A CLASSIC UNCORKED - FINALLY!
Beginning with latest information, oldest status information at the bottom.
Jan 28, 2015:
In their "Rhythms, Wonders & Rarities" podcast of Jan 13, 2015, the WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION replied to DFCF President THOMAS J. PUCHER's inquire about the season 4 release. Here is a transcript:
GEORGE FELTENSTEIN (Senior Vice President Theatrical Catalog Marketing):
"We are planning on season 4 of 'Falcon Crest'. The delay is the remastering, which is very complicated for a series like this and very, very expensive. But we are hoping that this is the year that we bring season 4 forward... We can't make any promises, and we can't give any dates, but we can tell you that it is high on our list of priorities, and these things take time. But the results, as you can see from the high quality of season 3 compared to the bad quality of season 2... These series episodes hadn't been remastered — or master editions I should say — since the 1980's. And some people might say 'Oh, I just want the episodes. We don't care about the quality.' Well, sorry, most people don't agree with that philosophy, and they want good quality. We want to deliver them a quality product, and that takes time and money, and we'll be dedicating our efforts to bring you season 4 as soon as we can."
MATT PATTERSON (Associate Manager):
"And I think longtime fans will especially appreciate the increased quality because there is no way for them to have ever seen it at this quality level before."
Aug 11, 2014:
The season 4 DVD release looks promising. It will not be on the market earlier than in 2015 though.
Sept 13, 2013:
Today, amazon.de delivered the first units of season 3. The first 1,500 orders are pressed discs.
Sept 10, 2013:
Delivery announcement from amazon.de
Today, amazon.de sent us a note that they are planning to begin delivery of season 3 in approximately two weeks.
Aug 30, 2013:
Apologies from amazon.de
In the last few days, we have been sending severe complaints to the customer service and management of amazon.de about their canceling orders (see entry dated Aug 28, 2013) and their failure to inform the customers properly.
Today, amazon.de began apologizing for the chaos they created with this release to all the customers concerned, who had complained to their customer service. In the same e-mail, a voucher in the amount of € 5.00 was sent to the customers concerned.
Some other customers notified us that amazon.de also offered to refund the balance between the new price for the two boxes and the original sales price for the complete season in case a customer now orders the split set. The money will be refunded after delivery of the new order if another complaint is filed with the customer service.
Although we still strongly disapprove of how poorly and negligently the release was handled by amazon.de, we do appreciate that they finally started to realize the chaos they created. We do hope the release will be purchased by as many people as possible though. Unfortunately, we did not receive any further information from amazon.de if parts of the release will be pressed or if they are all made to order (burnt discs).
Aug 28, 2013:
Further problems at amazon.de
Today, it was revealed that amazon.de has ex parte canceled all orders of season 3 (delivery of the two boxes as one item), which were placed before July 27, 2013. From our understanding, this is against German civil law.
In order to avoid any misunderstandings:
Season 3 is still available on amazon.de as two separate DVD boxes: part 1 (# 041 <3.01> - # 056 <3.16>) and part 2 (# 057 <3.17> - # 068 <3.28>).
Obviously, amazon.de is of the opinion that the ongoing supply of the DVDs in two separate boxes is an item different from the two separate boxes bundled in one box set.
According to our interpretation of the prevailing legal provisions, this is incorrect. Although the fan club does not intend to give legal advice, we are of the opinion that at the latest with the unconditional order confirmation of amazon.de, a legally valid purchase agreement has been concluded, which cannot be canceled ex parte by amazon.de, due to the fact that the item is, of course, available. For the evaluation, whether the sale item is still the same, it is not decisive whether amazon.de sells the boxes together in one box set or separately with different item numbers; it still is the same release. The announcement in the order confirmation that the date of supply is still not determined does not qualify as a condition in a legal sense in our view, but more as a remark that the delivery date is still to be scheduled.
Despite the legal situation, the customer "service" attitude of amazon.de is more than brash bearing and almost makes a mockery of the customers.
We, therefore, strongly advise that everybody concerned file complaints via the contact forms on the amazon.de website about their defaulting behavior and fight their attempts to cancel the purchase agreements.
We contacted amazon.de in order to solve the problem and to make them annul the cancelations and supply the ordered items as initially offered.
Unfortunately, we were put off with some incompetent standard messages, without explaining any reasons for the current procedure. Even the licensor, WARNER HOME VIDEO, was completely surprised by the actions of amazon.de, as we were informed in a telephone conversation with WARNER BROS. It is not even clear whether amazon.de will press the 1,500 DVDs, as announced meanwhile, or whether all discs will be burnt as MODs, as originally planned. WARNER HOME VIDEO tries to solve this issue.
