A post on the Home Theater Forum indicates that independent sitcom producer Carsey-Werner has pretty much won the "which producer treats its product the shabbiest" sweepstakes. It was previously mentioned that the new DVD set of The Cosby Show uses cut syndication tapes, and there was some question as to whether this was the fault of the DVD distributor, UrbanWorks, or not. Now it turns out that it's definitely the fault of Carsey-Werner, because the new set of Carsey-Werner's Roseanne, distributed by a different DVD company (Anchor Bay), also uses syndication tapes.
Exactly what possesses a company to distribute chopped-up, cut-down versions of its two most valuable properties is beyond the ability of us mere mortals, who do not band together to form independent sitcom production companies, to say. Note, however, that Carsey-Werner is an LLC, meaning there's no point in suing them for everything they've got for false advertising -- as W.S. Gilbert said, "Nothing that is planned by mortal head is certain in this vale of sorrow, saving that one's liability is limited."