Mama's Family 30th Anniversary

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by darkrock17, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    If that isn't enough, there are also rumors of lost episodes. Someone even claims to have seen at least one of them.

    Here's the person on SitcomsOnline who started this rumor named yeahyadda:
    There was even someone on that site, who says she remembers seeing a poster announcing the series finale, and on the poster it said "AFTER 135 EPISODES..."
     
  2. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    It's just an old internet rumor. There are no five missing episodes of Mama's Family. The rumor was so out of control that at one time, the five supposed "lost" episodes were even listed on epguides.com as "UNAIRED." They were never produced.

    The rumor (a stupid prank, really) began when someone noticed that season six only had 20 episodes, instead of 25 as in the previous syndicated seasons. They smelled a conspiracy, and delivered, by making up five "lost" episodes to round out that season. Nice of them. Those last five eps were never aired because they were never filmed. Notice that Mama's Family ends at episode #130 which is the magic number for a successful syndicated program. You get to #130, you get convenient 26-week (6 month) runs in syndication forever and ever. They never needed to film five more, and the plan all along was to try to get to 130. They did, and they ceased production. End of story.

    It is possible that there were five unfilmed scripts lying around, but every sitcom has unfilmed scripts. I don't know if Mama's unfilmed scripts are the same ones that people have pretended to see over the years. I doubt that, too.
     
  3. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Supporting Actor

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    For awhile I too thought there where missing episodes. From what I've heard from Vicki herself said that the network said that they had enough shows to be syndicated and didn't want anymore, even though Vicki was up to doing more seasons.
     
  4. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    Didn't Vicki say on more than one occasion that they had "completed 135 episodes"?
     
  5. potnoodle

    potnoodle Stunt Coordinator

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    It's possible, but since this was over twenty years ago, she may have misremembered. Someone contacted TVShowonDVD.com and asked them to check with Time Life about these so-called lost episodes a few months ago. They did, and Time-Life in turn checked (presumably with Warner and Joe Hamilton Productions) if these episodes did in fact exist and the answer was a flat no, in fact I think the exact quote was "Every episode that was filmed was aired". I don't really imagine that will satisfy people who want to believe in the existance of these five phantom episodes. If it makes them happy to think they exist, so be it.
     
  6. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I believe there may have been five unproduced scripts, as I suggested in the earlier post. Another thing that confuses people is that "Gert Rides Again" and the Christmas and Thanksgiving episodes were not seen in constant rotation on TBS. Usually the holiday episodes would only air on their respective holidays; no chance of seeing them in the middle of May. "Gert" was usually left out for reasons mentioned in other posts. The five "unaired episodes" thing is such shit. It's one of the oldest rumors on the net. I remember people talking about that on Mama's Family forums back in the 90s. We looked into it then. We settled it. They do not exist! I'd forgotten the whole thing...until now!!

    Have to ask the question: why in the hell would they leave five episodes out of syndication? They'd stand to lose millions over time, and Mama ran on TBS for YEARS. Doesn't make any sense...
     
  7. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    Ethan, your knowledge of television leads me to believe that you have (or had at least) a career in that field.
     
  8. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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  9. MONSTOYS

    MONSTOYS Auditioning

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    I just watched the CELLMATES episode and it certainly is edited as I originally posted. The first thing you'll notice is no Harvey Korman, then the opening credits have Mama walking out the door and grabbing the newspaper from the front yard. None of the other episodes before CELLMATES has this opening....so is that the syndicated opening, not the first season opening? Lastly, the running time of just over 21 mins, not like the rest which have a running time of 25 mins..so it's certainly cut. If memory serves me, there was a scene when Thelma and Eunice are brought into the cell and discuss things as only they can. That is edited out of this episode and the jail scene opens up with audience laughing mid way through as they are sitting. .
    Wouldn't it be great if I'm the ONLY one who has this BAD copy of Mama's Family sason one disc 2?
    What if everyone else's is UNCUT, let me know, my favorite episodes are with Carol Burnett and Vicki together. So, I'm very disappointed indeed.
     
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  10. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Supporting Actor

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    There's something I've been wondering, when the show came back in syndication how do we know the air dates, because in syndication any network or channel can air it. Does anyone know what network aired it? Also in syndication don't they show "be right back", "now back to the show", and "closed caption provided by" bumpers? Did Mama have those bumpers?
     
  11. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    In first-run syndication, the show usually aired on Saturday evenings, so that's why the airdates are usually Saturdays. Saturdays were the earliest possible airdate that affiliates were allowed for each episode, although they had the option of running it later in the week. Note that the pilot's listed airdate is Friday, Sept 26. That's because the pilot was offered as a "sneak preview" for that one night only, so that some affiliates could show it that Friday night, and urge viewers to tune in on Saturdays from then on.

    In 80s syndication, Mama usually aired on local independent channels, not networks, although she did end up on some network affiliates. Mama did not have those bumpers in original syndication.
     
  12. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    I've seen every episode of MF many, many times. There were never any missing or unaired eps that disappeared. There was never any show where it snowed and everyone acted crazy. The "Gert" ep got dropped from the syndie package but that seems like a more recent change.

    As far as music edits, the show was slightly music-heavy for a sitcom. The obvious examples being "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", "When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam" & "Singing in the Rain" all of which I hope will be present. Wouldn't some of those be in the public domain?
     
  13. potnoodle

    potnoodle Stunt Coordinator

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    That is very disapointing news. I'm less disturbed about "Mama's Boyfriend" because I didn't really care much for that episode but anything that Carol Burnett appears in is pure gold. Time LIfe still claims that all of the NBC episodes were provided by John Hamilton and are the original masters, so either they are not telling the truth or else somehow the original masters for those episodes were lost. I guess only Hamilton could say if this is true or not. But obvously, these two episodes are the edited syndicated versions, especially if the syndicated openings are present and not the NBC openings with the different house.
    I just hope that "Rashomama" from season 2 is the original version since it was my favorite episode in the whole series and also Carol's last appearence in MF.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    6 cut episodes out of 130. It's disappointing. But sadly, it's a better batting average than the box set of the show that spawned it.
     
  15. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Supporting Actor

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    What are the 6 edited episodes in question?
     
  16. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    This is from the Time Life FB Page:

    "Time Life And to confirm, there are NO edits in Season 1. The run times are what they originally were. Season 2 has minor edits in Gert Rides Again and Ellen's Birthday as well as one deleted scene in Mama for Mayor where we couldn't clear music right for the songs. This is unavoidable, unfortunately. We do our best to work with musicians and estates to get rights, but some are not willing to release them for these older shows."

    So they're admitting to:

    Gert Rides Again
    Ellen's Birthday
    Mama For Mayor

    and we have rumors about:

    Cellmates
    Mama's Boyfriend

    I have no idea what the sixth episode is.
     
  17. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    So Ethan, have you gone through your 30+ tapes to see what could have been cut?
     
  18. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    No. Where would I begin?
     
  19. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    You said you had tapes going back 30 years, during the original run. I'd like to know which episodes they are.
     
  20. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I have all of Mama in vhs except 4 season 5 eps. I will have to see the DVDs to find out what's missing.
     

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