We are sorry not to be able to publish any more details about the issues with amazon.de at this moment. We will publish more news as soon as possible.
Aug 27, 2013:
Season 3 as pressed discs!
Good news for all those who have been waiting patiently for the amazon.de - the first 1,500 orders will receive pressed discs (instead of burnt ones, as originally planned).
The current delay in delivering season 3 is caused by the fact that amazon.de underestimated the number of pre-orders. According to WARNER HOME VIDEO Germany, amazon.de will now deliver regularly pressed discs to the 1,500 customers, who first ordered in pre-sale. We strongly advise these customers to remain patient and not to cancel their order. All later orders will receive discs that are manufactured on demand from amazon.de, as originally planned for this release.
In response to the many questions, we have received about season 3 and the reasons for its release as an MOD edition, we would like to explain the background of the production:
Unfortunately, the sales of season 2 in Germany were not enough to cover the production cost in the relevant evaluation period. Therefore, WARNER BROS. originally decided to have season 3 released as a made-to-order set with burnt discs, not pressed discs. For the German speaking market, production and sale of season 3 was exclusively licensed to amazon.de, which currently offers it in two parts (part 1: # 041 <3.01> - # 056 <3.16>; part 2: # 057 <3.17> - # 068 <3.28>).
After pre-sale started unexpectedly strong when the release was announced, amazon.de and WARNER HOME VIDEO changed their plans and decided to start with 1,500 pressed disc sets to accomodate the early orders. Later orders will receive the MOD edition. This kind of release will be the only way to get the product in the long run because the MOD edition allows to cut down production cost so the release will break even with the lower number of sales that is expected based on previous sale evaluations.
Despite the strong demand for season 3 right after the announcement of the release, the break-even point has not been reached yet. However, the German market is on a very good way to break even soon. Sales above the break-even point are the only way to make sure WARNER HOME VIDEO will release season 4.
In contrast to what some fans may believe, the way how the release of "Falcon Crest" has been handled is not caused by "stubbornness" of WARNER BROS., but merely by the low sales in the past. We recommended pressed discs for this release for a long time and advertised the product strongly, but low sales are a fact that we were not able to discuss away in our efforts to convince the production company.
The consumer behavior changed over the last few years. Unfortunately, new DVD releases of older titles oftentimes only sell pretty slowly; it has become a common phenomenon, for example, that many consumers wait for a very long time until they start buying the first box set as they want to see first if all seasons of a series are released. This causes a vicious circle because it leads to a lack of enough early sales, which are the basis for the studios' evaluation and cost projections. Due to this change in consumer behavior, many studios started to prefer MOD editions over pressed discs. In the U.S., this is a lot more common nowadays than in Germany, particularly with older TV Series or movies. If consumer behavior continues to be like that, discs will disappear from the market in the long run, leaving us with movies and TV series only available as streaming media or downloads, usually without picture remastering and as syndicated (edited) versions, and oftentimes with viewing limited to a number of a few runs. This development has been caused by the many consumers who keep pressing for the lowest prices. From a psychological standpoint, some people obviously prefer downloading an episode now and then for a low price rather than investing a little more money in the purchase of a DVD box set although the price per episode is hardly higher in a box set (which, by the way, also comes in a case with full artwork).
Therefore, we recommend buying season 3 on DVD to make sure future seasons will be released. We already have the U.S. equivalent and wrote a complete editorial review. With the best picture quality ever, it is worth buying. From what we know, by amazon.de will start delivery of the pre-ordered season 3 sets soon.
July 27, 2013:
Now, amazon.de resumed the pre-sale of season 3. The two cases (part 1: # 040 <3.01> - 056 <3.16>; part 2: # 057 <3.17> - 068 <3.28>) are now offered separately though; the total, however, is approximately in the same range as the combined offer in the first pre-sale round.
July 19, 2013:
Production capacities at amazon.de are not enough right now to produce all season 3 sets that were ordered. Amazon Germany is working hard to deliver the season 3 box sets as soon as possible; estimates are that delivery of the sets that have already been ordered will occur in the second half of August 2013.
As the demand is so strong at the moment, season 3 was removed from Amazon Germany's offer, but will be offered again in a few weeks - for approximately the same price as in the original offer. Please note that WHV Germany's only official distribution is through amazon.de directly.
