Ozzie & Harriet Release From Sam Nelson?

howard1908

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I have always thought Ozzie & Harriet got the shaft by the younger generations thinking it was some father knows best clone, when it was in fact one of the top 10 comdies of the B&W era, I absolutely think that Ozzie Nelson was comic genius in his own way, definitely paved the way for shows like seinfeld.
That would be difficult to do since this show came first.
I meant that its the perception that the show is generally thought of the same sort of family with comedy with moral lesson attached in the vein of shows like father knows best or leave it to beaver, when in fact it is a show which seems to have no known parellel with other comedies of it's era. So yes I am fully aware that ozzie and harriet was a radio and tv show a good deal before father knows best came to be, In fact the radio show was a favorite in my parents house when i was boy in the late 40s
 
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MatthewA

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I get your point that a lot of the perception of the show is based on misconception. The unavailability of the show in anything but PD releases, Shout! Factory's lone "best of" release notwithstanding, fuels that misconception to some extent.
 
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RBailey

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Just a quick notice for all O & H fans...Turner Classic Movies is airing the 1952 Universal film, HERE COME THE NELSONS on Sunday, October 20th at 8 p.m. eastern. It's followed by their 1941 Columbia feature, SWEETHEART OF THE CAMPUS with Ruby Keeler.
 

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I had no idea about that since ABC was the last to have all their shows in color (and eventually the last of the Big 3 to adopt stereo and HD), or that they made the switch before Bewitched did. Another reason time is of the essence in getting them restored: pre-1983 color film stock is prone to fading.

CBS went to color first yet The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Munsters (not counting theatrical movies), and Mister Ed never made the switch and all ended the same year.
NBC was the first network to regularly air series in color. CBS experimented with special color broadcasts in the 1950s, but when its color standard wasn’t adopted by the industry, they abandoned those early efforts.

NBC’s parent company at the time owned RCA, which manufactured color televisions. So NBC had some regular color series in the late 50s and early 60s, like “Bonanza”, “Walt Disney”, “The Virginian”, and “Hazel”. And they experimented with occasional color broadcasts of other shows; “Wagon Train” had some special color episodes In the 1961-62 season, as did “The Joey Bishop Show”.

ABC broadcast The Jetsons” and “The Flintstones” in color in 1962, and “Jonny Quest” in 1964. They also grabbed “Wagon Train” from NBC, and started showing it in color in 1963.

CBS only began broadcasting primetime series in color in the fall of 1965, and then it was only half of its schedule. NBC was almost all color in primetime by the fall of 1965. ABC was about one-third. By fall of 1966, all of primetime was in color.
 
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Professor Echo

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I have always thought Ozzie & Harriet got the shaft by the younger generations thinking it was some father knows best clone, when it was in fact one of the top 10 comdies of the B&W era, I absolutely think that Ozzie Nelson was comic genius in his own way, definitely paved the way for shows like seinfeld.
This says it all for me. For years I had never seen a single episode yet still judged it as something only old people would watch, a kind of Lawrence Welk sitcom. When I first sampled it on the Disney Channel in the 80's I was in my 20's and I was astounded by how genuinely funny and clever it was. I could not have been more wrong in my blind assessment that it was strictly a series from squaresville.

Comedy is subjective, of course, so I can understand someone saying something is not funny to them, but for anyone to deem this show as being "bland" hasn't a clue as to what this show was really about or what it accomplished. The intelligent, perceptive, organic humor and slices of humanity that this series encompasses isn't even in the same dictionary as the word BLAND. Its clever, introspective plotting and characterizations, combined with an intricate structure paved the way for other shows that were also often misinterpreted, like THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES and GREEN ACRES, all the way up to SEINFELD, three shows that I consider some of the best, smartest and most sophisticated in television history. It's funny how people who are just too lazy to sagaciously delve a little beneath the surface still feel qualified to pass judgment on things they make no effort to recognize or understand.
 

MatthewA

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That makes it all the sadder that PD outfits can do a better job getting this show out than the family that created it. Sam Nelson could have had a huge percentage of something, instead he opted for 100% of nothing. Unreleased discs don't sell any copies.
 

