What Are Some Of The Other Problems With Music In Older Shows
The famous “Turkeys Away” episode of WKRP in Cincinnati is finally on DVD in intact form.
In the case of WKRP, especially, the music often wasn’t available on a separate track from the dialogue on the program’s soundtrack. In situations like this, if a clearance couldn’t be found, Shout had to go through and digitally remove the problematic music, scene by scene, cue by cue. It was painstaking work, even with modern technology.
“The technology has gotten better and better, so there are things that you can do, but it’s very exacting work,” Foos told me.
Peisch pointed to StarVista’s frequent release of old variety shows, like The Carol Burnett Show or The Dean Martin Show, where performances can often be hard to clear because they’re being performed live, rather than as background music. In these cases, however, the company is able to simply look for other episodes with music that will be easier to clear, as StarVista doesn’t release either program in complete season or series sets but, rather, in “best of” compendiums.
Was China Beach Show Good
Critics lauded the show for its intense realism and creative storytelling. It racked up Emmy nominations and won a few, including two for Dana Delany for best actress in a drama and one for Marg Helgenberger for best supporting actress. Although it was never a ratings hit, the network kept it afloat for four seasons.
Why Were Bands More Willing To Release Rights In The 70s And ’80s Than They Are Now
For the most part, the contracts that were being signed then were for a handful of airings on broadcast, then some sort of time window in syndication. This was easier to deal with than the thought of someone owning the episodes on DVD and having access to the music in perpetuity.
Both StarVista and Shout cleared over 90 percent of the music in Wonder Years and WKRP, respectively.
US copyright law is Byzantine and strange, but it does usually protect artists in situations like this, and this sort of ancillary use of a song was a good way for an artist to make a little extra cash without diluting the overall value of their product particularly if the show was as good as WKRP and Wonder Years were. Where that copyright law often causes problems is when it treats snippets or samples of works like the entirety of the work, or when it deals with older songs. Copyright, which once expired after a little over half a century, now effectively could be extended until eternity by rights holders.
Yet despite these hurdles, both StarVista and Shout cleared over 90 percent of the music in Wonder Years and WKRP, respectively. There are occasional scenes where diehard fans might miss a song, but for the most part, these are as good of DVD versions as are possible of these music-heavy shows. Just how did they do it? Read on.
The cast of The Wonder Years, a show that seemed like it might never come to DVD.
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What Is Music Licensing
Any time you hear a pop song in a movie or TV show, someone has paid licensing fees to get that song in their film or series. Licensing fees are paid in two separate ways. The first fee is paid to the songwriter, and it goes to the publishing company that controls the rights to those songs. The second fee is paid to use the actual recording, and it goes to a record company.
For most modern shows, these negotiations include all possible uses of the song initial broadcast, reruns, syndication, DVDs, international, and online streaming. The problems usually come from older programs, which were produced in eras when it was thought that TV shows were unlikely to ever come to home video, because there were so many episodes per season.
This means that some older TV shows used incredibly expensive music no one could get the rights to today, simply because no one thought anyone in 2014 would want to watch the show in the comfort of their own homes. WKRP‘s most famous episode, “Turkeys Away,” for instance, uses the song “Dogs” by Pink Floyd in one of its biggest scenes. However, the song has been removed from Shout’s release of the show, because it’s impossible to get Pink Floyd music for a DVD release nowadays.
So What If A Publisher Won’t Deal What Then
In this case, a company has a handful of options. It can try to excise the music entirely. If the problem is on the recording end, rather than the publishing end, it can try to find a cover version. It can try to find a song that has the same mood or vibe. Or it can fill with original score.
Companies have to figure out new cues that will allow for the same feel of the original scene
For Wonder Years, Peisch came across a Blood, Sweat, and Tears song StarVista simply couldn’t clear on the recording level. However, the publishing rights were available and it just so happened the lead singer of the band, David Clayton Thomas, had recorded his own version of the song the company could get the rights to.
“You’d have to listen really, really carefully to be able to tell the difference between the two recordings,” Peisch told me.
Mostly, though, these companies have to figure out new cues that will allow for the same feel of the original scene, without calling attention to themselves in disruptive fashion. And that, in and of itself, is a bit of an art.