Please order your season 3 set as soon as the offer is available on amazon.de again. WARNER BROS. is happy with the successful beginning of the sales, but WHV Germany is still a good number away from the necessary sales to break even. Reaching the break even point is essential to lay the groundwork for getting season 4 released.
July 10, 2013:
Germany: season 3 official release (remastered picture; 2 box sets). The DVDs are available through amazon.de only.
Please also refer to our press statement (07/10/2013) [*.pdf].
June 26, 2013:
WARNER HOME VIDEO Germany originally planned to release season 3 at the end of June 2013. Due to a logistics problem in the distribution company, however, it is impossible to accomodate this date. The problem is expected to be solved by the end of July 2013.
As in the USA, the season 3 set will consist of two packages. As soon as the release date is finally scheduled, it will be published here.
May 17, 2013:
USA: season 3 official release (remastered picture; 2 box sets).
Release details will be presented shortly.
May 13, 2013:
The FSK (German motion picture rating system organization) issued the age rating certificate for the German season 3 DVD release to WARNER HOME VIDEO Germany with a rating of 12 years on 04/22/2013.
The DVD release date will be announced shortly.
April 18, 2013:
Season 3 will be released both in the USA and in Germany in 2013. There are still some technical issues to be resolved. No definite release date has been scheduled yet, but WHV is aiming for a release early this summer. As soon as more details are available, we will publish them here.
February 22, 2013:
The picture remastering of season 3 is near completion according to the WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION. The box set will be released as an MOD edition in the USA in 2013. An exact release date will be scheduled in the near future.
For other regions, no update can be given at this time. However, we do expect to hear details from WARNER BROS. Entertainment (Germany) in the next few weeks and will keep you posted here.
July 23, 2012:
The WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION asks for some more patience concerning the season 3 release date. The season will definitely be released as an MOD edition in the USA. Due to the extensive picture remastering, an exact release date cannot be given at this time.
In the meantime, however, WARNER BROS. offers many season 3 episodes on Amazon Instant Video in their original U.S. version. These videos are not remastered and can be downloaded only by people using a U.S. IP address and with a U.S. residence and credit card.
With WARNER HOME VIDEO's current product policy for older shows and due to unsatisfactory sales of seasons 1 and 2 in total, a season 3 box release with regularly pressed discs has become rather unlikely on the German speaking market unfortunately. However, according to WHV Marketing Director KAI UWE MARNER (06/25/2012), season 3 is likely to be released as an MOD edition (manufactured on demand - burnt discs); this seems also possible for later seasons. In a conversation with DFCF President THOMAS J. PUCHER, the Marketing Director said that, compared to an MOD edition in the USA, which includes the original audio only, an MOD edition in the German speaking market is much more difficult from a technical point of view as the current MOD versions are only compatible with the DVD-5 format, which is not suitable for a second audio layer and, hence, would only allow for the German audio to be put on. The release will make sense only as soon as an MOD edition compatible with the DVD-9 format can be produced.
This means for the German speaking market:
- Season 3 will not be released before it is released in the USA.
The DFCF welcomes this decision in the interest of remastered picture quality, which the German speaking market will profit from also.
- Waiting for the technical improvements to create a DVD-9 compatible MOD edition will enable the MOD edition to be fully equipped with both German and English audio layers.
The DFCF informed WHV that, in the interest of choosing between the German dubbing and the original English audio, further delays are not welcome, but acceptable. The DFCF emphasized the importance of both audio layers for the markets in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
- The MOD release will result in a higher price per box compared to "usual" retail sales since each DVD box will be individually manufactured for a very limited target group.
March 26, 2012:
The WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION informed DFCF Editorial Assistant TOM TAGLIENTE about the current remastering process of season 3:
"[...] The process involved in preparing this series for release is far more complex than most, and therefore requires more time than we would have hoped. LORIMAR did not make any protection elements on most episodes, hence our colleagues have to go back to the original negatives of every episode as they are all being preserved and restored. It is unlikely that there will be any 'news' for quite some time until this work is completed [...] and we think the improvement in quality is worth waiting for. This is a case where no news is good news. We thank you for your patience and support."
"Falcon Crest DVD Release Campaign" on Facebook:
Click the "Like" button on the Facebook page to help convince WARNER BROS. to speed up the release of the remaining seasons (3 through 9).
The campaign was started by TOM TAGLIENTE in the USA and is supported by DFCF President THOMAS J. PUCHER on behalf of www.falconcrest.org.
