Re: B5 DVD\'s?
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Does that mean that we WILL get all five seasons? <hr></blockquote>
Well, given that the release is happening on planet Earth, I'd have to say "Not necessarily." There are very few certainties in life. The networks don't promise that each TV show is going to run for 10 years when it debuts, computer companies don't promise that a given model is going to be available forever, and car companies don't promise that your car is going to last thirty years. Nobody "owes" us this kind of promise, nor should we expect a business to continue to release a product that they're losing money on. If I were a shareholder in such a company, I'd be royally pissed off if they did.
Each season will undoubtedly be released based on the sales of the previous season, just as the S1 release was contingent on how well the first movie disc sold. That's the approach Fox has been taking with X-Files.
Granted, Paramount has a very agressive release schedule for ST:TNG, but that is Star Trek, which is the 600 pound gorilla of genre TVs shows. The usual rules don't apply. (Paramount knows that they could sell a dead cat to "X" number of fans if they slapped a Trek logo on it. Hell, millions of people watched Voyager every week, and that pretty much was a dead cat with a Trek logo slapped on it. People even bought their miserable release of ST:TOS, and they know that a lot more people want boxed sets with extras than 2-episode single discs with nada.)
Waiting for the sales figures on each season before going on to the next would simply prudence on the part of WHV. (They didn't cancel the VHS and LD releases because they're mean, nasty people who hate their fans - they cancelled them because the fans stopped buying them.)
However, the DVD situation is going to be significantly different, so I'm confident that if S1 sells, we'll get the entire series. OTOH if enough people sit on their hands and refuse to buy S1, we won't. You're going to have to take a chance if you want the whole series.
1) The DVDs will almost certainly be released in full seasons, in order, so we won't have the bizarre situation we did with the tapes and LDs, which I believe hurt sales even before talk of an eventual DVD release killed them.
2) There is no superior format on the horizon that will make people hesitate to buy the DVDs. (Forget HD-DVD. Despite the hype that is still a laboratory curiosity, not a format, and hardly anyone owns an HDTV set to watch the discs on. Maybe in five or ten years HD-DVD will be something more, but even then it will just be starting to penetrate the market, judging by the rate at which HDTVs are selling and the TV industry is moving towards hi-def programming.)
3) The broad consensus among fans is that S1 is one of the weaker seasons, S2, S3 and S4 are fantastic, and S5 spends too much time on the Telepath arc before building to a strong finish with the last dozen or so episodes. Both S1 and S5 are criticized for having too many stand-alone episodes and not enough arc - S1 as mere "build up", S5 as mere "denoument" S1 and S5 are also the only seasons that were released in their entirety on VHS and LD in the U.S.
That makes them the seasons that the budget concious and the arc fanatics are most likely to skip - and they're more likely to skip S1 than S5 because, whatever their reservations about the Teep Arc, it is the conclusion of the story and contains some great episodes, especially in the second half.
Based on the above analysis, I'd say that S1 will probably sell the fewest copies of any of the seasons. Which means that if it sells enough to justify a release for S2, there is virtually no chance that sales are going to drop off enough to stop the release short of S5. They should keep going up each season with - perhaps - a slight drop-off at S5. (At which point, who cares? It isn't like there are subsequent seasons that depend on S5 sales.)
At worst we're likely to end up with two TV movies and an entire season of the show in DVD quality, on a medium that won't deteriorate, and for far less money than the tapes or LDs would have cost - assuming that sales for S1 are lousy. That's the absolute worst-case scenario if you risk $100 bucks or so buying S1. At best we get the whole series and all the TV movies, plus some extras.
But, again, the more people who "hold out" and want to see the whole series released before they buy any of them, the worse our chances of getting them all. S1 is the only real hurdle. After that, sales should be self-sustaining.
I'm hoping the WHV itself realizes this, and that they'll turn the seasons around a lot faster than Fox has done with X-Files. (In Fox's case the every-six-months schedule is also a function of production capacity and competing projects.) I'm hoping WHV manages a season every three months, which would complete the series in little more than a year. (An every-other-month schedule, ala TNG would be even nicer, but I'm not sure that WHV is that bold, or that confident.)