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Bob Newhart Season 1 in April (1 Viewer)

Alan Lee UK

Stunt Coordinator
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Aug 27, 2003
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84
I don't think TBNS has ever been shown in the UK, but given that...
a) I like Newhart
b) I like most early 70's US sitcoms
c) Healthy sales of this will certainly not harm the chances of Newhart and further seasons of MTM appearing

...this is a certain blind buy for me.
 

Rob Keil

Agent
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Jul 10, 2002
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That's cool that you have seen the unaired pilot. Nick at Nite and TVLand never played it but I have heard the differences you mentioned.

The reruns I've seen in syndication have always looked washed out and the color balance seems off. I hope that Fox does even half as good a job on mastering this series as they did on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, which looked brilliant on DVD.

Can't wait for April!
 

Greg_S_H

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Alan, I think you're most likely to enjoy it if you are a fan of his stand-up work. He got to work some new phone call routines (his hallmark) into the show (the phone call to the Chinese restaurant being the most memorable), and his interactions with his patients come off (to me, at least) as a modification of the phone call routine.
 

Greg_P

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Great news !! I had given up hope this series would be released on dvd. Can't wait to start collecting all the seasons :) !!
 

MatthewA

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Well the price point isn't so bad (same as M*A*S*H and Garfield and Friends), so I'm really hoping this does well.

Also Remington Steele is coming out, so maybe Fox is reconsidering the shows they acquired from MTM Productions :)

Rob, the cast in the "Newhart" finale sings "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof. If/when the 80s "Newhart" comes to DVD (fingers crossed tightly) it would be CRIMINAL not to use this.
 

Jaime_Weinman

Supporting Actor
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Mar 19, 2001
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786
I don't care for Fox's WB-like conversion to double-sided discs, but I'm glad they're finally dipping into the MTM vault, and while "Bob Newhart" isn't one of my very favorites, it's a good place to start, because of the popularity of both the star and the show. Though the early '70s fashions in the first season -- Bob wearing plaid, Marcia Wallace wearing miniskirts -- are kind of horrifying.

I still haven't given up hope that the new wave of MTM releases might eventually lead to a release of WKRP. This is because I'm an insane lunatic. :)

One thing I like about the first-season version of the Bob Newhart Show theme (composed by the show's creator, Lorenzo Music, aka the voice of Garfield and Carlton the doorman) is that you can sing the opening phrase with the words "Bob has a button-down mind." I like to sing along like so:

Bob has a button-down mind
And Bob is a great psychologist,
Bob has the nuttiest bunch of patients...
 

Nikie

Grip
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Dec 30, 2004
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I know my friend Donna is happy about this, and I like Bob Newhart...so I'm gonna look into getting a copy of it.:)
 

Marty M

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This was my 2nd favorite sitcom in the 70s, Mary Tyler Moore was my favorite. I will enjoy this. Let's all go out and purchase Season 1 so we can show Fox there is a demand for MTM shows. Hopefully, we will finally see the 2nd Season of Mary Tyler Moore.
 

Ric Easton

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Feb 6, 2001
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All that's missing is whole seasons of The Carol Burnett Show and we could have a classic night of CBS Saturday night comedy!
 

Dan McW

Supporting Actor
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Aug 12, 2004
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Re the above comments, with a few of my own thrown in:

-- I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers that The Bob Newhart Show theme was used in the final Newhart! I wondered about that when it turned up in syndication with the music change.

-- I like that faster, first-season BNS theme song best (was that the only season they used it?). That rearranged version with those growling three notes from a baritone sax never did sit well with me.

-- I also hope Fox gives TBNS the same treatment they gave The Mary Tyler Moore Show on DVD. All the filmed MTM shows, frankly, have terrible-looking syndication prints. Columbia House and MTM issued some BNS eps on VHS, but--while complete, IIRC--they didn't look much better than the syndie versions.

