Monthly Archives: March 2012

Slices of “Samurai” News

Article By: Alex J. Rosolowsky
NEWS

In addition to the rather significant news that Power Rangers of all forms would be coming to Region–1 DVDs this year, several smaller pieces of “Samurai” related news also surfaced this week. These smaller stories aren’t really suitable for individual articles, but they’re perfect for a general all–encompassing article that we here at The Power Rangers Samurai Times like to refer to as “news slices” in keeping with our Samurai theme.

Our first news slice is actually an update to the announcement that Power Rangers Samurai would be coming to DVD this summer. According to TVShowsonDVD, Lionsgate Entertainment has officially confirmed that each DVD will contain a total of four episodes, as well as a slew of extras including “auditions, behind–the–scenes training, character and weapons galleries, bloopers, and more.” Furthermore, each disc will come with a foil O–ring slip cover around the packaging. Amazon.com has added both DVDs to their website; you can preorder Volume One: The Team Unites, and Volume Two: A New Enemy using the links provided. (The Power Rangers Samurai Times does not benefit financially from the use of these links.)

News slice number two comes in the form of an announcement that an extended remix of the Power Rangers Samurai theme song has been released via various digital distribution platforms. At present, the EP is currently available through Amazon, iTunes, and the Zune Marketplace. (As with the original Power Rangers Samurai EP, the author of this article highly recommends the iTunes version of the newly released EP.)

Next up, we have a news slice pertaining to Alex Heartman, the actor who portrays Jayden on Power Rangers Samurai. Rangerboard’s NightMere10 reports that Mr. Heartman will be making an appearance in an upcoming Temper Trap music video. A photo from this event can be seen here.

Finally, our last news slice was actually buried in the Lionsgate press release for the Power Rangers Samurai DVDs. Two additional unnamed specials have been produced for Power Rangers Super Samurai, hopefully putting an end to the discrepancy in the episode total once and for all. Power Rangers Samurai consisted of 22 episodes total; likewise Power Rangers Super Samurai will also consist of 22 episodes total for a grand total of 44 episodes. Clash of the Red Rangers: The Movie is not counted as an episode of Power Rangers Samurai or Power Rangers Super Samurai, but rather it is counted as a movie special. Major credit should go to Rangerboard‘s Fury Diamond for clearing this up for everyone, as well as for reporting on this bit of information before it made its way into the aforementioned press release.

Lionsgate “Powers Up” with Distribution to Saban’s “Power Rangers Samurai”

PRESS RELEASE
Multi-Year Agreement Enables Lionsgate to Distribute DVD, Blu-ray and Multiple Digital Platforms for the Newly Produced Saban’s Power Rangers Samurai and Super Samurai

SANTA MONICA—(PRNEWSWIRE)—Lionsgate, a leading diversified global entertainment company, has added some serious muscle – along with high–octane action and martial arts – to its family home entertainment division. In a licensing agreement with Saban Brands, the studio announced today that it has acquired the North American home entertainment distribution rights to the number one rated kids action series Saban’s Power Rangers Samurai, the newest chapter in the long–running, popular entertainment franchise. The deal was announced by Lionsgate Executive Vice President of Marketing and Family Entertainment Anne Parducci and Saban Brands President Elie Dekel.

Under the multi–year agreement, Lionsgate obtains all DVD and Blu–ray rights, as well as multiple digital rights for the newly revamped Power Rangers television series, Saban’s Power Rangers Samurai and Saban’s Power Rangers Super Samurai. Both shows currently air on Nickelodeon with Saban’s Power Rangers Super Samurai premiering last month. The studio also acquired the distribution rights to two Power Rangers Christmas and Halloween specials, and a Power Rangers Movie special. The first releases in the deal, Power Rangers Samurai: The Team Unites and Power Rangers Samurai: A New Enemy, arrive on DVD and Digital Download for the first time on June 19th.

“For nearly 20 years, the Power Rangers have been synonymous with teamwork, friendship, fitness and fun. Saban’s Power Rangers Samurai television series has continued that tradition by providing a humorous action–adventure that kids love with positive messages that parents value,” said Parducci. “The success of the Nickelodeon television series proves that ‘Samurai’ has attracted the attention of the millions of people who grew up on the Power Rangers, those who are now parents, and most importantly, a new generation of kids growing up today.”

