Is the b&w era of TV on DVD slowly coming to an end?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Gary OS, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Anyone here familiar with a black and white 1961 Sitcom called "Angel" (starring Annie Farge , Marshall Thompson, Doris Singleton)? I recently bought 3 DVDs from Shokus Video, and was very pleased with this Desilu show. It's a Robert Openheimer (I love Lucy) production, and very amusing . Music seems to be played by Desi Arnaz's orchestra. The feel of the show reminds me alot of December Bride.This was a "blind buy" for me. So far Shokus has released 12 out of 26 episodes.
     
  2. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    I have seen a few episodes of Angel, and would agree with your assessment.
     
  3. MartinP.

    MartinP. Stunt Coordinator

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    Totally agree. I've seen nearly all the episodes, including BLATT's Beer commercials, and it's a real shame
    the series has fallen under a cloud it does not deserve.
     
  4. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    Welcome to HTF! We have a review of Maverick S2 up:

    Maverick: The Complete Second Season DVD Review

    I remembered to mention Robert Conrad!
     
  5. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned
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    Black comedian George Kirby hosted the documentary "Amos & Andy: Anatomy of a Controversy", which does a good job of rushing to the series's defense, and even featured a clip from "Kingfish Sells a Lot", which may be one of the funniest moments I've seen in a classic 50's sitcom episode. :lol:
    http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLcyymCmXRg
     
  6. Silverking

    Silverking Stunt Coordinator

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    Going back to the original title of this topic I would suggest that the black & white era of releases has probably peaked with this year's releases. The most successful shows of the ZIV catalogue, Warners unlocking of their vaults (albeit slowly)& a few others have all been welcome.Are there really any major series from the 50's to say 1965 still lacking a significant DVD release. Maybe the aforementioned 'Amos & Andy'& 'Dragnet'.I know there are a lot of one season shows but I'm hard put to come up with any that really made a mark.
     
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  7. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    The Lineup, a.k.a. San Francisco Beat ran for about 8-9 yrs and about 200 episodes, and not one DVD release.
     
  8. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I think you're right about the b/w era on dvd peaking. Heck, I felt like it peaked back in 2008 (which, by sheer volume, it did) and would be all but dead by now but I was wrong (happily so, I might add). At this point though it is hard to imagine we'll see the same volume next year that we've seen last year and thus far in 2013. I just can't imagine it.

    I do think there are quite a few gems that have yet to see releases, mainly in the 50's sitcom era and certainly in the 50's anthology era. But I'm not holding my breath for many of them to see the light of day on dvd any time soon. But just for fun how about these:

    Bachelor Father
    Our Miss Brooks
    Make Room for Daddy/The Danny Thomas Show (only a couple of releases for a very long running series)
    My Three Sons (only 2 seasons released)
    Ben Casey
    The Millionaire
    Lassie (has yet to have any season set releases)
    Death Valley Days (probably the longest running series with no release yet)
    Any one of many Anthology series back in the day.

    I don't know if any of those classify as major series or not, but I think most fans here would recognize the names. But regardless, I think we really have hit the peak and are on the downswing going forward. If, by some minor miracle, Ozzie & Harriet make it out, I'll be quite content with my collection. Fortunately I have alt sets of some of the series I mentioned above, so I can't complain when I look over my entire collection. The really important series, for me, have by and large been released.


    Gary "still hoping for more goodies from Timeless" O.
     
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  9. Guy Foulard

    Guy Foulard Second Unit

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    The Defenders! 4 seasons, from 1961-1965. If Warner owned this, I would feel hopeful about an Archive release, but I don't see CBS/Paramount doing it.
     
  10. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter

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    I would say that *any* series that makes it past five seasons would automatically classify it as a major series. What percentage of TV series makes it past that point?

    Certainly, My Three Sons, Lassie, Danny Thomas and Death Valley Days qualify. Lassie owned its Sunday night time slot for decades and, as I recall, had no network competition when it aired on Sundays at 7pm/Eastern 6pm/Central. The Danny Thomas Show was the home base of operations for Sheldon Leonard's empire that gave us Andy Griffith and Dick Van Dyke. Likewise, My Three Sons was Don Fedderson's iconic show and it success enabled such other hits as "Family Affair."

    Today, the most overlooked comedy series might be "The Beverly HIllbillies." I wonder how many folks under 40 realize what a phenomenally popular show that was? I agree that its humor wasn't of the Noel Coward level of sophistication and it probably jumped the shark several years before the end of its run, but it deserves far better treatment than it's received on DVD. Paul Henning's empire at Filmways was the sixties equivalent of what Norman Lear and MTM achieved in the seventies. (But, now that I think about it, look how difficult it was to get complete runs of "All in the Family" and "Mary Tyler Moore." And we're still waiting for the completion of Bob Newhart!)
     
  11. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Same for me, The more B/W releases, the better but I'm not waiting for much now. I'd like to see that "Rifleman" site store post some updated news about a possible series release but nothing so far there.
     
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  12. maskedmala

    maskedmala Stunt Coordinator

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    Gary OS, on your list you forgot one of the funniest, most popular sitcom of the 50's, Sgt Bilko (aka The Phil Silvers Show). A real shame that CBS HE released only the first of 4 seasons. Why not licensing it.
     
