included)! I don't like Fox releasing disks with 4 episodes on each side, so I don't buy them unless I really, really want the show (like "King of the Hill", but we haven't gotten a new set for awhile because it probably didn't sell well due to the 2 sided disks, but I still bought it). It's your choice! If you don't buy the set, you won't get the next season! This IS a business and crying does not help your cause. P.S. Anonymous simply means you do not have a google/blogger account! Wayne in Texas

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcbkCH__jxk

watch the original wkrp floyd scene and then tell me the show isn't about the music, and that this scene won't be missed on these new dvd's.

mollylatebloomer said...

I find it very difficult to believe that Fox couldn't have sucked up a few million so that a set worth producing would have been worth producing right. Yes, the writing, the cast, the chemistry was all unsurpassed. It was a great show. The music was intrinsic to the show. I've seen "The Americanization of Ivan" without "Tiny Dancer" and it makes absolutely no sense. On the other hand, corporate greed is at an all-time high, so I wasn't surprised at this news, either.

nousoleil said...

FWIW, Jaime did clarify who he is in an email and he's legit (he's also run the KRP information webiste for years now).

It's just stunning, frankly. As others have said throughout this thread, if we boycott, we never see the other seasons. If we don't, what series are we actually buying?

Todd Mitchell said...

FWIW, Jaime did clarify who he is in an email and he's legit (he's also run the KRP information webiste for years now).

It's just stunning, frankly. As others have said throughout this thread, if we boycott, we never see the other seasons. If we don't, what series are we actually buying?

Anonymous said...

I didn't read through all these posts, but really, people, you're coming across as whiney ingrates. Fox wouldn't pony up huge bucks for music because the music industry is batsh*t insane with its pricing on these things. Freaks and Geeks cost about $20 more than it should have because of music clearances alone, which was OK in that case because it was from a small label that aimed at a small but very devoted target audience that would pay that. WKRP is a more mainstream release, and though you guys would be willing to pay extra, Walmart america would go "Whut? Why th' hail does WKRP cost almost twice as much as Full House?" and buy the Full House. Fox did what it could, and encouraging boycotts and bootlegs will just ensure we'll never see any more WKRP DVDs. Besides, i don't buy any of these complaints about how important the music is to the show... i thought it was the CHARACTERS we cared about! Yes, it's unfortunate they had to cut some music, but it's not the end of the world. We still get a very, very funny and endearing sitcom. Sheesh. --- RhodesRules

Anonymous said...

where is the link to these so called bootleg dvd's? i'd shell out anything for even vhs quality dvd of the complete original series

Anonymous said...

I would have paid whatever the asking price for the set with the episodes fully intact. Now, even in a discount bin, I won't touch them.

Amanda said...

People keep focusing on the music. I've heard in several places now that DIALOGUE has been cut or trimmed. That is why I'm not sure I'll be buying the DVDs. I'm lucky enough to have a bootleg copy of the series, and although the picture quality on some episodes is horrible, at least all the original lines are audible and present.

And OK, I do have one gripe on the subject of the music: I felt that Fox kept being reassuring fans that if they couldn't get the rights to a song, they would work hard to replace it with something similar. Instead it sounds like they gave up and quietly left the generic music in a lot of places. Ever hear the phrase "pig in a poke"? I think that feeling is what a lot of the anger over the music is actually reflecting.

It's a shame because had Fox worked their *sses off in the music replacement side, I'd have been willing to pay premium prices for the set and eagerly awaited the next one. Now...I think I'll just go watch my bootlegs.

Anonymous said...

Grow up people. Fox is a company. Companies exist to make money, not to make you happy (unless making you happy makes them money). That's the reason you have a job, because your employment helps your company earn a profit.

What hypocrites you are, too. You don't care if Fox loses money producing a DVD set just as long as the product is made available at a "reasonabe" price. How typical of a bunch of pampered, sheltered babies. And just why is it that you think your money is hard-earned and Fox's isn't?

Try running this equation in your simple minds: No profit means company folds means no jobs means no DVDs. And don't give me any crap about the evils of capitalism either. In a pure socialist/communist society, you'd be told by the state what you could watch and when, and if you didn't like it, tough s*it.

So grow up and maybe you'll realize that "the cement-blocks-at-FOX" and these music license holders were not put on this earth to cater to your every whim regardless of their own concerns.

Capitalism and freedom in combination are a large part of what makes America great. Learn it, live it. love it. And stop whining like spoiled brats.

Eric said...

Hey Anonymous, I need to correct you on something. Anybody (in this case Fox) putting out something to be purchased for public consumption WAS, in fact, put on this earth to cater to our whims. Otherwise, why put out the product? To make a profit, yes but the release or non-release of this DVD is sooooo not going to make or break a company of this size and monetary standing in the long run. I am however reading some other valid points here. I would absolutely not put it past a lot of the artists and music-rights holders to have just said no at all costs. In fact, I've thought that might be moreso the case anyway than just Fox's general inability or unwillingness to pay.

eric said...

Forgot to say in my last post...none of these things, even if one wants to give the benefit of the doubt, excuses a piss-poor quality release when we were PROMISED that Hugh Wilson had approved of far less extensive cuts and changes. Unless the press release was just manipulated or some extra stuff was taken out between the press release and now. I also wouldn't rule that out.

Alexius said...

Putting aside the preachy and overdramatic comments of "Anonymous," I must admit that I am highly disappointed at Fox for conducting what was probably a half-hearted effort at securing musical rights for the release, that said, let me assure the WKRP community that I would have gone ahead and bought all the seasons if they had merely exchanged the music they were not able to secure and been mostly satisfied, but when I read that scenes have been deleted in an effort to purge, then I want to turn my nose up at the project. I realize that Fox could have simply ignored this show as a project not worth undertaking and been done with it, but when you set out to secure a product that will both make your customers happy AND make money in the process then some time and effort needs to be invested--nothing half-assed. Scrolling down the results of Fox's editing leaves me cold and I suspect that Fox did not put forth the effort, especially when I watch SNL's first complete season and listen to great original music AND video footage of the artists all intact and fully restored.
Quite frankly, greed aside, I am confused as to why an artist would not allow 10-20 seconds of one of their pieces to be played on a DVD complilation!! It's good marketing. What in the world does the artist think anyone is going to do with such a short snippet? And yes Anonymous, I do understand the power of greed, but let me ask the community for some education...how did the show secure musical use for the original broadcasts if they are soooo hard to get today? If the holders of Patton's theme song do not want the DVD release to use it now then why did they allow it to be used in 1978? And lastly, how long before music goes into public domain?
Finally, I did some research on bootleg copies and discovered this site called AllMyFavoriteShows.com that sell complete series sets, including WKRP, of television shows. What are they using? Old VHS sets, or direct TV recording?

--Alexius

steve said...

I really can't believe that they would knowingly release an inferior product.
If you look at other shows where music was important (Freaks and Geeks), they released the dvd with the music intact, though to acquire all the music rights, the pricetag was a bit higher. I have no problem paying $10 - $20 more for a fully complete, unedited Season 1 of WKRP.
They thought Season Sets of Saturday Night Live would never be able to be released, but they did it.
I'm guessing that Fox is not informing the unwitting consumer know that WKRP has been edited.
Fox won't get my money for releasing a bastardized version of a show I love.

Mike said...

Well, this is vastly disappointing. Even though I love the show, I'd rather not have it on DVD than have it like this. This show was, and continues to be, a big cult hit, and I think people would've been willing to pony up an extra $15 or $20 for the set if they knew even *some* of the original songs would be included. I predict this set will get more lousy reviews and fans will probably stay away. Unfortunately, the message Fox will take from this is the wrong one; they'll think it means no one wants WKRP on DVD, so wave bye-bye to seasons 2-4.

Vic Arpeggio said...

I love how most of the nasty, finger-pointing posts are all done anonymously. Come out and say who you are if you're going to throw bombs, you cowards.

That being said, I was on the fence when I heard about the initial reports about music issues. I'm going to wait until I hear few more reviews, but as it stands, I'm going to pass on what looks to be a travesty. What a complete and utter disappointment. If a company is going to release something to its fans, why not do it right in the first place? The arguments about capitalism are apt, "Anonymous," as the freedom of the marketplace allows us, as consumers, to reject a substandard product.

Anonymous said...

After reading most of the posts, I must agree that we will not be getting the best that FOX could have offered. I am wondering if this situation is something like what George Lucas did when he first released Star Wars Episode I. It first came out on VHS only. It took almost a year before it was released on DVD. The point I'm trying to make is that Lucas knew that the "true" Star Wars fans would buy whatever they could get there hands on. So, the "true" Star Wars fans bought the VHS and when the DVD came out they bought that too. Maybe the same is happening here. Possibly they are releasing this version now knowing the "true" WKRP fans will purchase whatever they can get their hands on. And when those sales have dried up, maybe they will release a complete un-cut fully restored version with the episodes in their original aired form. This way they get a double payday. I may be completely off base, but i'm a cynic.

I think for now I will be renting a copy from my local video store before I make a final purchase decision.

Anonymous said...

If you're a real fan of the show, you won't be buying it. Don't give into the "at least it's out be thankful" crap that FAKERS like to drone on about. It's not the show we wanted on DVD.

A REAL FAN would avoid this release and show FOX that we're not stupid enough to buy watered down, edited, FAKE versions of the show we love. Money talks. If they won't release future seasons of the series because no one bought season one, GOOD. We don't want more edited shows!

Spend the money to get the REAL music FOX. Pass the price onto the consumer. A REAL FAN would buy it then...despite the cost. At least the show we WANTED on DVD would be in our hands then.

AVOID THIS RELEASE!!!

Grant said...

Obviously disappointing news and I can appreciate how the fans who have supported the show feel (myself included).
However, as disappointing as it is, music clearances are an unavoidable evil that all legit companies have to face when releasing DVDs - and as others have said, it is a lengthy, difficult, frustrating and costly process - even for less well-known shows.
It's easy to level criticism at large companies like Fox when unaware of the processes involved.
As others have said, companies have to make any DVD release profitable. They must look at the overall cost to produce the product, work out how many they think they can sell and at what price, then make a call. As much as I and others would love to see the series with less music cuts, at the end of the day Fox will have worked out how much they will recoup in sales and weighed that against the costs to clear the music, independent of whether there were certain tracks they couldn't even license due to the unwillingness of their owners.

Could Fox have done more? Well none of us know the answer to that until (if) Fox choose to post a statement about their endeavours. Until such time, yes it's fair to register disappointment and/or choose not to buy the product, but unfair to suggest Fox haven't done all they could without knowing the full behind the scenes story first.

