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[01/15/04 - 12:00 AM]
20th Expects Even More TV Titles to Reach DVD in 2004
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is looking to continue its aggressive support of television series on DVD in 2004. Peter Staddon, the company's senior vice president of marketing, appeared on a live chat at the Home Theatre Forum earlier this week to talk about what's currently being considered for release.

Staddon's last chat with the Home Theater Forum, back in December 2002, featured some of the earliest announcements that DVD sets were in the works for "Dark Angel," "Family Guy," "Futurama," "King of the Hill," "Lost In Space" and "Son of the Beach." It also showed how quickly minds could be changed as "Roswell," "The Ben Stiller Show" and "Firefly," all of which were said to be trapped in music/legal rights hell or were not being worked on, have since been released.

Here's a complete breakdown of Staddon's comments about each of the following TV series. Please note that due to the general nature of the live chat format, some questions were missed or accidentally glossed over. Nevertheless, the complete related questions and answers have been listed.

ALIEN NATION

Question: Hi Peter, I just got here so I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before: Any plans to release the short lived sci fi tv shows Alien Nation or Space Above and Beyond? Two great scifi shows that never got their just due. Thanks.

Answer: Hi Greg, Space above and Beyond should be launched just for Rebbeca Gayheart! It might well be out in the later part of the year. Alien nation is one I would have to check to see if we still have the rights and if we do we ill be launching it. An easy question to end on.

ALLY MCBEAL

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

Question: Hi there Peter. What are the plans for MAD TV & Arrested Development on DVD? Also Doogie Howser M.D.?

Answer: Hi Jim, we are lookign at Doogie Howser I believe. Arrested Development is being looked at now and should be a lot of fun, I'm not sure we have the rights to MAD TV.

BATMAN (1960s)

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

BOSTON PUBLIC

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Question: Hi Peter, and thanks for taking the time to be here. I was wondering why Fox U.S. go to the effort of removing the the 'previously on' intros from tv shows (even if it means the tail-end of audio remains),particularly Buffy? I guess this is particularly important in regards to the episode 'The Gift' which hadan intro consisting of snippets from the 99 preceding episodes. Most fans of the show consider this morethan a standard intro.

Answer: I don't have a specific answer for you as there are no hard and fast rules for this, it's very much up tothe DVD producer and the development exec they are working with. It's certainly not a policy that Fox has.

DHARMA & GREG

Question: Hi. I would like to inquire about the possibility of these titles...TV Shows: Dharma & Greg (In 16x9); The Pretender. Movies(16x9 A MUST): Silver Streak, Pirate Movie, WW & the Dixie Dancekings (as a Budget Wal-Mart title similar to "Pick-up Artist") Harry & Tonto.

Answer: Dharma and Greg is being considered for this year. Not sure about The Pretender. Silver Streak would be a great title to put out, and I've been getting a lot of requests for the Pirate Movie. Nothing happening with the Dixie Dancekings I'm afraid!

DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D.

Question: Hi there Peter. What are the plans for MAD TV & Arrested Development on DVD? Also Doogie Howser M.D.?

Answer: Hi Jim, we are lookign at Doogie Howser I believe. Arrested Development is being looked at now and should be a lot of fun, I'm not sure we have the rights to MAD TV.

GREEN HORNET

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

HARSH REALM

Question: Hi Peter, any word on season sets of the TV series Millennium? Thanks!

Answer: Hi Gareth, Millenium and Harsh realm will be out on DVD this year. The first season of millennium is some of the finest TV ever produced - in my humble opinion - and I'm glad we can finally bring it out on DVD.

THE LONE GUNMEN

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

LOST IN SPACE

Question: Hi Peter , Thanks for being here tonight & Ron too. Rumor has it that depending upon the success on LOST IN SPACE DVD Season 1 sales #'s - Season 2 would follow on DVD. If this is true , then would the following apply for possible 3rd season LIS on DVD depending upon Season 2 sales success? I ask this out of concern that Season 2 is considered the weakest of the 3 seasons and fear that a Season 3 release possibiliy will not happen if Season 2does not sell well.

Answer: Hi mike, we'll wait and see how Lost in Space sells at retail. So far it looks encouraging but I'll hold off on any decision on seasons 2 and 3 until we have some better data.

