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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by HowardPaul, Apr 8, 2005.
I saw this show as a kid in the late '40s.
Is it available anywhere?
The show was called "Mama" (it was based on the play and movie called "I Remember Mama.") It ran on CBS on Friday nights from 1949-1956. The show was live, so if anything exists of it any more, they'd be kinescopes.
After CBS canceled the show, there was such an outcry, that it returned for a few months in the 1956-57 season. Those shows were on film, so they're probably in existence somewhere.
In any case, I'd say the chance of this coming out on home video is close to zero.
Thanks. I just found this on IMDB:
First telecast 1 July 1949 Last: 27 July 1956. Shown on
CBS Friday nights 8:00-8:30
Theme songs: "Holberg Suite" (opening) and "The Last Spring" (closing) by Edvard Grieg.
Series based on the book,"Mama's Bank Account" by Kathryn Forbes ("Katrin" as portrayed by Rosemary Rice in the series).
This show was one of the best-loved early TV comedies but unfortunately was broadcast live and the vast majority of the episodes were never recorded. This was a huge financial mistake that would finally dawn on the bean counters at CBS after the success of "I Love Lucy" (1951). CBS (and sponsor Maxwell House Coffee) finally relented to the added cost and the series was committed to film at the very end of production (ironically not enough episodes were filmed to enable profitable rerun syndication). Sadly, while older fans remember this series fondly, most of the heart-warming stories of the Hansens' white house on Steiner Street are lost to posterity.
Famous for the annual Christmas episode where Papa (Judson Laire) told daughter Dagmar how the animals were given the gift of speech each Christmas Eve as a reward for protecting Baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
A few of the live episodes were kicking around on VHS many years ago. Also the television package "The Golden Years Of TV" which was syndicated in the 1980'z included at least 1 live "Mama" episode.
Series star Dick Van Patten once was discussing on a talk show how he attempted to obtain copies of the show and his research confirmed that the majority of the live show kinescopes had been destroyed. Another classic series from television's earliest days lost to history.
Apparently a few episodes survived to form a syndicated package after its original run. I have a 1960 TV Guide, which lists it as being rerun on Saturday afternoons (and with an accompanying half-page ad, with a picture of Peggy Wood), on a small local station. That station covered a fairly low-population area, which undoubtedly didn't even have a station when "Mama" was originally broadcast, in the earlier 1950s. Have no way, of course, knowing how many episodes were in the package, or whether they were kinescopes or from some later 'filmed' run (actually, I didn't know any were filmed; It was the case with the later, made-for-syndication "Goldbergs," though).
There's nothing that can be done about lost or destroyed episodes.
However, I wonder if they can find the original scripts and remake the series using the same type of mood, same era, etc. Maybe even shooting it in black and white.
I realize that doesn't work for pefectionists, but it is a way for those of us who don't know the show to see it.
It could be packaged with the episodes that do exist.
Doubtful. It'd be nice to see the surviving episodes (especially since the original 1947 film is now on DVD), but remakes are probably out of the question.
Perhaps including scripts to lost shows as a DVD-ROM supplement?