October 3rd, 2008
01:12 PM ET
Two disc sets you won’t be seeing any time soon:
– In the course of interviewing Tim Reid for the “Tim & Tom” article, I asked Reid about “Frank’s Place,” the terrific New Orleans-set series he starred in during the 1987-88 season. The series has yet to appear on DVD, and I wondered if Reid knew something about its future.
The news wasn’t good.
“Not with the cost of music clearance the way it is today,” he said. “It’s one of those issues that come along with the new world we live in.”
The same issues came up with one of Reid’s other series, “WKRP in Cincinnati.” Though the first season was finally released on DVD in 2007, many songs on the soundtrack were changed or cut entirely. The show still stands up, but without the original music, it can’t help but miss something. (And because of the music issues, none of the subsequent seasons have been released on DVD.)
“Frank’s Place” was unique for its time, and perhaps even for ours: a “dramedy,” as they used to be called, starring African-Americans in many roles, that was notable for its high-quality writing and refusal to engage in stereotypes (trust me: as someone raised in New Orleans, they portrayed the city very well). If it’s not coming out on video, perhaps an enterprising cable channel can have a marathon or something.
– The Kinks box that’s coming out in the UK in a couple months? Don’t expect to see it in the U.S. - for now, anyway. I contacted a handful of record company folks and nobody knew anything about a U.S. release of "Picture Book."
As I mentioned in the previous post, the Kinks had a complicated U.S. label history. (They had a complicated UK label history as well, but anyway …) The group was signed by Reprise for the British Invasion years, left for RCA in 1971 and “Muswell Hillbillies,” turned to Arista in 1976, and then came MCA and Columbia in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Sanctuary has re-released some of the band’s classic ‘60s material, to mixed reviews, in this decade.
So if you’re wanting to get a copy of “Picture Book,” you’ll have to pick up the import. Unless there’s an American record company person who knows something I don’t …
- Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer
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