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Universal - home of great television? Prison is more like it.

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Hank Dearborn, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Well-Known Member

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    Remember a few years ago when Universal came out with that promotion, saying how they are the home of great television? Yes, that's true. Too bad most of their shows are under house arrest. Even with them starting to license out some shows, look at a small sampling of all of the series they have that are buried in their vaults:

    87th Precinct
    Arrest and Trial
    Bachelor Father
    Bionic Woman
    Love That Bob
    The Bold Ones
    Checkmate
    The Deputy
    Dragnet (b/w)
    The Equalizer
    Harper Valley PTA
    House Calls
    It Takes a Thief
    Jack Benny Show
    Johnny Staccato
    Laramie
    M Squad
    Marcus Welby MD
    Mike Hammer
    Name of the Game
    Operation Petticoat
    Owen Marshall
    Ray Milland Show
    Restless Gun
    Riverboat
    Run for Your Life
    Shotgun Slade
    Six Million Dollar Man
    State Trooper
    Suspense Theatre
    Suspicion
    Switch
    Tales of Wells Fargo
    The Tall Man
    Thriller
    Toma
    Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre
    The Virginian
    Wagon Train
    Wide Country


    Not to mention all of the great series they've apparently abandoned:

    Dragnet
    Adam 12
    Kojak
    Baretta
    McMillan and Wife
    McCloud
    Quincy
    Leave it to Beaver


    Westerns seem to be getting a fair shake on DVD. But here's an interesting fact - the only westerns with more than 100 episodes that have not seen any releases are all Universal shows: The Virginian (225), Wagon Train (252 hrs, 32 90 mins.), Tales of Wells Fargo (167 1/2 hours, 34 hours), Laramie (124).
    This company was the top provider of shows to television from the 50s to the 70s and they really should be doing better in this area.
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    The absence of this is even weirder since the new remake series is an easy tie-in. Unless they're waiting to release the original around the same time as the new series' inevitable DVD release.
     
  3. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    Checkmate is coming to DVD. I think things are getting better and we will see brighter days ahead in this regard.

    I would like to see Switch, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew were fooling around the set of that in the 2nd season of their series.
     
  4. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Well-Known Member

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    seeing how little the new Bionic Woman has in common with the original, it's best for Univeral to hide it.

    I'm just happy part 2 of Banacek is coming out.
     
  5. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Well-Known Member

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    OSI Memo to Bionic Woman Fans, of which I'm a fanatic [​IMG]

    The R1 releases of both Bionic series won't happen until the legal issues have been settled between Universal and Dimension. There's more info about it on the "6M$M / BW R2" thread.

    I wish there would have been a "tie-in" but with that legal logjam in place, no chance yet. However, we don't know the status of the case unless someone has inside contacts at Universal's Hm Video Dept. It's possible that the issue is close to being settled. If there's any new news about it, we may hear something in Oct.

    I watched about 20 min's of the new BW but couldn't keep it on. Nothing specific about the new show, just that I haven't watched network series TV since about '96 or so and I'm too much of a "sports" nut to keep away from the games on DirecTV [​IMG] I did tune into the new BW at first due to curiosity since I'm a fan of the original show. The reason that none of the other character names from the "Cyborg" novel and the original Bionic shows were mentioned in the new show is due to the legal issues not being resolved.
     
  6. Xenia Stathakopoulou

    Xenia Stathakopoulou Well-Known Member

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    I really cant understand the logic of waiting for a region 1 release of bionic woman and six million dollar man, when its readilly available in region 2.Thats why the good lord invented dirt cheap region free players.Sorry, but ill never understand the loyalty to just 1 region.Thanks to credit cards and region free players, I have dvd releases from any region imaginable.
     
  7. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

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    My two most eagerly wanted mystery series are both Universal properties: ELLERY QUEEN and THE SNOOP SISTERS. But I'm not holding my breath to see either of them on DVD.
     
  8. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Well-Known Member

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    I agree. But some people are so afraid of venturing past their comfort zone. I use a cheap player I bought for under $50 and hacked the region code in about 3 minutes. BTW, it's been about a year since the last releases for those 2 shows. What gives? Have they given up?
     
  9. DeWilson

    DeWilson Well-Known Member

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    I doubt we will ever see the shows based on literary characters licenced out to other lables (Like Timeless), such as 87th Precinct,Mike Hammer,Ellery Queen,etc becuase of the underlying rights involved.
     
  10. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Well-Known Member

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    A few years back, I was all irritated with Universal for their problematic (dvd-18) sets, which caused me all sorts of troubles and consternation. I was thrilled when they finally rectified the situation. Yet, now I'm back to being irritated with them again, because, darnit, they just aren't releasing anything. Well, at least they saw fit to lease a few things out (I enjoyed both "McHale's Navy" and "Ironside" sets).

    One Universal series I've always wanted to see more of is "Run For Your Life." It had a good three-year run, but has tended to be quite scarce in syndication. I've only seen about a half-dozen episodes, and have always been curious to see more.
     