If they've been lazy, fair enough to level harsh criticism. If they've done all they could within the constraints of clearances and expected sales, then fair enough too.

I don't work for Fox but do work in the industry, so am very aware of just what goes into releasing a DVD. Just my opinion.

eric said...

Grant, what you are saying is completely fair but as has been repeated we were promised in the press release regarding the release of this DVD that creator Hugh Wilson had accepted the cuts and edits. In hindsight I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean they were acceptable, just that he accepted them. I would find it hard to imagine him being able to willingly live with allowing a subpar product to hit shelves for his fans. On the other hand he may not have had a choice. Maybe his feedback was just taken out of courtesy or something. But it seemed by all indications that they got plenty of the clearances to the original songs used or legitimate songs that were similar to them as opposed to the substituted excessive "generic" music that appears to exist. I don't think anyone doubts how difficult music clearances are but it's more a matter of bait and switch in that we were given the impression they worked out a significant amount of the music clearance issues...and that NOTHING was indicated in regards to the amount of actual cuts in the show's scenes.

Anonymous said...

I am new to the politics of domestic dvd releases, but knowing some of the releases made by Fox to be lacking in content and effort (the original release of X-Files and MASH series) only to have them release the same shows later "repackaged", I am suspicious of what they will do after this set is released.

But that will probably happen when the Peter Cottontail comes down that bunny trail.

I am hoping someone who has financial decision authority at Fox will come to their senses and release the original episodes uncut and unedited.

Dave (Mr. Stereo) said...

In reference to dialogue changes, anywhere that dialogue overlaps music, it was replaced in the syndicated versions. They actually tried to get sound alike people to do the voices(not very good ones at that). Often shows are put together with a sepreate dialogue track that you can change. It seems WKRP wasn't put together this way-thus the replacement voices.

I'm also putting in my 2 cents(or 20-40 bucks extra to get the set done properly. I'd rather pay more for a properly done set than a cheap price for something that doesn't represent what originally aired, and this does not. The one downside I see with this is, If they see that we're willing to pay more for WKRP, they'll simply raise the prices on all DVD's!

Anonymous said...

Strange how Fox has managed to clear all of the music for every Simpsons set so far. I'll keep my mid-80's 'krp tapes with the music and pass on any season they wish to mangle.

Anonymous said...

For people who remember the music or remember scenes that are now cut, it is quite jarring to watch edited material. Your memory is frantically trying to fill in the missing material. It's hard to enjoy edited material when your memory is screaming "HEY, THAT AIN'T RIGHT!"

Not buying WKRP ... and praying that this doesn't happen to Wonder Years.

Anonymous said...

This is very disappointing news. I have been waiting YEARS for WKRP to come out on DVD. And yes, I'm one of those wack jobs who would pay $100/season if the episodes were perfectly intact (yes, I bought the F&G box for $120 when it came out and I think it's great. I even wrote Shout Factory and suggested that they pick up WKRP -- I really wish they had...).

Ultimately, I'll probably break down and buy this season 1 set, mainly because I think the video and audio quality will be the best we'll ever get for WKRP (Fox does do a fairly nice job mastering their series). But I may break down and buy the bootleg set as well, just because I'm a purist at heart. Can someone who actually OWNS the bootleg comment? Is it worth it? Are the episodes the same as when they were originally broadcast in the 70's and 80's? How's the audio and video quality?

CFRED said...

Wow, if Fox had never prepared this set, due to the music licensing rights, how would my children ever get the chance to enjoy one of the truly great shows of my generation. I think the purists are really missing the point.
Yes the music was great and to have any of the scenes cut is a crime, however the chance for this set to grow the audience for this show from those who have never seen it is phenomenal.

If you don't want to buy it...then don't, but let those of us who appreciate the acting, scripts and direction buy this and future sets to enjoy with family and friends who have never seen it and who could care less about the original music.
I don't want it to take another 30 years to get season 2, and beyond, because a few folks moaned about the replaced music.
Thank you Fox. All I can say is, it's about time!

Anonymous said...

You'd think that some bands would WANT their music included. It might actually create NEW SALES for the band.

In this age of illegal downloads, the music industry is fighting a losing battle. Can't wait for someone to mix the old audio with the new DVDs and then sell them for pennies on the dollar. That'll teach them!

Anonymous said...

WKRP - Hot Blooded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLqBW5aaoWQ

eric said...

The purists are NOT missing the point. Quite the contrary. Those who don't get where we're coming from on this have obviously NOT kept up with the previous developments regarding this release. Had we not been outright TOLD that Hugh Wilson had signed off on a DVD set that included, if not most or all of the original music, than at least acceptable substitutions with REAL music, this would not be an issue. Instead what we're now being told is that there are extensive substitutions with generic music used and CUTS IN SCENES, the latter of which was never part of any previous information given to us. It's bait and switch, which again, I guess we should have seen coming.

Warren said...

I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this or not. When the show was being done in the 70s there were two sets of music royalties. The first, for video tape, was lower than for film. That's the reason KRP was shot on tape. A lower cost. The same music budget of say, $10k could buy MORE songs per show. The people running the show thought of the music as a character. It was set in a radio station after all. It was also the truest look at what working at a station was really like. Morning people all all Johnny Fever to some extent. We drink a lot of coffee, are sleep deprived and just a little off from mainstream life.

If the people putting out the set care so little about what was (at the time) considered a character on the show to cut and/or replace it, why should I buy it? Why not get some generic actor to replace Lucy in a rerelease of "I Love Lucy" on dvd? You might be able to get the show for $10/season. What a bargain! Of course, it might piss off the fans of "ILL."

mollylatebloomer said...

In response to cfred: buying this set still won't give your children an idea of one of the "truly great shows of [your] generation." The integrity of the show is compromised by cutting not only the music but significant scenes, as well. We're in a tough position here. Those of us who love the show want studios to know how much we want this release, but at the same time we want studios to know that we're not willing to settle for whatever crumbs they choose to toss at us. The show's integrity is compromised, and ours will be too. What do we do?

And in response to one of the anonymouses who asked about the quality of the bootlegs: it probably depends on who you get it from. The one I have is good. I wouldn't call it great, but I get entire episodes with decent video quality and good audio. Way better than nothing and better than the syndication chops, in my opinion. Do a search on eBay, or go to the site allmyfavoriteshows.com and give that set a try. I'm really curious about that one. I'm tempted to spend the money just to see what it's like. And if you do, let us know.

Mark & Barb said...

My thinking is to just watch and wait. I may give in to temptation and buy a used copy later at a lower price, or Fox will decide to do a "Special Edition" later on.

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't pay for bootleg copies. All 4 seasons are available online if you search. I'm working on my version with music as well and I'll upload them to a site for free too.

Fox gets none of my money 'till they do this classic series right.

Anonymous said...

You know I remember when fans of the movie Heavy Metal were pushing for it to be released on VHS and the studio kept saying that they couldn't because they couldn't get the artists and license holders to agree to take some more money from the fans. Lo and behold, along comes a fan who takes it upon himself to contact all the concerned parties and he discovered that the musicians and those who hold the rights to the songs were more then happy to agree to having Heavy Metal released on VHS/DVD with the original music. It turns out that the studio didn't even contact the majority of the people with a stake in the movie because it was "too much work."

I have wonder if Fox has done the same thing and decided that it was too much work (and it will be a lot of leg work to track down all those who own the songs, music, etc)to do and just threw out the excuse that the artists wouldn't sign the releases necessary. It goes back to the whole business of how much time (money) is it worth to Fox. Now if someone has the complete list of original material and is willing to do the leg work I suspect it wouldn't be too hard to get more, if not all, of the original artists and/or those that own the rights to the songs to agree to release WKRP as it originally aired.

eric said...

Just to repeat: I am convinced this is as much a case of the artists and license holders either not being contacted at all, or saying no outright, as it is of Fox not wanting to make the effort to get the licenses. In this case, though, Fox should have just bailed on the release, explaining with some honesty that due to unforeseen licensing issues, they cannot do the release. Instead they make us a promise in the press release that the music used in the DVD release will satisfy fans and keep the spirit of the show intact. I reiterate the correct term for this whole hairy situation: bait and switch.

Adrian said...

This is absolutely disgusting considering that Fox had (among other websites including tvshowsondvd.com) orginally announced that some music was being replaced but done in a way that would be unobtrusive to the show.

It's true that bands like Pink Floyd may have cost more to use than replacing with generic tracks, however, bands like Pink Floyd and Foreigner would probably have done a reduced rate for the songs since they're integral to the show. I don't think the average person would have minded paying between $10 and $20 more for a properly done season. Several of us here, and I'm in agreement, would've paid $100 or more for the true show.

Now, we're left in a major Catch-22. If we buy it, we're supporting the canibalized versions of a show we truly love. If we don't, Fox will cite poor sales and refuse to issue further seasons.

As much as I don't want to hurt the shows chances of subsequent seasons being released, I can't support Fox's decisions for "bastardizing" a classic show. I would've prefered NO OFFICIAL RELEASE than to hear what they've done in order to "release" the show.

Alexius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexius said...

Throughout all the point and counter-point I can't help but to suggest that FOX is simply lying to us! If Saturday Night Live managed to retain every single musical act throughout season one's release--and we are talking not just 15-20 seconds of musical snippets in the background of dialogue, but whole, complete concert like performances--then what valid excuse could Fox possibly issue to the WKRP community to explain this aggressive editing?
Lastly, I know what Johnny Fever would say about all this: "It's a big rip-off and sell out!!"

Hammond said...

I agree that this is unacceptable. I know that using all or most of the original copyrighted music would drive the cost of the DVD sets up a bit. That said, I think serious fans/collectors would be willing to pay top dollar to get the complete episodes. I paid roughly $70 for my copy of season one of "American Dreams."

Speaking of "American Dreams," like "WKRP," it was a show that was heavy on music. The lead characters were dancers on "American Bandstand." In some cases, newer artists such as Michelle Branch and Third Eye Blind would appear as such artists as Lesley Gore and the Kinks. That said, many, and I stress MANY, original recordings were used, including songs by the Four Seasons, Little Anthony & the Imperials, the Impressions, the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, Jan & Dean, Martha & the Vandellas, the Cascades, Manfred Man, Elvis Presley and others. All of those performances/recordings were left in their respective episodes. I assume that's why the set was selling for $70-$100. While that was steap, it was worth it to get the shows with all the correct, original music. To remove any of it, would be to remove a big part of the heart-and-soul of the show. The same can be said for "WKRP." They could, at the least, include the songs that are of great importance. If it's just background, that's one thing, but if the song is referenced, announced, or sung by a cast member, then every effort should have been made to use those songs.

mr. musturd said...

