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Nero Wolfe (1981) Finally Coming to DVD! (1 Viewer)

ClassicTVMan1981X

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http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Nero-Wolfe-The-Complete-Series/23266

The 1981 NBC version of Nero Wolfe, featuring William Conrad and Lee Horsley (and Thayer David on the 1977-produced/1979-aired ABC pilot) is finally becoming ready for release!

Fingers crossed that VEI keeps the original Paramount Television "Blue Mountain" logos like they had on the season 2 run of Petrocelli! Remember: for the pilot the 1976 Jerry Goldsmith music is heard, but the 1980 Lalo Schifrin theme is heard on the actual '81 episodes.

~Ben
 
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Bob Gu

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The Thayer David pilot is a very welcome extra. I don't remember ever watching the series and was surprised to see that George Wyner was a regular in both Nero Wolf and Matt Houston.
 

bmasters9

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http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Nero-Wolfe-The-Complete-Series/23266

The 1981 NBC version of Nero Wolfe, featuring William Conrad and Lee Horsley (and Thayer David on the 1977-produced/1979-aired ABC pilot) is finally becoming ready for release!

Fingers crossed that VEI keeps the original Paramount Television "Blue Mountain" logos like they had on the season 2 run of Petrocelli! Remember: for the pilot the 1976 Jerry Goldsmith music is heard, but the 1980 Lalo Schifrin theme is heard on the actual '81 episodes.

~Ben

I hope so too! The Split Box on the first-season Petrocelli shows, and the Blue Mtn. on the second-season shows, has so far made that release an incredible value (not to leave out how good the show is)!
 

FanCollector

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http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Nero-Wolfe-The-Complete-Series/23266

The 1981 NBC version of Nero Wolfe, featuring William Conrad and Lee Horsley (and Thayer David on the 1977-produced/1979-aired ABC pilot) is finally becoming ready for release!

Fingers crossed that VEI keeps the original Paramount Television "Blue Mountain" logos like they had on the season 2 run of Petrocelli! Remember: for the pilot the 1976 Jerry Goldsmith music is heard, but the 1980 Lalo Schifrin theme is heard on the actual '81 episodes.

~Ben
Thrilled about the release. I believe the theme was by John Addison, however.
 

ClassicTVMan1981X

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I hope so too! The Split Box on the first-season Petrocelli shows, and the Blue Mtn. on the second-season shows, has so far made that release an incredible value (not to leave out how good the show is)!
The reason I hope they put back the Blue Mountain on these is because, the last times I saw the 1979 pilot, it had the 1990 Paramount Television "CGI Mountain" (white Paramount Communications byline) while keeping the '76 music.

~Ben
 

bmasters9

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BTW, OT of this thread-- just got to the halfway point of Petrocelli (finished all the Split Box episodes of the first season's worth), and now have started on the second half (the Blue Mtn. episodes).
 

bmasters9

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Only one day before wide release... I hope you locked in your pre-orders!

~Ben

Sad to say, I didn't get in on time. I'm still considering getting this release though, and, as you, hoping that the Paramount logos of the time are on it, just like they were on Petrocelli.
 

David Weicker

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Only one day before wide release... I hope you locked in your pre-orders!

~Ben
I'm not sure what you mean by 'wide release'.

I was under the impression that only VEI would be selling this on May 19th.

I haven't seen any other retailers offering this yet.
 

FanCollector

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Been watching my set and spot checking most of the episodes. The transfers are definitely not new; they seem like the same videotape masters as TV Land used. There isn't a ton of debris, but they aren't sharp.

More importantly, they seem to be uncut. Every episode runs between 48:10 and 49:00, which seems correct for a 1981 show without any episodic previews.

The Thayer David movie runs 95:35 and it doesn't look better than the episodes, but also doesn't look worse. Other prints I've seen look terrible, so that was a pleasant surprise.

As for the show itself, I know fans are divided, but I enjoy it very much. Conrad is just great. He isn't doing the character exactly as written in the books, but he offers a lot of depth and conveys wonderful subtext with every line reading. It's a plot-driven show of course, but he does as much as he can to add to the character.