-- The Bob Newhart Show has one of my favorite "crediting" methods. Like virtually all MTM sitcoms, only 1-2 people are credited in the main title, but the supporting cast and guest stars receive "picture credits" at the end, so you can place a name with the face. Of course, with today's shows' warp-speed CGI credits shoved off to the side, this practice is long-gone.

-- Anyone ever notice the rarely used main title where Emily comes through the door and kisses Bob? I think that appeared on 1-2 shows.

-- Speaking of main titles, sometimes the one on TBNS is much longer on some episodes than others, with more extended footage showing Bob between home and work (short version goes directly from his kissing Emily goodbye to his arrival in the office lobby). Was it shortened from one season to the next, or was it cut for time reasons from one episode to the next within the same season? The same thing was done with the Cheers opening credits, but in either show's case I can't remember if it was done originally or only in syndication. If it was done from episode to episode, this would be yet another reason for not slapping the same opening on all eps (not that anyone would do such a thing!).
 

Jaime_Weinman

Supporting Actor
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Mar 19, 2001
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The Comedy Network in Canada used to run TBNHS uncut, and the varying title lengths are part of the original show -- basically they shot at least two titles, one longer, one shorter, and used the shorter one when the show was running a little long. (Of course, back then they had 25 minutes of show, so what seemed like tight time restrictions to them would seem like heaven to people who have to edit a sitcom episode today.)
 

Scott Moyer

Auditioning
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Jan 4, 2005
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7
Sounds like Fox may have learned from the MTMS release and is determined to not allow price to discourage buyers.This may give them a real barometer of the popularity of this genre and could bode well for the rest of mtm's catalogue if the sales are good-I hope they sell a ton of them.
 

Rob Keil

Agent
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Jul 10, 2002
Messages
27
Regarding the opening credits being of different lengths: Each season had a completely different recording of the opening and ending credits. This was mandated by the musicians union in those days. At some point they were allowed to re-use the previous season's recording but even then they still had to re-record it and throw the results away to satisfy union rules. So must shows used the new recordings. Even within each season there are variations in the video and there are re-cut shorter versions. So basically it's all over the map.

The "Emily comes home and kisses Bob" intro is a sometimes seen in the latter half of season 2, I believe. I have heard that this was the first TV case of the wife coming home from work to the husband, at least in a credit sequence. Remember this was 1973.

The third season is the one where the newer "3-note sax" version of the theme song is used. They get progressively more "disco" after that with each season through 6 which is the last season.

In season 5 they even did some intro's with the credits running over the start of the action, in effect deleting the intro altogether, a la "Cheers syndication intro."

I admit, I know way too much about this.
-Rob
 

ChrisPearson

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
287

According to The Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, Alan, you're right. Channel 4 screened many (but not all) eps of Newhart, however, minus the final season (and that amazing-sounding last episode).

For those of us in the UK, can anyone say how TBNS compares to Newhart? FWIW I found Newhart pleasant viewing, intelligent and amusing but not riotously funny. I'd be prepared to blind buy TBNS if it was in the same vein as Newhart, but funnier.
 

Rob Keil

Agent
Joined
Jul 10, 2002
Messages
27
To our friends across the pond-

With regard to the differences between "The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart", they are both great sitcoms and I have seen every episode of each series at least 3 times. I like "The Bob Newhart Show" better. Most TV critics and hardcore sitcom fans agree.

Personally, I think the humor in "The Bob Newhart Show" is more sophisticated and subtle, more dialogue driven. Again, not a lot of knee-slapping type stuff, but very character-based and relationship-based, much like Barney Miller or TAXI. In short, the writing is fantastic.

I also think it is a better show for showcasing Bob Newhart's strengths as an actor/comedian since he is given more screen time and a premise that allows him to "listen funny" (being a psychologist).

Naturally I think you should give it a try and buy the set. I really doubt you'll regret it. And the first season is probably the best in terms of percentage of great shows in my opinion.
 

ChrisPearson

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
287
Just the sort of information I was looking for, Rob – thanks. I'm leaning towards taking a shot at this. The fact that its considered a classic in the US yet is unknown in the UK adds to my curiosity.
 

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