The Fox family of companies is a subsidiary of News Corporation, one of the largest media conglomerates in the world. Fox reported $12.17 billion in revenues. Are you gonna tell me they couldn't shell out $10-25K a piece to clear the music rights?
They just couldn't give a rat's ass about the series and decided to release it at the lowest cost to them to maximize on the profits.
Don't buy it. Let them pay for the next James Cameron movie out of their own pocket, they're deep enough.

James said...

If you want to stop the problems of music clearance, please join this group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopthemonster

You can discuss the subject there, and organize petitions and protests. Don't "hold your order, terrible dresser!" Let's do something about this matter and have our classic TV as authentic as possible!

James said...

BTW I hereby call the release date for this DVD the "Cincinatti Massacre"

Deke said...

I'll be buying this, not particularly to view it (Although I may watch some of it just to see how bad it actually is...) but I figure if I pay for this then my bootlegs of the original music series are no longer quite so illegal.

It just seems a shame that you can't pay the artists without paying Rupert Murdoch his cut.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have an e-mail address for Fox Home Video? I think we should all right them constructive e-mails letting them know how we feel and asking for some answers.

Anonymous said...

I was a teenager when WKRP was a prime time show. It was the funniest and the most current event topical show of its time.

It would be funny to be a fly on the wall at FOX as poor sales of this watered down classic cause one of their execs utter, "As God as my witness, I thought this turkey would fly!"

Anonymous said...

A few posters have mentioned "bait and switch" tactics used by Fox in trying to gear up sales for this set. Isn't bait and switch an illegal business practice? And if it is, can Fox not be sued for this?

I agree with everyone here that it's a tragedy that corporate and personal greed, along with the ridiculous, over-the-top copyright laws prevent this series from truly being released. It's really a shame that there never was some type of "blanket clause" to the permission to use the original music for the show. But back in the late 70s/early 80s who would have ever thought home video would become as big as it is today and that people would actually collect tv shows?
Also like a few other posters have mentioned, I truly in all honesty would have dug deep in my pockets for the orginal episodes. Someday maybe something will change but until then I'm going to have to stick to youtube and research these bootleg sets to rediscover what I consider to be the greatest tv series this country has ever produced.

mf said...

Apparently those tightwads at FOX just can't stop rewriting TV history (anyone noting the ironic parallel between FOX Video and FOX News stand and groan here). It also seems to really take a chink out of the armor of MTM shows, in particular. MTM's REMINGTON STEELE has also undergone the sonic scalpel in several of disappointing musical overdubs. To point out a few: A first season scene in which Stephanie Zimbalist drunkenly stumbles into the office slurring through the Stones' "Satisfaction" (in a hilarious moment of disgust with the opposite sex) was unceremoniously excised in its entirety. Likewise, from the third season episode in Ireland, Pierce Brosnan's pocket wtach from his long-lost Irish father played "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" when originally aired; now it plays a generic almost-tune. These quasi-musical moments are part of the charm - the It-factor - of these shows. WKRP without the 70s radio rock that inspired it, its writers, its actors, and its giddy audience? Shove it, FOX Video, and shame on you. I'll wait for a real release.

Tom Berg said...

It would be an awesome PR move, if bands whose music were used in the series somehow would waive their rights fees this one time, for the greater good.

Hey a guy can dream can't he?

filmmakker said...

As others have stated, music licensing for home video releases is very, very complicated and just because one show can get it done doesn't mean another can. It sucks that generic music is dubbed over and that some episode snippets are removed - THAT sucks hardcore - but knowing how the clearance/licensing industry works, I can't put all the blame on Fox.

WKRP was a big enough hit that it's harder to make the argument to rights holders that only a small group of fans will be buying the show (even if that is true -- they look at potential audience and freak out and get greedy), and unless you collect money from people upfront (or at least get deposits from people who promise to buy the set) there is no way for Fox or any other studio to guarantee that they will have enough demand to even break even.

SNL can keep all the original music in because Lorne Michaels OWNS those performances and always has (he's one of the more savvy producers out there in ownership/rights for his productions). Newer shows write DVD-releases into the contract when featuring music in a show, but for older hits, especially something as hit heavy as WKRP, getting all that music cleared is almost impossible. It sucks, but it is what it is.

A lot of the copyright laws are different overseas. Who knows, if Fox doesn't own the international rights, maybe some company will release a version in German with subtitles but original music/dialogue or something.

David said...

>>>>It would be an awesome PR move, if bands whose music were used in the series somehow would waive their rights fees this one time, for the greater good.

The greater good being your ability to get what you want I suppose?

I'm sure the owners of the publishing rights to the songs used in the original WKRP just can't wait to take below market value for their songs so that they can be used in the release of a sitcom that is going to make money for some corporation.

Kirb said...

As fans, we're in a no-win situation with WKRP. I too am very disappointed with the hack n slash job they've done here. But, I understand where they're coming from.

If they invest a pile of cash into the music rights, it's gonna take HUGE sales (like the Chappelle's Show kind of volume) or a big price tag to break even. As a huge fan, I'd happily toss twice the price for this show (or more), but for the more casual fan that's not gonna happen. Not all people who'd be interested in the DVD's are as rabid as we are.

Here's the catch-22 of it all. If people don't buy the DVD's because of the music replacements, the set will tank and the other seasons won't get released.

If Fox had paid for all the music rights and the set was expensive as a result, they probably won't get the volumes to recoup their costs, and the rest of the seasons won't get released.

If Fox had paid for the music rights and sold the set at the same price point as listed for this set, would they have gotten the volumes to break even? If not, the other seasons wouldn't get released.

It's purely a numbers game for Fox. I'm sure they've seen the cries from fans to release the show. This is the lowest-risk option they could come up with.

Personally, I'll probably buy this set, but I'm also in the process of copying all my taped episodes to DVD...

Kirb

Anonymous said...

Yeah with the cost involved, too bad Fox couldn't have released two versions. One version could be for the casual shopper (the Walmart crowd if you will) that couldn't care less about the integrity of the show but would buy it nonetheless in the 20-dollar range. The other version could have been the true version released in limited numbers thus commanding a much higher price than its counterpart for the real fans of the show. My hard-earned cash would go to the original every time.
In the meantime I'm getting bootlegs to take quench my thirst. Hopefully there will be an official release overseas dumped onto a region free disc...if not my dvd player is multi-regional....least over there they wouldn't screw the fans over!

radiohack said...

Another contributing factor to this WKRP DVD release debacle is the plethora of lawyers these days...

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who is an ex-Fox employee. She is an ex employee because Fox cleaned house a couple of years back getting rid of some middle management and mostly drone type workers. Those drones were probably the ones doing all the footwork for dvd projects, but if there is no one to do the work, well the manager certainly ain't gonna do it. So just a little inside info to what might have factored into this debacle,

Anonymous said...

I was excited when I heard this was coming out because I was going to get it as a gift for my Dad. Now that I know how bad they hacked it I'll be getting him something else.

Anonymous said...

Even though they had to change the music and take out some scenes. I think people should still buy the DVD set of this show. FOX had to make a comprise ether spend the money on Music licensing or not release the show on DVD.

Anonymous said...

I think the point is not about sending a message to FOX; rather it's just not the same show w/o some of the essential music. The early word from FOX was this was going to be an upgrade from the syndicated version, not a downgrade. So you can understand if people are disappointed about this release. I think people would have been willing to pay and extra $10-20 if they had just included the essential songs to the show (i.e. Jailhouse Rock, Hot Blooded, Dogs, etc.)

DONNER said...

THIS REALLSY SUCKS!!! WHAY;S THE POINT OF EVEN RELEASING THE SERIES AS THE MUSIC IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE SHOW! I'LL STICK WITH MY ORIGIONAL BETA COPIES

Anonymous said...

Quote:

"Can someone who actually OWNS the bootleg comment? Is it worth it? Are the episodes the same as when they were originally broadcast in the 70's and 80's? How's the audio and video quality?"

There are a few different boots out there. A VCD set (90's syndie versions, replaced music), a 12 disc set (terrible quality), and an 18 disc set (w/bonus disc).

The latter seems to be the best out there. The eps were recorded on VHS from WGN in the mid 80's. The shows are the syndicated versions, but have all original music intact. The quality is very good, considering the source. A couple eps have audio problems (slow, or a warble), but nothing major. Very watchable.
Bonus disc includes "New WKRP" episode, some show bumpers, an ep recorded from E!, and a TVLand behind the scenes special.

Erin said...

Yep, it's going to be nasty with the edits but boycotting the sales is going to guarantee one thing - no future seasons, with or without edited music. Saw the same thing happen with "Night Gallery". The fans whined that there were no extras and that the edits were bad, or whatever, and they weren't going to buy it!

And that's why it's been nearly 3 years and no season 2. Hate to see WKRP suffer the same fate but that's what boycotting is going to do.

Mike said...

And here I've been so excited waiting for the last few months for the release. I too read the comments from series creator Hugh Wilson about the new release being done "pretty good". But this news is terrible. 18 disc boot, here I come....

Mike said...

Oh, and I wonder... does this mean that when the episode comes with the line "Hold me closer, tiny dancer..", it will again be changed to "Hold my order, terrible dresser..." ?????

wfseube said...

Wow, the list of comments on Amazon from people like myself who ditched their pre-order due to the hack job is growing fast. Surely someone will get the message (he says naively)

Anonymous said...

Wow! 41 one-star reviews over at Amazon, all based on the butcher job. Most people canceling their pre-orders. Maybe Fox will get the message and pull this release untill they get it right.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the many here who are disappointed with this news, and one of many who has sent off a money order to get one of the "bootleg" versions out there.

Allow me to explain to those who don't understand why we are upset, and, maybe help those of you in "my camp" why getting the rights are so hard.

1. Now, lets just pretend, for the sake of argument, that THE BLUE BROTHERS has not been released on DVD as of yet. Same reasons. Music has been tied up usage and rights. Then, one day, it comes out, but, the music has been replaced or total scenes removed because of it. Replaecd is the "Perry Mason Theme" with a cheap sound alike. The scenes with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin are cut. Also you discover that "Stand by your Man" had to be removed because of those reasons. The music is a major part of that movie, as it is with WKRP. Replacing it or totally doing away with it does not do it justice, and buying it just for the sake of "well at LEAST they put it out" does not float. One could argue that it would be like buying Good Fellas without the violence.

