What's going on? Why have even more TV shows been pouring onto DVD and BluRay lately? And not just full season offerings but elaborate boxed sets of entire runs of shows? A couple things. DVD sales are slowing but the one area of strength is TV shows; people may not bother to purchase every movie that comes out on DVD anymore, but they see a lot of value in buying an entire season of a show they like. So if that's where the money is, that's where studios will focus their energy. Plus, it's a lot easier to sell a digital download of a movie as opposed to 12 or 20 episodes of a show. So again, when it comes to TV, consumers like BluRay and DVDs. Finally, all the studios believe physical copies of movies and TV shows are a thing of the past. Paramount even handed off a chunk of its valuable library to Warner Bros. and said, we can't be bothered putting them out on DVD and BluRay. (They kept the digital rights.) In a few years, they imagine everyone will either access streaming video via Netflix, Hulu and the like or just buy a digital copy.
So for all these reasons it's a mad dash to cash in while the getting is good. So fans of classic TV get to dig into lavish sets devoted to The Fugitive and The Carol Burnett Show and Poirot and Peter Gunn and on and on. Here's hoping studios and music unions (one of the big roadblocks keeping certain shows off of DVD because of high royalty demands) wise up and cut deals so we can finally see shows like The Wonder Years, I'll Fly Away, Hill Street Blues and (fill in the name of your favorite TV show missing on DVD) come out on disc while they still can. Here's a rundown of some terrific sets that came out just in the last two or three weeks. It's impossible to put them in order of preference: many of these are gems we've been waiting a long time for.
More on Jon Hamm