Support Us

Satellite News is not financially supported by Best Brains or any other entity. It is a labor of love, paid for out of our own pockets. If you value this site, we would be delighted if you showed it by making an occasional donation of any amount. Thanks.

Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

Social Media


Update from Joel

Joel’s first show update of the new year is jam packed!

31 Replies to “Update from Joel”

  1. trennerdios says:

    I love how Joel always makes sure to say everything in a way that should mostly placate the various possible complaints that inevitably come up. I suppose after this many years dealing with fans he knows exactly the kind of negative ways people will twist things to fit their cynical view.

       17 likes

  2. Dan in WI says:

    So international rights are a problem. Are the current Shout! Factory releases available outside of North America?

       0 likes

  3. new cornjob says:

    hehe… so jazzed, been waiting on pins and needles for an update! but joel & crew, take your time… good cheese takes time! AMERICA IS LEANING ON CHEESE! (“right!”)

       10 likes

  4. Thad says:

    It’s only a brief part of the update, but he answers a question I’ve seen a lot of people ask about the new series: yes, the movies *are* being edited for time and content.

    That makes sense if they’re planning to air them on basic cable, but even if they were digital-only, there are often good reasons to pare films down. There have been some Rifftrax movies — specifically, Attack of the Clones — that have made me really appreciate that MST3K cut its films down to two hours (less commercials, titles, credits, bumpers, host segments, and door sequences).

    Lots of exciting stuff in the update; I like the pictures and video in particular. Too bad that international film rights have been a snag, but it sounds like they’ve got at least 5 movies in the early stages. It’s coming along.

       4 likes

  5. KidFlash says:

    Dan in WI:
    So international rights are a problem. Are the current Shout! Factory releases available outside of North America?

    A quick check of Amazon UK shows a bunch available as imports, and the only native R2 release is of the movie.

    Looking on Ebay, there seems to be a couple of R4 versions of Shout sets.

       1 likes

  6. KidFlash says:

    That said, it’s presumably better for the show to clear as much of the world as possible for streaming purposes.

       4 likes

  7. new cornjob says:

    “commerical-editing” – weird to figure out in this day and age, isn’t it? and not just because of netplay-advert-options/whatever concerns; how has the amount of commercial time on cable TV changed over the years? it sure seems like CC plays a helluvalot of those damned “zendaya/x-out” commericals anymore – i think the “allowable amount” of commercial time on cable has gone waaayyy up the past some years (without doing proper homework on it, over-the-air/cable/satellite commercial-time has probably doubled since the ninties).

    so, yeah, geeeeeezz down to the level of “how much commercial time to plan around” – the old epis clock in very roughly around 1:35:00 average in the past. i dunno… if i were in charge of such a product, i’d just do the old gameplan; let go and let some wonk down the line edit for time/advert space whenever/whereever they want… the originals would still be there, somewhere, for the real fans to come find. (and, though it was fun at the time for the extra spots, skip any ideas for a “MST3K hour” this time! focus on the full flick presentation.) it’s such a pain to plan around… i’d keep their old model of around ten minutes instead of the five it seems these days cable play wants to demand.

    so much stupid old b.s. built into the system as it is now. if anything, i wish they’d just all be stupid little popups at the bottom of the screen anymore (and there’s matters of taste doing that too, but i ramble on too much as is.)

    favorite news though is that they already have five flicks to start out on – plenty of stuff to start trying out on! i love the old “crawling eye” stuff, so shoot for that “quick and easy” stuff to get up and running. go watergate – “all the tricks in the book” just to get going on… pull a washington post on ’em j&c, and run that baby!

       1 likes

  8. Here’s something I need clarified. Joel keeps saying “14 episodes, plus a holiday special”. Does that mean the holiday special is ONE of the 14 episodes, or does he mean we’re getting basically 15 episodes?

       1 likes

  9. H says:

    Brandon Pierce:
    Here’s something Ineed clarified. Joel keeps saying “14 episodes, plus a holiday special”. Does that mean the holiday special is ONE of the 14 episodes, or does he mean we’re getting basically 15 episodes?

    My understanding is 14 regular episodes that you can put into whatever ‘continuity’/production order MST3K has, plus one that is outside of that and may have a different running length/opening and closing/whatever else you’d find in a holiday special.