Neil Brock

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That makes it all the sadder that PD outfits can do a better job getting this show out than the family that created it. Sam Nelson could have had a huge percentage of something, instead he opted for 100% of nothing. Unreleased discs don't sell any copies.
Problems abound with this show. In no particular order:

1 - Lack of copyright. The whole series is public domain. Not only that, but in the 60s and 70s, David Nelson sold thousands of 16mm prints of the show to collectors so that episodes of the show flooded the secondary market.

2 - Exorbitant number of episodes (435). Shows with that many episodes are problematic, both in syndication and home video. Look at other big run series, like Lassie, Death Valley Days, Make Room For Daddy, My Three Sons,Happy Days, Beverly Hillbillies,even Donna Reed Show. It looks like Gunsmoke is finally getting finished next year. Who knows how far Bonanza will go.

3 - Music rights. Starting around the 5th season, Ricky is belting out a song every episode. Those all have to be cleared with the publishers.

4 - Save for the last season, the show is all black and white.

5 - Poor syndication. While just about every 50s and 60s sitcom was resurrected for cable on CBN and Nick at Nite in the 80s, O&H (along with December Bride and Our Miss Brooks) was one of the few that wasn't, except for airing on TBS early in the decade. And local syndication was also very limited.

6 - Finally, there are no heirs who have any credibility in the TV industry who have the means and the knowledge to pull everything together. Sorry, Sam Nelson doesn't cut it.
 

Neil Brock

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Alas, whatever business skills they had were enough to keep them on the air for 14 years and get them a syndicated sequel/reboot in Ozzie's Girls — is that in the same position legally in terms of copyright?
No, worse position, as the 2-inch tapes haven't been located and may not even still exist. All that's known to exist is the filmed pilot episode and a few taped episodes on 3/4.
 

MatthewA

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No, worse position, as the 2-inch tapes haven't been located and may not even still exist. All that's known to exist is the filmed pilot episode and a few taped episodes on 3/4.
Yikes! Then maybe it's good David Nelson sold all those 16mm prints of the original. At least there'll be something out there better than tape. They wanted to control every aspect of its distribution and still do, and that was and is a mistake that has cost the show viewers and thus the family money.

Black-and-white being a deterrent is debatable since that wasn't an issue for I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, Leave it to Beaver, or The Dick Van Dyke Show. Having a large number of episodes wasn't a deterrent for completing Dallas or Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, but those were more recent and in color with less music to clear. The Simpsons and Family Guy are special cases because they're still running. And as for the other examples, wasn't Bonanza's last season cut short because of Dan Blocker's death? Even though they outlived Judy Garland whom they defeated when she was on CBS, making their current ownership of it all the more ironic, that didn't even run as long as Gunsmoke. That outlived it, but Bonanza didn't fall out of the top 30 until that point even after Pernell Roberts left.

December Bride
falling through the cracks of time is surprising because it was on after Lucy, ran a few years, and got a spinoff with Harry Morgan called Pete and Gladys (now owned by ELP Communications, the copyright holding company for the former Embassy/Norman Lear library for some reason). One of its co-stars, Verna Felton (best known today as the Fairy Godmother in Walt Disney's Cinderella) was from the town where I live, and probably the second most famous person I can think of from there after John Steinbeck.

But as for Ozzie and Harriet, other than the aforementioned reasons, why didn't someone like Paul Brownstein try to make a deal? He manages the rights to The Dick Van Dyke Show for its creators and managed to get it out. It makes you wish there was someone who could do for TV what Robert A. Harris has done for movies.
 
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Neil Brock

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But as for Ozzie and Harriet, other than the aforementioned reasons, why didn't someone like Paul Brownstein try to make a deal? He manages the rights to The Dick Van Dyke Show for its creators and managed to get it out. It makes you wish there was someone who could do for TV what Robert A. Harris has done for movies.
Either because he didn't deem it financially viable or the Nelson estate didn't want to make a deal. Or both.
 
