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A Second Fall Season – on DVD

10 Jul, 2003 By: Thomas K. Arnold

September has traditionally been a busy month in television, with the networks rolling out their fall lineups and introducing new shows.

This year, September will be equally busy for DVD suppliers, with a bumper crop of TV shows scheduled for DVD release — just in time to go head-to-head with the new shows on the air.

“The retail marketplace in September is starting to resemble the broadcast market for new-season launches,” said Steve Feldstein, SVP of marketing communications for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, the market-share leader in TV DVD.

It's hardly coincidental. Television is on everyone's mind in September, and why shouldn't DVD share in the reaping of the spoils?

“Those that are serious about this business know the value of the symbiotic relationship between on-air and in-store,” Feldstein said.

September also happens to be on the cusp of the fourth-quarter selling season.

“There is a booming market for television product, and we're all trying to get our product out there for the fourth quarter,” said Lexine Wong, EVP for Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.

The coming deluge hasn't gone unnoticed by consumers.

“It's going to be hell for fans of TV shows on DVD,” said Gord Lacey, who operates the TV Shows on DVD Web site (www.tvshowsondvd.com). “There's going to be an incredible amount of good stuff coming out.”

Lacey predicts more than 100 TV shows and series will be bowing on DVD during September, which may be an all-time record.

On tap for Sept. 2 alone:

• The complete first season of “Alias,” from Buena Vista Home Entertainment. The six-disc set, with such extras as a pilot production diary and a gag reel, retails for $69.99.

• A second-season set of “C.S.I,” from Paramount Home Entertainment, this time available in widescreen rather than full frame, selling for $89.99.

• The second season of the cult series “Angel,” from Fox Home Entertainment ($59.98).

• Season two of vintage sci-fi series “The Outer Limits,” from MGM Home Entertainment ($69.96).

Best of Designing Women, a compilation disc with five episodes from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment ($19.95).

The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, a disc ($14.98) from Fox that includes the animated sitcom's four Halloween episodes.

• The first two seasons of “Saved by the Bell,” from Lions Gate Entertainment, in a five-disc boxed set ($49.99).

“That's one day—yikes!,” Lacey said.

This hectic release pace continues throughout the rest of the month. Season two of “24,”volume two of “Family Guy” and the second season of “Xena” are coming Sept. 9.

“Smallville” makes its DVD debut Sept. 23 in a complete first-season package. That same day, Paramount will release the ninth installment in its “I Love Lucy” complete first season series, along with the entire season in a nine-disc boxed set. Also coming Sept. 23 is the 1980 miniseries “Shogun” (see Channels, below).

The month ends with the Sept. 30 release of the second season of “The Osbournes.”

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