Question: Good evening! Tomorrow is Lost in Space day and I been waiting for years to get that show on DVD. There's just one thing bugging us French Canadians: why isn't french audio available for Lost in Space Season One DVD? That tv show was last seen in french on tv in 1981�?�A lot of potential customers here in Quebec are sooo disappointed about that.

Answer: The honest truth is that I don't know why, but I do know there must be a reason as we try to be very supportive of French Canadians on our releases. I apologise, but I just don't know the answer to that one.

Question: Hi Peter, How will the possible new "Lost in Space" series (pilot is currently being produced by John Woo for Warner Bros) affect the release of the original series DVD Seasons 2&3? Thanks for Season One! (release date tomorrow!!)

Answer: I'm not sure. I guess we'll have to wait and see how they work out. The core audience for the classic Lost in Space is likely to be very different to the "John Woo remix " so I'm not sure how it will affect season 2 &3. The bigger indicator is how well season 1 sells.

MAD TV

Question: Hi there Peter. What are the plans for MAD TV & Arrested Development on DVD? Also Doogie Howser M.D.?

Answer: Hi Jim, we are lookign at Doogie Howser I believe. Arrested Development is being looked at now and should be a lot of fun, I'm not sure we have the rights to MAD TV.

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

MILLENNIUM

Question: Hi Peter, any word on season sets of the TV series Millennium? Thanks!

Answer: Hi Gareth, Millenium and Harsh realm will be out on DVD this year. The first season of millennium is some of the finest TV ever produced - in my humble opinion - and I'm glad we can finally bring it out on DVD.

Question: Just curious to get some more info about the Millennium DVD release. There were some rumors last year claiming that there was some music clearance issues surrounding these episodes (presumably more a problem in Season 2, when more popular music tracks were integrated into the show). Any reality behind these rumors (and if so, is this why the series has taken a while to get out the door)? Thanks as always for chatting with us.

Answer: There were a number of reasons delaying the release. Part of it was waiting for TV DVD to take off and have a bigger audience for the set to sell against and part of it was waiting until we had the X Files finished. The music clearances on this one are nothing compared to some of the other titles, so that wasn't really a factor. I hope it sells as I pushed this through some sceptical people in the office.

THE O.C.

Question: Any word on a quick DVD release for The O.C. once the season wraps? Also, why do so many of your TV show releases remove the "Previously on" intros from episodes? Thanx.

Answer: I believe we don't have the rights to the OC which is a bummer!! Ther is no hard and fast rule on removing the "previously seen" bumpers from releases.

Note: "The O.C." is distributed by Warner Bros. Television, not 20th Century Fox Television hence 20th Century Fox Entertainment does not own the home video rights. Note that networks do not always produce the shows they broadcast.

THE PRETENDER

Question: Hi. I would like to inquire about the possibility of these titles...TV Shows: Dharma & Greg (In 16x9); The Pretender. Movies(16x9 A MUST): Silver Streak, Pirate Movie, WW & the Dixie Dancekings (as a Budget Wal-Mart title similar to "Pick-up Artist") Harry & Tonto.

Answer: Dharma and Greg is being considered for this year. Not sure about The Pretender. Silver Streak would be a great title to put out, and I've been getting a lot of requests for the Pirate Movie. Nothing happening with the Dixie Dancekings I'm afraid!

REMINGTON STEELE

Question: Hello - thanks for taking time to talk with us. I was wondering if there are any plans to release Remingtont Steele to DVD, now that Pierce Brosnan is Bond.

Answer: One of the guys in the office has been pestering us for six months straight to release Remmington, and we will be releasing it probably later this year. I hope you'll like it when we are done. Richard didn't put you up to that question did he ;)

SPACE: ABOVE & BEYOND

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

Question: Hi Peter, I just got here so I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before: Any plans to release the short lived sci fi tv shows Alien Nation or Space Above and Beyond? Two great scifi shows that never got their just due. Thanks.

Answer: Hi Greg, Space above and Beyond should be launched just for Rebbeca Gayheart! It might well be out in the later part of the year. Alien nation is one I would have to check to see if we still have the rights and if we do we ill be launching it. An easy question to end on.

Note: Rebecca Gayheart never starred in "Space: Above and Beyond." Peter may be referring to "Earth 2," which aired the year before "Space" premiered.

