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The George Burns And Gracie Allen Show Right Holders?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by darkrock17, May 7, 2012.

  1. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    The beauty of the show was that it was indeed a surreal fantasy, grounded in the warm relationship between the leads ("I love her, that's why.") Nothing felt real except for that relationship, but that was enough to keep me watching. To address a raging argument from another thread, Burns and Allen stood apart because it was neither showing life as it was nor life as it should be. By marrying very old vaudeville and radio traditions to innovative television possibilities, Burns and Allen created an alternate model for television comedy and, although it took a while, it became one of the medium's most influential shows.
    Funny, too.
     
  2. Garysb

    Garysb Cinematographer

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    Burns and Allen did the best actor replacement probably in TV history. When Fred Clark was replaced by Larry Keating as the neighbor, Harry Morton, George introduces him to Bea Benaderet saying something like "This is Larry Keating and he is going to be your husband now . She says hello and they go right into character. You could do something like on this show. Compare that to what happened on Bewitched.
    As far as starting with the third season, they could always call it the first filmed season. On the back they could give a brief explanation the first two seasons were done live and only exist as kinescope
    films. They could even include an episode or two as a bonus. They are in public domain after all. Apparently in the first live episode George explained what the show was about. That would be a great show to include. The live shows were done every other week which was a much easier schedule for Gracie who suffered from migraines. She continued to do the show as long as she did because George wanted her to. They actual continued the show the year after she left renaming it The George Burns Show switching the setting from the Burns home to George's office as a producer. All the characters except Gracie were on it with Blanche (Bea Benaderet ) being George's secretary. Their son Ronnie was also on the new show. Sort of like All In the Family becoming Archie Bunker's Place. Its too bad Antenna TV can't include this continuation like they do with the spin offs of Three's Company. I doubt this show has been seen since it was first broadcast and who knows if it even still exists.
     
  3. Brent S

    Brent S Second Unit

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    Ronnie joined show as a regular in its 6th season.
    Ronnie and his sister Sandra were introduced as George & Gracie's children in the 3rd season episode "Uncle Clyde Comes to Visit," which coincidentally was run on AntennaTV just this morning (May 10). They're in the Burns' living room threading a 16mm projector with the "Uncle Clyde" episode, and introduced by George who tells the audience that they missed earlier episodes because they were away at school.
    After that, Ronnie and Sandra continued with occasional bit roles for the next 2+ years, until Ronnie joined the cast full time in 1955.
     
  4. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    I can't speak for the rest but the first episode of The George Burns Show exists because I have seen it and have it on something around here. I liked it but miss Gracie.
     
  5. David Weicker

    David Weicker Producer

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    I also recall hearing that George spoke to the audience and basically said something like 'we replaced Fred because he asked for too much money' (I haven't seen the episode, so I can't verify that)
    David
     
  6. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I've seen and actually what happens is that Blanche is waiting for Harry to come home so she can hit him over the head with a book. As she raises it, George steps in front and asks for things to be stopped so he can tell the audience about the change. Fred Clark actually left to do a Broadway play (and George so noted). George also noted that this would be the third time they'd had to recast the part. He then brought in Larry, had Bea talk to him and then Larry stepped out, Bea resumed her position with the book raised and then the action resumed as if Larry had always been there.
    When Hal March had left after being Harry #1, George just made a quick aside to the audience. When Fred Clark replaced John Brown, George did the stunt of "introducing" Fred to Bea before the action resumed. Then, when Bill Goodwin left as announcer and was replaced by Harry Von Zell, George did the "stop the action" stunt that they later did with Fred giving way to Larry.
    George certainly believed in being honest with the audience!
     