The scripts are variable, but if you like mystery shows of the era, they are up to par most of the time. The design and look of the show are well above average, though. That brownstone is perfect, as even quibbling Wolfians generally admit. About half the episodes were directed by George McCowan, and he makes very good use of the space. (He did a lot of Cannon episodes, so this show seems to have benefited from his relationship to the star.)

The guest casts are not what they could have been. Occasionally they splurge for a Darren McGavin or a Robert Loggia, but mostly they are a little soapy and nondescript.

Anyone else enjoying these yet?
 

ClassicTVMan1981X

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Been watching my set and spot checking most of the episodes. The transfers are definitely not new; they seem like the same videotape masters as TV Land used. There isn't a ton of debris, but they aren't sharp.

More importantly, they seem to be uncut. Every episode runs between 48:10 and 49:00, which seems correct for a 1981 show without any episodic previews.

The Thayer David movie runs 95:35 and it doesn't look better than the episodes, but also doesn't look worse. Other prints I've seen look terrible, so that was a pleasant surprise.

As for the show itself, I know fans are divided, but I enjoy it very much. Conrad is just great. He isn't doing the character exactly as written in the books, but he offers a lot of depth and conveys wonderful subtext with every line reading. It's a plot-driven show of course, but he does as much as he can to add to the character.

The scripts are variable, but if you like mystery shows of the era, they are up to par most of the time. The design and look of the show are well above average, though. That brownstone is perfect, as even quibbling Wolfians generally admit. About half the episodes were directed by George McCowan, and he makes very good use of the space. (He did a lot of Cannon episodes, so this show seems to have benefited from his relationship to the star.)

The guest casts are not what they could have been. Occasionally they splurge for a Darren McGavin or a Robert Loggia, but mostly they are a little soapy and nondescript.

Anyone else enjoying these yet?
Then hopefully you would have found this logo on the pilot...


And the 1981 episodes hopefully with this...


~Ben
 

bmasters9

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One thing I'm wondering (as I'm considering getting this sometime in the future)-- how is this Nero Wolfe release packaged? Is it four discs in a keepcase?
 

FanCollector

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IMG_2558.JPG
I hadn't noted them initially, Ben, but checked the logos. The episodes have what you've designated as the correct ending logo, but the movie has an introductory and closing logo from a later period. (Which may explain the improved print; perhaps Paramount revisited the movie and struck a new master when they added the new logos.) It is the one above, I think.

It's a three-disc set in a three-hub case. The first disc is alone and the latter two overlap on the opposite side.
 

ClassicTVMan1981X

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View attachment 38322 I hadn't noted them initially, Ben, but checked the logos. The episodes have what you've designated as the correct ending logo, but the movie has an introductory and closing logo from a later period. (Which may explain the improved print; perhaps Paramount revisited the movie and struck a new master when they added the new logos.) It is the one above, I think.

It's a three-disc set in a three-hub case. The first disc is alone and the latter two overlap on the opposite side.


When the pilot was last re-ran on Decades... it was the 1990 logo, but it kept the original 1976 theme!

My Decades captures:

Opening titles (with 1990 Paramount Pictures logo at beginning):


Closing titles (with 1990 Paramount Television/1976 jingle):


~Ben
 

ClassicTVMan1981X

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I once again question VEI's credibility as to these releases... and whenever they release The Magician (1973-74) on DVD sometime soon, I still fear on the pilot movie of that series, the audio for the end Paramount logo might remain unrestored, since the first two notes of the rare version of the Lalo Schifin fanfare (that you guys may have heard at the end of such other Paramount TV movies like Night of Terror, The Heist, The Weekend Nun and A Time for Love) may still be missing:


~Ben
 
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smithbrad

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Plain and simple, VEI is going to release whatever CBS gave them. You can bank on that and i don't think they can or have promised to do any less or more than just that. If you think they are on some mission to do whatever it takes to put something back to original broadcast content and shape, then you haven't been paying attention, that's not their operation model and won't ever be.
 

ClassicTVMan1981X

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Plain and simple, VEI is going to release whatever CBS gave them. You can bank on that and i don't think they can or have promised to do any less or more than just that. If you think they are on some mission to do whatever it takes to put something back to original broadcast content and shape, then you haven't been paying attention, that's not their operation model and won't ever be.
But on the flip side, CBS DVD will edit out all the classic Paramount TV logos from their own DVD releases.

~Ben
 

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