Why Hasn’t the Rest of CHiPs Been Released on DVD? Rumor Rundown

// February 20th, 2014 // CHiPs

Hi, Sue here!oie_transparent (9)

As the admin of this site and Larry’s Facebook fan page, I get asked a lot of questions, and the most frequently asked one is by far, “When will Seasons 3-6 be released on DVD?”

Sadly, there’s no clear answer to that. Warner Brothers has been silent on the subject except to say there are no “specific plans” to release the rest of the series on DVD. Why? Well that depends on who you talk to.  There have been quite a few rumors circulating but none have been confirmed:

Sales were below target. This is the most common reason why a series DVD release is left incomplete. Warner Brothers never released specific sales figures, but if the amount of fans clamoring for Season 3 any beyond is any indication, sales were far from poor.

Catastrophic glitch. The story here is that a WB sound tech was transferring the audio tracks for Seasons 3-6 from the CHiPs masters to digital and accidentally erased them instead. This doesn’t seem very plausible.

California demands payment. If this rumor is to be believed, the state of California, being well..dead broke, and seeing how popular Seasons 1-2 were, decided Warner Brothers needed to pay a licensing fee for the rights to sell anything featuring the CHP and its logos. Warner Brothers said no way, and CHiPs went back into the vault. This seems very doubtful as it doesn’t appear either Emergency! or Adam-12 were asked for any such fees. Both series have been released in their entirety.

Economic decision. According to this rumor, when the economy crashed in 2008, Warner Brothers decided to stop releasing their classic shows on DVD and concentrate their resources on their current shows. Since WB has released a lot of older content in the past few years, it’s doubtful this rumor holds any water.

Roller Disco nightmare. This rumor could very well have some legitimacy. The third season includes the 2 hour special, Roller Disco, which includes dozens of celebrity guest stars and some musical performances. The record company that owns the music demands licensing fees for its use, and all those guest stars (and for some, their estates) expect a piece of the pie as well. The expenses involved were just too steep for Warner Brothers. There’s also some speculation that since Seasons 3 and onward were scored by the great Alan Silvestri, that there may be licensing issues there too.

This is a very real problem with classic TV shows. “Miami Vice” had to change a good chunk of it’s music before it could be released, and “Life Goes On”, which uses a Beatles song as its theme, also ran into issues. This problem is why we will likely never see any of the classic variety shows on DVD. Every performer in them demands a piece of the pie and its just too expensive. Donny Osmond ran into this when he attempted to release “Donny & Marie” a few years back. The result was that Season 1 turned into “The Best Of” and consisted of a mere 45 minutes or so of footage, since he wasn’t allowed to use 90% of it because of the licensing issue. It’s a sad thing.

Well there you have it. Lots of rumors, none substantiated. I know its frustrating not to have answers, but unfortunately there isn’t much we can do. I know there are many sites out there offering the complete series on DVD, and I know it’s tempting, but please don’t buy from them.

Those sites are breaking the law, and ripping people off at the same time. The sets are very poor quality-usually episodes copied from old videotapes-and the DVDs are as well. I’ve heard stories about discs being corrupted, blank and duplicated. The episodes are almost always recorded off TNT, TBS or Bravo UK. Selling them is illegal, and the funds made from the sales often go to finance some ugly things including terrorism. Furthermore, the sets are often put together in sweatshop like conditions. As hard as it may be, just avoid them.

Downloading episodes from torrent sites and the like may be tempting too, but again, it’s illegal and can be very unsafe. Scammers load these sites with fake files that look like legit episodes and songs but are actually malware. Not worth the risk.

The best thing to do is to go to Warner Brothers’ website and let them know you want CHiPs! Let them know how you feel. The more fans do this, the better chance we have at being heard.

I hope this helps answer this question I get asked easily 40-50 times a day, and sorry I don’t have better news!

~Sue

13 Responses to “Why Hasn’t the Rest of CHiPs Been Released on DVD? Rumor Rundown”

  1. Shawnette says:

    Thanks for the info! I have to admit, I have been tempted to buy the complete set, but in the end decided to wait for them to be released. Time to start sending emails to Warner Bros!

  2. Nathalie says:

    so sad….

  3. Jessica says:

    I don’t know how Netflix works… would the same hold-ups also apply to releasing those shows on a site like Netflix? Just thinking out loud here… :)

  4. Paul says:

    It’s most likely a combination of all of the above. Music licensing is definitely a HUGE culprit in shows – that’s why we haven’t seen Wonder Years and WKRP in Cincinnati have much released (they went so far as to change almost all of the music in WKRP which essentially ruined the episodes).

    But with CHiPs, I’d bet low sales were the biggest issue. They could easily release the 3rd season without the Roller Disco episode.

    What I don’t understand is with shows that have low sales and no music licensing issues, why not just release them on iTunes/Amazon/Google Play? There is no cost of duplication and there is no cost of physical media or packaging (other than the space on a server hard drive). Die hard fans would pay a premium to be able to get them.

  5. Paul says:

    @Jessica – Netflix pays a licensing fee for a certain amount of time, be it a year or whatever. The cost of licensing music and appearances would be tied into that cost for Netflix. My guess is that WB isn’t making it available to Netflix. Since it’s a TV show, Hulu Plus would probably be a better venue for it. Netflix is better for movies, Hulu Plus for old TV shows.

  6. Sam says:

    Silvestri scored several episodes in season 2 so that probably isn’t the issue.

  7. Robert Rhyndress says:

    yes i have chips season 1and 2 and i would very very much like to have the rest of the show i have been why ting for years for it and for the FALL GUY i have the first season of that but i would like the last 4 seasons thank you

  8. Troy Mcdonald says:

    I loved this show, Jon and Poncherello and the rest of the gang are great. One of the most positive shows ever made.

  9. Robert Rhyndress says:

    thank you for your response but if it’s just a matter of money they wont or rights they should get over them self and put it out because if they put it out at a fare price they can be sure it will sell in face i read some plays that shortly after CHIPS came out there was a very very big jump in people joining the C.H.P. Academy because they liked CHIPS that much and just maybe to honor all the men and women that are police and put there life on the line every day to keep use all safe they should get over this rights and money thing and say thank you to them by putting it out well thank you for the info talk with you later

  10. TONY MONTOYA says:

    i would love to have the rest of the series i grew up on this tv and inspired me to be a police officer.

  11. Donna says:

    This information is so disappointing! I not only work civil service for the CHP, but I have two grandsons who want to be officers one day. They watch CHiPs EVERY DAY and have been begging me to get more seasons! I will definitely be making a squawk at Warner Brothers!

    • Robert Rhyndress says:

      just wonted to say thank you Sue for keeping me up to date on chips i have been hoping for years that they would put out the last 4 seasons of the fall guy but last i red was something about one guy had the money for that and the other guy had the rights and they were fighting over that and nether of them wonted to give in but i can tell you if they ever get there act together and put out the fall guy and chips on dvd so long as the price is not to high i can say there well most likely be a very lot of fans buying that show and i well be one of them for sure so like i said sue thank you very much for keeping me up to date on that stuff

  12. Steve says:

    I have just two words to say about this whole situation- HORSE HOCKEY!!

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