If you’ve bought any episodes of BONANZA on DVD, the first thing you’ll notice is that the show’s classic theme music is missing. The same is true on some episodes of BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, ANDY GRIFFITH and THE LUCY SHOW, among others.
According to DVD Exclusive Magazine, that’s because some individual episodes of those series have inexplicably fallen into public domain — but the music has not. The companies who are issuing the cheapo DVDs don’t want to pay for the theme music and scores, so they change them… leaving buyers feeling confused and ripped off (Okay, this buyer).
Reel Media International, which holds 2,500 public domain,
or PD, films and TV episodes in its library, regularly hires composers to cook
up new theme songs for its DVD clients.
"We’ll replace every bit of music–the front and the end, into the commercial
break–that way our clients aren’t going to have to pay," Reel Media president
Tom T. Moore said.