STRANGE LUCK

Question: Hi Peter, thanks for your time tonight! Is there any chance the tv show Strange Luck will be released on DVD?

Answer: Hi Karen, I'm not sure we have the rights to that show, and I know we are not working on it for release, so I'd have to say no!

Note: "Strange Luck" was distributed by New World Entertainment, not 20th Century Fox Television hence 20th Century Fox Entertainment does not own the home video rights. Note that networks do not always produce the shows they broadcast.

TALES FROM THE CRYPT

Question: I'm probably gonna get some groans for this, but despite already owning and loving the Alien Quadrilogy, I'd gladly pay for an uncut version of the documentaries, or at least knowing why they were cut. Also, any chance we'll finally get Tales From The Crypt this Halloween after last Halloween's straight to tape only line-up? Thanks for taking your off time to chat with us, and I'm looking forward to Daredevil 1.5 in the spring/summer.

Answer: The short answer is there is no chance of seeing the uncut docs.

THE TIME TUNNEL

Question: Hi Peter. Any chance of seeing The Time Tunnel or Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea tv box sets in 2004? Thanks for stopping by the HTF.

Answer: Hi Ed, two great shows from my childhood!! A lot will depend on how Lost in Space works out. If we cannot bring them out there might be the possibility of licensing them to a 3rd party who will bring them out. It would be good to see them on DVD.

TWO GUYS AND A GIRL

Question: Hi! Any chance seeing "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place" on DVD in the near future? Thanks!

Answer: Two guys and a girl will be coming out in the first half of this year. I'm not familiar with Pizza Place and we're not working on it now. thanks.

Note: There's some slight confusion here as "Two Guys and a Girl" and "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" are actually the same series. "Pizza Place" was dropped from the title after the show's second season.

VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA

Question: Hi Peter. Any chance of seeing The Time Tunnel or Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea tv box sets in 2004? Thanks for stopping by the HTF.

Answer: Hi Ed, two great shows from my childhood!! A lot will depend on how Lost in Space works out. If we cannot bring them out there might be the possibility of licensing them to a 3rd party who will bring them out. It would be good to see them on DVD.

WKRP IN CINCINNATI

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

THE WONDER YEARS

Question: Thanks for coming! As always I'm asking about plans for TV-DVDs. Fox did a great job shaking loose Roswell & In Living Color! What's being done to shake loose other hold-ups? Ex's: Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Wonder Years, WKRP, Batman, Gr. Hornet, Lone Gunmen, Space A&B, MTMoore S2, & Malcolm S2?

Answer: Hi David, most of the shows you mention have huge music clearance costs. WKRP is obviously music driven, but think of the music in a full season of Ally Mcbeal. We are working on reducing the costs but it's difficult to do that and retain the integrity of the show. Space A&B might be out in the not too distant future. Batman is tied up in legal and licensing rights hell. MTM2 is a possibility but no certain at this stage.

THE X-FILES

Question: Any chance of an X-Files movie: SE, esp. with deleted scenes (Chris Carter talks about them in the commentary). And do you know about the problems with the X-Files season sets (episodes missing changed "truth is out there" taglines in seasons 2 & 5)? Finally, anamorphic Young Frankenstein and a rerelease of French Connection movies since they went out of print?

Answer: I don't think French Connection is OOP. There are no plans for an X Files Movie re issue - we probably have a milion or so VHS copies left over from the first promotion!!

For the chat's complete transcript, click here.





  [january 2004]  
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M
T
W
T
F
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· ALLY MCBEAL (FOX)
· ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (NETFLIX)
· BOSTON PUBLIC (FOX)
· BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (UPN)
· DARK ANGEL (FOX)
· DHARMA & GREG (ABC)
· FAMILY GUY (FOX)
· FIREFLY (FOX)
· FUTURAMA (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· HARSH REALM (FOX)
· KING OF THE HILL (FOX)
· LONE GUNMEN, THE (FOX)
· MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE (FOX)
· OC, THE (FOX)
· PRETENDER, THE (NBC)
· ROSWELL (UPN)
· ROSWELL (UPN)
· SON OF THE BEACH (FX)
· TWO GUYS AND A GIRL (ABC)
· X-FILES, THE (FOX)









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