Before I get into the official word, this deal includes Carson telecasts which have been released in DVD boxes and which are edited down from the original programs (but still contain some very good moments). The draw here is that you can buy single shows instead of having to acquire the megaboxes. Not sure about the pricing of the DVDs. The Video on Demand downloads for each show are $1.99 per episode on Amazon.com, less if you buy a larger package.
The official word: CreateSpace, part of the Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) group of companies, The Fred Rogers Company, and Respond2 Entertainment today announced that they will release highly anticipated classic TV series content on DVD. The initial wave of shows from Fred Rogers, creator and host of the pioneering children’s TV series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and a broad array of individual episodes from “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” that spans four decades of the show, are newly available for sale on DVD exclusively via CreateSpace’s DVD on Demand technology. In addition, the titles will be offered for digital sale through Amazon Video On Demand.
The unique CreateSpace DVD on Demand platform allows networks, studios and marketers such as The Fred Rogers Company and Respond2 Entertainment to bring their TV content to a broad consumer base in a quick and cost-effective way since titles are manufactured only in direct response to customer demand. In addition, CreateSpace can distribute a wide range of content on-demand through Amazon.com and other channels, including Amazon Video On Demand.
Continues after the jump.
“We are proud to be working with The Fred Rogers Company and Respond2 Entertainment to bring these two beloved, multiple Emmy® Award-winning TV series into homes across the country and around the world in a whole new way,” said Dana LoPiccolo-Giles, managing director, CreateSpace. “Our DVD on Demand technology will bring nostalgia to fans who grew up with ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,’ while helping to make new ‘neighbors’ among today’s kids and families. We also are delighted to provide customers with the opportunity to relive some of their favorite ‘Tonight Show’ moments with the undisputed king of late-night TV for more than 30 years.”
“We are pleased to be able to present to today’s audiences the enduring and innovative work of the incomparable Fred Rogers,” said Bill Isler, president of The Fred Rogers Company. “Through the wonders of technology and the valuable CreateSpace manufacturing and distribution solution, we are able to share Fred’s groundbreaking work with children like never before.”
“We are very excited to expand our title selection with CreateSpace to include individual episodes of 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,' ” said Brian Hepner, director of Sales & Marketing, Respond2 Entertainment. “Each and every fan of this timeless show has their own unique list of favorites – from individual guest appearances to specific show dates – and now they will be able to enjoy the episodes that they desire most.”
The first batch of 100 “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” episodes covers four decades of the series and includes shows that have not been seen for more than 30 years. The collection features five episodes from the first week of “Misterogers’ Neighborhood,” which premiered – in black and white – on Feb. 19, 1968, on National Educational Television (N.E.T.), a forerunner to PBS. (The name of the show was changed to the existing three-word format when it went to color in 1968.) The initial releases also include 80 “classic” and 15 “middle years” episodes, which have not aired since the ‘70s, with memorable shows such as “The Death of a Goldfish” and “Mister Rogers Talks About Divorce,” featuring Rogers’ remarkable skill in addressing sensitive topics with his young audience. Among the other programs now available are: “Mister Rogers as a Boy,” “Caring for the Environment,” “Mad Feelings,” "Is Santa Claus Real?" and “Making Mistakes.”
“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” has earned four Daytime Emmys and the distinction of being the longest-running children’s TV show on public television. As a testament to the legacy of Rogers and the long-lasting appeal and importance of his ”Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” the series – now in its 43rd year of successive broadcast – continues to be seen by millions each weekend on PBS stations nationwide. Rogers received a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 1997 Daytime Emmys and was recognized in 2002 with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his contributions to children’s development and education using broadcast television.
The debut release of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” marks the first time that the show has been released in individual episode format. Spanning 1965 to 1990, the first wave includes 56 original shows representing the life of the remarkable, long-running series. Customers can select the programs with their favorite celebrities of the time – from Frank Sinatra, Bette Midler and The Jackson 5 to Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise and Muhammad Ali among many others – as they get reacquainted with unforgettable regular features such as Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent, animal handler Jim Fowler and loyal sidekick Ed McMahon.
With an average nightly audience of nearly 12 million viewers, Carson enjoyed an amazing run through
seven American presidents, from John F. Kennedy to George H.W. Bush, and eight Emmys. To this day, few entertainers have achieved the iconic status of Carson – and none have been more warmly adopted by American audiences.
Additional DVD and digital releases of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” are expected to be available at Amazon.com through CreateSpace in the coming months.
To learn more about the CreateSpace DVD on Demand technology, go to www.createspace.com.
About The Fred Rogers Company
Family Communications was founded by Fred Rogers in 1971 as the non-profit producer of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” for PBS. In the years that followed, the company not only created hundreds of episodes of this much-loved program, but also extended Fred’s values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional, and behavioral health and supporting parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals in their work with children. Now, we honor Fred by carrying on his work under our new name – The Fred Rogers Company. We’re proud to be building on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media, and engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. To learn more about Fred Rogers and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” visit www.fredrogers.org.
About Respond2 Entertainment
Respond2 Entertainment is the Entertainment Marketing arm of the R2C Group – headquartered in Portland, Oregon and one of the nation’s premier advertising and marketing agencies, with a client list including Chase, Proctor & Gamble, Electrolux, General Mills, Estee Lauder and a host of other prestigious clients. Respond2 Entertainment specializes in creating and marketing original filmed productions, existing television collections and other select programming via direct-to-consumer marketing outlets, as well as through traditional retail sales channels. Clients include the Carson Entertainment Group (Johnny Carson Ultimate DVD Collection), Paul Brownstein Productions (Sonny & Cher Ultimate Collection), Bob Hope Enterprises (Bob Hope Ultimate DVD Collection) and many others. www.r2cgroup.com www.respond2entertainment.com
CreateSpace is a leader in manufacture on-demand services for independent content creators, publishers, film studios and music labels. CreateSpace provides inventory-free, physical distribution of Books, CDs and DVDs on Demand, music downloads via Amazon MP3 and video downloads via Amazon Video On Demand. CreateSpace is a brand of On-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle, Kindle 3G and Kindle DX are the revolutionary portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper. Kindle 3G and Kindle DX utilize the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so users never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Kindle is the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon.
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