Hollywood has avoided most of the ill-effects of the current recession largely due to the beneficial effects of the DVD format, which has allowed movie studios to dip into their vaults and turn film and TV libraries into gold (literally). TV series always presented studios with the gilt-edged prospects of syndication, but now, in addition to that revenue stream, comes the additional promise of revenue from DVD compilations. The only problem for the studios in tapping this rich new funding source is an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace created by the rush of TV producing organizations to get their backlog out on the street on DVD. How does a studio decide which TV series to put out on DVD? Columbia TriStar came up with an online poll to gauge fan interest, and sure enough in the first round the ultimate cult series The Tick quickly became one of the first finalists. Brutally mishandled by Fox (see 'Fox Dislodges The Tick'), the comic-based live action Tick series starring Patrick Warburton ('Putty' on Seinfeld), will make its appearance on DVD before the end of the year. Watch out for this one--Tick: The Complete Series is one cult DVD that should do very well in pop culture stores.
Another much older cult property is also coming out from Columbia TriStar. Rocky & Bullwinkle: The Complete First Season debuts on DVD on August 12. Back in the 1960s Rocky & Bullwinkle was the South Park of its era, mixing satire and limited animation into a brew that only worked because of the cleverness of the writing. The 3-DVD first season set includes a 16-page booklet, a Bullwinkle puppet, TV spots, and a sneak peek at Season 2 -- all for an srp of $39.95.