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Time/Life Press Release: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Series

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ronald Epstein, May 9, 2017.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    "Before there was 'Saturday Night Live', there was
    'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In'"
    -- The New York Times

    SOCK IT TO ME!

    IN TIME FOR ITS LANDMARK 50TH ANNIVERSARY, COMMEMORATE A GROUNDBREAKING VARIETY SHOW
    WITH A DELUXE COMPLETE SERIES COLLECTOR'S SET AVAILABLE FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME


    ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN:
    THE COMPLETE SERIES


    Time Life Brings Together All Six Seasons (1968-1973) of This Emmy® and
    Golden Globe®-Winning, Star-Laden, Genre-Busting Series in One Stunning DVD Set Featuring 140 Complete Episodes Remastered from Original Broadcast Masters - 63% of Which Have NEVER Been Available Before on Any Format - Hours of Specially-Produced Extras,
    a 32-Page Collector's Book and More!

    Available Exclusively Online at TimeLife.com/LaughIn;
    Pre-Order Begins May 9, 2017


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    LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE SERIES Trailer

    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/W1PoQrTHUMw

    Embed Code: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    FAIRFAX, VA (May 9, 2017) -- Named by TV Guide as one of the "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time," "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," was also one of the most groundbreaking. A fast moving barrage of rapid-fire one-liners, on-going sketches, musical numbers and hilarious social and political satire, it was an instant hit following its NBC prime-time debut in 1968. Hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, the unique variety series - a psychedelic take-off of a '60s-style happening - perfectly captured the spirit of an era, launched the careers of many a comic actor and writer and fed a new generation's conversations with hip catchphrases like "Sock it to me!," "You bet your sweet bippy!," and "Here come da judge!" "Laugh In" would go on to become one of the most popular shows in the history of television.
    Never before available in its entirety on any format, beginning May 9, ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE SERIES will be offered as a deluxe 38-disc collector's set from Time Life and Proven Entertainment with David DiVona. Featuring all 140 original broadcast episodes plus the pilot, hours of specially-produced extras and featurettes, a bonus disc featuring hours of specially-produced extras, a 32-page collectible memory book featuring "liner notes" from producer/creator George Schlatter and more, ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE SERIES will be available to pre-order exclusively at TimeLife.com/LaughIn for $250.
    "'Laugh-In' was a free fall of television without a net. It was dangerous.
    It was controversial. It was totally unpredictable and always funny."
    -- George Schlatter
    "Laugh-In"
    originally aired as a one-time special on September 9, 1967, and was such a success that it was brought back as a series, replacing "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." on Mondays at 8pm. With seasoned comedy team Rowan and Martin presiding over the zippy hour-long variety show which capably mixed sketch comedy and sight gags with trenchant political commentary, the comic regulars resonated loudly and hilariously - Goldie Hawn's giggly blonde, Lily Tomlin's snorting telephone operator, Judy Carne's "Sock-It-To-Me" girl, Jo Anne Worley's anti-chicken-joke militant, Ruth Buzzi's perpetually-frustrated spinster and Arte Johnson's "verrry interesting" German soldier, to name a few. And over the next six seasons, from 1968-1973, the off-the-wall NBC staple would become a pop culture phenomenon and the #1 rated show during the 1968-69 and 1969-70 television seasons.
    The pioneering series -- which would go onto to capture 6 Emmy® Awards (for Outstanding Variety Series, 1971) and 31 nominations, as well as 2 Golden Globe® Awards, including "Best TV Show" (1969) -- can also be remembered by the seemingly endless parade of guest stars who flocked to the red-hot variety show for memorable appearances and cameos including Tim Conway, Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds, Liberace, Raquel Welch, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jonathan Winters, Carol Channing, The Monkees, Sonny and Cher, Barbara Feldon, Bobby Darin, Andy Griffith, Diana Ross, James Garner, Michael Landon, Buddy Hackett, Steve Lawrence, Jack Lemmon, Kirk Douglas, Robert Goulet, Flip Wilson, Don Rickles, John Wayne, a ukulele-strumming Tiny Tim and many more. The series' most famous single moment, however, came in 1968 when presidential candidate Richard Nixon surprised viewers with a brief appearance in which he deadpanned "Sock it to me?," before capturing the White House.

    Initially, exclusively available online at TimeLife.com/LaughIn, ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE SERIES commemorates the influential program's landmark 50th anniversary with a handsomely-packaged DVD set from the TV DVD archivists at Time Life. Across 38 discs and 150+ hours of transformative entertainment, fans of classic TV, comedy and variety will be treated to the series in its entirety for the very first time: all 140 episodes, complete and uncut and remastered from the original broadcast elements for optimal viewing. 89 of the episodes (63%) have never before been released on any format, making this eagerly-anticipated completist's set a valuable - and highly entertaining - collection.

