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Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey


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#1 of 47 Jack Cleveland

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:05 AM

I had a friend ask me if either of these two series are coming out on DVD. I looked through the TVShowsonDVD web site, but found nothing listed.

Who holds the current rights to thse shows, and do we have a chance of ever seeing them officially released?

Also, were these ever syndicated? I'm not sure I've even seen them before...

#2 of 47 Jack Cleveland

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Posted August 18 2007 - 01:40 AM

Well, from the lack of response to this thread, I suppose the series aren't any good. Only 48 hits to the whole thread in 24 hours and no replies.

Guess Ben and Kildare are 2 more forgotten shows that no longer generate interest.

Studios (whoever hold the rights!) take note.

If it's Fox, give us Peyton Place instead!

#3 of 47 Jeff#

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Posted August 18 2007 - 03:17 AM

I never had an opportunity to see Dr. Kildare, but I have seen a number of episodes of Ben Casey (in early 1980s CBN Cable reruns) and although I'm not a fan of medical dramas....Ben Casey was one of the best. Posted Image Vince Edwards as Ben and Sam Jaffe as his boss, the hospital administrator Dr. Zorba made a great team. The acting was quite good and so were the guest stars. Jaffe quit the show at the end of the 4th season, to be replaced by Franchot Tone as the new admin for the last year.

Dr. Kildare was shortened to a 1/2 hour and began filming in color for its final season, but aired twice a week (which is why there are about 60 episodes in its last year instead of 30).

Both series ran during the same 5 year period from 1961 to 1966 but on different networks and nights. I've heard the Kildare theme music though, and both it and the one for Casey are beautifully orchestrated.

I don't know if Dr. Kildare was syndicated though.

As for DVD releases....who knows? I wouldn't go out of my way to buy them if they were, because I don't collect doctor shows for the same reason Jack Lord turned down the Ben Casey role: Hospitals are an environment for human misery and that's too depressing.

#4 of 47 Jeff#

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Posted August 18 2007 - 03:26 AM

I forgot to mention that Bettye Ackerman (the actress who played Dr. Maggie Graham in a number of Ben Casey episodes) was married to co-star Sam Jaffe -- a man who was 33 years her senior. Way to go, Sammy! Posted Image

#5 of 47 Garysb

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Posted August 18 2007 - 04:32 AM

Dr. Kildare was produced by MGM based on the movie series of the 30's and 40's with Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore. I assume Warners has the rights but it could be owned by MGM. The TV show Flipper was an MGM product and is being released by MGM now while Gilligan's Island was produced by UA but is owned by Warner Bros now. So you never can tell.

Ben Casey was produced by Bing Crosby Productions and aired on ABC . Not sure if ABC had an interest. Another BCP show was Hogan's Heroes
which aired on CBS. That is owned by Viacom now CBS and Paramount released the DVDs.

#6 of 47 Jeff#

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Posted August 18 2007 - 04:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garysb
Dr. Kildare was produced by MGM based on the movie series of the 30's and 40's with Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore.
It was also a radio series in the 1940s and early 1950s.

#7 of 47 Dan McW

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Posted August 18 2007 - 08:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garysb
I assume Warners has the rights but it could be owned by MGM.

Kildare was produced by Arena Productions and MGM, the same combo behind The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a series whose true ownership seemed to be in doubt until we learned that Warner was the rights holder. The same may hold true here. If Kildare had been owned outright by MGM/UA, it would have ended up in Sony's hands along with the other non-Gilligan MGM/UA titles.

Another thought: Isn't it odd that so many long-running medical series of the past are not on home video? Are they that dated? I know there are series like St. Elsewhere or public-domain Medic episodes that have been released. But older series from Kildare and Casey to Marcus Welby and Medical Center (another MGM title) to Trapper John, M.D. each ran for at least five years but have never been released to home video in any format, AFAIK. Some released series such as Emergency and M*A*S*H certainly have a medical-drama side to them but cross into other genres. I'm just referring to the older series that were straight medical dramas.

#8 of 47 Elena S

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Posted August 18 2007 - 11:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Cleveland
Well, from the lack of response to this thread, I suppose the series aren't any good. Only 48 hits to the whole thread in 24 hours and no replies.

Guess Ben and Kildare are 2 more forgotten shows that no longer generate interest.

You'd be wrong. Plenty of people would like to have these shows, but many of us are just discouraged at the lack of interest on the part of the studios. We've beaten so many dead horses on this subject that it's frustrating and almost not worth discussing anymore.

I too find it strange that hardly any of the older medical dramas have been released, and yet they were popular in their time. I'm still waiting on Chicago Hope, which isn't even that old.

