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The 'Dukes' Date Dance

13 Sep, 2005 By: Brendan Howard

It's the marketing tie-in that TV DVD executives dream of: a classic TV show gets a theatrical remake just as the complete-season sets are hitting store shelves.

That's what Warner Home Video got with “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and that made it all about the release schedule.

“We always look at opportunities to tie into events, and we plan pretty far ahead,” said Rosemary Markson, executive director of TV marketing at Warner Home Video. “In this case, with Warner Bros. Pictures producing the film, we worked pretty far in advance to cross-promote the sets and the movie.”

The first-season set streeted June 1, 2004, with the second-season set coming a leisurely seven months after. The third season rolled in four months later, and the fourth season just two months after that.

Why the rush on the third and fourth seasons?

The third-season set released May 31 sported a free movie ticket to see the theatrical remake, originally slated for a June box office premiere. Unfortunately, the film was delayed, and the third-season set widely missed the film's new release date of Aug. 5. The fourth-season set was rushed to capitalize on the big-screen debut.

It's a strategy that seems to have worked. All four seasons have sold a total of more than 900,000 units, with the first-season set accounting for more than 500,000 units, according to Home Media Research. Markson said the first-season set's numbers are in large part due to its head start over the other seasons.

The Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Fifth Season is hitting Dec. 13, according to Markson. It will be timed around the DVD release of the theatrical film.

There's no release date for the sixth and seventh seasons of “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

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