Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Barney Rosenzweig's "Barney Back 'Atcha" (3)

In comments on Barney’s blog of monday, July 2, 2007 APOLOGIES TO THOMAS WOLFE:

-- christieb wrote
Oh, now I am SO depressed and I was on such a high before that! I asked for the DVD for my birthday,which was Friday, and I have watched at least 10 episodes since. I just said to my husband that I sure hope they do ALL the seasons!(he was really happy that he got the RIGHT present and that I am still a cheap date! hahaha). This is beginning to feel like the old days when, by the way, I was one of those letter-writing fans to help save the show! Oh, and Barney, my 99-year-old grandmother bought me your book, which I am reading and loving. What can we do to help now?

barney answers
Do not be depressed. Help is on the way. We are releasing Cagney & Lacey: The Menopause Years in one package… all four of the reunion movies starring Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly… that we made a little over 10 years ago. 

Those films have been “resting” most of that time and should help to maintain your reputation as an inexpensive date (I have had “cheap” dates and you don’t sound like one of those). The point is, if this release (on/or before mid 2009) does well, it will encourage the other guys at MGM and Fox to reconsider and put out the entire series in one wonderful/fulsome DVD package.

-- kristy wrote
Please keep in touch with us through this site and encourage Sharon and Tyne to do the same. We love you all and enjoy hearing how life is treating you!

barney answers
Kristy I am finally following your advice… and having a good time doing so. I will assign the fabulous Carole R. Smith to the task of getting the ladies to follow suit, knowing she can be more persistent than I. And, life… life… is treating me just fine. Thanks for asking.  

-- anne wrote
Damn. I'm sorry the sales numbers weren't supportive enough. Perhaps those will improve over time? I still know of people who intend to buy the set. Could it be that more word of mouth is necessary? [Less than 20,000 Amazon.com buyers, really?-- did I do the math correctly?] I'm sorry the MGM execs are out of touch with this body of work, this series. I know it's hard to deliver bad news, but I hope this isn't over. Isn't there anything we can do about it? Fuckin' A.

Just please don't let the site die. Is that asking for something? I guess it is, then. Ah, well....
Don't be a stranger.

barney answers
Anne: I am trying, however belatedly, not to be strange. 

As you may have noticed, with some help from Jacqueline Danson in the UK and our own Carole R. Smith, an attempt is being made to freshen all this up and to reinvigorate the base (hard not to be influenced by all the recent political jargon). Stay tuned to this website or, not to sound strange, check in from time to time. We hope to have new stuff for you on a semi-regular basis.

-- christine wrote
Man, I was fearing this, and I was hoping it wouldn't come. But I'm a brand new fan and it's because this season was released that I got to see the show. Now to think that I may never see the rest of it...? 

There's got to be something we can do. It sounds like the whole thing was just the unfortunate victim of really bad publicity. I can't believe I may never see the rest because of bad publicity. 

Seriously, I told my friends about it, I even got some of them into the show and they went and bought the set. This thing can't really be so hopeless, can it? Isn't there something we can do now? 

barney answers 
What to do? What to do? Have you bought my book? Too blatant an appeal, right? Okay, what to do? 

How ‘bout this: I cause to be released the only part of Cagney & Lacey over which I have control (namely our four reunion films that we call “The Menopause Years”), I find the best distributor I can get and that distributor does a much better job than MGM/Fox, and you and your friends buy a ton of them and then, by example, we will have shown the bosses that there is an audience out there of old and new Cagney & Lacey fans, the suits in Century City do the right thing and release the show using our success on The Menopause Years as a model. 

What do you think? Could work. Tell your friends ... again.

-- xanthophyllippa  wrote
Let us know what we need to do, and we'll mobilize for you. Watching my S1 DVDs were an amazing homecoming for me, and I despair to think that additional seasons might not be forthcoming. Please let us know what we can do on your behalf. (And please keep in mind that some of us bought our discs from smaller outlets - like our local feminist bookstores! - and don't show up in Amazon sales stats.)

barney answers
As soon as we have a date certain on the release of The Menopause Years on DVD you all will be notified via this site

Then… even before the release date, armed (as you then will be) with the name of the distributor, I think it would be very helpful to start asking Amazon, your local feminist bookstores and  MORE IMPORTANTLY, Wal Mart and Costco and Blockbuster, etc. if they will be putting the DVD on their shelves. 

