Upcoming Vintage TV-on-DVD releases from Alpha Video

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bob Hug, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Public domain specialist Alpha Video has a number of upcoming 1950s era TV-on-DVD releases slated for February 26; here’s the lineup:

    The Eve Arden Show, vol. 1 (4 eps.)
    Golden Age of Television, vol. 2 (Two classic Westinghouse Anthology broadcasts from the 1950's)
    Lost Action Shows of the 1950s ("Here Comes Tobor," "Sea Divers," "Captain Fathom," and "Counterspy;" 1 ep. Each)
    Lost TV Quiz Shows of the 1950s ("Treasure Hunt," "Juvenile Jury," "Dollar a Second," "It Could be You;" 1 ep. each)
    Sheriff of Cochise, vol. 1 (4 eps.)
    What’s My Line (4 eps.)

    More information available at oldies.com
     
  2. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Bob hug:
    Thanks for this information. I am familiar with only a couple of those you mention. But it sounds like a treat. I may spring for some of these once they are available. Now all I have to do is to decide which ones.... [​IMG]
     
  3. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Looks like all of these were unsold pilots; found these descriptions at Nostalgia Family Video:

    HERE COMES TOBOR/TOBOR AND THE ATOMIC SUBMARINE: Unsold pilot produced in 1956. Tobor is a highly developed robot, controlled by built in ESP circuts. Professor Bruce Adams is the brains, but his nephew Tommy is the real operator due to his high ESP rating. In this episode an atomic sub surfaces and a squad of Navy jets is mysteriously downed. By accident, Tobor and Tommy are sent in a guided missle to the sub location, where they find it deserted and timed to explode. Stars Tommy Terrill as Tommy Adams, Arthur Space as Professor Bruce Adams and Tobor as himself.

    CAPTAIN FATHOM: Unsold pilot produced in 1955. COLOR. The submarine Explorer, commanded by the mysterious Captain Fathom, encounters high radiation. The Captain, Professor Barclay, Seaman Clyde, and Carol, ship's photographer, investigate, finding a mysterious object. Stars Don Megowan as Captain Fathom, Richard Cutting as Professor Barclay, Kenneth Tobey as Seaman Clyde, and Barbara Wilson as Carol. Written and produced by Curt Siodmak.

    SEA DIVERS: Unsold pilot produced in 1956. Two divers are hired to find the wreck of a ship that exploded, in order to retrieve valuable papers which their client says were on board. SEA HUNT, produced two years later, is believed to have "borrowed" its premise from this series. Stars Rhodes Reason, John Smith, Joyce Holden and Jeanne Vaughn.

    COUNTERSPY: Pilot episode, 1958. The investigations of U.S. Counterspy, as it tries to protect America from enemy agents at home. A little girl finds a dead man in a wet suit while playing on the beach. How he got there is top secret, and relates to the investigation of a foreign ship that navigated a very difficult harbor without assistance and in record time. Stars Don Megowan as David Harding, with Brad Johnson.
     
  4. docdoowop

    docdoowop Second Unit

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    I used to watch "It Could Be You" with Bill Layden every day when coming home from school for lunch. The show always closed with the announcement of a home floral delivery to a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary. And "Treasure Hunt" with Jan Murray is fondly remembered as well. Now we need "The Big Payoff" with Randy Merriman!
     
  5. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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  6. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    Regarding What's My Line- since the entire run of the classic 1950-67 show has been shown on GSN, there may be a question of legality as Fremantle Media is the owner of the show. Has Alpha cleared this DVD as being PD?
     
  7. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I have no idea one way or the other, but it's always possible that some of the shows were not properly registered initially or, if they were registered properly at the time of the initial registration, didn't have their copyrights renewed after the initial registration period of 28 years ended.
     
  8. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    Ooh, The Eve Arden Show. I've always wanted to see that one. Anyone know if there are more eps of it that have survived ?
     
  9. Kevin Segura

    Kevin Segura Stunt Coordinator

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    In the USA, the "What's My Line?" eps are NOT in the public domain. They (and any other live broadcasts of the period) would most accurately be described as an unpublished works, subject to the State common law copyright that was in place at the time of their original broadcast (which would generally be the New York statute). As a result of the Sonny Bono Copyright extension, even the earliest episodes of "WML?" will not enter the public domain until 2070.

    -Kevin
     
  10. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    That's what I've always thought, Kevin, so I wonder just what episodes Alpha could possibly issue. Clips, at least, of Lucy and/or Desi on What's My Line? and I've Got a Secret used to turn up on Lucy-themed VHS "collections" slapped together by p.d. outfits. Perhaps Fremantle has put the kibosh on the use of these clips since those days, though.
     
  11. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    And does anyone know what condition any of these eps will be in ?
     
  12. MishaLauenstein

    MishaLauenstein Supporting Actor

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    Funny, I was just thinking what a good idea it would be if someone released a DVD series called "UNSOLD PILOTS". Each set would be a different year.

    I wonder how many pilots per year fall into this category.

    A couple of years back one of the networks dumped their unsold pilots into the April pre-sweeps schedule. ABC, I think.

    I wonder why they don't do that more often.
     
  13. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    As I recall, not every WHAT'S MY LINE? episode was live - over the run of the show there were shows pre-recorded. If not properly registered or renewed, those would be in the public domain.
     
  14. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    Sometimes they'd do a live show and then tape one the same evening so that everyone could have an upcoming Sunday off (as I recall from producer Gil Fates' book on the show).

    Weren't kinescopes of live WML shows edited for delayed West Coast broadcasts to remove the word "live" in the "and now, live from New York" announcement? There may not be a surviving copy available to GSN that includes the word "live" for these shows. The edit is easily distinguishable, IIRC, from a prerecorded episode where the announcer originally said only, "and now, from New York." The announcement that a program was recorded isn't always heard nowadays on GSN since they started crunching the end credits on most of the "b/w overnight" shows several months ago.
     
  15. Kevin Segura

    Kevin Segura Stunt Coordinator

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    No-- the same rule applies. Under the old federal guidelines, the work would actually have to have been published without a copyright notification in order to possibly be considered as PD... since the act of broadcasting a program does not qualify as "publication", however, the work is still considered as being unpublished.

    [And to clarify, I was using the term "live broadcast" somewhat loosely, to refer to unscripted programming (what we'd call "reality TV" these days), as opposed to scripted dramas, situation comedies, plays, musicals, etc.]

    -Kevin
     
  16. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Interesting facts.
     
  17. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Thanks Bob. I do the same thing you apparently do. I check Oldies.com almost every day for future releases - but you beat me to it this morning. Thanks again. I don't know much of anything about most of these shows, so I'll probably pick these up when they are released.

    Gary "Alpha continues to do well with these PD shows" O.
     
  18. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Gary, with the exception of "The Pinky Lee Show," I'd hazard a guess and say that the other two releases represent pilot episodes that weren't picked up . . . . . at least that's the case with "The Shadow" which has already appeared on Mill Creek's "Best of TV Detectives - 150 episodes" box set.
     
  19. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Yep, that's my thought too Bob.

    Gary "these Alpha releases are so inexpensive it makes them worth a blind buy for me" O.
     

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