“Now Power Rangers fans everywhere will have the opportunity to watch the Samurai Rangers save the world from evil wherever they want,” said Dekel. “Our agreement with Lionsgate not only provides great ways to watch content that fans may have seen on television, but it will also provide new and exciting additions to the series that fans are sure to love.”

The deal with Saban Brands continues to build on Lionsgate’s tremendous success distributing product from some of the most prominent family brands in the marketplace. Currently the industry’s 2nd largest distributor of children’s non–theatrical titles, Lionsgate releases to DVD a virtual who’s–who in family entertainment brands, including HIT’s Thomas & Friends, Barney, Angelina Ballerina and other titles from their vast library, MGA’s Lalaloopsy and Bratz, LeapFrog, Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog and American Greetings’ The Care Bears.

About Saban’s Power Rangers Samurai

Power Rangers Samurai is the all–new, half–hour series that features a new cast of Rangers and never–before–seen villains, as well as high–octane action, martial arts and advanced special effects. New episodes premiere Saturdays at noon (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. Currently in its 19th season, Power Rangers Samurai is helmed by Haim Saban, who created and produced the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series in 1993. Following its introduction, Power Rangers quickly became the most–watched children’s television program in the United States. Emphasizing the importance of teamwork, responsibility and helping others by following the adventures of a group of ordinary young people who “morphed” into superheroes, the series was seen in more than 60 countries, translated into numerous languages, and was a mainstay in the most prominent international children’s programming blocks. Power Rangers LLC, which licenses and merchandises the Power Rangers brand, is an affiliate of Saban Brands. For more information, visit http://www.powerrangers.com.

About Saban Brands

Formed in 2010 as a subsidiary of Saban Capital Group, Saban Brands (SB) was established to acquire and develop a world–class portfolio of properties and capitalize on the company’s experience, track record and capabilities in growing and monetizing consumer brands. SB applies a strategic transmedia management approach to enhancing and extending its brands in markets worldwide and to consumers of all ages. The company provides full–service management, marketing, promotion and strategic business development for its intellectual properties including comprehensive strategies unique to each brand, trademark and copyright management and enforcement, creative design, retail development, direct–to–consumer initiatives and specialized property extensions. SB is led by a superior management team with decades of experience in licensing, marketing and finance. For more information, visit www.sabanbrands.com.

About Lionsgate

Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically–acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad MenWeeds and Nurse Jackie, the Golden Globe–winning drama Boss and the syndication successes Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne, its spinoff Meet The Browns, The Wendy Williams Show and Are We There Yet?

Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as The Lincoln Lawyer, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family, The Expendables, Margin Call, The Last Exorcism and the critically–acclaimed Precious, which won two Academy Awards. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company now has the two leading young adult franchises — the blockbuster Twilight Saga, which has grossed more than $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office, and the Hunger Games franchise, whose first film will be released on March 23. Recent Summit hits include Red, Letters to Juliet, Knowing, the Step Up franchise and the Academy Award winning Best Picture The Hurt Locker.

Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office–to–DVD and box office–to–VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

Lionsgate to Bring “Power Rangers Samurai” to Region–1 DVD

Article By: Alex J. Rosolowsky
NEWS

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Shout! Factory would be bringing Mighty Morphin’ Power RangersPower Rangers RPM to DVD, comes today’s announcement that Lionsgate Entertainment will be handling the DVD releases of Power Rangers Samurai, and presumably Power Rangers Super Samurai. According to TVShowsonDVD, Lionsgate will begin releasing individual DVD volumes of Power Rangers Samurai on June 19th. Each disc will be presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio, and will feature Dolby 5.1 digital audio as well as closed captioning; the DVDs will retail for $14.98 per Volume.

Last year, Village Roadshow began to release Power Rangers Samurai on DVD in Australia. At the time, both Saban Brands and Village Roadshow remained curiously silent regarding a Region–1 release for the United States and Canada, leading fans to speculate that a different company may have picked up the North American DVD distribution rights. Lionsgate’s announcement makes it rather clear that this is indeed the case, and that Power Rangers Samurai is not only being handled differently than its predecessors in terms of home media distribution, but that it’s being handled differently by region. Although the first volume of Power Rangers Samurai is entitled The Team Unites in both the United States and Australia, the Australian DVD release contains six episodes of the show, while the American DVD release will only contain approximately 92 minutes worth of footage, or about four episodes of the show. Furthermore, the American and Australian titles for volume two are significantly different from one another; in America, volume two will be known as A New Enemy, while in Australia, volume two is known as Room for One More.

