TV on DVD: What's the logic behind season releases? Check out today's Ask the Critic question, then post your own

By Ken Tucker
Updated June 01, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: American Dreams: Kobal Collection

TV on DVD: What’s the logic behind season releases?

If the first season of a TV show is released on DVD, can we expect to see the remaining seasons some day? American Dreams was one of my favorite shows of all time, and I was sad to see it go. I bought season 1 over a year ago, but I haven’t seen the final two seasons available for purchase. Will I ever? — Laura Fu

Laura: Some companies release the first season of a TV series to test the commercial waters: Is there a market for a show that wasn’t a huge hit?, they wonder. After the massive success of something like Family Guy on DVD — a TV show that had been canceled — DVD companies can no longer take anything for granted: stuff they used to routinely think would bomb because it sank on TV or in the movie theaters might prove to have a profit-making cult following.

To answer your specific question, I can find no release date for season 2 of American Dreams, a show I, too, admired for its interesting take on ’60s pop culture and social issues. Since the first season came out on DVD in 2004, it doesn’t bode well for releasing the second season anytime soon, given the long lag thus far.

It’s frustrating, I know, especially since there are some upcoming releases that defy rational thought. Do you really think there’s a big appetite out there for upcoming releases like Punky Brewster Season 3 or ER Season 5?

Laura, I’d like to broaden your question a bit and ask the rest of you: What semi-obscure TV series or movie are you most wishing would be released on DVD?

(Got a DVD-related question for Ken? Post it here.)