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“Route 66″ DVDs pushed back to resolve customer complaints April 29, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Television, Uncategorized.
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TVShowsonDVD.com has interesting news about the upcoming DVD re-releases of the original “Route 66″ television series of 1960-64.

Apparently dates for upcoming releases, including a complete Season 1 and a half-season of Season 2, had been canceled. But those dates apparently will be rescheduled:

Along the course of putting out the first DVD packages, Infinity (and Roxbury) recognized there was some customer dissatisfaction with the half-season sets put out for the first season, and they want to resolve this. To begin with, they are scrapping the half-season concept at this time. As a result, Season 2, Vol 1 is completely canceled. Instead, though, we will get a Complete Season 2 DVD package! It’s currently penciled in for an October release, but that’s not finalized just yet.

In the meantime, the Complete Season 1 DVD IS still coming out. But it’s being pushed back to release sometime in August, in order to give the studio more time to address customer complaints about how episodes were presented on disc in the first half-season sets for that show. There has not been any word yet on whether Infinity will offer any sort of “upgrade/fix” path for people who purchased the original versions and wish to get the corrected versions, but we’ll let you know if we hear anything.

To elaborate a bit: In Season One, Vol. 1, the folks at Roxbury Entertainment faced a deadline crunch and were unable to track down original duplicate film stock of “Route 66″ in time. So a few viewers perceived subpar image quality on a number of episodes. One episode in particular used a set of reels that had about six minutes edited out.

In the Season One, Vol 2, release, a letterbox look was employed to take advantage of the burgeoning high-definition television market. This resulted in the picture being cropped on the top and bottom.

I must admit that the overall quality of Vol. 1 was so good, I tended to overlook what I considered to be minor flaws. I’ve seen other re-releases of movies from decades ago look far worse, mainly because the film stock had deteriorated. In Vol. 2, I didn’t even notice the cropping until someone had pointed it out. Even then, it didn’t detract at all from my enjoyment of the few episodes I viewed.

Still, it appears the complaints were persistent enough (and perhaps Infinity felt its good reputation was at stake) that Roxbury decided to take a step or two back and be a little more diligent. Roxbury’s president said “Route 66′s” DVD sales had exceeded expectations, so lack of revenue shouldn’t be an excuse for skimping on quality control.

Comments»

1. Wayne - April 29, 2008

Cleaning the Season 1 Volume 1 images up, restoring the lost six minutes of that particular episode, restoring the original aspect of Season 1 Volume 2, and releasing future season sets as one complete set … are all excellent moves that should help restore fans’ faith in Roxbury (Infinity). I’m glad to hear that sales were good, and if we could get one last confirmation that ALL seasons will be released (many TV series season sets were abandoned after initial releases), then that big collective sigh of relief you hear is Route 66 fans everywhere knowing they will finally get their fixed kicks fix.


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