Monday, April 06, 2009

Reader mail: Three Davids, syndication cuts and more

Today's column is another reader mailbag, featuring questions about the new products (or lack thereof) from HBO's holy trinity of Davids, the status of those unaired "Pushing Daisies" episodes, and a few other things.

24 comments:

BF said...

The mailbagger should have thrown in Larry David too.

Mike said...

I think I remember reading somewhere that the "Seinfeld" folks did nothing to hide Julia Louis-Dreyfus's pregnancy -- they just assumed people would be smart enough to know that Elaine wasn't pregnant. No subterfuge needed.

Anonymous said...

Love the shout out to Kids in the Hall. One of my favorite Kids songs ever!

Matthew L said...

Speaking both of DVD releases and edited episodes, have you heard the news that the DVDs of season 3 of Friday Night Lights are apparently going to just be the NBC cuts, not the extended DirectTV cuts? (See http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Friday-Night-Lights-Season-3/11616)
Which to me just seems insane. I can understand why they would need to make shorter cuts for NBC to air, but why not have the full versions preserved on the DVD? The only reason I can think of why they would do something like that would be a push for DirectTV as "the only place for the full FNL", but it just seems to me to be a really weird decision to make. (Less bothered by the music replacement, which is not ideal, but I accept is more or less inevitable.)

By the way, that Cheers episode sounds really funny. Any idea what episode that was, so I can try to hire the DVD? (I was never a Cheers fan, but I just want to see how she gets stuck in the the vents.)

Adam said...

Is David Chase & crew responsible for the edited-for-A&E Sopranos? Because whoever did it did a pretty decent job.

Matthew L said...

Is David Chase & crew responsible for the edited-for-A&E Sopranos? Because whoever did it did a pretty decent job.

I remember reading a few years ago that they did record multiple versions of problematic scenes - toned down swearing, clothed strippers, lessened violence - back when they were making the show, just so that they would be easily make non-HBO versions.

Anonymous said...

The Simpsons writers talk about syndication cuts on one of the DVD commentaries (Greg Daniels was a Simpsons writer too, though I'm not sure if he was on that track). They point out that the most memorable one-liners and visual gags are the ones that tend to get cut. It's not because they person doing the cutting doesn't like them, but because they tend to be least related to the plot of the episode. They're easier to cut without breaking up the story.

Mrglass said...

Is David Chase & crew responsible for the edited-for-A&E Sopranos? Because whoever did it did a pretty decent job.

Damn, I now HAVE to post this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp4QVYNAFcQ

Jordan said...

Well I wanted to see John From Cincinnati season two.

Alan Sepinwall said...

By the way, that Cheers episode sounds really funny. Any idea what episode that was, so I can try to hire the DVD?

"The Mail Goes to Jail," from season three.

Bix said...

My guess Re: the FNL DVDs is related to the number of discs and the picture quality. The S1 and S2 sets already pack a lot onto each disc so maybe they didn't want to add more discs to the set.

Alan Sepinwall said...

My guess Re: the FNL DVDs is related to the number of discs and the picture quality. The S1 and S2 sets already pack a lot onto each disc so maybe they didn't want to add more discs to the set.

Of course, this season will have fewer episodes than either of the last two.

I'm looking into this. Matthew L, would you mind shooting an e-mail to asepinwall(at)starledger.com with your full name and hometown? Seems an easy topic for the next mailbag.

Zack Smith said...

Interesting notes on pregnancies. I recall when Roz on FRASIER got pregnant, Kelsey Grammar was complaining in the press that NBC made them do that storyline, presumably as a way of forcing the character together. And really, it was just a couple of episodes and then nothing. They tried doing Roz/Frazier toward the end, and that didn't work either.

Curious as to whether there were any other storylines on 1990s NBC shows that were forced by the network (beyond their ridiculous "Must See" theme nights revolving around the likes of blackouts, musical numbers, "Four Weddings and a Funeral," etc.)


Getting earlier years of THE SIMPSONS on DVD was always fun to catch the extra scenes cut for syndication. My favorite wasn't even a line, just the extended version of Homer lording it over Flanders in "When Flanders Failed," then gradually choking on a hamburger. They don't resolve the joke until AFTER they cut to black, which makes it funnier.

Hey, the word-verification is "beret!" That's a real word!

Alan Sepinwall said...

One of my most painful syndie cuts is from a Cheers episode. Sam is mad at Cliff about something, and as he storms into his office, he yells, "You know, you've got a big mouth, Clavin!" Cliff says, "He happens to be right, you know," and launches into a terrifying monologue about how all Clavin men have two extra teeth, which is proof that they're the true heirs to the Russian throne. Frasier stares at him for a long beat, then says, "Hello in there, Cliff. Tell me: what color is the sky in your world?"

In syndication, the scene ends with "He happens to be right, you know."

David J. Loehr said...

Frasier stares at him for a long beat, then says, "Hello in there, Cliff. Tell me: what color is the sky in your world?"

That line has been a running joke in our family ever since. I remember the first time I saw it in syndication and winced at the cut.

Greg Leslie said...

I don't get the Tony Randall (who was born in Tulsa) joke.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Because Hank thinks of Tony Randall as the consummate New Yorker -- and Hank hates New York.

Kensington said...

They're doing music replacement on Friday Night Lights DVDS!?!

How can there still be music rights issues in modern shows? I can see how that can happen with older shows, when the notion of DVD box sets hadn't yet been imagined, but why aren't things like music rights built into the very foundation of modern contracts?

How can they not take that into account from the very beginning nowadays?

The Sandy Llama said...

Treme started shooting the pilot last month, so it's probably close to completion at this point. How long does it usually take between a pilot's completion and a pickup announcement from HBO?

Andrew said...

Treme started shooting the pilot last month, so it's probably close to completion at this point. How long does it usually take between a pilot's completion and a pickup announcement from HBO?

A couple of months probably. They'll want to see a complete pilot, so there'll be a month or so of post-production, and then HBO might take a bit of time after that to weigh it against other pilots. However, I just read this yesterday, apparently even if it gets picked up, they won't start filming until November to avoid hurricane season, so it probably won't debut until Summer 2010 at the earliest.

My least favorite syndication cut that I can think of off the top of my head comes from a Simpsons episode where Homer goes on a hunger strike. A final scene featuring the Mayor of Albuquergue as a supervillain is completely removed.

wjm said...

I'm close to swooning at the notion of David C doing a series about "the flickers." But I have to admit, the Winter-Scorcese project has me wondering, "WTH is up with the 20s all of a sudden?" Does this mean the Great Depression isn't far behind? [shudder]

Matthew L said...

"The Mail Goes to Jail," from season three.

Thanks for that. I'll hunt around for the DVD.

And I've emailed you a question about the FNL DVDs. Hope it doesn't matter that I'm outside the States.

SJ said...

Isn't David Simon also working on some Abe Lincoln miniseries? I also read somewhere that he's writing a miniseries about the Chicago riots.

Bix said...

Forgot about this...

As far as FNL DVDs go, I meant discs relative to the # episodes/amount of extras based on the previous sets.