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"Seinfeld" stars boycott DVD


rustyjaw
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I thought this was interesting, and not a little disappointing. Seinfeld is one of my favorite TV shows ever. I can say that if there was commentary and interviews with these three actors, I would put this DVD in the must-have category, but without them, I'm not so sure. I mean it's all over syndication, I've already seen every episode, most of them several times.

 

From the NYTimes:

 

These people said that the three actors ? Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine; Michael Richards, who played Kramer; and Jason Alexander, who played George ? made the joint decision not to give on-camera interviews for the DVD or otherwise participate in it.

 

Executives at Castle Rock Television, which produced the show for NBC, and Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, which will distribute the DVD, "were only willing to give a small recording fee to the three of them and not a piece of the action," said a representative for one of the actors, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "So they all said, `Why should we make other people richer?' "

 

A complicating factor is that "Seinfeld" is now owned by a handful of corporate entities. After the original "Seinfeld" deal was negotiated, Castle Rock Television was bought by Turner Broadcasting, which was bought by Time Warner. This means that Time Warner, Columbia TriStar Television, Castle Rock, Mr. Seinfeld and Mr. David will all take profits from the DVD.

 

I'm not sure whether to agree with them or not. On the one hand the show just wouldn't have been a success without those three actors, they deserve to reap the benefits. On the other hand, I'm sure they've all already done very well for themselves as a result of the show.

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Werent these clowns making a million dollars an episode or something? They were a part of one of the best sitcoms ever, I say just do the commentary because they'll never be a part of something as special as Seinfeld again.

 

Did Jason Alexander do the commentary on that movie he did with the monkey?

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I'm on the opposite side of the fence here. I sure as hell wouldn't do it. Those three folks were as important if not moreso than Jerry himself and I can certainly see thier perspective. Why make others richer indeed.

 

I remember there were money disputes during the show as well, though I cant recall the actual details. Its ashame if they don't participate but I don't blame them.

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One also has to look at what's happened to their careers after the show. Seinfeld is a billion-dollar property, and a "small recording fee" is probably only five figures. I'm not one to usually side with the rich, but they did contribute to the success of the show, and taking their participation for granted was short-sighted. Why can't Jerry Seinfeld or Larry David kick 'em each a quarter-percent?

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Originally posted by Jordan_E@Dec 23 2003, 02:13 PM

I hardly listen to comentaries anymore anyway, so bring on the freaking episodes!

I don't listen to many myself, but these I would listen to! I also listen to the Simpsons and Futurama ones because they are often as funny as the episode itself.

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I also listen to the Simpsons and Futurama ones because they are often as funny as the episode itself.

 

Agreed! The Futurama ones are great for both John DiMaggio's laugh and the fact that it feels like watching an episode with a ton of people in a bar almost. Plus lots of interesting little factoids :).

 

I've got to say that I wouldn't do the commentaries here for Seinfeld either. Sure they may have the cash from it, but damn, if everybody else is going to profit huge from this then they should at least pony up more than a token sum for recording fees because you know those discs are going to be pretty damn popular.

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wow... i must be the only person who didn't/doesn't really care for this show.

 

when it originally aired, i didn't watch it, because it looked boring. now that they play it on cable networks, i've watched a few episodes, and still think it's boring/repetetive/not funny.

 

therefore this dvd snafoo really doesn't matter to me.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm resurrecting this thread because I saw this morning that the dispute between the Seinfeld cast members has been resolved!

 

He said the "Seinfeld" producers and distributors have agreed that the three co-stars, along with Jerry Seinfeld, will enjoy royalties from the DVD collection.

 

This is great. To me, not having the cast participate in the commentaries would make the DVDs a lot less attractive. Now it's a must-have.

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Well that sucks about the commentary however I'm still interested in the DVDs having just fallen in love in the last couple years with Seinfeld I have been waiting for the DVDs.

 

Now if Drew Carry and Quantum Leap comes out I will be Very happy.

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Well that sucks about the commentary however I'm still interested in the DVDs having just fallen in love in the last couple years with Seinfeld I have been waiting for the DVDs.

 

Well, you're in for a real treat then, because since this thread was first posted (note the date of the first post) with the bit about 'boycotting' the DVD, all the actors have since agreed to participate. See above about 4 posts for more.

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