    As to the update, everything is looking very exciting.

       1 likes

  10. bchat says:

    I believe that the 14 episodes includes the holiday special, at least that is how Joel phrased it when the Kickstarter ended.

       3 likes

  11. Patrick says:

    Thanks, Joel!

       4 likes

  12. goalieboy82 says:

    a part of me wants the show to be on HBO or IFC (maybe AMC). would like IFC so they could swear (nothing real bad, like what they did in the movie) or get away with a little more innuendo.

       1 likes

  13. new cornjob says:

    absolutely all in; GUARANTEE a world-wide audience. paradoxically, there are no walls on the SOL… it truly is a “citizen of the world” kind of project, after all… thomas paine would approve. your pirate-radio station SOL in the sky, beaming happily down to all quadrants and hemispheres alike! your best value in “coast to coast” entertainment broadcasting! (i’ll love having a new “old” opening theme, it looks like – but kind of now wish for some sort of SCTV-ish “good morning! SOL is BACK ON THE AIR!” kind of vibe. maybe buried into the vibe the shoot and sound fx… loved the old little model town/institute; should be a “cocka-doodle-doooo” and a lightbulb-sunrise over the model landscape…)

    “edited for content,” i always figured was a given; going back to “side-hackers” – and it’s just a given for any broadcast movie anywhere still, outside of IFC/TCM/premium cable. the boundaries on content still aren’t that pushed out for over-the-air TV – unlike commercial time! but maybe this time instead of joel sporting an umbrella in the theater, we’ll get jonah suddenly deciding it’s a good time to take a selfie, and blocking some unintended butt-trex in some sixties-swinger-style flick. (can imagine crow responding to the silhouette: “jonah, i hope that’s a selfie-stick!” jonah: “ohhhh, yeah… yes it is!”)

    just to make me sound a little less like a completely uncynical fanboy about it all, it -is- gonna be a bit of a jump if they first-shoot all the way to june; they’d feel committed to a bit of a two-eps-per-month sched by that point… they did crank a lot of epis per season back in the old days, though when pushed to shove. i’d hope they shoot maybe a couple “pilot” tries before then, and if they don’t gel by the time they want to make first releases, maybe reshoot parts of them? i don’t think we’re too unhip to take our show narrative arcs out-of-order anymore; we could always watch them in order later. (and for that matter, makes me think of strange “time-travel” kind of experiments/tricks they could send each other/back to themselves? back-and-forth between episodes… hmm i’ll need some notecards to work that out!)

    though j said he won’t confirm it either way, i’m just guessing – that illustration is “stanley kubrick’s wet dream”; aka the new theater/projection system design – movies projected 3-dimensionally against graphene-based, opacity-electronically-controlled balloons – like a giant LCD screen that also has the ability to turn transparent/semi-opaque along with the image data, so you get to watch your movie sometimes “float away” into intersteller space! imagine seeing the “star wars” crawl -actually- project up away over your heads in an open field into the nightsky. ahhhhh… well yeah, i’m sure i’m wrong too, but just the thought gives me goosebumps. holographic outdoor movies at night… or better yet, just support your local drive-in! “interstellar drive-in – in 3D” – yeah, there we go!

       0 likes

  14. MikeK says:

    With commercials, all the original MST3K episodes filled two hours. Paring the movies down for the new series is a good idea and will likely encourage better writing a good pace for the show.

       1 likes

  15. The Don't Line says:

    goalieboy82:
    a part of me wants the show to be on HBO or IFC (maybe AMC).would like IFC so they could swear (nothing real bad, like what they did in the movie) or get away with a little more innuendo.

    So you want them to swear, but you don’t want them to swear? Language seems pretty relaxed even on network tv these days, outside of s*** and f***.

       0 likes

  16. Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy says:

    bchat:
    I believe that the 14 episodes includes the holiday special, at least that is how Joel phrased it when the Kickstarter ended.

    You are correct!

    A quote from update #23:

    “That’s really good news for anyone whose reward package included all of the new episodes as downloads ($85+) or in the boxed set ($200+). It’s also really good news for anyone who loves cheesy holiday movies… because, yes, one of those 14 episodes will also be a brand-new Holiday Special.”

