Top 10 Bestselling HBO Shows On DVD
To mark our special HBO-themed Raygun newsletter, which looks more at the future of the company and its ongoing series, we thought it was worth looking at the TV giant’s hugely impressive track record, so here with the help of HBO, we’ve pulled together a list of the 10 bestselling shows from the company in the UK. It highlights the company’s impeccable pedigree as well as its diversity, and reads like a must have list of TV programming, as well as illustrating just how much it has contributed to the video industry in value and volume terms…
1. Band Of Brothers
It could easily be argued that this is one series that changed the way the public felt about TV on DVD boxsets and similarly cemented HBO’s reputation in this country. Sumptuously packaged in a sturdy tin, the series boasted an incredible pedigree and its reputation grew as it was released on DVD, extending its shelf life far beyond its initial transmission, its sales are now ell past the 2.1 million mark. As HBO’s Sophie Knight says: “Often described as ‘The best war drama series ever’, it comes as no surprise that Band of Brothers is the best selling HBO show of all time. It’s a very special time of year for the mini-series as it’s officially 10 years since the series was first broadcast, yet it still continues to perform every year. We are extremely proud to have this series in our catalogue as it is such a huge production and has an extremely credible cast and crew behind it. And for those who haven’t watched it, you certainly should. It is ground-breaking TV at its finest.
2. The Sopranos
Not far behind it, with sales of 2 million units comes this superlative Mafia style, sprawling series. Spanning numerous seasons and concluding with one of the most-talked about endings in television history, this is what HBO’s all about. To say it is a programme about the Soprano family and associates doesn’t do it justice. Its perfect blend of suburban, day-to-day normality and vicious Mob violence meant you never knew what was going to happen next. Originally released in old-style flipper cases as separate DVDs, it came of age in the box set era and still sells some time after the series came to its stunning conclusion. “The Sopranos is a series which was so ahead of the game during its first broadcast, it can absolutely be described as ‘one of a kind’,” says HBO’s Sophie Knight. “The 21-time award-winning series has been nominated for a massive 111 Emmy Awards which just goes to show the brilliance of this series. It is a series that to this day we still receive brilliant critical acclaim with critics raving about it, and this is also reflected in box set sales every Christmas. Another series which is loved and valued here at HBO.”
3. The Wire
Originally aired with little fanfare, The Wire is a genuine slow-burner. Its success has been propelled by home entertainment, its reputation sealed on DVD. As the word of mouth grew, so did the sales; before long, the quality press couldn’t go a day or an article without mentioning it. Which only sent more people flocking into stores. And after you’d finished the lot, the question was “Where next?” Its success spawned other similar success stories, as consumers set off in search of “the next Wire”. HBO’s Sophie Knight: “It is often claimed that The Wire transformed the face of cop drama and I doubt many would question that. The Wire is the epitome of gritty, honest, quality drama; a phenomenon in its own right. And a phenomenon that has truly developed through word of mouth and still continues to grow for us. It’s not a surprise that The Wire comes in at number 3 in our top 10 best-sellers, it remains a top performer every year.”
4. Curb Your Enthusiasm
As far removed from The Wire as you could get, its eighth season has just concluded its run and is due to be released by HBO later in 2012. This is just as influential as The Wire or The Sopranos, every sitcom since references the antics of Seinfeld creator Larry David, a misanthropic New Yorker stuck in Los Angeles. Its ludicrous scheduling on television has certainly helped its sales to the 800,000 mark, its cult reputation intact.
5. The Pacific
A natural successor to Band Of Brothers, this has been out for less than a year, but has performed incredibly well in that time, shifting some 700,000 units.
6. True Blood
Not content with ruling the roost in the worlds of powerful crime-based drama or comedy, HBO has proved it can do younger, horror-based fare, with True Blood catching the vampire zeitgeist perfectly. More is due from this next year…
Another series that illustrates the depth and breadth of the HBO catalogue. A historical drama with a difference and one that has sold more than half a million units…
8. Flight of the Concords
A brilliant comedy that, on paper, sounds somewhat daft: two struggling New Zealander musicians arrive in New York looking for fame and fortune. Oh, and it includes lots of songs. But Flight Of The Concords and its spot-on – and very funny – musical spoofs has become the stuff of legend. Only two series, only a handful of episodes on each, but still a half a million seller.
The final season of this influential comedy charting the life of a Hollywood star in the making and his group of pals and hangers-on was smart, savvy and full of in-jokes and gags. The final outing is due next year from HBO, which will hugely boost its sales across the board, adding to its lifetime total of 400,000.
10. Six Feet Under
Another that has ended its run, this too, was hugely groundbreaking stuff, blending off the wall humour with drama in its look at a dysfunctional family who run a funeral business.
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