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TV DVD's Coming-Out Party

23 Nov, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

While the phenomenon of TV DVD has been building for some time, last week the new genre had its biggest coming-out party yet for the much-anticipated Seinfeld: The First Three Seasons, which streets today.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (soon to be Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) kicked off the DVD release of the “show about nothing” with a star-studded party at New York City's Rainbow Room. Stars Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards lent their support to the kickoff event, with a crowd that included such luminaries as Walter Cronkite, Regis Philbin and the director Steven Soderbergh.

That same week, the studio staged another gala for the induction of the puffy shirt from “Seinfeld” into the Smithsonian Institution as an object of American pop culture. Showcasing his trademark self-deprecating humor, Jerry Seinfeld said he was delighted to be “the focal point of what must be the most embarrassing moment in the history of the Smithsonian.”

Driving to work yesterday, I heard a radio segment promotion for the “Seinfeld” DVD in which callers were asked to identify a mystery guest star from the iconic show.

Yes, the “Seinfeld” juggernaut is everywhere. It's an unprecedented campaign for a TV DVD release. While the show's debut on DVD was a long time in coming (reportedly after some pay disputes with the stars), “Seinfeld's” absence has most likely made the heart grow fonder. And the release is perfectly timed to take advantage of a genre cresting in popularity.

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