There is nothing better than this kind of point of sale presentation… actually seeing the “goods” on the shelves of stores. That is what we rarely had on the first DVD release and that is what hurt us badly. The  23 year old store managers are not interested in “vintage television.” 

But if enough folks show up, perhaps they will understand there is a difference between “vintage” and “iconic.”

-- ashleigh wrote
i live in england and i brought ma dvd set in virgin megastores and im still watching the episodes im on disc 3 now, so please know that they are being brought. its just ive not seen any publicity- the only way i knew it was happening was through this site (which is great by the way). so perhaps if wait for word of mouth or try to get some publicity going season 2 can happn. or is this just wishful thinking guys????
please tell me if theres anything i can do.... in the meantime keep the faith everyone-look what happened last time all the fans puled together!!

barney answers 
Thanks, Ashleigh. Glad you like the site and I think, with a lot of help from fellow UKer, Jacqueline Danson, it is now going to get even better. More material will be available in a few months… namely our release of our quartet of reunion films (Cagney & Lacey: The Menopause Years) and how they do will help us determine a new pathway toward getting the entire original series out on DVD. 

-- stuart wrote
I'm in the U.K and I bought my copy new and sealed from an ebay store. No amazon figures on my purchase then. I don't understand the logistics, but isn't it possible to strike up some kind of deal that allows you to release further seasons with other distributors/ companies? I know in the U.K networkdvd.co.uk release lots of different shows from different companies and don't rely on heavy sales. They released all six seasons of 3rd Rock over here long before they finally got released in the U.S and though I never saw a season clogging up the DVD charts, all six seasons got released.I realise what you're saying, but if the owners have no plans to release the rest, what's the problem in them leasing the show to such a company as i've mentioned.

barney answers
Boy, are you smart. What is their problem, indeed? They have… how shall I say?...”control issues.” 

Getting a major film company to relinquish even a modicum of control or ownership to another entity can become a life’s work. W.C. Fields once said, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again… and then quit. No one should think you’re crazy.” Anyway, I think it was W.C. Fields. 

I am in the “try, try again” phase and am trying (also) not to be driven crazy. We are renewing our efforts (witness this new feature of actually answering the responses from fans that come in to us on the website), are preparing to release our quartet of reunion movies later (in mid-2009) and (for now anyway) only ask that you keep checking the website for whatever we can think of that will get all of the work on Cagney & Lacey into the hands of the people who loved it and want it.   

-- elizabeth wrote
Re, the online amazon sales. Could the reason not simply be that a percentage of the cagney and lacey audience won't simply use online stores? And who can blame them? I know for a fact that release of the DVD has hardly been advertised in the UK if at all. From what I understand Cagney and Lacey, had and still has a large fan base in the UK, reach out to them. Plug it some more. 

barney answers
We are working on just what you suggest. 

A friend and fan from the UK, Website/Communications Consultant Jacqueline Danson, is helping to bring me into the 21st century via this website and has actually gotten me to sit down and answer the comments/questions from people just like you, Elizabeth. Do keep checking with us. 

Jacqueline has gotten me to promise to do this sort of thing fairly often and I have resolved to try. Thank you for caring.

-- karen wrote
That is simply unacceptable...that will not do AT ALL! I am now going to pitch a huge hissy fit...What is wrong with the video retailers when you can probably buy all seasons of "ALF" but not of "C&L"? 

barney answers
Well, I mean, after all, “Alf”…. I don’t know, there is a joke there somewhere, but… I am in drama, not comedy. 

I love hissy fits… especially when they are directed at the very folks who bring me to a point of equal/or greater  frustration. There is a cure. We just have to find it. 

The cure is a work in progress but when I get it thought out (with help from Jacqueline Danson, Carole R. Smith and folks like yourself) it will be shared. Please keep checking the site and keep caring. 

-- spy master wrote
... you've earned the right to bow out of the fight but if there's anything you feel that fans can do to get more seasons released, or anything, then let us know.

barney answers
Ain’t “bowin’” out so fast. Forgive the grammar… it's sort of my final tribute to the Sarah Palin “effect.” I am going (that’s gonna if you are a fan of the governor of Alaska) to give at least one more try to all this stuff. 

Keep checking in on our website for developments. 

