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Any word on Life with Lucy on DVD?


yendor1152
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I'm sure this topic was mentioned somewhere, but it must've fallen back into the archives. The Lucy Show is about to end its run on DVD, and CBS is also re-releasing the entire I Love Lucy show in new DVD sets. Here's Lucy has also reached its conclusion. So, the obvious question now is, will we ever see LIFE WITH LUCY on DVD?

 

Historically, this series--Lucy's last--is particularly poignant and important. I'd love to see all the original aired episodes, as well as the episodes that never were broadcast. Certainly, interviews with the surviving cast would be interesting. Lucy was 75 years old when Life with Lucy premiered, and I have no doubt she expected to get another six seasons out of the endeavor. That means she would've been 81 when the series ended. Considering the longevity of a lot of comedians of her era, 81 isn't that "old." Alas, we all know what happened...but I gotta wonder, was any of that rushed along by the dismal reaction to Life with Lucy?

 

It would seem to me that the next logical step would be to release the series to DVD. But who owns the rights? I don't believe CBS does, and I don't think Lucie or Desi, Jr. do. It was an Aaron Spelling production, so wouldn't his estate own it? God, does that mean Tori Spelling has to give her "say so" to release Lucy? There's something so wrong in all that.

 

Any feedback?

 

Rod

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Taken from Wikipedia: As previously mentioned, Life With Lucy has never been released on DVD or VHS. According to CBS, they are busy getting The Lucy Show on DVD, while MPI Home Video are busy releasing Here's Lucy on DVD. Eventually, Life With Lucy will be released on DVD, either by CBS or MPI Home Video.

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I would think, considering CBS is releasing Dynasty and has handled other Aaron Spelling releases, that they will be in charge. But it was a co-production with Lucille Ball Productions which MPI seems to have gained release rights to, so could go either way I suppose. MPI seems more likely to want to release it considering what a special interest item it is.

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I would think, considering CBS is releasing Dynasty and has handled other Aaron Spelling releases, that they will be in charge. But it was a co-production with Lucille Ball Productions which MPI seems to have gained release rights to, so could go either way I suppose. MPI seems more likely to want to release it considering what a special interest item it is.

Didn't someone say here once that Spelling donated his half of the show to the Lucy-Desi Museum? In that case, wouldn't the junior Arnazes own the show lock, stock, and barrel?

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Didn't someone say here once that Spelling donated his half of the show to the Lucy-Desi Museum? In that case, wouldn't the junior Arnazes own the show lock, stock, and barrel?

 

 

Yes, Aaron Spelling did donate his half to the Lucy-Desi Center and since the other half was owned by Lucille Ball productions the series is owned by the estate of Lucille Ball. I think MPI will most likely release Life With Lucy sometime in 2013.

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I would think, considering CBS is releasing Dynasty and has handled other Aaron Spelling releases, that they will be in charge. But it was a co-production with Lucille Ball Productions which MPI seems to have gained release rights to, so could go either way I suppose. MPI seems more likely to want to release it considering what a special interest item it is.

"Special interest item" -- now there's a PC statement if I ever heard one! Love your new avatar, Brian! lucysmirk.JPG

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Yes, Aaron Spelling did donate his half to the Lucy-Desi Center and since the other half was owned by Lucille Ball productions the series is owned by the estate of Lucille Ball. I think MPI will most likely release Life With Lucy sometime in 2013.

 

 

This is good news! Sounds like MPI will be releasing Life with Lucy, after all--since the Arnaz children have worked so well with them before. I'd love to see "Lucy and the Guard Goose!"

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So, Spelling's donation of the episodes to the center included a transfer of distribution rights? It wasn't just putting the masters in their posession with some sort of legal contract specifying what they could or could not do with them, it gave them free reign over all assets?

 

Spelling's donation got a lot of publicity at the time, but I never saw any news report that said he was donating the actual rights to the show to the Lucy-Desi Center. The news article I have from the time says that Spelling Entertainment owns the rights to the show. I think Aaron Spelling donated just the episodes for the museum collection and not the rights. Spelling Entertainment is now owned by CBS.

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Spelling's donation got a lot of publicity at the time, but I never saw any news report that said he was donating the actual rights to the show to the Lucy-Desi Center. The news article I have from the time says that Spelling Entertainment owns the rights to the show. I think Aaron Spelling donated just the episodes for the museum collection and not the rights. Spelling Entertainment is now owned by CBS.

 

 

:) That's what I thought.

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Nick at Night showed the first episode sometime back in the 90's. That's the only episode I have that dosn't look terrible and it looks like film. I know video was pretty popular in the late 70's and 80's.

 

Those on the list here that were there at the time should be able to confirm this.

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Nick at Night showed the first episode sometime back in the 90's. That's the only episode I have that dosn't look terrible and it looks like film. I know video was pretty popular in the late 70's and 80's.

 

Those on the list here that were there at the time should be able to confirm this.

 

Hi... I worked on that series... We shot the show on film, but the raw (unedited) footage was transferred immediately to video tape, and the show was edited on tape... The edited masters, therefore, are all tape. The original film was kept (at least at the time!), but it is totally unedited.

 

The master tapes definitely still exist, but I have not seen them IN YEARS, so I cannot attest to how well they have held up, etc.

 

IF a DVD release is ever attempted, these tape masters are what would be used. It would be prohibitively expensive to go back to the original unedited films and start everything from scratch.

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Hi... I worked on that series... We shot the show on film, but the raw (unedited) footage was transferred immediately to video tape, and the show was edited on tape... The edited masters, therefore, are all tape. The original film was kept (at least at the time!), but it is totally unedited.