2. Now, getting the rights can be difficult, as, over the years, the ones who actually own the songs have changed hands, either from the artist getting so much in debt he sold the rights, or maybe early on in their career they signed away all rights just to get a recording career...the examples go on and on. Or the actual song writer may still own the rights. Those artists' songs that appeared on WKRP have not had a hit in 20 years or so now. I know one someone mentioned that this could build another interest in the song and cause more sales. On the other hand, chances are those who like those songs and want them in WKRP, already own those songs in their own collections.

So, but lets put ourselves in the shoes of the person who owns the rights to, lets say, Hot Blooded. Are you really going to take a hit in the pocket book just to keep the integrity of a TV show that you may or may not even care about? Or are you going to see this as a way to get what you should have coming. It would be like if you went to work and your boss wanted to pay you less for a month or so, just because his clients wanted a break on something your company offers.

Its tough, and its sad that the new DVD is a hack job. Maybe one day.

but in the meantime, I would be happy with a VHS copy of all the shows for twice the amount of the DVD.

John in Indy

mike said...

Well,my feeling all along has been if they couldnt keep the songs as originally shown,its not worth it to put it out.Id rather wait for the day they can be included, than have a DVD with butchered episodes.Music is such a vital element to the series you cant change the songs without changing the episode.Its as bad as colorization.I will not pay $40 for a butchered version of a tv series that I loved in its original form.But it figures since the show was so mistreated by CBS during its original run.

Anonymous said...

I've seen bootlegs of the entire series for $35US, the 18 disc version. They are out there if you look. If I could find them, anyone else could

Anonymous said...

I just got an advanced copy of Season One and it’s true! Not only is there more music replaced than the syndicated version, they did cut content to work around it when necessary.

For example - the scene where Pink Floyd’s "Dogs" was originally used (and still is in the syndicated version) for the "Turkeys Away" episode. That scene is now cut from 90 seconds to 50 seconds and generic music replaces the essential Pink Floyd track. The scene cuts away when Fever catches Carlson snooping around the turntable after he checks to see if he’s awake. The following is the 40 seconds of dialogue we lose along with the music:

Fever: Gripping music, huh?
Carlson: Yeah, that’s good alright!
Carlson: What’s the name of that orchestra?
Fever: Pink Floyd
Carlson: Oh, is that Pink Floyd?
Carlson: Do I hear dogs barking on that thing?
Fever: I do
Carlson: Good, aren’t they?
Carlson: Hey, here’s a thing called “Pigs on the Wing” What’s that one sound like?
Fever: I don’t do requests
Carlson: Well, just keep up the good work
Fever: Givin’ it all I got
Carlson: So I see

Anyone that says the music isn’t an essential part of this show isn’t watching the same show as I am. Unfortunately, Hugh Wilson appears to be one of those people. In the commentary track he seems satisfied with the replacement, but doesn’t address the scene being cut. I doubt he even noticed as he was having such a good conversation with Loni Anderson and Frank Bonner. The following is the dialogue between them during the scene:

Wilson: Now see I don’t this is the music… ah, that’s not the music
Bonner: It isn’t?
Wilson: It’s good! It’s a sound-a-like. No. I think we were doing…
Anderson: Because wasn’t it Pink Floyd?
Wilson: This was Pink, yeah, Pigs on the Wing
Bonner: Pigs on the Wing, right
Wilson: Pink Floyd, boy we used them a lot. I love them!
Wilson: That was pretty good. I don’t mind those music replacements

Sorry Mr. Wilson, I completely disagree. Not only did the song sound nothing like Dogs, the scene was cut and we lost classic content in one of the most popular episodes in television history.

The message on the back of the box says "Some of the original music has been edited for this DVD release. It should say that most of the music has been replaced with generic music and some scenes had content cut as a result.

The one thing I really did like was the packaging and its retro look and feel. The video quality is not great, and has a very muddy feel to it, but it’s an improvement over the bootleg version I've seen.

Everybody has to make their own decision on this one, but I can't recommend this set based on the way they butchered the episodes. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Wilson was asleep at the wheel on this one.

eric said...

anonymous, thanks for a smaple of the dialogue track between Wilson, Bonner and Anderson. Their "conversation" sounds mostly coerced and scripted, if you ask me. Which makes you wonder if Wilson's "approval" didn't really exist, but was a P.R. thing when they put the press release out. I can't imagine those guys participating in such a P.R. sellout, but...

Dirk Belligerent said...

Jeez, will someone call the waaahmbulance for you whiners, please?!?

The very fact that you people are here complaining disqualifies you from passing judgment on what Fox should be doing and what regular customers will pay for. While you nutcases say you'd gladly pay $150 for a DVD set that included all the original music, the overwhelming vast majority are going to be a hard sell at the $40 MSRP ($26 @ Amazon). Just because HBO and Star Trek sets are priced at around $100 doesn't mean that a 30-year-old sitcom can be, too.

People are so busy shrieking about Fox's "GREED!!!!!" that they refuse to understand what the pros involved with licensing have tried to tell them, SOMETIMES THE RIGHTS CAN'T BE OBTAINED AT ANY PRICE!!! The babies are so childish that they simply refuse to accept that sometimes you can't always get what you want. While it doesn't make sense for artists to pass on getting their music out there in front of a potential new audience who may hear the song and then want the record, it happens. If Roger Waters sent a letter to Loni Anderson requesting a twisty handjob and she didn't reply and in retaliation, he refuses to let any Pink Floyd music to be re-licensed, then how would that be Fox's fault?

On the commentary of the slasher movie documentary "Going To Pieces", the producers talk about having to negotiate licensing fees for every foot of film they used, frequently having to cut stuff (no pun) because it got too expensive. Three days before it was to air, they had to rush back into editing to remove more material that hadn't cleared, like the end of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" which had to excise Johnny Depp who refused to sign off on the clip along with the scene where he's sucked into the bed. That's the veto power that the creators have.

Anyone who has taken a day's worth of ECON101 knows that the higher the price of an item, the lower the demand. Fox Home Video is in the business of knowing what they can price their wares at in order to sell the most copies. If they were truly greedy, they'd be charging twice as much for the same product and those who don't like it can go pound sand. Even if they could obtain all the rights and clearances – some pro needs to list all the sync licenses, publishing licenses, master clearances, etc. that are needed for every clip – if the finished product would have to be sold at $120 to recoup, it's a non-starter. I've been waiting forever to get "WKRP" on DVD, but not $120's worth. Anything more than $25-$30 would be a non-starter if it was my money on the line (I've already got my copy because I'm a media reviewer) and there have got to be waaaaaaaaay more of people like me than those claiming to be willing to pay an extra $100 to get the Pink Floyd tunes.

Would it have been better to have an outfit like Shout! Factory do this release? Sure, but that may not have been an option if Fox has the lock on MTM series distro. (Shout's transfer quality tends to suck, though, as "Undeclared" proved.)

We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Would it have been optimal to get everything as originally aired in 1978? Absolutely, but is it better to get 99% of what made the show great – the characters, acting, writing and fun – or 100% of nothing if the show wasn't released at all because of the all-or-nothing mentality of the extreme crybabies; people so childish and spoiled that they'd rather no one have anything if it doesn't meet their unrealistic expectations of perfection and satisfaction.

People remember the drunk test episode and Les Nessman's "walls" and Bailey's nerdy hotness and "phone cops" and Bucky Dorenster playing softball with a beer in his hand and "You've got the knife/I've got the gun" and turkeys falling from the sky and Herb's white belts and "Chi Chi Rodriguez" being pronounced "Chai Chai Rod-wig-gwaze" and "chee-hoowa-hoowa" and everyone coming with gifts to Jennifer's because they were afraid she'd be alone for Christmas and fighting mascots and so on and on.

People who want to relive those memories will probably be well-served by this set, flawed as it is. For the spoiled brats who will likely boycott future releases out of existence, well, it's all about satisfying their selfish wants. Period.

Anonymous said...

Fox has cleared hundreds of songs for The Simpsons releases over the years so they either made special deals to bring down the prices or they figure they're gonna make back their money in sales since they're so popular.

Most of the blame for this WKRP fiasco lies with the laws that allow such high fees but you cannot say that Fox is not also to blame. They assume they will not sell as many copies as The Simpsons and they're probably correct.

The problem is that Fox supposedly have been working to clear this music for years. I find it hard to believe that after all that time only a few songs were agreed upon.

They should've cleared as many songs as possible and released the first season to gage how sales would be for future sets. If the first season of The Simpsons had as much music to clear as WKRP, would they have ever released it at all? Probably not.

I, personally, would not want to pay $100-$150 for any tv season set (not even HBO's). $25-$30 per season is about the limit.

Will I buy this set? No. I hope no other seasons are released this way either. I'm happy with my copies (that I taped myself, not bought) with all the music intact.

The more people that accept these altered versions, the more these companies will continue to put them out.

I cannot enjoy an episode of WKRP with replaced music. Just like I would anticipate a favorite scene or line in the show, I also anticipate a particular music cue (Hot Blooded, Jennifer's doorbell, etc...) and if it's not there or changed, the smile will drop from my face. That's not the way to view a show. It should be all smiles.

Despite what anyone says, the music of WKRP is at least 50% of the show. Not just the acting, writing, editing, etc...

Laws Must Change.

Anonymous said...

I pity the Fox Fools!!!! I'd rather get The Odd Couple and Mork and Mindy, Season 2 instead of the butcher 22 minutes version without the classic songs that made the show so awesome in the first place.

The Crutnacker said...

I've moved from outraged to somewhat understanding. I don't blame Fox. While the Simpsons and other series probably sell well, I can see them worried about the risk with WKRP. I remember the show for the comedy, not the music, and most of the scenes mentioned are not ones that standout in my brain.

That said, there are things I don't understand....

Why not compromise and pay for songs in instances where they're crucial. (ie: Hot Blooded)

From the descriptions, it sounds like even mentions of songs are taken out. Why? Last time I checked, you didn't have to pay for mentioning a song, did you?

What is the downside for an artist for licensing 10 or 20 seconds of songs cheaply? Is Pink Floyd worried they're artistic integrity will be ruined because they were on WKRP? Do they need the extra money that bad?

Wouldn't record companies be wise to try and work out a compromise? Imagine a well done cross promotion between I-Tunes and WKRP.

WKRP is one of those shows that I treasure. I might still get the DVD set, and probably won't miss or notice most of the cuts. But it would have been nice to have to full slate of episodes.

Anonymous said...

If you mention lyrics from a copyrighted song you have to pay for those as well. Like, Carlson discussing John Lennon's Imagine or the use of Elton John's Tiny Dancer's lyrics.

spencer said...

I'm disappointed by this news, but I am sad to say that I probably will still buy it. Because I am a chump. But I can't fight who I am, I guess . . .

threerandot said...

