The Wonder Years
Here’s a show that has many hurdles to overcome to ever be released on DVD and Blu-ray. It is a fantastic show that deserves a great release with interviews and features galore. The show would be an instant hit on DVD, and could potentially help to bring back some of the DVD market that has hit a slump with the current recession. I think that the time to restore all of the footage should be taken to make the release worth owning.
The biggest problem that the series faces in ever being released is the music. More precisely: BMI and ASCAP. These two companies own the licensing rights to pretty much all of the music that is released by a record label. They are in place to help artists make a fair amount whenever their songs are used in tv shows, movies, and the like. If the companies were able to reach out to all of the artists whose music appears in the series, and were able to make deals with all of them, it would be the smartest thing for all of them.
You see, the music in the show cannot be replaced with different, cheaper, songs. There are a lot of DVD releases with music replacements, and for the most part I haven’t noticed anything odd. But in The Wonder Years, the lyrics speak to what is happening in the episode, and sometimes the dialogue between the characters is also reflective of that.
Right now, not a single artist involved in The Wonder Years is making any money from the series apart from anything they might be making with the show in syndication. Neither is BMI, nor is ASCAP. But I offer a simple solution that can make all of them a lot of money. Make a deal, get the series released while people still remember it in larger numbers.
I know that I’m over simplifying the whole thing, but perhaps I’m not. Perhaps the studios are simply over complicating it. There will have to be compromise, for sure, but can’t we all agree that some money is better than no money at all?
The Wonder Years not being released on DVD or Blu-ray is bringing in money for nobody involved. And it’s the number one most requested DVD release on the website TVshowsonDVD.com with 6,565 requests for the release. It’s topped the list for years without any progress.
Back in 1998, there were two Wonder Years DVDs released: The Best of the Wonder Years and The Best of the Christmas Wonder Years. There isn’t much data about the changes to the music in the Christmas release, but the other disc had most, if not all, of the music replaced with either covers of the songs, or generic music, negatively effecting the presentation. The Best of the Wonder Years also includes only a couple of episodes, and a special highlights episode, the “Looking Back” special.
But that is not enough. It’s been twelve years since these releases, and the DVD market is much larger than it was back in 1998. Let’s get this show onto our shelves as soon as possible.
UPDATE: Just announced: The Wonder Years: The Complete Series is coming to DVD!