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Mark







PostPosted: December 23, 2003 10:17 AM 

As published by the New York Times:

Three Stars of 'Seinfeld' Boycott a DVD Deal
By SHARON WAXMAN

Published: December 23, 2003

OS ANGELES, Dec. 22 Three of the four leading cast members of the hit television comedy "Seinfeld" are declining to participate in the making of a DVD series of the show because they are unhappy with the related financial deals they have had over the years, people close to the actors and the show said on Monday.

These people said that the three actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine; Michael Richards, who played Kramer; and Jason Alexander, who played George made the joint decision not to give on-camera interviews for the DVD or otherwise participate in it.

Executives at Castle Rock Television, which produced the show for NBC, and Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, which will distribute the DVD, "were only willing to give a small recording fee to the three of them and not a piece of the action," said a representative for one of the actors, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "So they all said, `Why should we make other people richer?' "

Spokesmen for the three actors said they could not be reached for comment on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Jerry Seinfeld said he was disappointed that his three co-stars had decided to sit out the making of the DVD, which will feature extensive interviews with other cast members, writers and producers of the show.

"Jerry has enormous respect for Jason, Julia and Michael, and he had a great experience working with them on the show," said the spokeswoman, Elizabeth Clark. "He hopes they will participate in the DVD." Ms. Clark said Mr. Seinfeld hoped to talk to them after the New Year and persuade them to change their minds.

"Seinfeld," which ran from 1990 to 1998, remains one of the most successful comedy shows in television history and still plays in syndication across much of the country. The DVD of the show would seem destined to sell millions of copies.

The show continues to generate millions of dollars in revenue for its co-creators and executive producers, Mr. Seinfeld and Larry David, though the last original episode was broadcast five years ago. Mr. David did not return calls seeking comment.

The three boycotting actors earn residual payments from the show's reruns, a fee determined by the Screen Actors Guild. A representative for one of the actors estimated the fee at $100,000 a year.

Discontent over the sharing of the "Seinfeld" riches has arisen with Mr. Seinfeld's three co-stars before. In the last few years of the show the actors had sought to become part owners of the show, like Mr. Seinfeld.

They famously sought $1 million an episode for the last year of the show, 1998, in part because they said they thought they had been underpaid for many seasons. They ended up with about $600,000 a show, then a whopping sum for television.

A complicating factor is that "Seinfeld" is now owned by a handful of corporate entities. After the original "Seinfeld" deal was negotiated, Castle Rock Television was bought by Turner Broadcasting, which was bought by Time Warner. This means that Time Warner, Columbia TriStar Television, Castle Rock, Mr. Seinfeld and Mr. David will all take profits from the DVD.

Without the participation of three of the main cast members, the DVD will be significantly less interesting, executives close to the project acknowledged.

"It's never been just about the episodes; it's really about the value added," said Fritz Friedman, a senior vice president at Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. "That's what takes so much time. That's why so much is up in the air the concept, the taping, the schedules of people involved. Fans complain if we release bare-bones product. On something like `Seinfeld,' people won't be happy if we just put the episodes on there."

Castle Rock is working on the DVD of the first "Seinfeld" season, aiming to release it in December 2004. Plans call for the eventual release of all nine seasons.

Though taped in Hollywood, "Seinfeld," set in Manhattan, was a quintessentially New York show that contributed a succession of signature phrases and oddball story lines to American popular culture. Everything from Kramer's manic body language to "Yada, yada, yada" to "master of your domain" became fodder for water cooler chat.

Others participating in the making of the DVD expressed disappointment that resentment over money had become a legacy of the show.

Peter Mehlman, a former "Seinfeld" writer, said: "There are so few people who get that chance to be on a show that has that kind of impact. They were so brilliant. We had so much fun while we were doing it. It's kind of sad that they have bad feelings about it."

Stan The Caddy
Pigman

Posts: 428

Reply: 1



PostPosted: December 23, 2003 12:11 PM 

CNN has picked up this story now...

BP
Low-Talker

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Reply: 2



PostPosted: December 23, 2003 8:51 PM 

it is kind of sad that the 3 of the main characters arent on good terms anymore and its also crappy that they wont have interviews ... but at least now we know for sure that they are coming out with the DVD eventually and we even have a date (dec 2004) i dont know bout anyone else but im excited and cant wait for this next year to pass with or without on camera interviews by elaine george and kramer

bOB sAkaMANo
Low-Talker

Posts: 2

Reply: 3



PostPosted: December 23, 2003 11:37 PM 

Folks... like the last person said... its just nice to know that a dvd will be released. As for big shot exec Fristz Freidman he can jump in a lake. With comments like this... "It's never been just about the episodes; it's really about the value added," and... "On something like `Seinfeld,' people won't be happy if we just put the episodes on there." its plainly obvious he is not a Seinfeld lover and probably religiously watches American Idol or some other form of sappy nonsense. So rejoice... for the full length dvd will be here soon... hopefully. Oh yes in the meantime... you Seinfeld lovers should check out Larry David's Curb your Enthusiasm on HBO... its pretty amazing... and is very similar to Seinfeld.. but only darker humor... Im sure you know that Seinfeld was Larry Davids brainchild... so peace and keep laughing.