The idea behind TV Shows on DVD Seemed like such a good one. But here is proof positive that people's memories have been hijacked. The real problem is that there are really no controls on how much say Led Zepppelin can ask for and how much someone like Don Ho can ask for. As a result, popular culture is now suffering. Our memories and and our collective consciousness of a generation is fading. Sure, this may only be a TV show, but it has meant something to millions of people. And this is where the studios and the copyright holders get in the way. Absolutely, they could work together and literally sales for this DVD could have been fantastic. I can tell you know that I still cannnot predict what sales of this series will be like. Fox really doesn't care anyways. If it sells well, they will be happy. If it tanks, it won't matter because there are still thousands of TV properties to exploit. To them, it is a business. For copyright holders, they don't care. All they care about is the control and the money. When we see a show like this, we remember our memories. Studios and Content owners see the cost involved and assume high risks and low returns.

We as the consumer have the right to ask for the shows as we remember them. If copyright owners really didn't want their music used in the first place, they could have asked for more. And maybe they did. Now it is up to us to say enough is enough. We, as the consumers must demand that TV Shows get released as complete and uncut as possible. If we do not stand up for these older shows, no one else will.

I have a series I love called "SCTV" which was around at the same time. Although SCTV is also edited on DVD, it obviously hasn't been subjected to the same butchering that this show has. I have a campaign to see to it that one day SCTV is re-released on DVD complete and uncut. Unfortunately, fans have not been interested and think they are powerless to do anything about it.

The fans of the series "Moonlighting" certainly weren't powerless. They put together a campaign along with the producer of that series and there is only one music cut in the entire series. I modelled my campaign after the moonlighting one.

http://www.runstop.de/bennysplace/sctv/index.html

It is my belief that since the studios continue to sell thousands of TV Shows with cuts, they are simply seeing just how much they can get away with. Its going to take some kind of legislation in order for content owners to have a limit on how much they can ask for a music cue in a TV series. Studios should also be accountable for the cuts made by listing them on the box set.

Anonymous said...

You would think in a show that played few songs complete that the music rights holders could regard them as free ads for their full length music and hence not charge.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for boycotts, but in this case, we need to contact Fox to tell them why we arent buying it. Not that it will help, but there is an outside chance they'll do something about it.

up and down the dial said...

I have seen several of the Season 1 episodes from the new DVD set, and the changes to the music are definitely a distraction. There was even one instance where the original actor's line was over a piece of music that had to be removed, so not only has new music been inserted, but the line has been dubbed in by somebody who doesn't even sound close to the original.


I wish that some kind of amicable settlement could have been reached that would have allowed the music to remain. Since all of the music is now at least 25 years old, and some of it is drifting (or has drifted) into obscurity, what if they had produced a featurette about "The Music Of WKRP" that straddled the line between entertainment and infomercial? Something that would have identified and exposed the music to a new generation, and even given the artists themselves a chance at some screen time. Or what about offering a :15 commercial spot at the end of each episode to the artists/record companies/copyright holders to plug the artists' CDs? DVD-ROM web links to buy the CDs?


I'm sure viewers would have gladly put up with a minute of commercials at the end of the episode in exchange for having the show preserved "as is." With a little creativity, there are a lot of options that could have been put into play if everybody (studio, producers, artists) was interested in putting out the best possible product (and yes, at the best possible price).

Eric said...

The plot thickens. Just read an article where Hugh Wilson was told that "Hot Blooded" was replaced...and he was caught off-guard by it! Now this goes beyond bait and switch. He should have already known this, because we were told he had WATCHED the DVD set and APPROVED what had been done. It's quite obvious he was just given some misinformation through hear-say (OK check that...he, like us, was LIED! to), and that he trusted and OK'ed it. Which begs the question, was he even given the opportunity to preview the set, or is this just more company BS?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Grow up people. Fox is a company. Companies exist to make money, not to make you happy (unless making you happy makes them money). That's the reason you have a job, because your employment helps your company earn a profit.

What hypocrites you are, too. You don't care if Fox loses money producing a DVD set just as long as the product is made available at a "reasonabe" price. How typical of a bunch of pampered, sheltered babies. And just why is it that you think your money is hard-earned and Fox's isn't?

Try running this equation in your simple minds: No profit means company folds means no jobs means no DVDs. And don't give me any crap about the evils of capitalism either. In a pure socialist/communist society, you'd be told by the state what you could watch and when, and if you didn't like it, tough s*it.

So grow up and maybe you'll realize that "the cement-blocks-at-FOX" and these music license holders were not put on this earth to cater to your every whim regardless of their own concerns.

Capitalism and freedom in combination are a large part of what makes America great. Learn it, live it. love it. And stop whining like spoiled brats.
-----------------------------------
YOU SOUND LIKE A F------ FOOL.

Let this sink into your thick skull:

THE PUBLIC DOES NOT OWE FOX NOR ANY OTHER CORPORATION A LIVING. If ANY business wants to continue to exist, they MUST provide products THAT THE PUBLIC IS WILLING TO BUY - or THEY WILL BE OUT OF BUSINESS. It's childish of you to refer to the buying public as "spoiled brats" because they refuse to spend their hard-earned money on crap. NO ONE likes to be ripped off - including your dumb ass.

It's also obvious that you don't read nor listen. MANY CUSTOMERS ARE WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR COMPLETE, UNEDITED EPISODES OF WKRP. THE PUBLIC DOESN'T MIND SPENDING THEIR MONEY - IF THEY ARE GETTING THEIR MONEY'S WORTH. Why do you think people on here are shelling out good money to buy bootleg copies?? Because the bootleg copies will be completely UNCUT - with ALL of the original music intact. Which means LOSS OF PROFITS for you (FOX).

ANY business that continues to have a condesending attitude like yours towards the buying public will ABSOLUTELY be out of business soon. Tell your silly cronies over at Fox that they ALSO won't continue to be in business for long trying to rob the public.

Anonymous said...

Erin said...
Yep, it's going to be nasty with the edits but boycotting the sales is going to guarantee one thing - no future seasons, with or without edited music. Saw the same thing happen with "Night Gallery". The fans whined that there were no extras and that the edits were bad, or whatever, and they weren't going to buy it!

And that's why it's been nearly 3 years and no season 2. Hate to see WKRP suffer the same fate but that's what boycotting is going to do.

10:05 AM

-----------------------------------
GOOD!!

I hope that boycotting this lousy version of WKRP SHOULD be boycotted!! After all - if Fox butchered season 1, don't you know that they're going to butcher seasons 2-4 too??

It's all or nothing.

Anonymous said...

Dirk Belligerent said...
Jeez, will someone call the waaahmbulance for you whiners, please?!?

The very fact that you people are here complaining disqualifies you from passing judgment on what Fox should be doing and what regular customers will pay for. While you nutcases say you'd gladly pay $150 for a DVD set that included all the original music, the overwhelming vast majority are going to be a hard sell at the $40 MSRP ($26 @ Amazon). Just because HBO and *Star Trek* sets are priced at around $100 doesn't mean that a 30-year-old sitcom can be, too.

-----------------------------------
Star Trek is over 40 years old - so that flushes the rest of your stupid ass rant down the toilet.

William said...

WKRP has long been the Holy Grail of TV comedy yet to be released on DVD...In fact it was the first show to bring me to TVSHOWSONDVD.COM in the first place.

There is much heated debate here about the upcoming release and I have to agree with the majority of you out there who are expressing deep disappointment and horror at the final release of this set of Season One.

"Anonymous" cannot be a fan as they profess to be, and moreover not a fan of the medium of Television as a whole. Yes I'm a purist, particularly when art is edited, ravaged or simply trampled on as FOX has done with this release.

I refused to buy the first season of Bewitched because it was released as a colourized version. So you can imagine my opinion when not only has the music been replaced in the case of WKRP, but the scenes changed dramatically and butchered like so many chickens at a KFC processing plant.

I proudly own hundreds of store purchased copies of TV series on DVD...most that still have yet to be played or even unwrapped...but I buy them because they are windows to my childhood or adolesence.

I was VERY hesitant when they announced the release of Miami Vice on DVD as "replaced" music on a show where the music played such a heavy role as a third main character even would be a terrible blow to TV history. But Universal did the right thing.

For Quantum Leap, pop music was not so much at the essence of this show, the "DJ" episode was affected by MUSAK but did it drastically change the storyline or enjoyment of the show...not TOO much. No harm done...Not 100%, but

But what FOX has done here is akin to digitally replacing Jan Smithers' with Paris Hilton or Jar Jar Binks. If you can't retain the 5 - 10 second music CLIPS and the longer songs that actually were incorporated into the storylines (ie. "Hot Blooded" or the lyrics to "Imagine" or "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down" or "I am Woman" or "If I didn't care"...these songs stand out in these scenes because they were a part of the artwork. The landscape that helped bring the show to life.

A friend of mine loaned me the Three Tape VHS set a few years ago and I was totally shocked at the edits they had done at that point. Some so awkward and bad that I couldn't even watch the episodes anymore.

And now as I read the changes posted here "All songs replaced", "all rock music removed", "replaced", "Replaced"....."Replaced" and knowing that KEY songs have been removed for important scenes, I'm afraid I will have to refrain from purchasing this set in protest as well. Unless I can pick it up at a Walmart Boxing Day Blowout for 2 for $30 or something like that a couple of years from now.

If that means that the successive seasons are not released then so be it. What would Star Wars be without John Williams' score, or Saturday Night Fever without the Bee Gees songs...I know Disco sucks, but still these were anthems of that time.

So too is the music in a show set in a radio station. And I should let it be known that FOX is not the only culprit to blame here. The Recording Industry is the real demon here. As a few of you already mentioned, the record companies should treat the release of WKRP in Cincinati as a boon, big time advertising for some artists and songs that might actually encourage someone to go out and buy a CD to hear the WHOLE SONG, not just 10-15 seconds.

Think of all those TIME-LIFE CD collection infomercials out there in the night time...they play 10-15 seconds of the songs all night long and many of them are songs that SHOULD be heard for the same length of time in WKRP.

I can't tell you how many times hearing a song in a TV show has inspired me to run out and buy an album...hell I'm still searching EVERYWHERE for the theme song to "Bandit" by Dawn Sears called "Another Dream Away"...I even called Warner Bros Music to ask if I could buy Ms. Sears deleted CD from them as I thought this track was on it. And I was told and I quote: "Where did you get this number from?" (answer: an HMV employee) "Never call this number again...(click)"

If the recording industry could figure out how to charge you to use songs at your wedding reception or backyard BBQ they WOULD. And they have thrown their corporate battle axe around for years while trying to look like victims when the Digital Music they created and Digital Tools they manufactured are suddenly used against them.

