WHV Press Release: Welcome Back Kotter First Season

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    WELCOME BACK, KOTTER
    THE EMMY-NOMINATED 70’S HIT COMEDY SERIES’
    FIRST SEASON AVAILABLE ON DVD FOR THE FIRST TIME
    JUNE 12, 2007
    FROM WARNER HOME VIDEO

    Four-Disc Collector’s Set Features
    22 Episodes and Never-Before-Seen Bonus Material
    Including the Actors’ Original Screen Tests

    BURBANK, CA (April 23, 2007) – Fans will recall such memorable catchphrases as “up your nose with a rubber hose” when the first full season of Welcome Back, Kotter, one of the 70’s biggest comedy hits, is released on DVD June 12, 2007 from Warner Home Video (WHV). Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete First Season will include all 22 episodes from the show’s first season, as well as never-before-seen exclusive bonus material, in a four-disc collector’s set and will retail for $29.98.

    Available for the first time ever on DVD, Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete First Season follows the life of teacher and former “Sweathog” Gabe Kotter (Gabriel Kaplan). Kotter returns to his former high school to teach the same remedial class in which he himself had been a student as a teenager. Still referred to as the “Sweathogs,” the lovable losers and delinquents of Buchanan High accept their new teacher as they provide a nonstop string of laughs.

    Welcome Back, Kotter is an Emmy-nominated series, which originally aired on ABC from September 1975 to May 1979. The show launched the career of John Travolta, who portrayed the role of heartthrob Vinnie Barbarino. The series also starred Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as the always cool Freddie “Boom-Boom” Washington, Robert Hegyes as the tough Juan (Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos) Epstein, Ron Palillo as the sheepish Arnold Dingfelder Horshak, Marcia Strassman as Julie Kotter and John Sylvester White as Mr. Michael Woodman. During season one, award-winning, renowned film and television actor James Woods makes a guest appearance in the show’s first episode, titled The Great Debate, portraying drama teacher Alex Welles. The first season of Welcome Back, Kotter received two Emmy nominations, including one for Outstanding Comedy Series.

    DVD Never-Before-Seen Bonus Features Include:

    ³Actors’ Original Screen Tests – includes John Travolta, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Marcia Strassman, Robert Hegyes and Ron Palillo.

    ³Only a Few Degrees From a Sweathog – An entertaining featurette which illustrates how all roads lead to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. The original Sweathogs reflect on the influence of the show, their personal experiences and memorable moments.

    “Welcome Back, Kotter is one of the 70’s biggest television comedies. It was unique in the sense that it featured a set of multicultural characters and also tackled some serious social issues but always managed to remain fresh, funny and entertaining,” commented Rosemary Markson, WHV Vice President, TV Marketing. She added, “Welcome Back, Kotter is one of those memorable shows that has made its mark on the history of American pop culture. Decades after its initial broadcast, television audiences still remember it fondly, making it a terrific addition to TV DVD collections.”

    The Credits

    With operations in 90 international territories Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video and New Line Home Entertainment.

    For more information on this and other titles distributed by Warner Home Video, visit www.whvdirect.com.
     
  2. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    DVDTALK has a review up for Kotter S1.

    http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=28520

    Except for the xfrs (rats!) the reviewer rated [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (out of 5) for Content & [​IMG] 1/2 for the xfr. I'd have given a 5-star for Content since this one's on my "list". I'd guess that the xfrs are about the same as Barney Miller S1 since they're both from the same time period in the mid-70's. The Reviewer mentioned that the video-compression was apparent on his/her big-scrn monitor. I guess it'll be watchable on my 36" Sony Wega [​IMG]

    This one's in my DDD cart for DDD's mega-sale (thru this Sat 06/16).
     
  3. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I bought the single-disc "Television Favorites" sampler of WBK last year and thought that the transfers were pretty solid, as good as one might expect for a 30 year old series. Of course, that was only six half-hour episodes, which a single disc can easily handle. But the DVD Talk reviewer, Paul Mavis, is arguably that site's best reviewer for classic television on DVD and someone whose opinion I trust. Unless he somehow received a substandard review copy, then I'd have to assume his comments are on target. Incidentally, for what it's worth, I thought that the transfers for the six episode WBK release were superior to the "Barney Miller" release.
     
  4. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Look on the bright side, the episodes appear to be unedited.
     
  5. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    If they're unedited and the xfrs are better than Barney Miller S1, then "sold" [​IMG] I've been hedging at the DDD cart on this one a little since reading about the xfrs at DVDTalk.
     
  6. LorenzoL

    LorenzoL Second Unit

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    Does anybody know if any music has been altered or cut?
     
  7. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I have my set and the transfers are on par with any DVD release of 70's sit-coms shot on tape i.e.: Sanford and Son, All in the Family, What's Happening, Threes Company etc. They look a bit better than they do on TV and I have no problem with them on a 56" screen. I would have given the video 2 and a 1/2 stars.
     
  8. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    This show looks very good, considering its video source. One minor but interesting observation I made....the second episode on disc one features an in-credit mention of Warner Bros. under the Wolper name. But Wolper didn't sell his company to WB until Dec. of 1976!
     
  9. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I agree with Scott. I just viewed the 1st episode. Thankfully, the xfr looks a lot better than the Barney Miller S1 set. Makes me curious why the B.M. set didn't come out as good as this one.
     

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