I am hopeful that 2009 will (along with Barack Obama) give us reason for hope.     
-- cheryl wrote
Barney - if we could set up a 15 or 20 minute internet "chat" with Sharon and/or Tyne at FFJ or WebSleuths, it would create excitement and publicity, and help mobilize the troops. It's very easy to do. Posters send in questions to a moderator who forwards them in real time to Sharon or Tyne at a computer. All they have to do is type in their response. It's kind of like e-mail, but only faster. Please let me know if you're interested in pursuing this option.

In the meantime, never say die. It's not over 'til the credits roll.

barney answers
No “die” from this guy. 

As to your thought about the “chat” thing… I will paraphrase my old New Jersey pal, Lou Church, and simply say, “it’s in da woiks.”

-- k wrote
I dont understand the reason why a lot of old shows (that were on air in 1980s) are out in usa and europe (we also have Supercar in italian here without any kind of petition and so on) and it could not be the same for Cagney & Lacey. 

barney answers
I think, in general, things are just better in Italy. At least they always were for me. I remember my first trip to Siena… well, that’s another story and probably better distributed on a less family friendly website. 

The other truth is that, like most American film makers, I know little about the intricacies of the European marketplace. The traditional sources of finance in show business find it is to their general advantage to keep folks such as me as ignorant as possible. They even go to the trouble of having it all done in various languages, which no one can expect an American to follow. 

Ciao, K. I will pass on your thoughts to the guys who control the Cagney & Lacey rights in Europe and beyond. 

-- les wrote
Well - you have written ' Cagney , Lacey and Me ' . BUT - Any chance of getting Sharon, Tyne , or somebody to write a book about Cagney and Lacey . About the show itself - the episodes , the actors , the anecdotes , day to day stuff - this is what we really want ! You gave us tantalising snippets in your book . Would love to hear more . Still the best drama show ever made though - and you did it .

barney answers 
“Tantalising snippets” ey? My God, Les, it was a tome. 

Okay, okay, never argue with a customer. I will pass on the idea of Tyne and Sharon getting together to write a book (or books). Frankly, like you, I would love to read it. 

Meanwhile I am toying with the idea of writing a Cagney & Lacey “before and after” book. What do you think? Not sure about snippets, though. 

-- xanthophyllippa  wrote
Can anyone attest to the legitimacy of the DVDs for sale at this online retailer?  I'm a little nervous that there isn't any distributor or studio information associated with this item. 

barney answers 
This is  probably too late a reply to do much good… and  I promise to try not to have that happen in the future. 

I am going to ask Carole R. Smith to interject here with the specific answer to your question about the online retailer so that she can be sued for libel instead of me.
Visit the official Cagney & Lacey website


anyone's MOTHERS said...

good luck to you all!

anyone's MOTHERS said...

it was wonderful to meet you 3 May 15, 2007!

Melissa said...

Hi Barney, a couple of things...I know you're a big USC fan, but please indulge me for I need to give a shout out to the #1 team so far this year - Roll Tide and keep on rollin'!

Also, thanks for taking the time to talk with us here. Open communication with the fans has always been what this great show has been about. During the series run when you would send us letters and postcards it made us feel special. We felt like we were a part of the process and it was an honor to be involved in the letter writing campaign that helped to bring it back. You're still keeping us involved and informed now 20 years later and I just want you to know that it is very much appreciated! So, thanks, Back Atcha!

no1lulufan said...

OH MY GOD! Barney you HAVE to write the before and after book...dont "toy" with the idea - DO IT! Seriously!! Haha, oh my god i would so buy it I think we all would. Anything on C&L gets ma vote hun!
Juat want to say thank you cuz its twice now you have answered ma questions! I feel very blessed and scream everytime I see that you have replied! Its great, and thanks for keeping the conversation going!
Lots of Cagney Cuddles, Ashleigh.
PS. the idea of Sharon and Tyne writing a book got me just as excited! That would be well fab!
OH, and really looking forward to the Menopause Years DVD! xx

Kristy said...

It's good to see you posting so often, Barney - thanks for taking the time. Melissa expressed her appreciation so well in the post above. I'll keep it short and just say "ditto". :) And good job to you or Carole - whoever successfully nudged Sharon into posting, too! I'm glad she's such a busy lady. Just means more of her work for us to enjoy. Hope you two have a great holiday season.


Anonymous said...

Hi Barney.
I would like to wish you and your family a Marry Christmas and a Happy New year.
I have joined Sharon's UK fan club and it is really good that i can keep up to date with what Sharon is working on.
I hope I could get to meet you and Sharon when you come to the UK
hayley n