  11. pitchman

    pitchman Well-Known Member

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    If that is to imply that the new BW is somehow superior to the orginal, that just isn't the case. IMO, I'll take Lindsay Wagner as Jamie any day over the dull, dreary, cliche-filled reinterpretation that NBC is currently trying to jam down people's throats...
     
  12. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Well-Known Member

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    Hank, that's a good question. If Uni Playback follows their timetable for the S1/2 releases in R2/4, we should see pages up soon at the usual overseas 'net stores. I do know, from a friend in Paris, that the French sets didn't sell too well due to the Englsh language track being left out of
    the S2 sets, I believe. I think they are good sellers in the UK. My guess is that we'll see at least the S3's released. That would complete the BW series but not 6M$M.
     
  13. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Well-Known Member

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    I prefer the original version. The difference between the two shows is overwhleming and so it would do the producers of the new version any good for the DVDs to come out. All the diehard fans will do is buy the new DVDs and have a good excuse to skip the show - no tennis? and she has a bionic eye? And where's Steve Austin?

    Think about a couple years ago when they revived Nightstalker, Universal put out the original series on DVD. There was no need for me to see the new take.
     
  14. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Well-Known Member

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    Hank- you're forgetting that Fox is far worse in regards to unreleased vintage shows:

    Peyton Place
    Judd: For The Defense
    Batman
    Room 222
    Dobie Gillis
    The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
    Adventures In Paradise
    Bus Stop
    Bracken's World
    Nanny & The Professor
    The Monroes
    The Paper Chase
    James At 15
    Julia
    Lancer
    The Green Hornet
    Twelve O'Clock High
    Mr. Belvedere
    That's Hollywood

    - and let's not forget the other MTM and Four-Star shows that Fox owns as well!
     
  15. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Well-Known Member

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    I didn't forget. It's pretty well established that Fox is the worst. And that unless they find a way to somehow put Buffy into any of those shows, there's no way they'll ever get released. But by the same token, Universal was the number producer of televison series in the 50s, 60s and 70s. They were also the ones who came out with that big pronouncement a few years ago about being "The home of great television". At least Fox has sense enough to keep their mouths shut.

    BTW, some other shows you can add to the official "Fox Sucks" list:

    The Loner
    Life of Riley (which they picked up in one of their buyouts)
    The Wonder Years
     
  16. McAllister

    McAllister Member

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    I can think of a few more really obscure Universal TV shows that I would love to see again PERIOD, even if they will never see the light of day on a DVD disc... I don't know if any of you have seen or heard of these shows, but I definitely have seen an episode or two...

    Pride Of The Family
    City Detective
    Whispering Smith
    Soldiers of Fortune
    Coronado 9
    Johnny Midnight
    Investigators
    90 Bristol Court
    Outsider
    Sarge
    Tammy
    Mr. Terrific
    Harold Robbins' The Survivors
    Paris 7000
    Hec Ramsey
    Delvecchio
    Chase
    Griff
    Get Christie Love
    Rich Man, Poor Man

    ... and while I'm on the subject, let's not forget all the anthology series Universal has produced over the years...

    General Electric Theater
    Schlitz Playhouse
    Alcoa Premiere
    Jane Wyman Theater
    Studio 57
    Pepsi Cola Playhouse
    Joseph Cotten Show

    ... at least they could add an episode of one of these anthologies as a supplement to a movie with a famous actor or actress. I can name plenty of stars who appeared on these shows.
     
  17. Gary OS

    Gary OS Well-Known Member

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    I'd still say that designation is going to depend on what one considers a real vintage classic, and it's also going to depend on what's important to one person while not being important to another. For instance I only see a few shows on Charles' list that I'd consider real classics and must buys. On the other hand, I see a bunch of shows on the Universal side I'd like to have. And I know there are many vintage, b&w shows in Sony's and WB's vaults I'd like to have. The ratio of must-have shows, IMHO, are greater with both those studios than Fox.

    Don't get me wrong. Fox is way down on my list too. But they don't own as many older, b&w series that I want as do Sony, WB, and Universal.

    Gary "doesn't Fox own the rights to the Ron Ely 'TARZAN' series too - I want that one for sure" O.
     
  18. McAllister

    McAllister Member

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    Warners owns the rights to the Ron Ely version of Tarzan.
     
  19. Gary OS

    Gary OS Well-Known Member

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    Well, that definitely puts Warners on a lower level than Fox in my book.

    Gary "nope, as bad as Fox is, they aren't the worst as far as I'm concerned" O.
     
  20. Tom.W

    Tom.W Well-Known Member

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    Several of the shows on Hank's list have seen some sort of cable exposure over the years, eg. Thriller, Wagon Train, Virginian, Love That Bob, Kraft Suspense Theater, Bob Hope Chrysler Theater, Name of the Game, Mike Hammer (McGavin), Johnny Staccato. TVLand ran a few episodes of Run for Your Life in the late nineties. Supposedly Arrest and Trial is being offered as download to purchasers of new HP notebooks. Except for Staccato's run on Trio, and a few PD Wagon Trains and Love That Bob, none of these has seen any availability in many years. Is the market not there or is Universal hoarding its library in the age of tv on dvd?
     

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