In addition to the Facebook campaign, you may send an e-mail to the DFCF at email@example.com. Please specify if you are interested in the release of a particular year or all remaining seasons and let us know if your name and e-mail address may be passed on to WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT for the purpose of proving the high demand for future DVD releases.
Nov 7, 2011:
According to the WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION, the delay in the season 3 DVD release is caused by the current remastering process. Season 3 will be the first release with remastered picture quality.
Oct 10, 2011:
According to WARNER BROS. Entertainment (Germany), contrary to previous expectations, the Burbank headquarters did not schedule the season 3 DVDs for the German speaking markets for 2012 - despite the German division's interest in the release.
In a conversation with DFCF President THOMAS J. PUCHER, WHV Marketing Director KAI UWE MARNER regretted this development; the reasons given by the Burbank headquarters are more important other projects and limited production capacity for older shows. It was discussed if this means the discontinuation of the release. WARNER HOME VIDEO, however, stated that this is not the case. The DVD release of "Falcon Crest" is still on the agenda. Contrary to other old shows, whose DVD release was completely abolished due to weak sales (e.g. "Knots Landing"), "Falcon Crest" has not been removed from WARNER HOME VIDEO's range of products.
An early 2013 release is now aimed for.
Aug 1, 2011:
According to the WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION, the MOD box set release of season 3 in the USA is scheduled for spring 2012.
March 25, 2011:
SOUL MEDIA postpones the season 3 release in Denmark, Norway and Sweden for the time being because the current market statistics do not offer a reliable prognosis for sufficient sales. According to the management, this does not mean a definite stop of the DVD release; just no definite release has been scheduled yet.
According to KAI UWE MARNER, Marketing Director Non-Theatrical & Catalogue of WARNER BROS. Entertainment (Germany), chances are good for a 2012 release of the season 3 box set in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A specific release date will not be announced earlier than in the second half of 2011 though.
The WARNER BROS. headquarters in Burbank, CA suggested that all fans, who are interested in the continuation of the DVD release, leave an entry on the WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION's Facebook website: www.facebook.com/warnerarchive
Dec 4, 2010:
SOUL MEDIA postpones the season 3 release in Denmark, Norway and Sweden to the second half of 2011. The exact release date will be scheduled not until the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Nov 12, 2010:
Germany, Austria and Switzerland: season 2 official release (box set).
WARNER BROS. (Spain) decided not to release future seasons in Spain at this time because of the weak sales of the season 2 DVD box set. The decision is not final and might be changed if the sales for season 2 in Spain increase significantly.
Nov 1, 2010:
The season 2 release in the Germany, Austria and Switzerland was postponed to Nov 19, 2010.
Oct 5, 2010:
WARNER BROS. (Spain) abolishes its previous plans for a kiosk edition.
Sept 21, 2010:
USA: season 2 official release (MOD box set).
Sept 9, 2010:
The season 2 MOD release in the USA was postponed to Sept 21, 2010.
Sept 7, 2010:
The season 2 MOD release in the USA was postponed to Sept 14, 2010.
Aug 31, 2010:
The season 2 MOD release in the USA was postponed to Sept 7, 2010. It will not be available in Canada.
Aug 26, 2010:
Australia: season 1 official release (box set).
Aug 24, 2010:
WARNER BROS. will release season 2 as an MOD edition in region 1 (USA and Canada) beginning Aug 31, 2010. It will be available exclusively through the Warner Bros. Online Store as discs on demand. MOD means that these DVDs are burnt (manufactured on demand), not pressed.
The packaging might differ from the European editions.
July 19, 2010:
SOUL MEDIA postpones the season 3 release in Denmark, Norway and Sweden to the first quarter of 2011.
They meanwhile purchased the rights to release all seasons in the Nordic countries.
June 7, 2010:
The season 2 release in Germany, Austria and Switzerland is now scheduled for Nov 12, 2010 according to KAI UWE MARNER, Marketing Director Non-Theatrical & Catalogue of WARNER BROS. Entertainment (Germany). Rescheduling was necessary due to a delay in getting access to the German audio.
April 20, 2010:
USA and Canada: season 1 official release (box set).
SOUL MEDIA intends to release season 3 in the Nordic countries in the last quarter of 2010.
April 7, 2010:
Sweden: season 2 official release (box set).
Feb 22, 2010:
The season 2 release in Germany, Austria and Switzerland is now scheduled for August 2010 according to SALLY LINDENBLATT, Product Manager TV Products of WARNER BROS. Entertainment (Germany).
