Q: Any updates on if and when the quirky '90s TV show "Ed," starring Tom Cavanagh, will come out on DVD?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Unfortunately, still no.

I say "still" because people have been calling for a DVD release of "Ed" for years, and people have been discussing why it hasn't happened for nearly as long. And at this point, 15 years after the series finale, the odds of it happening are increasingly slim.

Series co-creator Rob Burnett has blamed the lack of release on two issues: the large number of pop songs on the soundtrack, and the fact that the show's rights are owned by two competing studios.

NBC Universal and Paramount each own a piece of the show, but they're competitors, which makes cutting deals on things such as release plans difficult. Finding a way to release it that doesn't privilege one company over the other, in an increasingly integrated media landscape where those two companies own stakes in all sorts of other aspects of the TV industry, is a complicated issue.

The other roadblock -- the music rights issue -- will sound very familiar to fans of another feel-good comedy series that experienced a delay in reaching DVD, "WKRP in Cincinnati."

That show had the same problem. Before being released on DVD, the show's producers must renegotiate the rights to use every single song on the soundtrack. That can involve dozens of individual rights holders.

"It's upsetting to me," Burnett said in an interview with Vulture.com.

However, the "WKRP" comparison is also a source of hope. That show had been off the air 32 years before the music rights issue was finally settled and a DVD set came together.

For an upbeat show like "Ed," then, I'll end on a positive note: don't give up hope.


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