The question keeps popping up, from friends, fans, family and press…”What can I (we) do to help? What can be done to assure our getting the entire series on DVD and not just these first 22?” I have to tell you, it warms this old guy’s heart. Still “old guy” is the operative phrase and I am getting a bit weary of manning the balustrades.
My book is about to come out, I have finally gotten MGM to agree to release at least some of the series, I keep telling Penny at her Marketing Company and the irrepressible Carole R. Smith that I want to stop beating the drums, that I just want to relax and enjoy the “experience” of the Cagney & Lacey 25th anniversary. Of course, there is the fear that if I do just sit back, there won’t be any experience to…well… experience. “Never,” someone once wrote (I think it was me) “trust a studio publicist with unlimited product to release someone else’s stuff.” (It probably was me as, in retrospect, it doesn’t sound all that elegant). Still the point is well taken.
So what can you do? You want to see more of Tyne and Sharon. Maybe you want another generation to know what you already know--and maybe some things you do not--about Cagney & Lacey. And maybe, like me, you would like to have the entire series in collectable form on quality controlled DVD format.
Fox and MGM are putting out 22 episodes of our first year with Sharon Gless as Cagney and Tyne Daly as Lacey. There are 97 more episodes with this dynamic duo, six more from the early/early days with Tyne still as Lacey, but Meg Foster as Cagney. And then, there are the five movies: the quartet of Menopause Years films with Tyne and Sharon and the so-called pilot of long-ago with Loretta Swit playing opposite Ms Daly. What of all this “extra material?” It could all be yours…or not.
What if we give a party and nobody comes? Let’s face it. It all depends on how well this first release does in a competitive and diminishing marketplace. Manufacturing and marketing these items can be expensive. I have spoken to Fox/MGM of sales in the hundreds of thousands of units and they have countered that they would “settle” for sales in the tens of thousands, but either way (my hype being correct or their lower target level being reached) more DVD packages will be on the way and fairly soon…unless, of course, those sales levels are not reached.
So, what can you do besides buy the DVD and tell all your friends? You can help by making more people aware of the Mother’s Day release. No, you don’t have to canvas your neighborhood as you did in the old days when you were trying to get the war in Vietnam ended or (if you are as old as I) get Adlai Stevenson in the White House. What would be much more practical…and so much more hip…would be to contact your favorite retail outlet (Costco, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target or whatever) to tell the manager of that store that you are looking forward to his/her stocking the Cagney & Lacey DVD collection and how you and your friends are all eager buyers. On April 12, Fox is sending out a preview DVD to those buyer/managers to see how many they will order for their shelves. Timing is everything.
Better yet, you could write to your favorite daytime TV show (Oprah, The View, Ellen, Today, Good Morning America, Regis and Kelly) letting them know you would like to see Sharon and Tyne as guests, not only to talk about what they are doing these days, but to celebrate the Cagney & Lacey 25th anniversary, to take a look back at a quarter century of women on television. Face it, many of the bookers of these TV shows were in diapers when Cagney & Lacey was on the air and we have yet to be asked to appear on any of these shows. Perhaps they may need reminding that there is a fan base out there, not only looking for new stuff on the two women, but to exposure of the new DVD package in such a way as to make folks aware of the release of the series and thus generate the rest of the series on DVD.
Or, you can do what I say I want to do. Sit back, watch what happens and hope for the best. Maybe not.
April 6, 2007