At present, it is unknown whether or not Lionsgate will be releasing Blu–Ray discs to accompany the officially announced DVDs. Furthermore, no official announcements have been made regarding whether or not box sets of Power Rangers Samurai are in the works, nor have any official announcements been made regarding Region–2 DVD releases. For now, readers should head on over to TVShowsonDVD to get a glimpse of the cover art for Lionsgate’s first two volumes of Power Rangers Samurai.

Shout! Factory and Saban Brands Enter Strategic Home Entertainment Alliance

Source: TVShowsonDVD

PRESS RELEASE
Multi-Year Agreement Grants Shout! Factory Exclusive Distribution Rights to Renowned Live-Action Pop Culture Television Property Power Rangers

LOS ANGELES—Shout! Factory and Saban Brands announced a multi–year, multi–property alliance to bring Saban’s iconic live-action pop culture series, including Power Rangers, to the home entertainment marketplace in the United States and Canada. The announcement was made today by Shout! Factory’s founding partners Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos; and Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands.

The multi–year alliance provides Shout! Factory with exclusive home entertainment packaged media (DVD/Blu–ray) and select digital rights to Saban Brands’ extensive catalog of properties including more than 700 episodes of Power Rangers (1993–2009), 92 episodes of VR Troopers, 26 episodes of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, and 88 episodes of Beetleborgs for home entertainment releases and digital distribution across select entertainment platforms in North America.

“We are incredibly excited about this new relationship with Saban Brands. Power Rangers continues to stand as a global pop culture phenomenon to this day. We look forward to bringing these highly entertaining series with great packaging and extras to fans and on family home entertainment shelves,” state Shout! Factory’s founding partners in a joint statement.

“Our partnership with Shout! Factory is important and exciting news for our fans. Shout! Factory will provide unequaled access to archived content from Saban Brands,” said Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands.” Fans can enjoy past episodes they haven’t seen, relive some of the exciting entertainment in these episodes, or even share them with a new generation of fans.”

Shout! Factory plans an aggressive rollout of Saban Brands television properties beginning this summer 2012, including from individual programs as well as complete series. As excitement builds for these upcoming home entertainment product-lines, Shout! Factory and Saban Brands will announce additional news and activities in forthcoming months.

Following its introduction in 1993, Saban’s Power Rangers quickly became the most watched children’s television program in the United States. Emphasizing the importance of teamwork, responsibility and helping others by following the adventures of a group of ordinary young people who “morphed” into superheroes, the series was seen in more than 60 countries, translated into numerous languages, and was a mainstay in the most prominent international children’s programming blocks.

When VR Troopers premiered in 1994, it was the first children’s series to take viewers into a world of virtual reality. In this exciting action–packed live–action series, three seemingly ordinary teens face the challenge of saving the world from total domination by a powerful ruthless industrialist and his evil alter–ego. With the gift of “inter–reality travel” the teens utilize the power to transform into crime-fighting superheroes and enter the high–tech sphere of Virtual Reality. They employ their strengths, explosive martial arts skills and newfound superpowers to prevent the evil Grimlord and his mutant armies from escaping the virtual plane and entering the real world.

Memorable live–action adventure series Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation debuted in 1997 on popular kids network. The series continued the fun–filled saga of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, four genetically mutated turtles who have transformed into human sized, ninja–powered crime fighters living in the sewers of New York City. Soon the Ninja Turtles’ world that they have come to know and love will change. If you thought Shredder was bad, wait until you meet the newest NT foe—Dragon Skull! It will take all the power of our four reptile heroes to combat this new villain, including the help from a new ninja turtle named Venus De Milo!

Premiered in 1996, popular weekly kids series Beetleborgs follows the exciting adventures of three ordinary kids Drew, Jo and Roland as they enter the supposedly haunted mansion after accepting a dare. Their lives changed forever when a magical spirit grants them their biggest wish — they get to find out what life is like as their favorite super heroes the Beetleborgs!

