Thursday, November 10, 2022

Trade Week #4: Yet another streaming video trade!

It's the fourth day of Trade Week, in which I propose trades of popular shows between streaming video on demand services! We have another big one today.

Crackle trades The Dick Van Dyke Show to Paramount Plus for Happy Days

Crackle is great. It's free, it has tons of rarities not shown on TV in years, let alone streamed or on video, and it is only taken down by its poor interface and excessive ad load (OK, those are big things that remind me why I haven't used it much lately). It licenses material from Sony but also from other sources, and recently it got all 5 seasons of  The Dick Van Dyke Show--a great add that classes up the classic TV section.

So how can I say this politely? TDVDS is almost TOO classy for Crackle.

Crackle doesn't really need it. That's a better way to say it. Or better still, it's a better fit elsewhere.

Let me introduce you to Paramount Plus, an oddity of a giant service that has added very little to its "Classics" section in several years while its parent company pumps hundreds of episodes of shows like The Fugitive and The Andy Griffith Show to its lower-rent (Heck, it's FREE!) corporate cousin, Pluto.

P-Plus has let Happy Days, one of the biggest TV shows of its era, languish since the CBS All Access days. For some reason, it only has an assortment of episodes from the second season. Maybe there is some kind of explanation--music rights or whatever--but the series has been streaming on Pluto's live channels. Much of it is on DVD. And really, I don't even care what the explanation is. It's worse to have a handful of episodes than it is to have none at all.

So I can only conclude that P-Plus has forgotten about Happy Days and isn't particularly interested in it anyway. Send the Garry Marshall smash to Crackle, which may not promote it, but at least will house multiple seasons. Days will fit in well with other family-oriented classic shows there.

Paramount gets one of the all-timers in return, something it can be proud about if it wants to be proud about its TV heritage. The show was on CBS during its initial run, and it makes sense to be on a service alongside contemporaries like The Twilight Zone (and others once P-Plus gets its act together). It will be ad free there (for those who pay for that tier, that is) and will get some of the prestige it deserves.

Or maybe it is buried and forgotten about like Happy Days was, but let's be optimistic and see this move as the beginning of a re-emphasis on the classics, with Paramount using the relatively lower cost of its library holdings to bolster its streaming content. Crackle gets a popular show that has not been streaming on demand in a meaningful way. Another win-win!

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