The music industry is quick to use words like "Stealing" and "Losses" as they tell us how many millions of dollars they are losing because of song downloads, but what they don't explain is if EVERYONE is downloading and stealing their music and profits...how can certain artists still be millionaires, how do no-talent here-today-gone-tomorrow pop stars make millions of dollars and CD's still go Gold and Platinum?

It's not that they are losing money, it's that they are not making as much as they feel they could.

Some of you have said those of us complaining should just shut up and stop complaining, be happy that WKRP will be finally coming to DVD...but the truth of the matter is that only a fraction of the show we know survived the cutting room floor.

Universal did Miami Vice right!! Even to songs that COULD have been replaced without too much damage were in-there for seasons 1 and 2....and they charged a fair price $60 CDN per season originally (and yes I bought them day of release...not the later, cheaper duo-pack.

If only the background songs were replaced and the important ones left intact I might have bought this set for the asking price...I wouldn't have been happy, but could have lived with it.

I might have even been able to import the video into a editing program and re-integrate the proper songs accordingly. Which I may eventually do anyway.

But with almost no original songs, hacked up scenes and content, what is the point?

They could have preceded each episode with a CD ad for the songs within each show...or added more commercials to the set...but no, let's take the quickest, easiest and cheapest route.

Sorry FOX...we wanted WKRP in Cincinati, the show we knew and loved...not this mess...

I would have rather paid $100 for the set to have the music intact...and I think most of the true fans of this show would concur...

I bought all the other shows I flagged an interest in on this website...but I will not be buying this one..

I've never bought a bootleg, but might consider it in this instance...We should all go to the FOX VIDEO website and explain why we're not going to buy this set.

This is a tragic mistake...Tragic!

Tim said...

While I generally think that the rah-rah of "Anonymous" makes him/her sound like a paid shill for Fox, and while I am (by and large) not a fan of the Fox company, there are a few points to note:

1) The overall cost of keeping the music intact would have been in the range of $4-$6 MILLION for season one alone. Considering the sales numbers that other 1970s shows have rung up, Fox would probably have to retail this set at somewhere in the $200-$250 range. They would never have released it if that were the case.

2) I read in a very earlier post that bootleggers like to share what they have and care about keeping the original shows original. They don't. They're only in it for the money. If they did care, they would offer the boots on eBay for a much lower price than $100.00. Also, the quality of the merchandise purchased from a bootlegger can be widely variable (I mention this for those reading this that may not have much experience with boots).

3) Fox probably should be generally applauded for attempting the release of the show at all, and retailing it at a rather reasonable price. I do wish that they would have highlighted the changes rather than giving the notion that they were minimal or didn't exist.

4) Why all of the anger toward Fox? Shouldn't there at least be a little animosity to the music companies that force this whole procedure to be so cumbersome? I mean, I like Elvis Costello and Pink Floyd as much as the next guy, but why can't their management see that inclusion on this box is tantamount to free advertising?

5) With a reserving of judgement until I see and hear how bad the edits are, I would like to see the remaining seasons get released. Even if you are dismayed by the missing songs, isn't it worth it to float a little royalty check at Richard Sanders, Gary Sandy, etc rather than buying a bootleg so that some 40-year old unemployed guy can buy some more recordable DVDs?

Just a few observations.

"Oh The Humanity!" said...

I have waited so long for the release of WKRP; hoping, praying that at least a majority of the original music would have been retained. At least songs that played an intergral part of certain scenes should have been kept regardless of cost. WKRP was a comedy masterpiece. But remember as with all art, only the original is the masterpiece. Would you appreciate the genius of the Mona Lisa if Da Vinci decided 30 o forty years later to change the colour scheme and crop it down to just a head shot?
After waiting so long for this ... I feel cheated. The bean counters really "foxed" it up this time.

Can anyone recommend a reliable and good quality bootleg site? The reason I ask is that a year ago I ordered WKRP from one of these sites and it turned out to be a fraud scam. I don't want to get burned again. Any help would be appreciated.

Eric said...

Once again the real point here, from my perspective anyway, is not that the music replacements happened. It's that they happened after we were told they wouldn't. Perhaps someone was misquoted somewhere and it snowballed and we can add the newspaper writers to the long list of blame. Obviously Fox wasn't going to be honest in advertising if they wanted to actually sell the product. I don't know if such honesty would have made me or anyone else more inclined to buy the set, I tend to think it might have, but we were totally baited and switched.

Eric said...

Just a note to "Anonymous" for his defense of Fox too. Your argument works two ways. The idea that we, the customers and fans of the show should be on our knows expressing our gratitude for the mere release of this set and just buy it because they're giving it to us is insane. Their job is to make a profit, yes. But that happens by properly serving the customer. Like I said, someone could have been misquoted in all the press releases and articles as to the exact extent of the music replacements. But this (Fox) is a company that makes so much money as it is that they should have been able to afford to make a better effort to put appropriate music in. And not releasing the set if they couldn't wasn't going to break their damn bank. If anything they have WASTED their money by even putting this out, what with the smaller sales figures they are likely to get. In the end, Fox isn't going to be in any financial trouble whatsoever, either way, so save your economics lectures.

Anonymous said...

There is something called the "Fair Use" Law which, if I've been told correctly, says you can use up to 30 seconds of copyrighted material without paying/asking permission. Now, that's not going to help with "Hot Blooded," but why couldn't this have been applied to some of the very short clips where we only hear the very beginning or very end of a song?

"Oh The Humanity" said...

In response to "Anonymous" suggesting that the "Fair Use" section of the U.S. Copyright Laws,(sections 107 - 118) could be applied in the WKRP situation. Unfortunately this section does not apply to the use of copyrighted materials for commercial gain.

The "Fair Use" section refers to the "limited use" of copyrighted materials for the purposes of: teaching, research, criticism, education etc.

This section makes no reference to any specific length of time (i.e. 30 seconds) or number of lines or notes in the case of music.

The Copyright Act 2006 is available on line. Just google "Fair Use". Nice try though. Shows your thinking out of the box.

Scum of the earth said...

I tell ya what, here is how I see it. I love the show, I will buy this so thay MAYBE fox will see how strong the sales are and pony up the dough for the rest of the seasons, if you are one of the people who wont buy it then you are helping fox ignore this classic show and they will never release it in the format that we all grew up loving.

"Oh The Humanity" said...

Regarding Scum's comments. Don't you see that Fox has already made a decision about this show based soley on economics? WKRP only appeals to a specific audience; the 40 plus age group. Very few people younger than that even know about this show. Don't get me wrong this age group has a lot of cash to spend, and probably would have been willing to pay more than 30-35 dollars for he first season of WKRP had the series been presented with a majority of the original music. But "how much" is the question. The been counters at Fox have made a decision that has sacrificed quality and content for price. Will it sell? Sure it will. Will the customer be satisfied. Not a chance.

The release of subsequent seasons will depend on the sales numbers of season 1. If season 1 does reasonably well, Fox wins by making money off of a public that will just settle for an inferior product. If season 1 sales go in the toilet then Fox can abandon WKRP once and for all, citing poor demand. Either way the consumer loses.

Anonymous said...

I've waited nearly 30 years to be able to own excellent copies of this show (now on the dvd format). This is NOT that show. If I have to wait 30 more years to get the complete shows, then so be it. No sale Fux.

Scum of the earth said...

Thats all well and good, humanity, but I have a 13 year old stepson, who has never seen WKRP, I have described the Turkey episode in gret detail (as I have most of it memorized) but it is not like watching it. I want to enjoy it with him, they way I did with my father, its one of those few moments where we connected, kinda like Johnathon Winters destroy a gas station in Its a mad mad....., I understand the disgust with FOX, but I do want to watch the shows with my son, and this is the only way to do so at this point, he wont be 13 for ever.

Rev Ben said...

Now, this is just great. I understand and agree 100% about the cuts, they are horrible. But, I am going to buy this set. First off, I love this show. There is not one network (at least not on my TV) that carries it in ANY FORM.

Second, if the sales are good enough, I am sure FOX will consider adding more music for the other seasons. It is even possible that they will re-release this more intact sometime in the future. I mean, if they have a chance of making money off of it, they will do it.

If the series isn't bought, then they might not even release the other seasons at all. And, that would be something I could stand even less than the song/scene cuts.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the argument of "We need to buy this so they will release the rest of the show on DVD too." Why should you buy something you don't want so they will produce more of what you don't want?

Anonymous said...

Fox sites that price point played a significant role in not securing music rights to many songs, not that they couldn't do it. They also site the reason for the price point was the failure of the original MTM series. The thing is, people weren't as anxious to purchase that set because you can always find it in syndication. WKRP is NEVER in syndication and some people haven't seen this show since it originally aired! I don't understand how Fox couldn't understand the difference when making its decision. I get the feeling that several people are going to purchase this set and not be prepaired for the missing music. Sure it's labled on the back of the box, but the dialogue doesn't stand out and is very misleading. Nicely done Fox!

Scum of the earth said...

Its no wonder this country is going down the crapper, not only do people not listen, they cant read either. Hey anonymous, I am buying for a couple of reasons, 1) I want to watch it 2) maybe, Just MAYBE, when they release season 2 and so on , they will release it in the apporpiate mannor. I really find it hard to understand that people are on here arguing about buying DVD's....sheeesh.

Tim said...

My God. I read Eric suggesting that Fox should and could release it with all music intact because Fox is loaded with money. What?!? Fox is in the business of making money. Fox is, in no way, going to release something as a definitive money loser because you think they owe you something.

Plus, on the buying the box set so that the remaining seasons will come out -- I agree wholeheartedly. For all of the whining going on here, the one aspect that keeps coming up is how Fox won't pony up the dough for the music. Probably the only possibility of that ever happening is if the single season box sales are so large that Fox will see the possibility of a "Complete Series" collector's box with music intact.

One more grouse -- The box set sells for $30.00. The "I don't want to spend my heard earned money on this" arguement is so lame. Even if you work for minimum wage, this is less than a day's pay, so please put away the "hard earned money" crap.

If you truly loved the show, you'd buy the box because all of the actors and writers deserve the royalties. Again, if you buy a bootleg, you're not giving them a dime. And the whole joy of the show is not a 10-second snippet of music -- it's Johnny Fever and Les Nessman, and the Big Guy.

Steve K. said...

I am a HUGE WKRP fan! I've been waiting for this show forever! I just watched the pilot. The show is about much more than just the music. It's still great. Does the replacement music suck balls? Yes. Would I still buy a set with every song and scene intact? Yes. I'd go as high as $100 a season for that. Am I happy to finally have the show in my DVD collection? Yes. I think you guys who aren't buying the set are making a big mistake. It's still a great show and better than most comedies on today, even with crappy replacement music.