  7. nostalgic TV guy

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    The episode where Larry Keating replaces Fred Clark is the first episode of Season 4: "The Iron Horse", broadcast on October 5, 1953. I have the episode (from another source, not Antenna TV) but unfortunately it does not include George's introducing Larry. It just goes into the scene with Blanche striking Harry Morton over the head as he enters the scene. There is a "cut" feeling to the scene with George's intro edited out.
    Antenna TV has been showing Season 3 during the week and Season 6 on the weekends (a few weeks ago, they were following this pattern with Seasons 5 and 8).
    Antenna TV seems to be cutting out as many bits as possible from each episode of B&A, so we'll see when/if they broadcast this episode whether the cut scene is included. I am not optimistic that we will see it.
    Still, I am VERY glad that Antenna TV is broadcasting B&A since it has not been aired anywhere since the late 1980's when it was on CBN. (I'm also watching/recording "Bachelor Father", which has never been released on any format.)
    I do have one episode of "The George Burns Show", apparently it came from one of those cheap, pulbic domain DVD's as the DVD has 4 other B&A episodes from the first 2 years. This episode is titled "Breaking Up the Team" and features Judy Meredith, who was playing the regular character "Bonnie Sue McAvee" (sp?) in the last year or two of the B&A series. However in the George Burns show, she plays herself, "Judy Meredith" and has NO Texas accent.
    BTW, the team that the episode title refers to is NOT George and Gracie, but Ronnie and Judy Meredith.
    When Antenna TV broadcast the final episode from the last year of B&A, ther was no mention in the episode of Gracie's leaving. There was however, a lot of loud applause over the opening credits that is not normally heard. I imagine G&G were onstage before the opening act (something we never see) and the audience was clapping enthusiastically for Gracie, knowing it was her final appearance.
    Incidentally, I think the later years of B&A are the better ones, starting with Ronnie joing as a regular in the 6th season 1956. The weakest years are the first seasons 1 and 2 which were kinescopes and not on film.
     
  8. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Screenwriter

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    Seasons 1 & 2 from what I've seen are the best, Gracie's on fire as she causes chaos.
     
  9. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    Antenna doesn't cut. They air shows as they are given them. The edits are on the tapes that Sony provided them. If they get a show uncut, such as Bachelor Father and Here Come The Brides, then they run it that way.
     
  10. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    I've never really found evidence of their existence anywhere although its entirely possible that they reside in the CBS vaults.
     
  11. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    My Columbia House tapes from S3 and S4 transferred to DVD-R remain those most prized "boot" item in my whole collection. I really worry that an official release of those two years would never be as good especially since we have too much precedence for DVD releases to use inferior source material for that used in other Columbia House VHS selections.
     
  12. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Screenwriter

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    If there at CBS, then CBS will claim ownership, providing the masters haven't turned to powder.
     
  13. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Screenwriter

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    I'm curious to find out if Bea Benaderet (Blanche Morton) was close with Gracie in real life as the two of them portrayed it on the show?
     
  14. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    So If I Understand Correctly, Columbia House released part (or most) of the first 2 Kinescoped seasons on VHS ? If that's true I have only been able to find a small number of them on VHS. And Only Some of those Eventually Came Out on DVD ? Is that right?
    What's the best way to collect as much of the first two seasons as possible? How are other collectors doing this? The history of this show's released episodes gets really confusing.
     
  15. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    No, they released most of the first two *filmed* seasons which are Seasons 3 and 4. The kinescopes are the live shows that aired in the first two seasons only and which are the ones you see in the public domain DVD releases. The Columbia House VHS episodes from Season 3 and 4, which were beautiful quality with many leaving in the original commercials, have never been on DVD.
     
  16. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    OK, that makes more sense. So it's true that only a few of the PD eps from Seasons 1&2 are in circulation? That's all I've ever found on either VHS or DVD.
    There are some complete eps in decent quality currently posted on YouTube. In some cases it's hard to know which are which because I find that some episodes appear in different formats with different titles.
     
  17. nostalgic TV guy

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    Only the PD eps-all of seasons 1 and 2 on kinescope are available on DVD. These are not from Sony or any official rights holders but from those companies that distsribute those cheap discs of PD material.
    Seasons 3 through 8 are copywrited by Sony. None of these episodes have ever been released (except for the Columbia House VHS release of the early 1990's).
    I have 26-27 epiosdes total from Seasons 1 and 2. So about half of the PD episodes have appeared on VHS or DVD over the years.
     
  18. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Screenwriter

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    Will we ever see official season sets or official "Best Of" releases? I know money is big factor in the hold up of this series, but who is trying say the own a part of this show? Did George or Grace have an estate that handles distribution and copyrights over there material? Is Sony just too lazy to bother with doing anything?
     
  19. nostalgic TV guy

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    The age of the show plus the fact that it is in black and white are two factors. Plus, with the series having nearly 300 episodes, no small release.
    The first two seasons are more for collectors and completists, As some before me have said: Sony needs to start with Season 3 and call it 'The First Filmed Season".
    I'm taking advantage of the Antenna TV broadcasts and DVR'ing the episodes, cutting out the commercials and burning them to dvd as Season sets. I missed taping the runs of B&A on CBN back in the 1980's. I didn't get TV Land in the mid-90's when they were broadcasting one (?) episode on Sunday mornings.
    I'm not going to let this opportunity get by me.
     
  20. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    Is there a collection of all of the pd ones?
     

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