Saturday, June 16, 2007

Can A Sistah Get a Quality Black TV Show on DVD?

I've mentioned the fact that I own an extensive music CD collection. The same is true of my ever expanding DVD collection. It runs the gamut from classic Black movies like Carmen Jones to my recently added Daddy's Little Girls.

I have classic and current TV shows in my DVD collection as well and I'm looking forward to adding Ugly Betty to my collection when they release it in August.

There are a couple of shows I would love to add to my collection. Unfortunately it seems that for some reason these shows have been glacially slow in getting put on the shelves of my local retail outlets. My question is what's the holdup in terms of making available additional seasons of quality shows like A Different World, Soul Food and Living Single?

I have the first seasons for all three and plan on purchasing The Cosby Show seasons as they become available. But A Different World was on for six seasons, Soul Food for five seasons and Living Single was on for five seasons as well.

So what's keeping me from being able to purchase additional seasons of my favorite shows? In the case of A Different World and the Cosby Show they were being distributed for Carsey-Werner Productions by a company called Ventura/Urban Works.

Season 2 of A Different World was originally supposed to come out May 30, 2006. It got pushed back to July 11, was delayed again until September and then the release was indefinitely put on hold to the frustration of fans of A Different World like myself. Even though I own it, I don't like the Anne Beatts produced first season of A Different World and I'm more jazzed about owning Seasons 2-6. After Debbie Allen became producer of the show it actually had the flavor of an HBCU, better scripts and more realistic, topical storylines that dealt with the issues of that late 80's early 90's time period. As a bonus you also get to see the Dwayne-Whitley romance evolve.

It turned out that Ventura/Urban Works got bought out by First Look Entertainment and had to renegotiate the licenses with Carsey-Werner. Don't know what the holdup is with Soul Food and Living Single and I'm not into pushing conspiracy theories. But it's irritating to me and makes you wonder when BS shows like Flavor of Love hit the shelves almost instantaneously after they finish airing and you have to wait years for quality shows like these to be available for purchase.


Valerie St. John said...

Yes, you are correct. Much of the delay is usually caused by a disagreement in the licensing of rights and territories. As well, once the rights have been secured, the next phase becomes marketing and distribution, which means allocation of budget.

Monica Roberts said...

Valerie, thanks for the info and may you have continuing success in your career.