Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Give Up, Fox

It would normally be good news for TV fans that Fox is going to release the first season of "Newhart", except that we all know they're not going to finish it. Fox has released the first seasons, at least, of most of the best-known MTM properties and they've managed to finish exactly one (Remington Steele, pushed over the finish line by the Pierce Brosnan connection and the relatively short run).

I'm not sure why they would think Newhart will sell if they've given up on releasing more sets of the original Bob Newhart Show (granted, I think Newhart was a better show, but not that much better). So why keep releasing shows that they know won't sell well enough to finish? Why not just sign a deal with some other company?

One possibility here is that since first seasons tend to sell better than the rest of the series, a company can actually do better by releasing the first season of an as-yet unreleased show, rather than the fourth or fifth season of another show. The first release for a TV series is almost always the best-selling one, even if the first season is nowhere near its best, because some people will decide it's enough to have 22 episodes of a particular series in their collection (not everybody needs to see their favorite characters 200 times). So Fox probably can do better by hunting around the vaults for season 1 releases they haven't done yet, even if they know -- and they probably do -- that a release of later seasons is out of the question.

Honestly I'm starting to think there's a very good case for multi-disc "best-of" releases. I prefer complete season sets, like most people, but knowing that in many cases we're only going to get one or two DVD releases anyway, I'd rather get a selection of the show's best episodes from the whole run, rather than the first season, which in many cases (nearly all cases, with comedies) isn't the best.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Some very funny episodes are to found in the first season of Newhart, and it was the only season of 8 to be videotaped as opposed to film.
I have the original CBS broadcasts so I can live if MTM abandons Newhart after 1 release, but how they not complete the original Bob Newhart Show. The 5th contains some of my favorite stories.
same with mary tyler moore. The last 3 seasons of MTM were far superior to the first 4.
Do these studio execs realize that both Bob Newhart and MTM, alongide Mash, all in the family, and Carol Burnett actually got people to stay home saturday nights during the 70s's? That was must see TV!!!