Are DVD versions of TV episodes usually different than the TV broadcast version?

I was watching the ST:TNG series finale "All Good Things" on Netflix the other night. I noticed, there was a difference in the scene where Picard is on the USS Pasteur with Dr. Crusher/Picard as the captain and they are asking/coercing Worf for permission to cross thru.

The difference between the TV episode and the Netflix version is Netflix had extra dialogue (I won't paraphrase/quote the dialogue, unless people want me to :) ).

Why does Netflix and presumably the DVD have this extra footage but the TV broadcast (as far as I can remember) did not? Is this common for all TV shows? I think I read something regarding Friends episodes being SHORTER on Netflix than its tv broadcast counterpart but I'd need to find that article.

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    Where were you watching originally? Some countries censored parts of several episodes.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 22:28
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    Aired episodes may be "edited for time and content" and so may not be as originally aired...
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 22:32
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    Syndicated shows are much more likely to be edited for time as CGCampbell mentioned.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 22:35
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    Syndicated shows must allow more commercials per hour than broadcast shows. Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 14:43
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    Right: my claim is not that something was added for DVD/Netflix. Instead, something was subtracted from the broadcast version to make the syndicated version. And the original (broadcast) version is on DVD/Netflix. Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


Yes, DVD versions of shows can often differ--sometimes drastically--from the original broadcast version, as can syndicated broadcasts. Whether they'll include additional material or exclude original material all depends.

Most often, material is cut simply for time on broadcast. In syndication runs, more ad revenue may need to be generated, so more time is cut, or the running time compressed (footage can be speeded up; sometimes inadvertently if video was crossing standards, since NTSC is 30 fps, and PAL is 25 fps). In addition, sometimes content may have been censored by a network but added back in for a "director's cut" version (e.g., Steven Moffatt's Jekyll had three different edits--with different footage/audio [the audio edits were mostly for language] between the original BBC airings, the US airings on BBC America, and the DVD sets). Another possible cause for differences can be linked to licensing issues with DVDs: for example, Keen Eddie lost their rights to some of the music used on the tracks for braodcast, and so the DVD went out with different music choices on the audio tracks.

And do we even need to mention the issues with the HD blu-ray version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

  • 1
    The 80's cartoon Dungeons And Dragons immediately comes to mind. Each DVD release is slightly different, mostly in regards to the music and audio effects. Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 0:19
  • @JohnnyBones, thx, I'll have to look into this show too, although, I don't know if I can get my hands on ALL the DVD releases =(
    – Classified
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 18:12

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