TV On DVD Exclusives - Which Means "Stuff Stores Won't Carry" -

TV On DVD Exclusives – Which Means “Stuff Stores Won’t Carry”


Shout! Factory, which now basically has the TV-on-DVD business to itself (when it comes to non-current items), is trying a new strategy that I sincerely hope will work out. In an effort to continue releasing shows, they’re going to make a bunch of season sets available as “Online Exclusives,” available from’s online store. The site does appear to offer shipping to Canada, and reports that these releases will be factory-produced sets, making it more appealing than the computer-burned discs being offered by Warner Brothers and other companies.

These are sets that the stores don’t want to take, because of sales levels for their most recent releases (coupled with the fact that stores are relentlessly slashing the amount of space they devote to anything “old”). So two of the first sets released will be season 3 of Ironside and the second and last season of Bill Cosby’s first sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show — the company released the first season years ago, it didn’t sell, and they were never able to figure out how to get the second season into stores.

Other shows being made available in this batch: My Two Dads (season 2) Mr. Belvedere (season 4) and Room 222 (season 2). I’m a little surprised about Mr. Belvedere because that show was one of their bigger sellers, but I guess there was a large sales drop-off with season 3. (I guess one set of Mr. Belvedere is enough for just about anyone.) Finally, the animated series The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is being continued as one of these online exclusives.

I hope this works out, because chain stores certainly aren’t going to devote more space to older TV shows, which means that the only way for these shows to complete their runs is for the DVD producers to bypass the stores, and sell the seasons directly to the consumer. And if this is going to happen, I’d certainly rather it be done this way, with “real” DVDs, rather than DVD-Rs. So I’d suggest keeping an eye out for these and other releases, and ordering one of there’s one you want. I’m probably going to order Mr. Belvedere s4, not for the show itself but just because I enjoy the commentaries (which for this set will include the showrunner as well as the cast).

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TV On DVD Exclusives – Which Means “Stuff Stores Won’t Carry”

  1. Selling directly to the consumer is a logical move. The more obscure, unsalable titles are often the most interesting. I don’t even mind the DVD-Rs, although there’s something cheap about a major corporation selling a burned disc through’s CreateSpace. I’m happy that titles like The Maxx and The Head are being offered AT ALL, but still.

    I hope Shout! Factory will revive SCTV releases this way, assuming S!F still has home video rights. S!F rushed through the non-NBC era of the show – a “Best of the Early Years” compilation, no Season 1, nothing from the Cinemax/Superchannel series. There’s still fertile comedy ground to cover there.

  2. I would imagine that these will be available through Amazon as well, which is where I've seen a lot of "production company's website only" releases (Hip-O Direct and Rhino Handmade, for instance). And honestly, that's where I get the vast majority of my DVD box sets these days. I don't own a car, but I can still get the latest season of "Lost" delivered to my house the day of, and cheaper than, whatever Future Shop or Best Buy sell it for.