Timeless Media: 87th Precinct (Complete Series) (1961-62)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Brian:C, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    From the sampling I've seen of both shows, that's absolutely correct with a capital A. Mr. Novak is far superior. Frankly, I'd be lukewarm at best to a Channing release based on what I've seen of it. Mr. Novak, on the other hand... that would be a quick buy for me!


    Gary "Channing had a pathetic Christmas episode" O.
     
  2. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    Gary, agree with you on MR. NOVAK, a surefire buy for me as well.

    A few years ago I managed to watch about five or six episodes of 87th PRECINCT, can't remember, but a few. It reminded me of NAKED CITY, but perhaps wasn't quite as good or as gritty.I am still in for this release though once the price drops.

    Around the same time I saw 2 shows of another NYC shot series from the 60's called THE REPORTER, starring Harry Guardino. It was a very short lived series and will never be released anywhere, I'm sure, but I enjoyed the two samplings I saw.
     
  3. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    I think we would all like to see that show. Not sure why Timeless has not aggressively pursued a release as there is certainly far more name recognition attached to it than almost everything else they've released. And I don't think that there are very many of us still around who have seen very many episodes. I vaguely remember as a kid seeing the closing credits as it used to air right before wrestling came on. I think one of the things that may make them reluctant are the amount of PD episodes. The first 100 are PD, the next 100 are copyrighted and then the remainder are a mixture. But since such a low percentage of them have been around in any form, I think it would be the definitive 50s release.
     
  4. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    I had a chance to view all of the episodes of this series at one of the archives not long ago and I enjoyed it as well. The show has a bad reputation for some reason, probably because it was part of that whole James Aubrey/Keefe Braselle fiasco at CBS. (For those who don't know, Braselle was a mobbed up entertainer who sold CBS 3 series, all without pilots, all of which failed.) Anyway, while I wouldn't call it a great show (Saints and Sinners, a very similar series from Four Star, is a bit better), it's a pretty good show with some very good episodes. Of course a half season, black and white show owned by CBS has pretty much no chance of ever seeing the light of day again.
    By the way, speaking of James Aubrey, he was the CBS programmer who stated that his programming philosophy was "Broads, bosoms and fun". Judging by the series stars during his reign (Connie Hines, Tina Louise, Dawn Wells, Jeannine Riley, Pat Woodell, Donna Douglas, Julie Newmar), he certainly had 1 & 2 covered!
     
  5. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    What Were the other two shows?
    I think the covered #3 with some of those gals,too!
     
  6. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    The Baileys of Balboa and The Cara Williams Show.
     
  7. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Ah :)
     
  8. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    I certainly agree. However, most of the grey-market and PD market releases that I've seen consist of the same 25-30 episodes that have been endlessly repackaged time and again which makes me question whether the market has truly been saturated enough to dissuade a proper release. Also, as the show gets progressively older, it seems that the fans who know and want the original Dragnet series are most likely die-hards who wouldn't hesitate to buy a release.
     
  9. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    Actually, my guess is that the real issue for Timeless is the lack of affordable elements. I got the impression from Michael Hayde's book My Name's Friday that the only real complete set of the show is in the UCLA archives, and it's probably in film stock not transfers. I recall that several years ago, on the apparently defunct Dragnet fan site, there was information about a company selling DVDs of 1950s Dragnet episodes that were not part of the 25 episodes usually found on public domain releases. I think that it might have released about an additional 25 or 30 episodes, but I am not sure where they got them from. The 1950s Dragnet show was syndicated during the run of the original show as Badge 714, but it was withdrawn from syndication in the early/mid-1960s, and according to Hayde's book, the syndication prints were destroyed and the original elements donated to UCLA. Unless someone wants to go through UCLA's archives and come up with usuable masters, the 1950s show will never be widely seen. The good news is that most of the best of the 1950s Dragnet TV episodes were based on previously aired radio shows, and mp3 files of almost all the radio shows are widely available on the internet (either for download or on mp3 cds). There are well over 200 Dragnet radio episodes, and imo they are better than the television episodes I have seen.
     
  10. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    And I know I've said this before, but truthfully 50s Dragnet is much superior as a radio show than a TV show IMO. Webb's overobsession with tight close-ups is something I just found distracting in the extreme, not to mention the fact that Ben Alexander's portly presence is less effective on TV as well. OTOH, the radio scripts let the mind imagine a broader canvass especially for the more action-oriented stories of the 50s. I'd certainly buy a set if it came out, but it isn't a high priority with me because of the radio show's availability, and because of the radio show's superior format.
     
  11. silverking

    silverking Guest

    Its a shame that one of the most iconic & groundbreaking shows of the 50's is not generally available.
    I agree about the style & Webb's obsession with tight close-ups but bear in mind we are talking about viewers with 12" or 15" sets in that period so they wouldn't have looked so out of place in that era.
    I think there are around 50 odd episodes in the public domain in circulation. The website you refer to had a good list of them. I believe some put out by Sinister Cinema on video were not generally available elsewhere though most have now been copied by other PD outfits.
    Back in the mid 80's London Weekend Television, here in the UK played a number of the old BW Dragnets. Quite a few of them were ones that have not appeared on PD releases. Regretably video tape was fairly expensive in those days & although I recorded them I didn't keep many.
    As mentioned the radio show is easily available but it would be interesting to see the comparisons with TV segments.
     
  12. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Actually, it was Shokus Video and Moviecraft who put out the those DRAGNET episodes, not Sinister. Moviecraft were the ones that located the first few episodes.
     
  13. silverking

    silverking Guest

    Yes Denny you are correct it was Shokus & Moviecraft not Sinister. My apologies.
    One odd episode 'The Big Grandma' that is floating around from various PD outlets is a multi dub of my old VHS copy from the run in the UK I referred to in previous post. I copied it for various people & it seems to have finally landed in PD land.
    I know a number of those on the PD releases are actually from the syndication run as 'Badge 714'.
     
  14. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again! Why not several 'one and done' sitcom shows like "Bringing Up Buddy", "Yes, Yes, Nanette", (Originally titled Westinghouse Playhouse starring Nanette Fabray and Wendell Corey), and "ichabod and Me" (You can watch a couple of eps on TV4U.com, one of them has Rod Serling in a guest star turn!). These were from Revue, so Timeless can check w/Uni about getting hold of those prints for mastering in the future for DVD set releases.
     
  15. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Timeless rarely deals with sitcoms. Really, I'm trying to think of what comedies they've put out and all I can really recall is The Mickey Rooney Show. Can't really think of any others they've done. Not really their thing.
     
  16. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Then I wish some new company would come along who'd make sitcoms their thing.
    Timeless released "Going My Way," which is usually described as a "comedy/drama".
     
  17. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    I can toss in a couple more from the Revue era, in an earlier time.
    Pride Of The Family (ABC 1953-54) starring Paul Hartman, Fay Wray, Bobby Hyatt, and Natalie Wood
    Meet Mr. McNutley a.k.a. The Ray Milland Show (CBS 1953-55) Starring Ray Milland and Phyllis Avery
    There was a name change for Milland's character in season 2, he became McNulty.
    I've seen one episode of each on the web, TV4U and You Tube. Don't think Timeless will be putting these ones out anytime soon.
     
  18. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Were those the first two comedies that Revue produced?
     
  19. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    I see that 87th Precinct is now in stock at several online retailers - has anyone actually seen what the PQ is like?
     
  20. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    Mine should be here sometime this week. I will post them if no one else has.
     

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