  13. Lee Smith

    Lee Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I have one western anthology that I would like to see completed and that is Zane Grey Theater. This is the only western that I am missing now that we are starting to get the Maverick seasons.

    I really do not care about the other Warner Bros. westerns. When I was watching them back in the 50s, they all seemed to be the same except for Maverick.

    Sgt. Bilko and Make Room for Daddy are the only B&W comedy series that I need now that I'll be able to get Dobie Gillis. I would buy My Little Margie, I Married Joan & The Life of Riley. But they are not esssential.

    Not interested in Ozzie & Harriet..

    My number one missing show is Dragnet. The 60s version is OK but I need season releases of the original.
     
  14. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I would say it probably jumped the shark when the crossovers with Petticoat Junction happened, or round about that time. There was always an element of silliness to the show but in the 7th season, Fairchild, Ellie's bear, was given almost human qualities other than being able to talk. The bear drove Mr. Drysdale to Hooterville in the old truck for instance. It just became rather outlandish.
    The 8th and 9th seasons really took a weird turn. In the 8th season, the Clampetts went to visit "home" in Silver Dollar City and several new characters appeared that had been (supposedly) life long friends of the Clampetts but had never been mentioned prior with the exception of Elverna Bradshaw, who was played by Elvia Allman and had previously appeared in the 1st season. Elverna and Shorty Kellums wound up living in Beverly Hills at the mansion for a short time along with Shad Heller, another "back home" friend.
    The 9th season got totally weird with the introduction of topics like Women's Lib and the appearance of Japanese characters who moved in with Jed and Jethro. At that point, both Max Baer, Jr and Donna Douglas were showing signs of getting older, so I'm sure if CBS hadn't have axed it during their "rural purge," it wouldn't have been too long before it happened.
    CBS still seems ashamed of their rural heritage other than Andy and Gomer. Maybe Shout will pick up where they've left off.
     
  15. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter

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    Yes, I had forgotten just how bad "The Beverly Hillbillies" got in some of those later seasons. Thanks for reminding me about Fairchild! :rolleyes:

    I'd actually like the first two color seasons of "Hillbillies" and then I'd be done. For me, Jed inheriting castles in England was jumping the shark. The basic premise of the show is one that doesn't play well after five years -- the fact that the Hillbillies are "fish out of water" by living in the city. After five or six years of living in an urban area like Los Angeles, you can no longer look at city life with naive, wide-eyed wonderment. (Well, actually, maybe you can in LA!)
     
  16. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I feel the same way the last couple of posters do about The Beverly Hillbillies. I'd buy up through Season 5, but nothing after that would interest me at all.

    As for Sgt Bilko, I didn't really forget it. In fact I almost included it but didn't only because it's been prominent in other discussions on this board in the last several days. But I agree it's a well known b/w show that certainly is right up there with other sitcoms of the era.


    Gary "CBS was very close to releasing S2 of Bilko a year or so ago - it was on a preliminary schedule my crystal ball revealed to me at the time" O.
     
  17. maskedmala

    maskedmala Stunt Coordinator

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    Gary OS, too bad about Sgt Bilko S2. Your crystal ball had a very good percentage of prédictions, unfortunately Sgt Bilko S2 was in the didn't happen section
     
  18. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    To be clear, the crystal ball wasn't wrong. It told me that Sgt Bilko S2 was on a preliminary schedule, but would need to be approved by the finance dept or else it would not be released. Clearly, it wasn't approved by whoever makes those decisions at CBS. This is a pretty common issue. If you knew of the number of titles that were on the runway yet didn't meet that requirement you'd probably be sick to your stomach. Quite a few classic series have fallen into that category over the last few years.


    Gary "on the plus side some sets were put on the back burner but then got back on the schedule and have been released - so never give up hope" O.
     
  19. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Add me to the S5 and done voices about The Beverly Hillbillies. It really started to wear thin after that season but I'd love to see CBS release S4 & S5 as well as a properly done S1.

    CBS *really* needs to get S2 of Bilko released! It's a tough call but I think I'd rather have S2 of Bilko than S4 of Hillbillies.

    I'd also go for My Little Margie, I Married Joan, and Life of Riley as well but after Ozzie it would be Bilko next and then the others. Of course I'll take any of them that get proper releases!

    Is there anyone/group at CBS we fans could nudge about a Bilko S2 release?
     
  20. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I'd be in for all 9 seasons of The Hillbillies but, yes, the last few seasons were weaker. At some point you have to ask yourself "how stupid can Jethro really be?" Phil Silvers as a con-man was funny to an extent but it didn't work out, at least not for me, over the course of multiple episodes. I think Paul Henning (or whoever was actually writing the show at that point) was trying TOO hard.

    Oddly, it was those last seasons that saw the influx of big name guest stars as opposed to previously. Phil Silvers, Soupy Sales, Pat Boone, Roy Clark, Sammy Davis, Jr., Rich Little and others. There had been big name guest stars before but those last 2-3 seasons saw quite a few.

    I also think the Petticoat Junction episodes were more to prop up PJ than to bring in ratings for TBH. I'm not a huge aficionado on Petticoat Junction but I would think ratings were probably down with the loss of Bea Benaderet.
     

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