Updated 20 December 2000

Comments on "chopping" of Classic TV

Personally, I am sick of syndication outfits severely editing classic TV shows. When I watch a classic show, I want to see ALL of the show, EXACTLY like the producer intended it to be. The reason (of course) that shows end up being chopped is money. By chopping out scenes and speeding things up, a network can run several (in some cases MANY more) additional commercials in the show. And very often, the spots they run are for worthless garbage and 900 number trash services (like the ever popular "psychic" services). More spots means more money to the network. My response? I won't watch it at all. I would rather pay to see the original version of a show than to watch a sliced up version loaded with 3 and 4 minutes commercial sets every ten minutes! When I did watch Five-O on Family Channel, I recorded it and then watched the tape. Using the fast search button, I blew through all the junk commercials. It's one thing to add commercials and lengthen the show, but to add commercials in place of the show is pathetic.

There is another show that was totally trashed up for TV syndication: Night Gallery (Rod Serling). In this case, many of the short stories featured in this show had scenes added so that the story would fill a 30 minute time slot! The result? Long, boring scenes and loss of continuity. And those stories that were around 45 minutes long? You guessed it, they hacked it down to the 24 minute limit. The writers and producers of these fine short stories must have had a fit to see there work radically changed so that someone (at the top) could make a buck.

Maybe these syndicators, networks and CEO's think that the viewers "won't notice" the amount of editing that most syndicated shows have undergone. Well, we do. Consider this: What would you think if you went to a fine art museum to look at famous paintings, and all of them had been partially painted over with graffiti? What if a classic work had been enlarged and altered? You would be appalled and probably leave. What syndicators do to Classic TV is no different.

Many of the so-called TV "superstations" are notorious for showing severely edited syndicated shows. TBS is one of the worst offenders. Sci-Fi channel is another that severely hacks up shows. I will not watch this channel at all. Some shows are so loaded down with extra commercials that I don't know how anyone can watch them in "real time".

The savior to this rampant chopping and altering of Classic TV are outfits like Columbia House Video. The products they offer are the real thing: Uncut, original full length, proper speed video and sound.

Networks who show hacked up versions of my favorite shows will not have me as a viewer. Instead, outfits like Columbia House Video will have me as a customer. There is money to be made in Classic TV, and there are two ways to do it. Columbia House Video has found a way to do it right, and the networks have once again found a way to screw things up to the max.

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