Thanks for all that you're doing to resuurect this series. I'm curious about the above statement. Mr. Chertok was nearly 89 when he passed away so it wouldn't be what one would normally consider an untimely or early death. Does this mean that he did not trust others with his business knowledge and records? In the normal course of business there would have been succession planning for his assets and estate. Or was it the case that he simply didn't see the value of certain of his holdings and thus didn't manage them the way he would have one of his more valuable properties.
This is not to meant to be critical of his organization in any way; just an honest question about how this situationof the missing negatives came about in the first place.
Other than My Favorite Martian, none of the other shows he was involved in producing stayed in his possession or were deemed by him to have commercial value. Private Secretary for instance wound up with Fox after they bought out Metromedia. Lone Ranger, Sky King, etc, all went to other places. My personal belief is that he did discard all of the elements he had on MLD, as he claimed he did. If not, when the cable explosion hit in the mid-80s, why wouldn't he have gotten a sale out of it? Similar short-run failed sitcoms were popping up all over the cable landscape - The Smothers Brothers Show, Wendy and Me, The Bill Dana Show, Captain Nice, Occasional Wife, He and She, Camp Runamuck, The Second Hundred Years, Bridget Loves Bernie and Temperatures Rising all had runs in that era. I have to believe that if the elements did still exist and Chertok still had them, then he would have been able to sell the show to CBN or USA or HA! Since that never happened, I do think that at some point, prior to the 80s, he made the decision that the show had no commercial value nor any future value and he chucked them all out. Hard to believe but that sort of thing happens every day, just not that often to prime time filmed network series.