Black and white sitcoms - will we ever see them?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Hank Dearborn, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    A scant few have made their way out in legitimate releases but there are so many more that we should have. Is it that the people working at these studios see black and white as something they don't want to touch? Look at all of these great shows:

    Life of Riley, Love That Bob, People's Choice, Burns and Allen, Jack Benny Show,
    Bachelor Father, Gale Storm Show, My Little Margie, Ann Sothern Show, Private Secretary, Patty Duke Show, Farmer's Daughter, Ozzie and Harriet (uncut), I Married Joan, The Ray Milland Show, Dennis the Menace, Dobie Gillis, Car 54, How to Marry a Millionaire, Topper, December Bride, Our Miss Brooks, Pete and Gladys, The Donna Reed Show, Bilko (season set), Mr. Ed (season set), Hennesey.

    Besides Lucy and Dick Van Dyke, have we seen the complete series of any other long running black and white sitcom? That's really a shame, especially considering that these shows no longer air in syndication anymore either. There's a whole generation that has never been exposed to some of the funniest shows in TV history.
     
  2. Roger_S

    Roger_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, we did have The Andy Griffith Show...of course, it went to color in it's last 3 seasons.
     
  3. Ivan G

    Ivan G Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know if The Honeymooners' "Classic 39" counts, but it was released in its entirety.

    But I'm like you, Hank--I'd love to see full season-by-season releases of practically every show you've named. I spent most of the holidays watching some Pete and Gladys and I'm Dickens...He's Fenster episodes (some with the original commercials) and am amazed that they're sitting on both of those little gems.
     
  4. Elena S

    Elena S Supporting Actor

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    Where'd you see Pete & Gladys? I'd LOVE to see some of those again!

    As to whether or not they'll ever release the black and white shows you mentioned, it would be a crying shame to let them die on the shelves. The lack of color has nothing to do with the quality. I'd buy Donna Reed & Patty Duke in a New York minute. December Bride & Pete & Gladys, too.
     
  5. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    I'm not sure there's an answer to this question. Every show is different, is owned by different studios, has varying degrees of interest among fans and exists in varying degrees of picture quality. You can't simply lump together a bunch of B&W shows as if they are all the same.
     
  6. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Consider that getting color sitcoms prior to 1990 that aren't by Norman Lear or still rerun 15 times a day released in their entirety is like pulling teeth from a lion, you can imagine what many B&W sitcoms have to go through.
     
  7. Theodore J. Mooney

    Theodore J. Mooney Supporting Actor

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    Even though these were not long-running they are in black and white and have been released on DVD entirely: The Munsters and The Addams Family.
     
  8. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    Forgot about those. But all of the shows that I mentioned had very long syndication runs, airing from the 60s through the 80s. Even when they started to dry up on over the air stations, cable came along and CBN and Nick at Nite ran many of them and still later HA, for the short time it was around, had a good portion of them on it's schedule. Now they seem to have vanished. A big problem for many of them is that they have never been transfered and don't exist on tape, only on film.
     
  9. Gregory V

    Gregory V Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd love to see every one of those shows Hank mentioned...particularly Burns & Allen, and Jack Benny....HOPEFULLY!!!! Haven't seen Pete & Gladys since I was a kid....Would love to see that again.
     
  10. Ivan G

    Ivan G Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched a bunch of them over the holidays and while I can certainly see why it only lasted a couple of seasons (Harry Morgan wasn't quite as funny on his spin-off as he was on December Bride, for example) I'm surprised by the fact that when the shows were good, they were very, very good. The quality sort of dropped off in Season 2 but the episodes with Gale Gordon (who played Morgan's uncle) are still falling-down funny.

    Cara Williams got a bad rap because she was channelling Lucille Ball (and she was, no doubt about it) but I think she should get credit for the fact that at least when she was aping Lucy she didn't mug as shamelessly as the famous redhead. All in all, Pete & Gladys is a fun sitcom, with timeless physical humor that has a slight edginess.
     
  11. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Let's hope TIMELESS has gotten the right to release BATCHLOR FATHER!
     

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