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MatthewA

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Better to go with a time-tested and proven property like CPO Sharkey. :D

Brownstein hasn't updated his website since 2003. Even Sitcoms Online has made minor adjustments since then. But we're talking about owners of content, not places to discuss them.

Your list of obstacles also forgot to mention the overriding factor, one that has sabotaged many a deal in show business: ego. They could have accepted outside help but didn't.
 

Joe Lugoff

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Did the O&H-philes here watch "Here Come the Nelsons" on TCM last night?

You'd have loved it. It was just like the TV series, bland, predictable and unfunny. It did have some wild, offbeat casting though. Ozzie's domineering, cantankerous boss (he was actually shown to have a job!) -- cleverly named Mr. Bellows -- was played by Gale Gordon. That had to be a real stretch for him. And the head gangster was Sheldon Leonard. How did they ever think of that?

Then they showed a college "comedy" musical from the early '40s where both O and H sang. It was easy to see where Ricky got his singing talent.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Did the O&H-philes here watch "Here Come the Nelsons" on TCM last night?

You'd have loved it. It was just like the TV series, bland, predictable and unfunny. It did have some wild, offbeat casting though. Ozzie's domineering, cantankerous boss (he was actually shown to have a job!) -- cleverly named Mr. Bellows -- was played by Gale Gordon. That had to be a real stretch for him. And the head gangster was Sheldon Leonard. How did they ever think of that?

Then they showed a college "comedy" musical from the early '40s where both O and H sang. It was easy to see where Ricky got his singing talent.
I watched about 15 minutes of it before I lost interest and watched something else. If it was playing on my TV during my 1960's childhood then perhaps I watched the whole thing, but not today while in my 60's.
 

Gary OS

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Did the O&H-philes here watch "Here Come the Nelsons" on TCM last night?
Is there a dog in a Georgia? Of course I watched it! And thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Just a joy to take in with the family. Talk about a film Universal needs to release in BR.

And once more, what a shock to see you come in and thread crap. :rolleyes: Some things never change.

Gary “and it had such a great cast of guest stars” O.
 

Bert Greene

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I've had a copy of "Here Come the Nelsons" (1952) for years, but I still tuned in last night on TCM. The film fits right alongside other Universal efforts of the day, with their family-friendly, matinee-geared comedies, like the "Francis" and "Ma and Pa Kettle" series, as well as other Universal items like "Reunion in Reno" (1951) and "Here Comes the Groom" (1952). I thought the film indeed had some pretty funny dialogue. Now I will admit, from a critical perspective, that the somewhat slam-bang, slapstick-oriented paradigm of early-1950s Universal comedies doesn't entirely mesh well with Ozzie and Harriet's dry humor and comic timing. The latter was shoehorned into that a bit uncomfortably at times. Maybe the film might have come out better had it been produced at Paramount. I think it would have. But Universal had already gone down this route before, when they made the "Life of Riley" film in 1949, based on the radio series. And what the heck, flaws or no, I enjoyed "Here Come the Nelsons" anyway, because I find Ozzie and Harriet warmly endearing. Also always get a kick out of its supporting cast, down to the small roles. Like seeing Paul Brinegar as the policeman. And wasn't that Lillian Bronson as the secretary? Also, always love seeing Ann Doran, another favorite.

Just face it, Joe. You're a curmudgeon!
 

Gary16

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Did the O&H-philes here watch "Here Come the Nelsons" on TCM last night?

You'd have loved it. It was just like the TV series, bland, predictable and unfunny. It did have some wild, offbeat casting though. Ozzie's domineering, cantankerous boss (he was actually shown to have a job!) -- cleverly named Mr. Bellows -- was played by Gale Gordon. That had to be a real stretch for him. And the head gangster was Sheldon Leonard. How did they ever think of that?

Then they showed a college "comedy" musical from the early '40s where both O and H sang. It was easy to see where Ricky got his singing talent.
What are you trying to prove with these negative insulting posts? The show only ran for 22 years on radio and tv and that’s why this thread is here for fans. You’re welcome not to like it but take your comments elsewhere.
 

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