Shout Factory

WKRP in Cincinnati, the Complete Series: A home video review

The DVD release of the cult rock-n’-roll sitcom is much better than fans expected.


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.


TV On DVD Poll Dancing

Shout! Factory is running a poll on which of their releases should be followed up with another season set. Despite an attempt by Paper Chase fans to stuff the virtual ballot box, Mr. Belvedere is still in the lead, has been in the lead from the beginning of the poll, and is also apparently beating all these other titles in actual sales. I don’t know why Mr. Belvedere is the most popular show ever, but apparently it is. And ironically, Fox has more or less nuked its classic-film DVD division, meaning that we may never see DVD releases of the original Belvedere movies with Clifton Webb, yet there will almost certainly be more season sets of the indestructible TV series and its star, Roger De Bris.


They Can’t Release Everything, But They Should

In mentioning Shout! Factory yesterday I forgot to note two things: one, that the AP had a good article recently on how this newish company (formed out of the ashes of Rhino records) became the best TV-on-DVD company, and two, that today was the day that their special “Yearbook” edition of Freaks and Geeks became available in stores.


Reissue Fever, SPORTS NIGHT Style

A reader asked me if I could explain why Sports Night is being reissued by Shout! Factory next week even though the complete series was already available on DVD for years, and the new version doesn’t look any better than the original. (Most TV shows were never meant to look great, but there’s something uniquely grungy and depressing about the look of shows from the late ’90s — unlike earlier shows, which were cut on film, and can therefore be made to look surprisingly good if remastered from the original prints, ’90s shows tended to be edited on video, and therefore look worse than earlier shows and today’s high-def shows.) I think, apart from the fact that the original issue didn’t have any extras and this one has a lot of them, that Shout! Factory was just excited to be able to get the rights to Sports Night and bring it out on their label; the company is doing a lot of publicity for the release, including getting Peter Krause to tape a message for their website, and they’re clearly big fans of the show. Also, from a business standpoint, the company had a success last year with My So-Called Life, which also had been available in a bare-bones DVD set at one point, though it was harder to find than the first Sports Night set. It’s not unreasonable to think that they could have a comparable success by bringing out a “definitive” edition of this other ’90s cult favourite.