    (But if it has changed to 15 total, I’m all for it.)

       6 likes

  17. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Like I posted before, I don’t mind a delay in production if the extra time allows them to produce a really good show, rather than a rush job to satisfy a deadline.

    With any luck, Shout can work its magic and get the blankety-blank rights issues settled ASAP.

       5 likes

  18. dakotaboy says:

    new cornjob:
    “commerical-editing” – weird to figure out in this day and age, isn’t it?

    If we’re paying for the episodes, we should get them without ads (like Netflix), instead of with ads (like YouTube).

       1 likes

  19. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    The Don’t Line: So you want them to swear, but you don’t want them to swear? Language seems pretty relaxed even on network tv these days, outside of s*** and f***.

    dickweed!

       4 likes

  20. Mike "ex-genius" Kelley says:

    90 minutes is a good general rule of thumb for comedy — anything longer and the laughs get forced (which is why most good comedies clock in around this time, although the trend is to have “serious” moments so they can stretch the movie out to two hours).

    If Joel is consistent (and I think he has proven that he is) there won’t be *any* swearing or language on this reboot/restart that the original didn’t have (so dickweed will be okay, but not the George Carlin seven).

    I had thought for sure they ended up with 15 episodes — the original plan of 13, the extra holiday one when they met the goal he set, and then one additional episode because the money came in that way. But I could be mistaken (and don’t really care, as 13+ is more than enough goodness).

       1 likes

  21. goalieboy82 says:

    The Don’t Line: So you want them to swear, but you don’t want them to swear? Language seems pretty relaxed even on network tv these days, outside of s*** and f***.

    i meant if they want to.

       0 likes

  22. DirtyTerryCallahan says:

    @13

    I’m not sure about the worldwide audience. I’m an American in the UK, and I find that MST3k is so chock-full of American pop culture that, even with the amount of media the US exports, so much doesn’t translate that it’s difficult for non-Americans to get into the show. (Ever tried explaining the geographical distribution of chain restaurants in America, how it ties into regional stereotypes, and why that’s funny? Short answer: explaining things is never funny.) Part of it is, of course, that the show makes references to old pop culture, so a younger audience doesn’t get as much of it, but some of it is just US-centric. I think Rifftrax has a more ‘international’ model – they go more for references to pop culture that is reliably known worldwide, although it can feel a bit like easy targets at times – but I’m torn. I’d love for MST3k to be international, of course, hands-down, if I had my druthers — but at the same time, I’m in love with the obscure and dated references from the classic MST3k, that made me scramble for Wikipedia half the time. I think shifting more to Rifftrax’s ‘easier’ riffs would be a mistake — or, let’s be honest, not what I would want. Then again, maybe it’s simply the datedness of the classic eps’ references I’m picking up on, and they felt as fresh as Rifftrax’s jokes when they first aired. Who knows?

    Tl;dr: not sure international rights should be a priority, but by all means do it if you think the new eps will sell abroad.

       3 likes

  23. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    DirtyTerryCallahan:
    @13

    I’m not sure about the worldwide audience. I’m an American in the UK, and I find that MST3k is so chock-full of American pop culture that, even with the amount of media the US exports, so much doesn’t translate that it’s difficult for non-Americans to get into the show. (Ever tried explaining the geographical distribution of chain restaurants in America, how it ties into regional stereotypes, and why that’s funny? Short answer: explaining things is never funny.) Part of it is, of course, that the show makes references to old pop culture, so a younger audience doesn’t get as much of it, but some of it is just US-centric. I think Rifftrax has a more ‘international’ model – they go more for references to pop culture that is reliably known worldwide, although it can feel a bit like easy targets at times – but I’m torn. I’d love for MST3k to be international, of course, hands-down, if I had my druthers — but at the same time, I’m in love with the obscure and dated references from the classic MST3k, that made me scramble for Wikipedia half the time. I think shifting more to Rifftrax’s ‘easier’ riffs would be a mistake — or, let’s be honest, not what I would want. Then again, maybe it’s simply the datedness of the classic eps’ references I’m picking up on, and they felt as fresh as Rifftrax’s jokes when they first aired. Who knows?

