Opinions and Rants #1: Get Your Greedy Hands Off My Reruns!

I don't know about you, but I'm getting a bit tired of these greedy bastards messing with classic TV shows. If a song is included in an episode, you better believe the company who owns the rights to that song will be collecting a big check. A single piece of a song can cost upwards of $40,000, so many of the shows being released on DVD are opting to change the original music. Here's a few examples:

  1. WKRP in Cincinnati took forever to get on DVD because of all the licensing problems, and still came out with a bunch of songs missing. Before, Johnny Fever cranked up some Foghat, now he cranks up some nameless nothing.
  2. The Wonder Years is still being held up. Music played an integral part in the show, so substitution is not an option (at least let's hope not). Before, Kevin Arnold sees Winnie Cooper on the beach to the sound of "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys - who knows who'll be providing the music to this scene on DVD (pray it's not Kenny Loggins).
  3. No other show has been completely gutted more than The Fugitive. Not even the background instrumental music is the same. Good Lord, those greedy bastards have no shame!

Variety has a good article on the subject. The whole debacle reminds me of when The Rolling Stones sued The Verve for the sampling in "Bittersweet Symphony". The Stones' tune was virtually unrecognizable within the song, and yet they took The Verve for every penny (as if Mick and the boys didn't already have enough money)!

Don't get me wrong, I believe you should be compensated when your song has been used for profit. But, like so many other things, it has been taken to a greedy extreme. Sometimes, the artist should be complimented by the fact that their song was used on a TV show or sampled in a song. And if it was okay for The Wonder Years to include songs in the shows twenty years ago, why is it not okay now? Just wondering.


  1. I fully agree...was completely weird to watch the DVD set of WKRP and not hear the original music.
    Those greedy bastards have ruined the Johnny Fever experience for generations to come!

  2. Those $1 bargin DVDs are the worst. Bonanza opens with some generic music, not the famous Bonanza theme. Andy Griffith begins with generic music, not the famous whistling theme.

  3. I was so happy when I found preservations of the whole WKRP series from VHS because I knew they'd messed it up for the DVD release. :p U2's "I Will Follow" was on one episode and I bet it isn't now. They were still an up and coming band at that point.

    1. Speaking of up and coming...during the third season, one of the posters in the studio was for the first album by Huey Lewis and the News (the next one gave them their first hit and the one after that, "Sports" broke them through)

  4. Not just music...in the episode where Herb Tarlek and his brood were on the fictional program REAL FAMILIES, the show within a show was announced by the legendary Johnny Olsen, but was replaced on the DVD, because of issues with the rights to his voice.

  5. Most of this can be laid at congressman Sonny Bono for pushing through the copyright extension. Before long we will have forever copyright and no public domain.