“It’s very cue by cue, and a lot of thought goes into it,” Foos told me.
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China Beach: The Abc Vietnam War Drama Ended 25 Years Ago
Welcome back to China Beach. The ABC series ended 25 years ago today.
The war drama, which took place at an evacuation hospital during the Vietnam War, starred Dana Delany, Nan Woods, Michael Boatman, Marg Helgenberger, and Robert Picardo.
China Beach premiered in 1988 and aired for four seasons before ending on July 22nd, 1991.
Relive the series below:
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Bring back China Beach
May I suggest to the network big-wig honchos. since the virus is preventing any current productions going forward, why not show some excellent shows from your vaults like China Beach. excellent show, acting & it wouldnt cost you much to re-broadcast just my opinion.
Its a shame that this show was cancelled. I do not believe the ratings were low. I DO believe its another perfect example of not wanting reality to be shown. Too much garbage is dished up while shows that are worth watching are cancelled. MAJOR BS!
Somewhere Over The Radio
Wed, May 11, 1988 60 mins
Lila, Cherry and Laurette are shot down as they fly in-country McMurphy and Dr. Dick operate on a boy with a live mortar round embedded in his belly. DeeJay: David Marciano. Banks: Kenny Ransom. Lila: Concetta Tomei. Cherry: Nan Woods. Laurette: Chloe Webb. McMurphy: Dana Delaney.
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Are There Ways The Law Could Be Different To Fix This Problem
Both Peisch and Foos are quick to say that artists who have their music used in a movie or TV show should be compensated for their work. But they’re also willing to point out that the way music clearances work in Europe allows for many programs to come out on DVD there that may never come out here.
Shout spent “Toward a million” to clear music from WKRP
In Europe, rather than negotiating clearances on a case-by-case basis, a DVD company will divide up a certain percentage of the profits of every DVD sold among the various artists who have songs in the show. It works as something much closer to the compulsory rate publishers get for sale of recorded music, which generates an automatic royalty to the songwriter.
Foos says that though Shout occasionally interests some publishers or record labels in this idea, it has yet to really find a way to push it through. There’s just too much money involved for publishers and record labels in the current system.
Foos also suggested perhaps there could be different rates for songs that are simply used in the backgrounds of scenes, as opposed to songs that are used in full or as performances by the original artists. It’s possible such a change could be made by expanding the definition of “fair use” under existing copyright law, though such a thing is unlikely to happen, due to the amount of money potentially involved.
The Arnold Family was at the center of The Wonder Years, a show many thought would never be on DVD.
Who Are The Cast Members Of China Beach
Series co-creator and executive producer John Sacret Young as well as director Rod Holcomb provide insightful audio commentary for the pilot episode. Meet the women of the 510th Evac Hospital at China Beach Vietnam, 1967 Army nurse Colleen McMurphy, Red Cross newcomer Cherry White, singer Laurette Barber, and civilian worker K.C. Kolowski.
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Is The TV Show China Beach On Dvd
DVD: China Beach Is Finally Available for Binge Viewing. 05/27/2013 06:10 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017. It seems like every TV show ever made is out on DVD or streaming on demand. But thats far from true. China Beach is the latest show fans have been eagerly anticipating to finally get the boxed set it deserves.
Dvd: china Beach Is Finally Available For Binge Viewing
It seems like every TV show ever made is out on DVD or streaming on demand. But that’s far from true. China Beach is the latest show fans have been eagerly anticipating to finally get the boxed set it deserves. But many more shows are still waiting. Where’s all of Hill Street Blues and I’ll Fly Away and The Wonder Years and St. Elsewhere, just to name a few? What shows are you dying to see released in full so you can watch it from beginning to end?
CHINA BEACH THE COMPLETE SERIES – Well, it took forever but when they finally did it, they did it right. Beloved cult drama China Beach is finally out in a gorgeous boxed set that includes all 62 episodes on 21 discs, along with hours and hours of reunions, bonus features, commentary tracks and more. It’s all housed in an impressive and handsome box that’s attractive but compact which fits easily alongside the other shows in your collection. For now, the set is available directly from TimeLife though eventually it will come to other outlets.
Why did it take so long? The songs. The show was bursting with pop music of the era and it’s very hard to get clearances to use them again on DVD. It’s the same reason The Wonder Years is lost in limbo.