 

The master tapes definitely still exist, but I have not seen them IN YEARS, so I cannot attest to how well they have held up, etc.

 

IF a DVD release is ever attempted, these tape masters are what would be used. It would be prohibitively expensive to go back to the original unedited films and start everything from scratch.

 

 

A number of sitcoms from the 80s/90s were done that way, weren't they? The early years of Frasier, Friends and Ellen all certainly look like film to tape masters. Cheers, however, looks like film all the way.

 

Very interesting the number of ways things were done back then (and now, too).

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A number of sitcoms from the 80s/90s were done that way, weren't they? The early years of Frasier, Friends and Ellen all certainly look like film to tape masters. Cheers, however, looks like film all the way.

 

Very interesting the number of ways things were done back then (and now, too).

 

Yep! Editing-on-tape was the "industry standard" for a few years. It saved a ton of money transferring the film from the 3 cameras to tape, and editing that... Plus, you could re-use the transfer tapes after the show had been edited..

 

Unfortunately, tape does not have the shelf life of film...

 

At least one series - perhaps it was Seinfeld ??? -- discovered the early tapes had not survived over the years, so when the company decided to put out DVDs, they had to go back to the original film and re-edit the damaged shows... Thankfully, the films had all been saved! But the process cost a fortune. It was worth it, though, because the series was earning BIG BUCKS in syndication and promised to bring in more via home video...

 

SADLY, many shows today are not shot on film or tape, but are recorded electronically... We have not had the process long enough to know how all this is going to "look" 25 or 50 years from now. I recently saw some LUCY films from the 1950s that were PRISTINE... I pray the new technology that is replacing film will be as good...

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Yep! Editing-on-tape was the "industry standard" for a few years. It saved a ton of money transferring the film from the 3 cameras to tape, and editing that... Plus, you could re-use the transfer tapes after the show had been edited..

 

Unfortunately, tape does not have the shelf life of film...

 

At least one series - perhaps it was Seinfeld ??? -- discovered the early tapes had not survived over the years, so when the company decided to put out DVDs, they had to go back to the original film and re-edit the damaged shows... Thankfully, the films had all been saved! But the process cost a fortune. It was worth it, though, because the series was earning BIG BUCKS in syndication and promised to bring in more via home video...

 

SADLY, many shows today are not shot on film or tape, but are recorded electronically... We have not had the process long enough to know how all this is going to "look" 25 or 50 years from now. I recently saw some LUCY films from the 1950s that were PRISTINE... I pray the new technology that is replacing film will be as good...

 

 

That's interesting. I'd never thought of electronic, digital masters degrading over time but I suppose it is possible. Computers haven't been around that long in the forms we know them, so it'll be interesting to see how digital files hold up over time.

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Were I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, and Here's Lucy restored from the original film? Hopefully, they go back to the original film for Life With Lucy. They did it for Star Trek: The Next Generation and that series was super complicated to do, with special effects and so on. This should be very straightforward, and yield a much better picture quality. And while it initially will probably just be released on DVD, surely they'll restore it in HD for future use, since that's where all video is headed. Cannot wait to complete my Lucy TV collection. By the way, is that Finding Lucy documentary on DVD?

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That's interesting. I'd never thought of electronic, digital masters degrading over time but I suppose it is possible. Computers haven't been around that long in the forms we know them, so it'll be interesting to see how digital files hold up over time.

 

I don't think it's just a matter of longevity. It's also definition. Film has much greater definition than regular 1080p HD video. Greater even than pretty much any currently used HD video format. So, theoretically, people in not too distant future could be watching I Love Lucy in glorious black and white in some ridiculous resolution on huge wall-screens, and it'll look razor sharp and lifelike, while some circa 2012 show will be pixelated and fuzzy-looking.

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Very interesting to know, Tom! I thought it was solely shot on film, and videotape was solely on videotape. Nowadays, when something is live, it has the "tape" look to it, but all sitcoms are done on HD "film" now. I miss the days of when it was on tape. How long is the process of cleaning up an episode to transfer to a dvd set? It must be a lot of work. When Lionsgate released ALF on DVD they claimed the master tapes were too "poor" in quality to restore so they just used the syndicated ones, but overseas, Warner Home Video was able to restore the original uncut episodes, with English audio, so I invested in those. I find it hard to believe some tapes from 1986 to 1990 are in worse shape than film reels from the 50s and 60s.

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Very interesting to know, Tom! I thought it was solely shot on film, and videotape was solely on videotape. Nowadays, when something is live, it has the "tape" look to it, but all sitcoms are done on HD "film" now. I miss the days of when it was on tape. How long is the process of cleaning up an episode to transfer to a dvd set? It must be a lot of work. When Lionsgate released ALF on DVD they claimed the master tapes were too "poor" in quality to restore so they just used the syndicated ones, but overseas, Warner Home Video was able to restore the original uncut episodes, with English audio, so I invested in those. I find it hard to believe some tapes from 1986 to 1990 are in worse shape than film reels from the 50s and 60s.

Nice Lucy pic on your avatar Ched, what show is that from?

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LWL could prove a chance for some more great bonus features:

 

 

 

Interviews with those involved behind the scenes the show (Stu Shostak, Michael Stern, and Mr. Watson of course!)

 

Interviews with the surviving cast members (Ann Dusenberry, Larry Anderson, Jenny Lewis & Donovan Scott)

 

Script for unfilmed 14th episode

 

Cast party video

 

And MUCH MORE! :D

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