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


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#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Hank Dearborn

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Posted September 28 2007 - 03:43 PM

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 of 32 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted September 28 2007 - 03:50 PM

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 of 32 OFFLINE   Tory

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Posted September 28 2007 - 03:57 PM

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.
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#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Corey3rd

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Posted September 28 2007 - 04:38 PM

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.
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#5 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted September 28 2007 - 11:57 PM

OSI Memo to Bionic Woman Fans, of which I'm a fanatic Posted Image

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 Posted Image 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.

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#6 of 32 OFFLINE   Xenia Stathakopoulou

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Posted September 29 2007 - 12:50 AM

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.
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#7 of 32 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted September 29 2007 - 01:39 AM

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 of 32 OFFLINE   Hank Dearborn

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Posted September 29 2007 - 03:01 AM

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 of 32 OFFLINE   DeWilson

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Posted September 29 2007 - 04:17 AM

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 of 32 OFFLINE   Bert Greene

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Posted September 29 2007 - 05:59 AM

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 of 32 OFFLINE   pitchman

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Posted September 29 2007 - 06:41 AM

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...
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#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted September 29 2007 - 06:56 AM

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.

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#13 of 32 OFFLINE   Corey3rd

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Posted September 29 2007 - 09:34 AM

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.
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#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted September 29 2007 - 09:53 AM

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!
Bring "The continuing story of PEYTON PLACE" home on DVD: the one that started it all- from Dallas and Dynasty to Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl!!! Starting this May, see the legendary saga starring Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, and Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone on DVD thru...

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Hank Dearborn

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Posted September 29 2007 - 10:58 AM

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 of 32 OFFLINE   McAllister

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Posted September 29 2007 - 01:05 PM

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 of 32 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted September 29 2007 - 01:26 PM

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.
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#18 of 32 OFFLINE   McAllister

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Posted September 29 2007 - 01:51 PM

Warners owns the rights to the Ron Ely version of Tarzan.

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted September 29 2007 - 01:59 PM

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.
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#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Tom.W

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Posted September 29 2007 - 09:09 PM

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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