I haven’t finished watching it yet but have the feeling they could have gone one more year to fully tackle the stateside lives of these veterans and Colleen McMurphy in particular. But there’s a lot of TV here and they continued to get bolder and better and how many shows can say that?
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Who Was The Original Producer Of China Beach
John Wells, Series Co-Executive Producer From the moment China Beach debuted in 1988, with its iconic opening credits set to the SupremesReflections as its theme song, it was hailed as groundbreaking television. In an era of testosterone-driven war movies, China Beach delivered a unique perspective: the Vietnam War through the eyes of women!
When Do Problems Arise
Both StarVista and Shout have close ties to companies with long-standing record company relationships. That puts both companies at a significant advantage when it comes to making deals to lock down songs for inclusion on DVD.
“They’re small publishers, where they only control a few things.”
Often, however, the problems come from dealing with the individual publishing houses, which can drive much harder bargains, because there are so many more to deal with. By and large, the actual rights to the recordings will be held by one of the four major record companies, while there are hundreds upon hundreds of individual publishing houses.
“In some cases, they’re small publishers where they only control a few things,” Garson Foos, the president of Shout! Factory, told me. And in those cases, the publishers will often drive harder bargains that can drive up the price of not just the songs they control, but the songs controlled by larger publishing houses as well.
Oftentimes, larger publishers will request a “favored nations” rate, which means that they receive the same price per song as a smaller publisher who negotiates a sweetheart deal, though a company like Shout can sometimes get exceptions made for artists that are notoriously tricky to lock down.
“You plead with those people that have a couple of songs to go with the rates that the vast majority of people are willing to go with and hope they’ll come along, but once in a while they just won’t,” said Foos.
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What Are Some Other Series Being Held Up By Music Rights Issues
Every TV fan has one show or another that was released on DVD in the early days of TV on DVD sets, only to have its music cues completely changed or destroyed. The wonderful, quirky drama Northern Exposure, for instance, had one of the great TV soundtracks of all time but you wouldn’t know it to watch the DVDs, which replace much of the music with annoying but cheaper tunes.
Foos says that one show Shout has looked at releasing that has lots and lots of music is the four-season small-town dramedy Ed, which gave actors Tom Cavanagh and Julie Bowen their starts, and is currently languishing in a kind of TV purgatory, where nobody ever gets to see it. He also mentioned that Malcolm in the Middle is unlikely to be released on DVD in its entirety because of music rights issues.
“It may get to a point where the market potential becomes too small to make it worth it.”
Music clearances have been less of a problem for movies, because the rise of wall-to-wall pop music in movies roughly coincided with the rise of the home-video market. But there are still occasional issues. Foos cited Looking for Mr. Goodbar, for instance, a seminal 1977 film about a woman dealing with the sexual revolution, as a movie that may not be on DVD yet because it features so much pop music . Another could be American Hot Wax, a biopic about DJ Alan Freed, which uses tons of early rock n’ roll recordings.
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So How Do You License Music Anyway
The executives at both StarVista and Shout have been doing this so long that they have a pretty good idea of whether a project will be doable simply by looking at a list of all of the music cues involved in the show. But the nice thing about having that list is that once it’s pulled together, the companies can begin chipping away at it in order of prominence, slowly filling in the gaps as they go along.
“If we can tell people that Bob Dylan has 10 songs in Wonder Years, and he agreed to be involved, that’s impressive.”
For The Wonder Years, Jeff Peisch, the Senior Vice President of Entertainment Programming and Marketing at StarVista, who spearheaded the music clearances for both The Wonder Years and last year’s China Beach set, told me, the first goal was to land the Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help from My Friends” that opens every episode. Without that, Peisch said, the show probably wasn’t worth doing.
From there, Peisch and his team moved on to the publishing office of Bob Dylan, who had 10 different songs scattered throughout the series in various forms. They had anticipated a struggle to get Dylan’s music on DVD, but the process went surprisingly smoothly. And that helped the company approach other artists. “If we can tell people that Bob Dylan has 10 songs in Wonder Years, and he agreed to be involved, that’s impressive,” he said.
Collecting music clearances, then, is a slow battle to check off more and more boxes, filling in more and more gaps.
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