    Tl;dr: not sure international rights should be a priority, but by all means do it if you think the new eps will sell abroad.

    Who’s got your druthers?

       2 likes

  24. Blinking rectums says:

    :flagus: USA USA USA

       3 likes

  25. bchat says:

    Mike “ex-genius” Kelley:

    I had thought for sure they ended up with 15 episodes — the original plan of 13, the extra holiday one when they met the goal he set, and then one additional episode because the money came in that way.But I could be mistaken (and don’t really care, as 13+ is more than enough goodness).

    The original goal was 3 episodes for $2 million, with stretch goals of 6, 9 & 12 episodes. Episodes 13 & 14 were added once they passed the $5.5 million mark.

       2 likes

  26. MSTJon says:

    Do you think clearing movies also involves a quick memo to Rifftrax to make sure they’re not stepping on each others’ toes? I mean it’s a big world and all, but it’s very possible to double up here.

       1 likes

  27. new cornjob says:

    re: commercial time – is all about show structure, and not whether or not the version you see will actually have commercials embedded in it. i was positing that with current potential over-the-air/cable rebroadcasting, current standards might demand more commercial time than they did back in the ninties – seems like some channels play fifteen minutes for every fifteen of “show” anymore, and the broadcaster decides to cut out an extra seven-ten mins just to make more ad-time. (prime example; “gilligan’s island” is shown on a number of channels, but depending on -which- channel you watch, it may be chopped down for extra ad-time. seriously, you can see the same epi on two different channels, and not see the same show!)

    maybe – hopefully – whoever signs up to “first-run” the show will agree to show the entire epi without any additional cuts; down the road if there’s any syndication, i would imagine shows getting cut down further by syndicates (and generally thinking out loud, “don’t worry about that”). not like “i’m for it” at all! i’m just pre-cognosticatin’ about what some of the decision-making might be like going on there.

    re: international rights/audience – well it’s a big world, and “takes all kinds don’t it?” heh! there’s lots of ex-pats living elsewhere, and (like i believe someone else upthread mentioned) it might be darn well necessary for any sort of reasonable net distribution/streaming.

    plus i always think back to an odd but inspiring bit of commentary i once heard on npr’s “marketplace,” where the commentator mentioned that if there’s one guaranteed american product no one else has, it’s our creativity – movies, music, tv shows, etc etc. now i dunno what sort of percentage say, how many potential viewers there are in other countries, but i don’t think 3-5% isn’t too optimistic. and if you say that 3-5% “isn’t important,” i’d recommend not getting into too many stare-down contests with accountants!

    anyhow it probably really does have to do with drm-free distribution. probably a lot of potential licensers are wanting protected encoding of some sort, and are holding out or flat-out refusing anything less… sucks! is perhaps a “big glitch” in the show model this time… there’s all this TPP business going on too, and licensers might be waiting to see if they get their way first.

       1 likes

  28. zxcvv says:

    I wonder if it’s pronounced “fablab” (rhyming) or “eff ayy bee lab” (Andersoning)

       1 likes

  29. Dan in WI says:

    bchat:
    I believe that the 14 episodes includes the holiday special, at least that is how Joel phrased it when the Kickstarter ended.

    This is a direct quote from the Kickstarter page “Thanks to you, MST3K will be able to shoot FOURTEEN NEW EPISODES next year, including a new holiday special!” The key word there is 14 “including.”

       1 likes

  30. G R Robertson says:

    I’m a UK MsTie. I believe the show did have a brief run on Uk satellite in the late 90s/early 00. I knew of the show from an article in Cinefantastique and the Roger McGuin Live On Mars album. Caught the show in New York Sept 02 and collected all the Rhino/Shout DVDs since. I buy from amazon US as Shout don’t export. I’d love to see the show on UK TV channels.

       2 likes

  31. Jason says:

    As much as I love Joel and MST3K, I refuse to watch it now that Patton Oswalt is on board. His twitter account is filled with vile garbage basically trashing every day Americans and people with a conservative bent. Political jokes don’t bother me, but his stuff goes too far. He has every right to his opinion, but I also have a right to not give my money to support him. Sorry, Joel. I hope the show does well for your sake. I’ll just have to enjoy the old episodes.

       1 likes

Comments are closed.