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The Goldbergs (1949-56)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bob Hug, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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  2. nostalgic TV guy

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    What a surprise it was today to go to the home page of TVshowsondvd.com and see a DVD release of a show that I thought would NEVER be released on DVD:"The Goldbergs". Even though its only a ten episode release, I was still left shaking my head in amazement.

    I see one of the episodes will be "The Milk Farm"; from about 1955 or '56. This episode has two guest stars who would become well known in the 1960's for being regulars on TV sitcoms of that era---Natalie Schafer (Mrs. Howell of Gilligan's Island fame) and Alice Pearce (the first Gladys Kravitz of Bewitched).

    The episode concerns Mrs. Goldberg going to a "fat farm", called the "Milk Farm" and being forced to subsist on a diet of carrots and lettuce and exercising on those goofy exercise machines of the 1950's (remember those machines that had a strap which fit around your waist and vibrated the strap to "jiggle the fat away"?)

    I have about 24 episodes of 'The Goldbergs", all from the last year of the series (1955-56). It's a bootleg on five DVD's and yes, the quality is awful, but still it's an underrated, forgotten series that deserves to be better remembered.

    (The bootleg set also has a short clip, 5 minutes or so, of the gentleman who played "Uncle David" on The Goldbergs as a guest on Steve Allen's show doing a comedy routine, sort of a bonus feature! Then if that isn't enough, at the end of the last DVD is an episode of the very early sitcom "The Aldrich Family". The episode dates from 6/18/1950, was broadcast on the NBC Network and includes an original commercial! It's totally unrelated to The Goldbergs, but a rare sitcom nevertheless. I couldn't find another TV episode of "The Aldrich Family" available anywhere on the Internet. Wish I could see more episodes of both series!)
     
  3. Jude86

    Jude86 Stunt Coordinator

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    After years of simply reading about this series, it will be nice to finally see some of the episodes![​IMG]
     
  4. Rod J

    Rod J Premium
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    Anyone get this? Amazon just asked me to approve an "end of May" delivery(?) date..
     
  5. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately, Timeless Media is notorious for missing delivery on announced release dates, Rod. They were about a month behind on their western and crime releases last Fall and again last month, with some follow-up releases of several shows that were supposed to ship in March. They're a comparatively small DVD releasing company, so I've learned to simply be patient with them. You'll evenually get "The Goldbergs," it'll just take some more "Time."
     
  6. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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  7. Rod J

    Rod J Premium
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  8. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    Considering that this is regarded (along with Amos & Andy) as one of the first true sitcoms and its long history, there must be kinescopes around from the first TV years (1949-51 CBS, 1952-53 NBC, and 1954 DuMont). I'm surprised Alpha Video (aka Oldies.com) hasn't done anything with this title.
     
  9. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    Well, do you want the good news or the bad? First the bad. Almost all of the live era Goldbergs are gone. Gertrude Berg had it in her contract that the kines had to be destroyed within a month after airing. So the vast majority is gone. The good news is that about 25 live shows from the 1954 version exist as well as the complete 39 episodes from the 1955 syndicated run. A release consisting of all of the above is being seriously considered and may come about. That's all I can say at this point.
     
  10. Stephen Bowie

    Stephen Bowie Stunt Coordinator

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    There's also a feature-length documentary on Gertrude Berg nearing completion (from the director of "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg"), so maybe if that achieves a real release it will give someone a kick in the pants in terms of releasing the surviving episodes.
     
  11. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    What cruel irony: Gertrude Berg is all but forgotten today, and her decision to have the kinescopes destroyed was a definite factor. On the other side of the coin, Jackie Gleason cemented his reputation as a TV pioneer by holding on to his CBS kinescopes and releasing the so-called "Lost Honeymooners" decades later amid great fanfare. I'm surprised Ms. Berg didn't film her show much earlier, considering Lucille Ball's runaway success. Had she done so, several postwar generations would've grown up with Molly Goldberg reruns as they did with Lucy Ricardo.
     
  12. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    The main reason why I Love Lucy was filmed was because she didn't want to do the show in New York, where almost all TV came from in that era. Since the majority of the viewers were on the east coast, they didn't want to air crappy looking kinescopes for east coast viewers and that's why they filmed them. Mr. Peepers seems to be the only one of those early live classic sitcoms that has the majority of it's shows still around (102 of 127 by my count) and that was do to the dilligence of the show's creator. Otherwise it would be in the same boat as The Goldbergs, Mama, Meet Millie, My Friend Irma and other lesser shows of the era. Mama, which ran even longer than The Goldbergs, only filmed their final 13 shows and no one is even sure where those are today. 99% of their live shows are gone.
     
  13. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    You are right on the money about the shows being gone. I checked over at Shokus.com, a fairly reliable company for some of television earliest shows, and they have a grand total of 6 episodes available for "Mama."
     
  14. cwilli

    cwilli Stunt Coordinator

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    Why would Gertrude Berg want the kinescopes destroyed? That doesn't make sense unless she didn't want her legacy to be carried on.
     
  15. Rod J

    Rod J Premium
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  16. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    Television was not thought of as something to preserve for all time or something that we would be looking at fifty years later. It was thought to be a live medium, similar to radio. I have no idea why anyone would have the idea of destoying the shows. Major League Baseball had the same clause in their contract with NBC, for all of the kines to be destroyed after a month's time. That's why things like the Larsen perfect game only exists in the hands of one greedy little private collector who will never let it out. Pick up a schedule from the early 50s and 95% of the network shows at that time were produced live.
     
  17. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Screenwriter

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    A big box set of all of the known remaining existing episodes will be coming out in the first quarter of 2010. Included will be episodes from all of the incarnations of the series. There are about 6-7 of the CBS 1/2 hour episodes, 2 NBC 1/2 hours, an NBC 15 minute episode, almost all of the Dumont 1/2 hours (24 shows) and all 39 of the final filmed syndicated episodes. They are also including a bunch of Goldbergs radio programs as well. Other extras include the pilot of Mrs. G Goes to College, Molly Berg's sitcom comeback in 1961. This should turn out to be the most important vintage TV release of 2010. And, believe it or not, it's coming from Shout Factory.
     
  18. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Wow, that one has flown under the radar! It's coming in the first quarter of next year and there's been no word about it until now?!!! Nice work, Neil. Glad someone broke the news and I'll look to pick this one up.


    Gary "Neil really does have some nice, well-placed sources - I have to admit this one totally escaped me" O.
     
  19. DeWilson

    DeWilson Screenwriter

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    er, it's aired on the MLB Network several times already! :)
     
  20. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Screenwriter

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    Everybody has their price. After 20 years, someone finally met his. He still has quite a few World Series games from the 50s squirreled away. Who knows, maybe in another 20 years he'll let another one out.
     

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