#9 of 47 Jeff#

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Posted August 18 2007 - 03:01 PM

Somehow I suspect that Medical Center and / or Marcus Welby, MD (which both ran during the same 7 seasons) will see the light of DVDay long before Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare.

#10 of 47 Jack Cleveland

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Posted August 18 2007 - 11:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff#
Somehow I suspect that Medical Center and / or Marcus Welby, MD (which both ran during the same 7 seasons) will see the light of DVDay long before Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare.


I would suspect the same, Jeff. The mere fact that these are color as opposed to B&W would support that hypothesis!

#11 of 47 Hank Dearborn

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Posted August 19 2007 - 03:09 AM

Dr. Kildare is owned by Warner, a studio with absolutely no interest in it's black and white product. Chance of a release: practically nill.

Ben Casey is now a Paramount property so at least there might be a small chance.

I'm not counting on either and therefore I've transferred my runs of both series to DVD already so I'm not too concerned with what happens with either show. Thankfully both were run during the taping era, Ben Casey on many stations and Kildare on Turner South. For those who care to pursue them, both are readily available among collectors.

#12 of 47 Jeff#

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Posted August 19 2007 - 03:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Dearborn
Dr. Kildare is owned by Warner, a studio with absolutely no interest in it's black and white product. Chance of a release: practically nill.
That didn't stop them from releasing the first season of Cheyenne and selected episodes of Maverick. Posted Image

#13 of 47 ToddR2

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Posted August 19 2007 - 05:47 AM

I'd love to see Ben Casey on DVD. It was a wonderfully done show, one of the very best medical shows in the medium's history. Dr. Kildare, I'm less enthused about.

#14 of 47 Jeff#

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Posted August 19 2007 - 01:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddR2
I'd love to see Ben Casey on DVD. It was a wonderfully done show, one of the very best medical shows in the medium's history. Dr. Kildare, I'm less enthused about.
I know what you mean, Todd. Anyone today watching Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Kildare occasionally romancing the female guest stars can't help but think of the fact that he came out of the closet in recent years, most (or perhaps least) noteably in 2002 when he appeared in drag twice to play Mr. Wick's mother on The Drew Carey Show! Posted Image

Yet that's no more surprising than watching Rock Hudson pursuing Doris Day in several films or being married to the lovely Susan St. James in McMillan & Wife. Who knew that he had a gay lover in real life? It wasn't until Rock got AIDS that everything came to the surface. He was already a "has-been" by that time anyway, until Aaron Spelling hired him as a regular on Dynasty.

I'm not bashing homosexuals or the talent of the above actors, but I'm just saying that in their earlier years as actors at least the late Vince Edwards was a man's man. Whatever the ladies saw in Ben Casey is more along the lines of what they got! Posted Image

#15 of 47 Hank Dearborn

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Posted January 09 2008 - 04:30 AM

Just wanted to renew this thread. You know I've just been watching some of these and it really is too bad these shows haven't gotten any DVD exposure as they really are great series, especially Ben Casey.

#16 of 47 Elena S

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Posted January 09 2008 - 06:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff#
I know what you mean, Todd. Anyone today watching Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Kildare occasionally romancing the female guest stars can't help but think of the fact that he came out of the closet in recent years, most (or perhaps least) noteably in 2002 when he appeared in drag twice to play Mr. Wick's mother on The Drew Carey Show!
What does this have to do with the quality of the show? Dr. Kildare was very well done, and I'd prefer to have it over the other medical shows of its day.

#17 of 47 Jack Briggs

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Posted January 09 2008 - 08:57 AM

Also worth noting is the ABC series Marcus Welby M.D., which ran from 1969 until 1975. In fact, from 1971 through, oh, 1973 or so, it was the top-rated network series in the Neilsen ratings. Quite a bravo performance. Now, tell me everyone: Where might the DVDs of this series be?

#18 of 47 Hank Dearborn

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Posted January 09 2008 - 12:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elena S
What does this have to do with the quality of the show? Dr. Kildare was very well done, and I'd prefer to have it over the other medical shows of its day.


The gentleman who seemed to pepper every single thread with those types of inane comments seems to have departed (thankfully) from this forum.

#19 of 47 Jack Briggs

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Posted January 10 2008 - 09:36 AM

That would be correct, Hank. But let's not discuss it here. Thanks.

#20 of 47 Jack Cleveland

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Posted January 12 2008 - 12:45 AM

Nice to see this thread resurface- I keep hoping I'll see these shows someday complete and official from a outfit that cares about quality TV- I sure would like to hear of any movement in that direction...

Jack


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