Can I get thirtysomething on DVD? Q&A

Yes! You CAN buy official, legal, quality DVDs of thirtysomething!

After many years of answering this question with "No" or "Those are illegal bootlegs," I can finally report that the real thing has arrived!

Details: Check out the official announcements:

Home page of Bob's thirtysomething site

Old Info:

Are the internet ads for thirtysomething DVDs legit?

As I type this (February 2007), you can't buy legal DVDs of thirtysomething. The ads you're seeing are for episodes taped from TV and dubbed onto DVD. One person who bought them emailed me and said the quality is poor, and I've seen similar remarks on web forums. I'm no lawyer, but it seems clear this is wildly illegal. I'm not posting links to any of the sellers.

When can I buy legal DVDs of thirtysomething?

The answer is "Probably eventually, but no one in the know is saying when."

Can you recommend a good source for learning when legal DVDs are coming?

I have found to be a reliable source on upcoming releases. When the release eventually is planned, it's likely to be announced on their news page.

Also, you'll find some thirtysomething DVD nods and hints given by staff in the forums at Capital Entertainment, which owns the rights to the show. Check it out for yourself.

Do you have any "insider" info about DVDs?

I was privy to one little bit of info that gives me hope. In late 2005 I was emailed by a guy at Image Treasury Inc., the Seattle company that was archiving the show. He had a question and I was able to help. Here's the full exchange:
Original email to me:
My company is working on restoring episodes of THIRTYSOMETHING and we need your help.
In what episode did Nancy announce to Hope, Melissa and Ellen that her book was going to be published? The scene takes place in a kitchen. I'm not referring to the episode "Guns and Roses" which has a flashback wherein this sequence appears.

My reply:
That would be Courting Nancy, season 2, ep 16.
About five minutes into the episode, she shakes hands on the deal, and the next scene is the one where she tells her friends about it (seen again later in the flashback in Guns and Roses).

I then asked exactly what "restore" means and pleaded for info about any planned DVD release.

The response:
Thirtysomething was shot on 35mm film but the negative was never conformed - it was edited and mastered to analog 1" video. It is not uncommon for TV shows to finish to video, but without finishing to film the owner does not have a renewable asset. The analog masters of yesterday may not be up to today's broadcast standards. What we do is called "archival negative cutting" and it's a pretty standard operation for companies that want to protect their assets. So we're conforming the negative to the original air masters for archival purposes. We are not aware of any plans for re-distribution and we do not do any sound work or video work - just the negative conforming.
Thanks for the tip about COURTING NANCY. We are working on GUNS AND ROSES right now and when we saw that flashback shot we started to worry about how many hours it was going to take us to find where it came from. You've saved us a lot of time!

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