‘Roseanne’ on DVD. . .finally

Anchor Bay pacts with Casey-Werner for release

TV’s domestic goddess is finally ready to make her DVD bow, with Anchor Bay Entertainment and Carsey-Werner pacting to release “Roseanne” on disc later this year.

Laffer, which ran for nine years and ranked in Nielsen’s top 10 for seven consecutive seasons, is one of the last big sitcoms of the 1980s not yet available on DVD — a list that includes “Family Ties” and early-decade faves “The Facts of Life,” “Alice” and “One Day at a Time.”

Meanwhile, the biggest title in the C-W library — “The Cosby Show” — is also still awaiting a DVD release. Studio is in talks with several distributors about a deal to put that show out on disc, but no decisions have been made.

Anchor Bay’s deal with C-W also calls for the distributor to release the studio’s hit 1990s sitcom “3rd Rock From the Sun” on disc. Both skeins are expected to be released during the third quarter of 2005, starting with a tentative July 26 release date for “3rd Rock.”

Releases continue C-W’s push into the DVD market. Indie studio pacted with 20th Century Fox TV last year to release “That ’70s Show” and “God, the Devil and Bob.”

C-W co-prexy/co-chief operating officer Robert Dubelko said the studio had specific criteria in mind when choosing a distributor.

“We wanted an experienced company with the creative energy and enthusiasm to market these series the way we would do it ourselves,” Dubelko said.

Anchor Bay CEO Ted Green said his company’s work on DVD releases of “Three’s Company,” “Highlander” and “The Greatest American Hero,” as well as its indie status, also may have attracted C-W’s interest.

“They like the fact that we’re an independent video company,” he said. “We don’t have any product of our own competing (for attention). This is a couple of independent companies getting together and establishing a marriage.”

Green said Anchor Bay will work with C-W to produce significant bonus materials for both multidisc collections, promising “a package worthy of the shows.”

C-W has already started preliminary talks with cast members from both shows about participating in the bonus materials.

Anchor Bay has established itself as one of the leading indie distributors of TV shows on DVD. It’s struck deals with producers such as Stephen J. Cannell (“21 Jump Street,” “Greatest American Hero”) and Alan Spencer (“Sledge Hammer!”), and has worked with studios such as Fox to distribute certain shows (Fox’s “Doogie Howser, M.D,” from Steven Bochco Prods., comes out on DVD March 22).

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