About Saban Brands

Formed in 2010 as a subsidiary of Saban Capital Group, Saban Brands (SB) was established to acquire and develop a world–class portfolio of properties and capitalize on the company’s experience, track record and capabilities in growing and monetizing consumer brands. SB applies a strategic transmedia management approach to enhancing and extending its brands in markets worldwide and to consumers of all ages. The company provides full–service management, marketing, promotion and strategic business development for its intellectual properties including comprehensive strategies unique to each brand, trademark and copyright management and enforcement, creative design, retail development, direct–to–consumer initiatives and specialized property extensions. SB is led by a superior management team with decades of experience in licensing, marketing and finance. For more information, visit www.sabanbrands.com

About Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts GRAMMY–nominated box sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com

At Long Last, Region–1 “Power Rangers” DVD Box Sets Coming From Shout! Factory, “Samurai” Nonwithstanding

Article By: Alex J. Rosolowsky
NEWS

We have breaking Ranger related news at this hour; TVShowsonDVD has confirmed that the first 17 seasons of Power Rangers will be released by Shout! Factory in the form of Region–1 box sets for the American market. Home Media Magazine and Variety have also confirmed the news, which has been corroborated through Rangerboard.

The lack of proper DVD releases has been a source of frustration for many American fans of the show throughout the past decade. Although Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment quickly released both feature films on DVD, the TV series did not receive the same treatment. Disney released a “best of” compilation DVD under their Buena Vista label in 2002 consisting of a sampling of earlier seasons, but box sets of those seasons failed to materialize. Similarly, Disney also failed to release proper box sets of their then–current seasons, opting instead to release individual volumes, the majority of which were incomplete, edited, or otherwise altered in an undesirable fashion. Out of all of the seasons released as volumes, only Power Rangers Operation Overdrive was released in its entirety. In sharp contrast to Disney’s American releases of their seasons, the British releases of the same seasons were frequently offered in the form of box sets, albeit with alterations and edits that were made for the British market. Additionally, many seasons were released in Germany with bi–lingual English and German audio tracks, along with minor alterations for the German market. The Shout! Factory agreement marks the first time that Power Rangers will see a box set release within the United States, as well as the first time that any season other than Power Rangers Operation Overdrive will see a complete Region–1 DVD release.

In addition to Power Rangers, Shout! Factory has also acquired the rights to several other Saban Entertainment shows, including Beetleborgs, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, and VR Troopers. Curiously absent from that list are other Saban Entertainment properties including Saban’s Masked Rider and Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog, although TVShowsonDVD suggests that there may be additional announcements forthcoming. Given that Saban Brands supposedly reacquired a large portion of the Saban Entertainment library alongside Power Rangers, such announcements would certainly not be surprising.

Also absent from the list of licensed properties are both Power Rangers Samurai, and Power Rangers Super Samurai. This is not an accidental omission, all sources have made it emphatically clear that Power Rangers Samurai is not included in the agreement with Shout! Factory. Likewise, the distribution rights for the feature films will continue to be controlled by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The reasons for the omission of the “Samurai” seasons is currently unknown; they may be licensed at a later date, or another distributor may have picked up the license for the current seasons. Given that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has retained the rights to the movies, it’s possible that a Viacom company such as Paramount Home Entertainment, or Nickelodeon’s own distribution company will handle the current seasons.

Shout! Factory is scheduled to begin releasing season box sets of Power Rangers and the other shows that they’ve acquired the distribution rights to this summer. Complete series box sets of Beetleborgs and VR Troopers could potentially see a release as well, provided that the season box sets sell well enough to justify them. It’s worth noting that although other articles have worded this to imply that such plans could be extended to Power Rangers, The Power Rangers Samurai Times feels that this wording may be a bit misleading. Given the fact that Shout! Factory does not have the distribution rights to “Samurai” or “Super Samurai,” the fact that Power Rangers is over 725 episodes long and counting as of this writing, and the fact that the show is still ongoing, it’s highly unlikely that Power Rangers would be released as a complete series anytime in the foreseeable future. Likewise, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is only one season long, so a season box set is effectively a series box set for this particular show.

At present, it is still unknown what season or seasons will be the first to see a box set release, as well as what the scheduled release date is beyond sometime this summer. If the staff of The Power Rangers Samurai Times had to guess which season would be released first though, we’d say that Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – Season One would probably be at the top of the list. This is one of those huge Power Rangers events that we intend to follow closely even though it’s not completely related to Power Rangers Samurai and Power Rangers Super Samurai; we will continue to offer additional information as it becomes available to us.