Anonymous
Bob Sakamano

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Reply: 4



PostPosted: December 24, 2003 12:50 AM 

its preety crappy that they wont do any interveiews. But does anyone know if there are any old interviews about the series from jason, julia and Micheal that they could dig up for the dvd?

quicksilv3r
Low-Talker

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PostPosted: December 24, 2003 11:25 AM 

Sad i still want the dvds set, idont have a dvd burner or dvdr here soo... Sad
man i cant believe this... Dam Elaine, Kramer and !@#$%^ George

Adam
Low-Talker

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PostPosted: December 27, 2003 10:20 AM 

whay cant they just get over them selves and all do the commentary together. They should just do that cause im a huge fan of Seinfeld and have been for 10 yrs now and even have the bootleg version of the seinfeld dvd seris and thats ok but with ne commentary those fukers just need to get it and do it

ANHEDONIC
Bob Sakamano

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Reply: 7



PostPosted: December 28, 2003 9:25 PM 

actually i was just reading an article that Michael Richards agreed to do the DVD

Rick Java
Bob Sakamano

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Reply: 8



PostPosted: December 30, 2003 12:03 PM 

The 3 should get paid for the DVD.

Anonymous
Bob Sakamano

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Reply: 9



PostPosted: December 31, 2003 5:25 PM 

I wish they'd just go ahead and contribute. Michael Richards has already agreed, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus doesn't need the money, she's an heiress for godsakes. If I were them, I'd just accept that an actor will never make as much $ as someone who created, wrote for, produced, and acted in a sitcom. Rolling Eyes

John
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PostPosted: January 3, 2004 4:54 AM 

Why shouldn't all of the actors get a piece of the action. Without them it would just be Seinfeld standup! I'd love to see it on DVD but stick to your guns guys!

4star
Low-Talker

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PostPosted: January 4, 2004 2:28 AM 

Interviews would be nice, but not necessary. I would much rather see outtakes from all of the episodes than interviews. Just bring it on!

Art Vandalay
Low-Talker

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PostPosted: January 4, 2004 9:00 PM 

Agreed... I love seinfeld for what it is... and therefore would enjoy a DVD consisting of just that. Unfortunatley that Exec was right... that people want some frilly nonsense more then the show itself. Im with 4 star on this one. Ill just be happy to have the show seinfeld on DVD in which I can pick and choose which episodes I watch. Could honestly care less whether they have interviews... it would be nice however unlike most of you folks... I think it is not a necessity... the show Seinfeld is what I like... and that is what I am looking for.
-Art Vandalay

Bob Sacamento
Low-Talker

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PostPosted: January 5, 2004 4:12 PM 

I've been thinking about getting a bootleg complete (180 episode) dvd of seinfeld. Obviously, I'd rather get an official dvd, but I'm worried that after waiting one year only the first season will be on dvd and not the entire series. Will the entire series be out on dvd in about one year, or just the first season or so? Thanks for your thoughts

Stan The Caddy
Pigman

Posts: 428

Reply: 14



PostPosted: January 5, 2004 4:28 PM 

Bob, I think the answer is somewhere in between. The first season had only 4 episodes - that's not enough by itself. Perhaps we will see seasons 1 & 2 on the first DVD release in 2004.

I highly doubt that they will release everything at the same time - they will be able to charge more for the entire set if they release them bit by bit. After they are done, of course, you will see the "special edition boxed set" release, and all of us obsessed Seinfeld fans will run out and buy that too! Wink

thibaud
Low-Talker

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Reply: 15



PostPosted: January 17, 2004 11:02 AM 

It sucks, if they don't wanna do interviews for the dvd, than don't. I'd love to have the dvd sets with or without them. I'd would be just as good to hear from Wayne Knight and Jerry Stiller and others. It's not always about the money people, if you don't wanna do it for the exec's do it for the fans!

Denium Vest
Cockeyed Optimist

Posts: 551

Reply: 16



PostPosted: January 25, 2004 2:12 PM 

I would love to see this come to reality with Seinfeld on DVD. Who ever owns the show should have the decision to do so. So what if the other 3 aren't in co-hoots. Maybe Larry & Jerry ought to give up a little of their share for them. But then some may say what about Newman or some of the other lesser characters. All about the Benjamins.

Nathan
Low-Talker

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Reply: 17



PostPosted: January 26, 2004 3:11 AM 

I think Julia (Elaine) and Jason (George) are in the wrong. The show made them millionaires!! Made them successful!! And they are acting like spoiled, greedy, blood sucking brats....I am very disappointed in them.
I am proud of Michael Richards (Kramer) (who recently said he would participate in the DVD). He doesn't believe it would be "morally" right to not too...and he is right.

Chris
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PostPosted: February 2, 2004 1:40 PM 

I think the actors are totally in the right. I think after 9 seasons, they played an intergral part of making the show what it was.

I think the 4(not only Seinfeld) made the show halarious, the 4 equally. I dont think it should be an even split in profits, but I think the three deserve a nice slice of the pie.

I think the NETWORKS are in the wrong for not paying the three for thier time. The NETWORKS are money hungry not willing to pay 3/4 of the shows comedic force.

Chris
Low-Talker

Posts: 2

Reply: 19



PostPosted: February 2, 2004 1:41 PM 

I think the actors are totally in the right. I think after 9 seasons, they played an intergral part of making the show what it was.

I think the 4(not only Seinfeld) made the show halarious, the 4 equally. I dont think it should be an even split in profits, but I think the three deserve a nice slice of the pie.

I think the NETWORKS are in the wrong for not paying the three for thier time. The NETWORKS are money hungry not willing to pay 3/4 of the shows comedic force.

TuKo
Low-Talker

Posts: 1

Reply: 20



PostPosted: February 2, 2004 2:41 PM 

if they wouldn't all be so obsessed bout money maybe the could each get a neat and fair slice of the cake Sad

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