Everyone talks about Joel, and WAY too many people talk about Netflix, but from the not really that much info that got released publicly, it's actually Shout! (in partnership with Joel?) that owns and manages MST3K as a brand.
And yet, I really haven't heard anything out of them during most of the dawning and then dying of the Reboot. I'm not sure they mention the live shows at all. They do still stream eps, and they did do the Turkey Day marathon again.
I wonder what they think of the current state of affairs of MST3K. They can't be happy, that's for sure.
Did anyone watch this years Turkey Day? Was there even a hint of anything coming up soon?
Has Shout! made any posts with interesting info that I've missed?
They're a business that deals on many fronts. Mystery Science Theater is just one of them, and since they co-own the property, they have to sign off on all the live shows and each Turkey Day marathon, because paychecks come from them. They're still involved.
They've pretty much used Joel as the spokesman for their MST brand since 2013, so a lot of what he says is a representative for Shout. It's business sense to use a face familiar to fans to keep brand awareness alive, instead of putting some faceless suit out there and saying "We like MST3K." Unless we have evidence they're cutting ties with Joel, Joel is pretty much a Shout "employee."
The people further up have better things to do than to cater to fans. They have several streaming services to keep running and make content for, including Shout Factory TV, several channels on Pluto TV, TokuSHOUTsu, and even deals made with Tubi. They have film negotiations for their blu-ray lines to run, including their successful Scream Factory brand, and are even trying to get their own film studio.
So I don't really have much curiosity about Shout speaking up on it. They're a company that isn't required to speak on it, and the fact that they're trying to push some sort of MST content even through the pandemic, including the social distancing special, newly riffed shorts, acquiring Delta Knights, and a new Turkey Day stream, tells me they're still supporting this brand until a future is set in stone, even if that future is no more MST.
But as I've said before, as shout grows their streaming platform, this is an IP they have with a fan base hungry for new content. Once they start creating original scripted shows for it, I'm pretty confident MST will be a go-to title for them.
Although I agree mostly with what you said, the tone of your repsonse puzzles me a little. I wasn't wondering why Shout! hasn't communicated with or pandered to or appeased us the fans, I was wondering why Shout! as a business has made virtually no press releases or other public announcements or status updates on one of their owned properties.
As for Joel, it does make sense that he is the face of MST3K, but I don't really know that he is a Shout! employee in fact or in 'pretty much'. As the article I linked to states, his company Alternaversal, LLC is a partner with Shout! That is very much different than being an employee of Shout! and does not necessarily mean his wants and goals are the same as Shout's.
You are probably right that they've been letting him steer the ship up to now, but then up to now has kind of stumbled to a stand still. It could just be, as I think others have mentioned, that they're waiting for the whole Netflix thing to lapse before trying something new. I dunno. It probably is a good sign that they still did a Turkey Day this year.
I wonder if they actually made any profit at all off of the Reboot so far. The article states that they paid 7 figures for the rights alone. And then the going word on the street is that no money was made on 11 and that 12 needed a secondary pledge drive. And who knows if and where any money was made on the live stuff. ... Or, you never know, it could actually be one of the places that the money went from KS and from Netflix -- rights and royalties to Shout!.
Post by monkeypretzel on Dec 16, 2020 16:04:59 GMT -5
Joel actually created a different Alternaversal Company on April 4, 2017, called Alternaversal Live Shows, LLC. I'm going to guess that any deal Shout Factory has is with Alternaversal Productions, LLC, created Oct. 28, 2015, or even Alternaversal, LLC, created Dec. 23, 2011. (Source: a search for 'Alternaversal' at OpenCorporates dot com.)
Yup. There are three Alternaversals. And the assets, liabilities, intellectual property, and contracts of one do not automatically transfer to the others. I doubt that Shout Factory has any say, or has to sign off on, anything about those live shows. Joel controls those pretty much lock, stock, and barrel. I'm also reasonably sure that any profits or losses from the live shows belong entirely to Joel.
There's reasons why Joel pivoted so quickly and thoroughly into live shows, putting most of his energy and effort into them. I wish I knew what they were.
Last Edit: Dec 16, 2020 16:05:55 GMT -5 by monkeypretzel: spelling
I doubt that Shout Factory has any say, or has to sign off on, anything about those live shows. Joel controls those pretty much lock, stock, and barrel. I'm also reasonably sure that any profits or losses from the live shows belong entirely to Joel.
That makes sense. But then, all the stuff I've read states that Shout! paid for and owns MST3K. So, are they just letting Joel use it for funsies, I guess in hope that he will broaden the brand; or, are they licensing the property to Joel's company for use in the Live shows. Either are possible, but considering the real world runs on business and money and profit, it's more likely some form of the second. Who knows, it could even be more a profit sharing, where like Shout! gets 20% of all profits from live shows. ...Although seeing Joel's luck so far with nuMST3K, I personally would opt for the money up front.
"In late 2015, Shout! Factory and creator Joel Hodgson formed a new partnership, known as Satellite of Love LLC, to acquire the global IP rights to MST3K with the aim of producing new episodes and managing and developing the IP in other areas. The highly successful MST3K Kickstarter campaign to #BringBackMST3K, spearheaded by Shout! Factory and Hodgson, surpassed its goal by funding the production of 14 new episodes and set the world record as the highest-funded film and video crowdfunding campaign in history. The new episodes of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” debuted as a Netflix original series on April 14, 2017. Later in 2017, Netflix renewed the series for another season."
Ah, so there you go, it is a partnership between Joel and Shout! in the form of yet another LLC called Satellite of Love LLC.
So, I then lookup up Satellite of Love LLC, which led me to
Which gives SOL LLC as a business with a single employee with an address in LA. That employee? Richard Foos. Richard Foos is one of the co-founders and current Executive Chairman of Shout! Factory. So, there you go. More details, but not really any answers. But we know what the specific question is -- Have the Alternaversal LLCs been given free reign on the MST3K brand, or are they licensing the brand in some form from Satellite of Love LLC. My guess is the latter in some form, like as I said above, the live show profits are probably split in some form between them. This is probably true for all the merch like the comics and Funko Pops, etc.
Having said all that, Shout! as mainly a video company, I'm sure would be happier if Joel made some more shows for them to sell videos of.
It's been years since I saw it, but from what I recall, the TV Wheel was strange and pointless and I can see why it wasn't picked up. I'm not sure why Joel ever thought it was a good idea that would have mass appeal to television audiences. It's a very theater-y concept that can only really be appreciated by other theater types (quick scene changes!), and even then, it's not going to wow many people.
Right, the gimmick was that it was quickly changing, and also all effects would be in-camera. It is definitely an odd concept, but then Joel is odd. I can see it working if the group you have is a good, charismatic improve group. It could be a fast-paces "Whose Line Is It Anyway" type thing.