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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 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted September 28 2007 - 03:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Dearborn
Bionic Woman
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisR
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.

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.

ml1fyo.jpg  "Checkmate King Two, 'Out'" "Combat! A Selmur Production"

 

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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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Zannikos
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.

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey3rd
seeing how little the new Bionic Woman has in common with the original, it's best for Univeral to hide it.
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...
Gary

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted September 29 2007 - 06:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Zannikos
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.

Tony, you and I are on the same wavelength on this one Posted Image I bought an R-Free player a couple of years ago and have enjoyed several sets (both Bionic shows and a few others) from R2/4 and all play flawlessley and thankfully, I can't hear the PAL "speed-up" issue during the main episodes of the shows. I do hear the difference between NTSC & PAL when listening to the opening and closing themes/music of some of these sets but I can't detect the speed-up during the main part of the episodes (dialogs & soundtracks of the main eps). However, I respect the "non-PAL" camp here and realize that it's an individual choice on whether to go "R-Free". The main reason that I went that route is that both Bionic series (S1 & 2 so far) have been released in official studio releases in R2/4 and the xfrs are great with the BW series...not so good with the 6M$M show....reasons unknown as to why. The other part of my R-Free decision is that no one knows when the legal issues will be resolved involving R1 releases for these 2 shows. It's been ongoing since '03.

The other sets that I've enjoyed from R2 are the Saint complete B/W set and the Rich Man Poor Man miniseries. RMPM was released in '03 overseas and still no R1 release. If we knew what Uni's (or any of the studios) plans were with these sets, I would wait for R1's depending on the length of the waiting time. But, we don't have that information on these sets, when, if they'll see an R1 release. I realize that it's proprietary to the studios on what their plans are for a particular series release, but it doesn't make the wait easier Posted Image

I do know from friends in the UK, that they get a Posted Image out of some of the R-Free discussions over here since nearly everyone that collects DVD's over there has NTSC-compatible TV's and/or R-Free players. Two friends that reside in London are big classic TV/DVD collectors and they regularly buy R1 sets due to the cheaper prices, something to do with local taxes vs U.S. purchases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank
BTW, it's been about a year since the last releases for those 2 shows. What gives? Have they given up?

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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My 2 all-time favorite TV shows:
"Combat!" & "The Fugitive"
My 2 all-time best blind-buys: "The Fugitive"   "The Donna Reed Show"


#13 of 32 OFFLINE   Corey3rd

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Posted September 29 2007 - 09:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitchman
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...

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Ellis
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!


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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Dearborn
I didn't forget. It's pretty well established that Fox is the worst.

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

Quote:
originally posted by Gary O.

doesn't Fox own the rights to the Ron Ely 'TARZAN' series too - I want that one for sure


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

Quote:
Originally Posted by McAllister
Warners owns the rights to the Ron Ely version of Tarzan.

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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