In Spain, PLANETA DeAGOSTINI will release a kiosk collection under license from WARNER HOME VIDEO (besides the seasonal box sets). It will be distributed exclusively in kiosks in Spain. Each amaray contains four episodes. The exact date for the beginning of the weekly release will be announced soon.
Artwork improvements for season 1 DVDs in region 1:
For details, see the press release (02/22/2010) [*.pdf].
Jan 26, 2010:
Denmark and Norway: season 2 official DVD release (box sets).
www.falconcrest.org intensifies cooperation with WARNER HOME VIDEO, particularly for the improvement of the season 1 DVD box set for the release in region 1:
For details, see the press release (01/26/2010) [*.pdf].
Jan 19, 2010:
SOUL MEDIA informs the DFCF that the Swedish release of season 2 will be delayed due to the change of distribution companies in the Swedish market; the release is now scheduled for April 7, 2010.
The releases in Denmark and Norway will take place as scheduled: Jan 26, 2010.
Dec 17, 2009:
The season 1 official release in the USA and Canada is announced for April 20, 2010.
Oct 20, 2009:
Spain: season 2 official release (box set).
Oct 15, 2009:
SOUL MEDIA informs the DFCF the Nordic release of season 2 is finally scheduled for Jan 26, 2010 now.
Oct 5, 2009:
According to DIANA BEILER from WARNER BROS. Entertainment, a definite date for the season 2 release in Germany, Austria and Switzerland has not been scheduled yet because the availability of the German audio still has to be cleared.
Sept 14, 2009:
SOUL MEDIA informs the DFCF the Nordic release of season 2 was rescheduled to the first quarter of 2010 because there has been a delay in WARNER BROS.' providing the masters.
Aug 26, 2009:
Contrary to previous information, no release date for season 1 for the markets in the U.K. and Ireland has been set according to WARNER BROS. (U.K.).
Aug 19, 2009:
SOUL MEDIA informs the DFCF the Nordic release of season 2 was scheduled for Oct 19, 2009.
Aug 17, 2009:
WARNER BROS. (Spain) informs the DFCF season 2 will be released in Spain Oct 20, 2009.
SOUL MEDIA intends to release season 2 in the Nordic countries towards the end of October 2009.
June 18, 2009:
In an e-mail, SOUL MEDIA, the Scandinavian distributor for "Falcon Crest", informs DFCF President THOMAS J. PUCHER about the latest news:
Season 2 will be released in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in October 2009.
According to DIANA BEILER from WARNER BROS. Entertainment, the season 2 release in Germany, Austria and Switzerland is loosely scheduled for 2010.
May 8, 2009:
Germany, Austria and Switzerland: season 1 official release (box set).
April 24, 2009:
Denmark and Norway: season 1 official release (box sets).
April 22, 2009:
Sweden: season 1 official release (box set).
April 21, 2009:
Spain: season 1 official release (box set).
March 18, 2009:
The season 1 release for Spain was scheduled for April 21, 2009.
March 17, 2009:
The season 1 release for Sweden was scheduled for April 23, 2009.
Feb 23, 2009, 02:10 PM (CET):
In a phone conversation, DIANA BEILER informs DFCF President THOMAS J. PUCHER about the latest news:
For technical reasons, the season 1 release in Germany had to be rescheduled; it will be released finally on May 8, 2009.
Jan 26, 2009, 10:20 AM (CET):
In a phone conversation, DIANA BEILER informs DFCF President THOMAS J. PUCHER about the latest news:
Due to the overwhelming success of "Falcon Crest" particularly in Europe, the DVD release of season 1 will take place in region 2 only at this time, beginning in Germany on April 3. The next release will take place in Spain shortly after that. The release in the United Kingdom is roughly scheduled later in 2009; WARNER BROS. (U.K.) has not decided on the exact release date for their domestic market yet.
WARNER BROS. has not made a final decision yet if and when there will be a region 1 (USA & territories, Canada, Bermuda) release.
There are plans to release the following seasons on DVD also. The final decision, however, depends on the sales figures per quarter of the year, which each foreign WARNER BROS. branch has to report to the studio headquarters in Burbank, CA / USA. So it is highly important that as many fans as possible buy the season 1 DVDs as soon as possible to secure a release of the later seasons.
Current status of the technical details.
Jan 16, 2009, 08:54 AM (CET):
DIANA BEILER, Marketing Manager TV Products of WARNER BROS. Entertainment, Hamburg / Germany, informs the DFCF Board of Directors in an e-mail that season 1 will be released on DVD towards the end of April 2009. No bonus material will be included.