Anonymous said...

Dear scum,
First, I've read everything on
here. It seems you left the apostrophe out of can't and it is appropriate manner not "apporpiate mannor." (If you want to critique my reading skills then your spelling and proofreading skills must be called into account.)
Second, If you want to buy the set, fine. But, the reason "this country is going down the crapper" is because people somehow think that throwing money at a problem will solve it (i.e. welfare, drug addiction, and WKRP). If you buy the set you are telling FOX that this is a perfectly acceptable product for the money. Maybe for you it is. For me it is not. If this set had sold twice the projection, FOX would not say, "Wow, what a prospective market, let's put some work into the second season and secure as many music rights as we can!" They would say, "See, I told you they would buy it anyway. If they bought this hack job, we can do that with the next season and still make money."

Buying a WKRP dvd with the music replaced by generic music is like buying a Michael Jordan career dvd with highlights from his record setting regular season games and every playoff win. No important shot is left out. Every play that the Jordan fan could want is in there. Oh, except we had to cut a few costs to meet the $30 price point. So, instead of the Chicago Bulls uniform (or Washington Wizards), Michael and his teammates have had their uniforms digitally replaced with plain white t shirts and jean shorts. All of the hated playoff foes (Pistons, Knicks, Jazz, etc.) have had their uniforms digitally replaced with plain black t shirts and jean shorts. (After all, NBA unis are also a copyrighted intellectual property.)

Now, all the shots are still there.
We also know that Jordan could have made all those moves and those shots as easily whether he had been wearing a Bulls (or Wizards) uni or a t shirt and shorts. Now, would you really buy THIS dvd knowing that a little more work and a $49 price tag would mean the same dvd with everything intact? If you say yes, you are not a sports fan.

There may indeed be a few artists who would not allow rights to their music regardless of price, but by no means could it be this many. The market has shown that season sets of TV shows priced in the $50-$100 range sell. (X-files, Star Trek: TOS, TNG, Voyager, DS9, Enterprise)
I'm tired of the idea that the consumer has an obligation to buy any product without offering his opinion. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to earn $30, it's still YOUR $30. There are a lot better dvd values for $30 than this set.
You are not a whiner if you complain about this product. You are saying simply, "I will buy WKRP when there is a WKRP dvd worth what I am willing to pay for that release."

Scum of the earth said...

Dear Anonymous
I don’t really care about my typing skills you see I have a JOB, and I cant spend the entire day on blogs like you evidently, I would also say that comprehension of language is far more important then typing skills, so go vote for Hillary and push the country even further down the tubes.

As far as the DVD collection I bought it, I watched it and I enjoyed it, with my whole family, we all laughed a whole bunch, we had a great time together, my son seeing it for the first time ever. Does the music suck in some places, yes, does it hurt your brain for a minute wondering what just happened there, yes. But its still great, especially the non flying turkeys.

As far as the rest of your rant, about some dude named Michael Jordan, not sure who that is, you are a whiner, its a freakin TV show, why are you so upset? There are people in Washington right now thinking up new and better ways to take your money and limit your rights, and you want to bitch about music being left off?? No problem though, I had a great time last night, laughing at show I have not seen in years, it was worth a whole $27.

Anonymous said...

Scum, there's no need for personal attacks. There are varying points of view regarding this DVD release and you should be respectful of them. We're all here for the love of the show WKRP.

Scum of the earth said...

LOL, you started it not me.

Anonymous said...

Scum,
The "anonymous" after you there is not me. You, in fact started the personal attacks. I know there are people in Washington looking to take my rights and my money. I have no idea how you somehow got the idea that I was one of those left wing nut jobs since my post shows my disdain for government programs and promotes how a free market can keep in check companies that wish to market subpar products.
You seem to be the one getting so worked up about other people not buying this dvd. If it's just a tv show, it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things whether the other seasons get released on dvd or not. So why are you so upset that some people don't want it?
I have a job. If I had not been working late you would have seen an earlier time on my post.
The reason a "freakin tv show" is important to this discussion is that it is about what people will and will not tolerate. If people swallow any line handed to them and castigate the people who do not as whiners, it won't be long until we see 80-90% tax rates and the complete repeal of the 2nd and 4th amendments. (We sure haven't had the tenth for over a hundred years.)
When you are in business for yourself you learn that in order to make a profit, you may have to break even or take a loss on some things. You won't make money (regardless of your cost to price ratio) if you don't give your customers what they want. There is no law stating that they have to buy a product or service from you. There is also no law stating that they can't tell their friends that you don't treat your customers well.
The people on this board are expressing how they feel about this dvd release. A few (like you) will buy it. Some won't. I think the biggest concern should be for those who love this show and will buy it with no knowledge of the extent of the cuts. If they are on the fence, they will read arguments from both sides and make up their minds.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm done here. I just wondered why people thought that supporting a butchered first season so we could get the other seasons butchered was a good idea. I guess this is not a forum where you can get your questions answered.

red_converse_allstars said...

Songs I heard for the first time on WKRP: Caravan - Van Morrison, Dogs - Pink Floyd, Redemption Song - Bob Marley, Tiny Dancer - Elton John, Everybody Rock and Roll the Place - Eddie Money. Except for Pink Floyd (never a fan) I PURCHASED the albums that each of these songs were on and to this day, I listen to them a LOT. In fact, I have purchased FIVE different versions of Van Morrison's Moondance in different mediums (including two CDs). It's a shame that others won't get that opportunity.

tbremel said...

I'm torn here. I did order the DVD set .. before I learned of the music cuts. I just received it today and watched the pilot and Turkeys away. What's fun is the memories they bring back. But the pilot isn't the pilot without the original music, and learning of the other cuts I'll be missing is very disappointing. Still, its great to see the classic ensemble cast work their magic together. But I will say this -- if FOX had said, "look, for an extra 410 or $20 for the set we can keep all the music" - I'd have gladly paid the difference. Keep the KRP flag flying, fans!!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that no original masters exist. Not Hugh Wilson or even Ms. Moore own them? I understand this was a hand picked project for Ms. MTM. You would think they would have kept something somewhere.

Does the Museum of Television have all the episodes on file to view?

I can't see buying this set if the episodes are the syndicated version. I have videos of those shows in my closet and it's just a matter of recording them on dvd if I want to watch that version of the eps.

Just watched a few episodes and while I agree with some that music is not really missed on most eps, I know the most of the ones missing. Thank Heaven for Little Girls pays off the setup between Venus and Mr. Carlson.

I did notice another noticeable cut, but it might be from another season, it's when Arthur Jr. says something derogatory to Venus and Venus' reaction and reply are cut out completely.

Anonymous said...

Actually entire 4 series discs are available out there for less than $40. You're just basically paying for labor and materials only. No profit margin.

Anonymous said...

I think what is being said on this board (pro and con) are good for everyone concerned. It's not good when we put up with what they are willing to give us. Being a capitalist society and Fox being a capitalist company, they will be in all this for the money. Little by little we are being deprived of quality and quantity and yet we are being charged more for products.

When they can't charge us more, they change the rules of the game and sells us a different format (HD/Bluray). Don't buy into the antipiracy argument, HD and Bluray can be pirated too, maybe not now, but down the road.

But back to the subject at hand, Fox releasing this set with the cuts and changes is a way to test the market if it will tolerate the changes. I say let Fox know you don't like what they have done with the set. Return the discs to where you bought them if possible.

Let these companies know we won't put up with less from them.

I find it hard to believe no one has the master tapes of these shows. Heck, old Doctor Who episodes periodically surface in fan collections, there must be some miticulous WKRP fan who saved each and every episode as originally broadcast.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone has posted this yet, but Loni Anderson has some insight into future DVD releases for the remaining seasons.....including original music:

http://www.ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=2049

Anonymous said...

My bootleg DVD copy just arrived.

All season, every episode

All scenes included

All original music

Less than $50

And to top it off, great quality


I got my money's worth, which was all I was after.

If your happy with your edited and replaced content copy, more power to ya. Hey if your satisfied, your satisfied. I am happy for you.

I am thrilled for me

John in Indy

"Oh The Humanity" said...

Just a quick note to "Annonymous". I agree with you, totally. I'd rather have this set on a bootleg DVD with less than perfect quality as long as the shows and music are in tact than the butchard version that Fox has slapped together. Could you please tell me what site you bought your set from. I've tried to buy this set in the past and it turned out to be a total fraud. Thanks in advance.

"Oh The Humanity" said...

Just a quick note to "Annonymous". I agree with you, totally. I'd rather have this set on a bootleg DVD with less than perfect quality as long as the shows and music are in tact than the butchard version that Fox has slapped together. Could you please tell me what site you bought your set from. I've tried to buy this set in the past and it turned out to be a total fraud. Thanks in advance.

Eric said...

I read the link to the Loni Anderson interview and what she failed to say was that more of the original music would be in future seasons IF FUTURE SEASONS ARE RELEASED. Furthermore, if they can plan on doing it for future seasons, why not Season 1. We'll see if the crappy product sells before we sell anything of quality to people, is the apparent philosophy. Should be the other way around. I am sorry, I just don't buy it.

slade73 said...

Thank you very much for posting this list. WKRP is one of my all-time favorite shows, but I haven't seen it in so long that I wouldn't know what songs were replaced.

Anonymous said...

In order to pay for the music rights, I for one would have paid up to $80 (Canadian) for the DVD set if it had the original music. Now I am undecided weather to buy it or not. I'll probably buy a used copy so FOX don't recieve any of the profits until there release it correctly. I also don't understand how you can sell cheap-o CD's like 'Best of the 70's' at such a cheap price but they can't afford to use it on the a DVD set that uses just as many songs.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the bootleg available online for less than $20US plus postage. Not sure how they can sell 19 discs for this low price, and it might be too good to be true, but the prices have dropped since the release of the official dvd set.

Anonymous said...

While the music is a factor in the
over-all value of the show, the
more important factor is the cuts.
WKRP was a show that would, often,
set up a joke in the early portion
of a show, and spring it later.
"I'm not paying for this" wouldn't
have been funny if they had cut out
the scene locking Del Murdock in
the john. It wouldn't have made
any sense. I remember, during
the first cut of re-runs, that one
of the characters delivered a joke
that wasn't funny because it didn't
make any sense. Then, having
watched the originals, I realized
that, for the love of a few more
commercials, they had cut out the
scene that set up the joke and so
it didn't make any sense.