    Also included in the collection is the rare pilot episode, a collectible 32-page memory book loaded with archival photos, show images, classic jokes and one-liners, "liner notes" from creator/producer George Schlatter and an exclusive bonus DVD.
    The collection includes more than 6 hours of exclusive bonus features including the complete 25th Anniversary Cast Reunion and interviews with Lily Tomlin and George Schlatter that are only available in this complete collection.
    Other exclusive bonus features include:
    • Interviews with Dick Martin, Ruth Buzzi, Gary Owens, Arte Johnson, Alan Sues
    • The Laugh-In Pilot Episode
    • Still Laugh-In: A Tribute to George Schlatter
    • Laugh-In Bloopers
    • How We Won the Emmys
    • ...and more!
    With the combined efforts and input from one of the most talented ensemble casts and the largest, most creative groups of writers, editors, composers, directors, scenic and costume designers ever assembled, "Laugh-In" became an instant classic, transforming pop culture and the medium of television. And today, 50 years after the show first aired, it remains one of the most memorable and beloved shows in TV history.
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  2. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    This looks like it might be a pretty expansive all-in-one of that classic NBC comedy series!
     
  3. Brent Reid

    Brent Reid Supporting Actor

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    Fantastic news! Assuming everything turns out technically well with the set, this is an object lesson in how to reissue a series: take the financial plunge and do it right first time. That means you issue it all in one go, don't scrimp on the transfers and extras, and in one fell swoop blow all the would-be 'public domain' pirates and their inferior junk out of the water. :D

    Presumably the episodes have been mastered in HD for future broadcast, which also (dare we hope) raises the possibility of an eventual Blu-ray set...
     
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  4. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    As this is supposedly an all-inclusive set, it seems a bit of an oversight that they're not including the short-lived revival series that ran on NBC in 1977 and featured Bill Rafferty and a little-known actor named Robin Williams.
     
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  5. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    It was shot on videotape. HD is an impossibility.
     
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  6. MartinP.

    MartinP. Second Unit

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    As a fan of this series, for dozens of reasons I've never entertained the thought of something like this ever happening, so I am, well, verrry interested.

    To say the least.
     
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  7. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    True, of course. NTSC resolution is the best this can ever be. However, one does hope that they're using tapes that have had at least some remastering done (like the tapes used for the Trio broadcasts, and many of the tapes of old game shows that GSN has used). Unremastered NTSC tape can look awfully nasty.

    This is Time-Life, so I'm sure we probably have nothing to worry about there. The big question mark will be whether or not all of the episodes are 100% unedited, not sped-up, etc.
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Kind of a surprise, huh?

    :thumbsup:
     
  9. t1g3r5fan

    t1g3r5fan Second Unit
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    You bet your sweet bippy it is. ;)
     
  10. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    The description says, complete and uncut and remastered. Is that a good sign? They've been in business too long to know better.
     
  11. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I don't know...Mama's Family was also uncut until we realized it wasn't...
     
  12. JoelA

    JoelA Cinematographer

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    Love this show and this is a surprise, however, I wonder as well if it will truly be "uncut". As a kid under the age of 10 I was allowed to watch controversial shows such as this and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. And a few years later All in the Family and Maude. Great television!
     
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  13. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    Yep, this was a total surprise. One of the most iconic shows of the 60s. Gotta have it. Can't place my preorder right away but I will be getting this.
     
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  14. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Unfortunately, as with last year's THE MONKEES Blu-ray series set, I have to reluctantly pass, as it is so far beyond my financial reach. It's fantastic that ALL of the episodes are finally getting released, nevertheless! Hopefully, the vast majority of, if not all, music clearances were able to be made!

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  15. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I'm not going to let this one pass me by as I did with the sampler releases. I'd lamented too often that I wanted the whole ball-of-wax and not samplers (same with Carol Burnett and The Smothers Brothers). But, unlike those other two, I put off getting the samplers anyway. I'm absolutely thrilled they're releasing the whole series. Thrilled to the point that I'm seriously considering their monthly payment plan to get a copy.
     
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  16. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    I'm thinking about it. I love 70's TV so if I get it, it will certainly be on the payment plan.
    I like Time-Life releases very much, but the cost of some of these sets is just a bit too steep. Even for die hard classic TV enthusiasts, and that must be their target audience. I'm still puzzled at the signature edition set of The Wonder Years for $499. Crazy, in that it is still just DVD, not Blu-Ray, and besides a couple non-personal autographs from the main cast, the other bonus material was mostly just unnecessary garbage(socks?) that most people wouldn't care about. Limited to 500 units, it is still available. I would be shocked if 10 of them sold.
     
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  17. Brent Reid

    Brent Reid Supporting Actor

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    Nope: it was shot on a combination of videotape and 16mm film. Of course it was edited on tape, as were many other film-shot series of that era. So HD is not an impossibility.

    What is an impossibility is the prospect of folk not stating absolutes and spreading misinformation on the internet. ;)
     
  18. phillyrobt

    phillyrobt Second Unit

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    Great news...especially for my DVR which is full with the Decades broadcast episodes...
     
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  19. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    My situation as well. Time/Life releases are just too cost prohibitive. The reason why I never picked up the Dean Martin Roasts nor will probably purchase this set as much as I want them both.
     
  20. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    The show was mostly videotape, though, so for the majority of the footage, true HD is still not possible. Those parts would have to be upscaled. It was pretty much like British TV of the time: studio stuff was on tape and "outside" stuff was on film, and Laugh-In didn't do a huge amount of location filming. Little snippets here and there. Certainly not enough to warrant upscaling alll the VT footage just so the small amounts of film can be HD.

    And at any rate, the only way the 16mm footage could even be in HD would be if all those original rolls of film survived. They might have tossed them out, once the full episodes were assembled.
     
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