TV on DVD is cool!

Sartorial ‘Seinfeld’ latest in DVD marketing
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – As the market for TV series repackaged on DVD becomes a bigger and bigger chunk of the overall home video business — it’s now at 25%, or about $4 billion a year in consumer spending — studios are upping the ante in packaging and marketing as well.
Complete-season sets of the original “Star Wars” trilogy come in specially crafted plastic containers built to look like the TriQuarters used in the films. For Season 6 of “The Simpsons,” 20th Century Fox ditched the customary cardboard box in favor a plastic case shaped like Homer’s head. Warner Home Video has begun staging gala launch parties for DVDs of such classic TV shows as “Gilligan’s Island” and “Dallas.” And in September, a “Desperate Housewives” DVD release party was canceled only at the last minute because of media coverage of Hurricane Katrina.
The latest: Sony Pictures is offering consumers Seasons 5 and 6 of “Seinfeld” in an elegant $120 gift set that includes a copy of a handwritten script and a miniature replica of the famed “puffy shirt” that triggered Jerry Seinfeld’s notorious whine, “But I don’t want to be a pirate.”
The gift set, which arrives in stores Tuesday, is the latest in a series of extravagant trappings for the celebrated series’ DVD rollout that began last fall with an elegant launch party at New York’s Rainbow Room and continued the next day with the real puffy shirt’s enshrinement in the Smithsonian.
“We’re essentially treating ‘Seinfeld’ the same as we do big theatricals because it’s become an integral part of American culture,” Sony Pictures Home Entertainment president Benjamin Feingold said. “Everyone knows ‘Seinfeld.”‘
What’s next for Seasons 7 and 8, which will be released in tandem in November 2006?
“We’re on the boards now,” said “Seinfeld” executive producer Howard West, who with partner George Shapiro oversees the DVD production and marketing. “We have to go back and examine all the episodes, but rest assured it will be big.”