The Dreaded Paramount Disclaimer


The back cover art for the Duckman DVD includes the dreaded disclaimer we get on every Paramount TV DVD nowadays:

Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions.

Music has been changed for this home entertainment version.

The Paramount disclaimers can mean anything from tiny music edits to wholesale Fugitive-style mutilation. The first season of Duckman included music by Frank Zappa, and while I have not seen the DVD versions, if you taped the early episodes, I would advise you to not to throw those tapes away quite yet.

Speaking of music edits, Warner Brothers, which used to have a policy of not releasing any show without clearing all the music — leading so some intact releases of some surprisingly music-heavy shows (did you ever stop to think how much music Full House had? They sang songs in like every other episode) — has apparently changed its policy. Its release of two one-season cultish shows from the old, old days of 2002, Fastlane and Birds of Prey, have a “music has been changed” disclaimer and change lots of stuff, including the theme songs. At this point it seems that there almost every major studio is okay with cuts and music changes; maybe that’s the only way to get shows out on DVD, but it’s still not fun to witness.

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The Dreaded Paramount Disclaimer

  1. Being in the business, among other things, of preparing the subtitles and closed captions for the DVD editions of movies and TV shows for various major Hollywood studios, allow me to say that I am always shocked by how little those studios really have their act together. In some cases, those shows are not just a few years old, but go back a decade or more, yet the studios failed to acquire all the necessary rights in all that time. It’s ridiculous.

    With TV shows, in particular, people buy the DVDs to relive some of the moments they enjoyed so much when they first watched the show (e.g., as kids, twenty, thirty, … years ago), and not to be force-fed some edited and altered version of what used to be.

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