Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cuts from Editing Room Floor Make Blockbuster Video Sales

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cuts from Editing Room Floor Make Blockbuster Video Sales

Article excerpt

Anyone tuning into Jerry Springer's outrageous and salacious television talk show might find it hard to believe that anything was edited out of the telecast.

The popular talk show, which often appears to be an orchestrated slugfest among dysfunctional family members, jilted lovers and other angry people, barely disguises the nudity, vulgarity and ferocious fights.

But viewers who detest the bleeping of words, the digital blurring of body parts and the excising of slaps and punches are now buying videocassettes that show raw and tempestuous footage from one of television's wildest shows. As a result, sales of the video, Jerry Springer: Too Hot for TV! are soaring. In three months, more than half a million copies have been sold, at $19.95 apiece, signaling what some see as the television industry's latest war on American sensibilities. Indeed, the success of the Springer video, which includes no less than 30 brawls in the 54-minute playing time, is bolstering an entire subgenre of so-called "real life" videos, many of which have grown out of television shows and specials. Cops, the real-life police drama on Fox television, has a popular video, Cops: Too Hot for TV! And there is Caught on Camera, a collection that is promoted as "real-life rescues, spectacular natural disasters and shocking tragic accidents." While the real-life video segment is still small compared with sales of Hollywood movies, the business is growing just as fast as America's appetite for graphic and alarming video verite. There have long been real-life television dramas, like Unsolved Mysteries and Rescue 911, but the proliferation of home videos that disturb the senses is a more recent phenomena, one that seems to be evolving out of America's obsession with realistic portrayals of grief, tragedy and conflict. "It's kind of the voyeuristic quality that attracts people," said Darren Howell, a spokesman for Real Entertainment in Santa Monica, Calif., which produced the Springer and Cops videos. …

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