The American Gothic DVD Petition

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31. August 2003

Got a new address for Shaun Cassidy. Thanks to Gina!

18. July 2003

Took down the addresses for Shaun Cassidy, as neither seems to be valid anymore, and I don't have a new one.

6. July 2003

Moved the news bits about a possible feature film to their own page.

I was told that in at least one interview before the release of the first Spiderman movie, Sam Raimi mentioned that after the sequel, he wanted to find some time to record DVD commentaries for American Gothic. If anyone could point me to interviews including such quotes and/or send me scans of/links to same, I'd be most grateful. BUT don't get all excited - this was apparently before the whole debacle with's "My So-Called Life" DVDs, so it could have been related to their AG DVD plans, as the same source told me he'd heard rumours that actually did pick up the rights for a limited release from Universal.

The AG DVD Petition has gained quite a few signatures in the 1 1/2 months since the last update - the new total is 2413 votes (150 at Dreambook and 2263 at Petitiononline).

As of today, has 4250 tv series/shows listed, with 2811 DVD releases. Considering that most shows have several releases (season sets, partial seasons, best of sets, etc.), this leaves between 1439 and, let's say, 2000 shows without releases. Out of those, AG is number 52 (458 votes) in the list of requested shows - beating longer-running shows like Knight Rider (63rd/436 votes), Beauty and the Beast (104th/335 votes), Law & Order (152nd/275 votes), Miami Vice (255th/190 votes) or L.A. Law (469th/121 votes). Not too shabby for such a short-lived show!

Vivendi Universal has been looking into a first round of bids for their entertainment assets, and a second round is supposed to start soon. According to recent coverage at Variety, the fact of there being many second-round candidates "decreases the likelihood of a speedy sale -- despite the view that Vivendi Universal may be looking to firm things up as early as the end of this month or the beginning of August."

In an article of 12. June 2003 called "From TV sets to box sets", Hollywood Reporter took a look at the trend of TV shows being released on DVD. A few excerpts (emphasis by yours truly):

The pioneers of DVD knew they were launching the rebirth of the home video industry about six years ago when the format began transforming home viewing habits of consumers worldwide.
But not even the most forward-thinking among them could have predicted that the DVD format would create a new form of syndication for networks and studios, one with an almost immediate payoff to earnings-minded studio bosses.

DVD packages of TV shows old and new, particularly season-by-season box sets, have become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the digital home video marketplace, generating more than $300 million last year.
"I believe that we've merely seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this new TV-to-DVD category," says Benjamin Feingold, president of Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. "There's a whole lot of serial television product yet to be exposed on DVD, and the public appears to have a healthy appetite for it."
Studio executives and retailers say the packaging of TV programs to videophiles of all ages represents a largely untapped revenue source that could eventually rival the grosses from broadcast and cable sales of off-network product. The ready availability of pristine-quality copies of America's favorite TV shows,
from big hits to small cults, is sure to have an effect on the viewership of rerun packages on local TV and cable. And it's already having a big impact on how networks like HBO market and schedule those shows in their first-run cycle.
"Naturally, product with a huge fan base like 'The Sopranos,' 'X-Files' and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' sells very well all year long," says Stefan Pepe,'s group manager of DVD and video. "But because we can carry every title, which brick-and-mortar simply can't do, we also have seen significant DVD sales of older TV product like 'Dawson's Creek,' 'Cheers' and 'I Love Lucy.' The quality of the content is high, and given that the studios are obviously taking notice of this niche, I believe that we'll continue to see good growth in this category for some time to come."

Let's hope that whoever ends up taking over Vivendi Universal's entertainment assets will see what revenue potential they have on their hands with American Gothic!

19. May 2003

Well, we're still in for the long haul it seems. I learned from Gord, webmaster of, that Universal's parent company Vivendi Universal needs cash and is trying to sell off their assets - one of them Universal Home Video. So even if we could find a distributor who would finance the production of an AG DVD set, Universal probably couldn't license the show to anyone at this point, because a sale of the company could mess everything up. Let's hope that the situation gets resolved one way or another asap...

Meanwhile, the AG DVD Petition is still up and running. More than 2000 signatures (150 at Dreambook and 1965 at Petitiononline) have been added so far, and I hope we'll gain many more through British TV channel Sky One, which will start showing AG this Thursday, 22. May (details see today's news)!

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AG DVD Petition started on 2. August 2001
Last update: 21. April 2004