On the other hand, if Ivan tells
Les, "Cancel my order, terrible
dresser", Quote Bailey,
"Oh, puke"

Anonymous said...

I was supprised they edited language. In Johhny comes home they ask jonny why he was fired and he said you can say booger but not... Does anyone know what they cut out? I tried to read his lips but couldent make it out?

Jaime J. Weinman said...

I was supprised they edited language. In Johhny comes home they ask jonny why he was fired and he said you can say booger but not... Does anyone know what they cut out?

In this case, that's the original version: what Johnny says in this scene was always blanked out. The idea is that it's supposed to be something so bad that you can't say it on TV, let alone radio.

Anonymous said...

It's disappointing watching the pilot - when Johnny spins the first rock & roll tune, it's generic blah. So the original musicians will not be forever tied to this great series. Perhaps we could have a little less devotion to money and a bit more to preserving television's peak moments?

Mike said...

I hope someone from FOX reads this:

Dear Fox,

You screwed up. Royally. I would gladly have paid $50 (and maybe more) per season for DVD quality, full versons with original music, of WKRP In Cincinnati. However, due to your ineptitude, incompetence, and downright greed, I will not buy this DVD. In fact, I bought the 18 disc bootleg off the internet. While not DVD quality video, and missing 2 minutes or so per show (due to it being from the first rerun set), it is totally watchable and more importantly it maintains the integrity of the show. Now, I was one of those who upon hearing of the official relase anxiously waited for the 24th of April to come around. In fact, I was going to buy 2 copies.. one for me and one for my father. But, upon hearing what you (FOX) released as the "official" WKRP, I did not do so. I then (AFTER reading about the hack job you did) bought the bootleg. And I'm glad I did. I'll admit, since I only paid $20 for the bootleg of the 1st syndication run, that I'd still be willing to buy an official *COMPLETE* release. But until you put out such a package, I will laugh my ass off to the 'unoffical' one, and enjoy all the original music it contains.

Unfortunately, I don't think you really grasp how bad you (FOX) screwed up!

Mike

Paul said...

As much as I dislike Fox, this is a problem that the record companies have created. They own the rights to this music and they are the ones that have priced it out of the reach of Fox. It's a gamble for Fox to pay millions of dollars extra for a series that might not sell - so all we get is the generic music version, which won't sell, which will prove them right about not wanting to release additional seasons of WKRP.

The music business badly need a boost right now and the idiots there look at licensing as a way to make a fast buck, rather than a way to maybe get us thinking we'd like to buy something we heard on the show.

We all lose.

William said...

I was at Wal-mart the other night and there it was, the doctored and ravaged version of WKRP Season One sitting there on the shelf.

The old full cast promo photo on the cover I remember from covers of TV Guide or even those old Iron-On T-shirts that were so popular back in the late 70s.

I had to take a look at it...I flip the package over and see the disclaimer: "SOME OF THE ORIGINAL MUSICAL CONTENT HAS BEEN EDITED FOR THIS DVD RELEASE"...SOME is the word used...SOME!

However, there was that $34 price sticker looking at me with the knowledge in the back of my mind that if no one buys it, the rest of the seasons will never see the light of day.

I HATE MYSELF, but I bought the damn thing...I had to see if the changes were as bad as I originally anticipated. I apologize guys!!

So what's my opinion now I've sipped from the Devil's Martini?

Some of the replacements are fine, the term Musak inspires all kinds of thoughts...but for the most part the replaced generic tunes sound OK...O-K...Even the scene from "Date with Jennifer" with Foreigners' Hot Blooded being replaced with "TOO MUCH" a generic tune from some unknown studio band..It sounds okay...fade in and fade outs from the ON AIR clips are so quick to appear and disappear that you can't tell what they are...Certain things I've noticed so far that really stand out?? The replacement during "Tornado" of a full orchestra version of the Star Spangled Banner is now something that sounds like it was played on a CASIO keyboard. Sounds horrible, can you tell me that there is not a Public Domain version of a solid sounding Anthem somewhere in Hollywood????

My real complaint though comes from the cut scenes and lost jokes and dialogue. Would it have not been possible to license JUST those songs that were incorporated into particular scenes??? Where they weren't just background music but included in the scene.

I BOUGHT the album "MOONDANCE" JUST because I heard the song Caravan in a certain episode of WKRP...I assume this scene is now and forever history...I can't remember if it was from the 1st season or not.

When you draw parallels with other TV shows from the past when musical content was a huge part...take something like The Midnight Special, just recently released...How on Earth do they license those artists and songs to put them on DVD...and do it at a good price?

Miami Vice, each set $50 and ALL original music in there...I would have been willing to pay up to $60 for WKRP Uncut...

But we're all stuck now...well I did my part for Hugh Wilson and the actors, I paid Fox's cheap price for cheap cut up episodes...But if ANYONE at FOX is paying attention.

IF this set sells well...PLEASE reconsider and license the important songs (those integrated into the action and dialogue)...leave the scenes intact for Season 2...use the generic stuff for unimportant scenes...economize but please do not do it the same way as Season 1...

Bump the price up to $40 or $45 if you have to, but please don't do this...I beg you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Am I crazy? I just watched MAMA'S REVIEW, which is basically a clip show to get everyone back up to speed after the hiatus. During Johhny's format change scene, I am hearing Ted Nugent's QUEEN OF THE FORREST as it was originally. In the pilot, this song has been replaced by generic music. Why would it be allowed there and not in the original clip in the pilot?

Crimson Emotions said...

It never ceases to amaze me how much the record companies enjoy slitting their own throats in the name of "copyright protection." If done right, WKRP could have made money, not only for FOx, but also for the record companies.

Imagine an additional extra: a list of all the songs played in various episodes, along with complete information on where to obtain those songs. That could have steered people who like those songs towards the albums and the companies could have profited.

BTW, even though WKRP has so much more music, I can't understand why there weren't able to get clearances on many of the songs--or at least some of the major songs, while Moonlighting's first few seasons were more or less intact.

BTW 2: I haven't seen the entire set, but from what I've seen, at least they've done a reasonably competent job of substitution in many of the scenes. I've seen DVD sets with absolutely horrible substitution, where the music did not fit the era at all (like a nu-metal or grunge sound in a Hunter era DVD), or when they tried to do songs wehre the characters sing, but substitute the song and so they have to re-edit the entire scene (Greatest American Hero did that).

If they continue with future seasons, I'm hoping they could at least come to an agreement with THEIR OWN COMPANY and get the Star Wars theme for the Carlson election episode. The syndicated version had generic and badly edited sci-fi music that killed the joke, and also overwhelmed the rest of the scene.

Anonymous said...

FOX is also a record company. The evil media conglomerates have trashed the commons and will continue to do so. Bowdlerization of many classic movies has occured. It is because we, the people, have allowed this by blindly allowing them to change us from citizens to consumers.

Anonymous said...

A comment and a question --

1. This is my favorite TV series of all time, and I would have happily paid $100 for the first season.

2. Could someone explain why artists push to get thier songs played on the radio (even to the point of payola occasionally), but they want to be paid for thousands of poeple being exposed to their music on TV. Why?
(It would seem to me that the typically 30 or so seconds of music that we hear in these episodes is no different than the 30 seconds of each song we hear on Amazon before buying a CD.)

Iceman5 said...

With any sort of classic TV show that incorporated lots of popular music, with the DVD sets you ought to expect poor execution of the musical numbers. But I'm sure it could have been done--for a price. I've got the Moonlighting DVDs and they were very well done. Can't see why the same couldn't be done for WKRP.

Why not release the $30 Muzak version for the Walmarts, and a version for people interested in the full episodes? Maybe I'm not aware of what this would actually cost, and I have a hard time that the artists and record labels couldn't see the potential gold mine for their older products getting more buys off the shelf.

I wonder if the full-blown DVD set could have had the full songs on a few CDs in the set, since the rights to the entire song might have had to be purchased. People listening the the CDs might then be compelled to purchase the entire CD from which the track originated.

Short commercials might have been a good idea too. FOX really dropped the ball here, they could have put in a bit of effort and everyone involved with the music and show might be getting a bigger pot of gold.

Anonymous said...

I bought it, it's fine with me. Get real people.

Anonymous said...

I bought it to if only to legitimize the bootlegs I bought previously and the only thing the official release has over the bootlegs is the clarity of picture and sound (not in stereo). Otherwise I love the boots better than the OR(official release)

Some people might not need the original music to enjoy the series, I miss the songs that had been replaced because they offered context to the series. With muzak this WKRP might as well had been created and filmed today (much like That 70s Show). I like my comedies with more depth to them. Maybe that's why I like classic comedies. Today's comedies are shallow and banal.

Anonymous said...

WKRP is NOT about the music. It could have been about a country-western station, a classical station, or even a news or talk station, and most of the plots, and most of the gags, would have still worked.

It's about a bunch of mostly-well-meaning goofballs trying to run a radio station.

And this DVD release is the result of well-meaning mostly-non-goofballs trying to get a reasonable approximation of the original show out the door at a price ordinary people can afford.

If you're going to {female canid} about DVD releases being screwed up, complain about something meaningful. Like the third season of Emergency! being released with anachronistic "opens" on all the episodes!

And to those who are contemplating buying illegal editions of WKRP in order to punish Fox and the various music copyright owners for not working anything out, all I can say is (as Dr. Johnny Fever so succinctly put it)

*** B O O G E R ! ! ***

Squish said...

I'm a little disappointed in the artists really, I mean they are supposed to be artists, so you think they would contribute 10 seconds of their song for a TV show that supported their music. I wonder did Kiss charge them to have a poster up on the wall of them? I wonder. These artists are giving themselves a bad name, or whomever owns the rights....i wish i read this before i bought the dvd, because i feel ripped off.....BOOGER!!!

Anonymous said...

I know the show isn't just about the music, but the music does give the series some context. The music punctuates the action and the dialogue. In this day and age when we get our news and entertainment in little bits and bytes, it is nice to watch a series which was a whole package of good writing, good acting and good sound mixing and editing.

Some of you might like the USA Today sort of world we live in today (where we get everything in short bursts), but I like going back in time via dvds to live in a more leisurely time when we had time to do anything we wanted.

NewsReek said...

It is not the artists' fault some tunes were clipped. The music artist, like a book author, has diddle to say about what happens to the song. It's the publisher/right's holder that calls the shots.

In music, just like the author in book sales, the artist is held captive to the industry.

And yes, the the lack of music is the issue. It was a show where the tunes were integral to the plot, the dialog and the gags. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but integral nonetheless. Pretending otherwise is like pretending it was not a show that focused on life in a radio station.

In this current form, I'll not buy the DVD. Ever.

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