Here's a thread for all those long-running sitcoms that never seem to make it on dvd. We all know the story: it was a long-running series, possibly even the #1 show on television during its original airings, yet it never seems to make a strong showing in dvd land. Here's some good candidates, followed by a little discussion for each show. I'm basically concentrating on shows with over 100 episodes, but I added an "Honorable Mention" section for shorter-lived shows that deserve consideration too. Discuss all you want, but remember, miracles do happen! A few weeks ago, "Barney Miller" would have been on this list too... The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952) 435 episodes, 14 seasons (scattered best ofs) Ozzie and Harriet must be the all-time Grand Champion of sitcoms simply in terms of the number of episodes produced. There was even a short-lived revival series/sequel in the 1970s. Yet as popular as they were, The Nelsons have never made a very good showing on dvd. Most of the show's releases seem to be cheapie PD versions, yet there are a couple of professional studio grade "best of" sets. Even though a 435 episode set seems to be a daunting task for any dvd producer, this show deserves better than it's gotten. Alice (1976) 202 episodes, 9 seasons We all wish there was a new girl in town...at least on dvd. This terrific show has so far seen only one lousy "best of" with 6 episodes. Inexplicably, the entire first season is available for download through amazon.com, yet Warners has not seen fit to release the show on dvd, not even through its Archives program. Burns and Allen (1950) 291 episodes, 8 seasons (multitudinous pd best ofs) Another highly successful program, so far it's only seen a VAST number of cheapie PD releases, and most of those seem to feature the same tired episodes over and over. As for the program itself, I'm not sure that all of its episodes even still exist (some were broadcast live and likely only exist as kinescopes, if at all). Others need to chime in on that one. This was also a show, that while obviously very successful in its original run, did not receive an over-abundance of airplay in rerun syndication after the mid-60s. The Drew Carey Show 233 episodes, 9 seasons (first season out, one best of) Here's another show that everybody seemed to watch in its heyday. And a show that's only seen one lousy season set and a quick best-of. I'd certainly like to see more. The show didn't even hit its stride until about season 2 or 3. And another thing that I'll get back to (concerning ABC shows), the 9th season suffered a lot from scheduling snafus. ABC withheld the entire season and burned it off in the summer. Lots of people have never even seen the last season...because they didn't know it was on! Family Matters (1989) 215 episodes, 9 seasons (1 season on dvd, 2nd season on amazon instant video) While the long-awaited Season One finally arrived on store shelves about a year ago, nothing's been heard from it since. Come on, Warners--there's still almost 200 episodes to see! Head of the Class (1986) 114 episodes, 5 seasons: NO RELEASES This was another show that everybody seemed to like. It wasn't perhaps the most memorable sitcom of all time, but it was popular enough to last five complete seasons. It hasn't played very often in syndication and stands the risk of becoming a "forgotten" show. I think this series would be a no-brainer for Shout Factory... I Married Joan (1952) 100 episodes, 3 seasons (various pd best ofs) Those who love 1950s programs very often have to put up with crummy PD releases. And "Joan" is no exception. There have been scores of scattered releases for this scatterbrained woman, but never an official release. It’s a Living (1980) 119 episodes, 6 seasons: NO RELEASES Ditto everything I said above about "Head of the Class." Another almost-forgotten ABC sitcom, although this one spent most of its life in syndication. It boasted an unbeatable Broadway-style theme song by Leslie Bricusse, and featured lots of famous actresses who came and went as the series progressed, including Ann Jillian, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Louise Lasser and Susan Sullivan. It's been entirely neglected on dvd thus far. Mama’s Family (1983) 130 episodes, 6 seasons: (1st season released) Okay, here we go. We've had all KINDS of threads about this show, but this show's fate on dvd is the one that pisses me off the most. Here's the abridged version of the story for those who haven't heard about it. Warners owns the distribution rights, and therefore the dvd distribution rights. Joe Hamilton Jr., (the son of the late producer of Mama's Family) has the physical copies of the original network airings of Mama. When the dvd was produced, the two sides couldn't come up with any acceptable agreement. Therefore, Warners very stupidly released the first 13 episodes as they've been shown on television for the past two decades: as extremely poor syndication prints with missing scenes. Okay? And as you can imagine--the Home Theater Forum members collectively howled bloody murder, and practically boycotted that execrable dvd release. As well they should have. Here's the tragedy: the fallout being that not only has Warners not attempted to release more episodes, but they also haven't attempted to reconcile the situation with the Season One dvd, or with Hamilton Jr. Therefore...no more Mama. And we're waiting. And waiting. Let me tell you--this is one of my favorite shows of all time, whether we're talking sitcoms or dramas. And I think a lot of people will agree with me that something's gotta give. We want more Mama and that's that!!! Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976) 307 episodes, 2 seasons (1st 25 eps released) A lot of fans were exciting when MHMH volume one came out several years ago. This show is another one that hasn't aired much in syndication and a lot of people would like to see it again. But the first volume apparently either didn't sell well or came out at a time when Sony was making its famous cutbacks. But I think it's a highly entertaining sitcom/serial and deserves a second life. Hopefully Shout Factory will come to its rescue as it has with other Sony and Norman Lear shows. Maude (1972) 141 episodes, 6 seasons (1st season released) And then there's Maude. Ditto the above--another Sony/Norman Lear show that only got one release. My Three Sons (1960) 380 episodes, 12 seasons (seasons 1-2 released) Yet another extremely long-running series! This one technically is still coming out...but only as half-season sets from Paramount. So far they've released the first two seasons. And at the rate they're going, that would mean twenty more half-season sets, and they should all be available sometime in the year 2060, just in time for the show's 100th anniversary bash! Woot! Newhart (1982) 184 episodes, 8 seasons (1st season released) It looks like this show's predecessor, "The Bob Newhart Show," may finally be finished on dvd. Here's hoping someone follows it up with the rest of this classic, unforgettable show! One Day at a Time (1975) 209 episodes, 9 seasons (1st season released) This is a show that a lot of young 1970s women seem to remember fondly. But it's another "one-and-we're-done" release from Sony, the Clown Prince of abandoned dvd sitcoms. I can't imagine Shout Factory can swoop in and rescue ALL of Sony's abandoned shows, but wouldn't it be nice? As an aside, your Thread Originator often watched this show live in the studio audience and in fact became acquainted with Pat Harrington Jr. in recent years. And oh yeah--he wants to see more of it on dvd too. Perfect Strangers (1986) 150 episodes, 8 seasons (2 seasons released) Like Drew Carey above, ABC totally dissed this popular show in its last season, and burned off a few episodes in the summer (there were only six for its last season). ABC does stuff like that!! Unsurprisingly, a lot of fans of this show have never seen how it ended... Step by Step (1991) 160 episodes, 8 seasons (1 best of, six eps) I'm not saying this was a hugely successful show, but its demographics were good enough to keep it on for eight long years! And everybody seemed to watch it, and everybody seemed to kinda like it (although it was cheesy even for the 90s). But so far it's gotten only one pitiful "best of" release. Too Close for Comfort (1980) 129 episodes, 6 seasons (2 seasons released) Another show that was Too Good For ABC, and wound up in syndication later on. Before its two season releases, fans were really rooting for this one on dvd. Reportedly, some of the episodes were missing scenes and enthusiasm waned for further releases. 227 (1985) 116 episodes, 5 seasons (1st season released) Like a lot of shows in this list, "227" was a definite "B-Lister," yet everybody's seen a few episodes at least, and everybody pretty much liked it. So where is it? Who’s the Boss? (1984) 196 episodes, 8 seasons (1st season released) This is another missing dvd mystery that people bring up in thread topics from time to time: Where's The Boss??? The Wonder Years (1988) 115 episodes, 6 seasons: NO RELEASES Yeah, yeah, I know--somebody's gonna thread crap this show and say something stupid like "Oh you'll NEVER see Wonder Years on dvd. The MUSIC RIGHTS are too EXPENSIVE. You're MAD. FORGET ABOUT IT." And I say, "Oh yeah? You pesky thread-crappers said the same exact thing about Saturday Night Live and Ally McBeal, and we got THOSE on dvd with all the music intact..." Honorable Mentions: These shows have less than 100 episodes, but are good enough to be remembered...and are good enough to come out on dvd. Chico and the Man (1974) 88 episodes, 4 seasons (1 best of, six eps) I did buy the "best of" dvd and was immediately struck by the quality of this show. It was twice as good as I'd remembered from childhood, and deserves another shot. the Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1969) 73 episodes, 3 seasons: NO RELEASES Another show that's at risk of being totally forgotten, unless some clever dvd producer comes to its rescue. I get to name-drop again: I went to school with Brandon Cruz. He's still very, very fond of this show and would love to see it available on dvd. the Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1968) 50 episodes, 2 seasons NO RELEASES This show was never a ratings-grabber yet maintained some popularity in the 70s because it played and played in syndication. This is one that would make a great done-in-one release set. Less Than Perfect (2002) 81 episodes, 4 seasons (1st season released) Another show that ABC unfairly messed up. It was going pretty strong in its first three seasons and got renewed, but ABC didn't put it on the schedule for season four, cancelled it after its 13th episode that year, and burned off the episodes in the summer. If things weren't bad enough, they never bothered to air the last eight episodes. (I think they may have been available online for a time). But you have a good little series here, and a large portion of it's never been seen by its fans. Nanny and the Professor (1970) 54 episodes, 3 seasons: NO RELEASES Another very likeable show, it's probably only remembered by the child who saw it in its original run. But it still maintains a fanbase and deserves a good done-in-one release. Welcome Back Kotter (1975) 95 episodes, 4 seasons (1st season and 1 best of) Even though it only ran four years, WBK was definitely one of the most iconic shows of the 1970s. Oh yeah, it was popular--you bet! Every school kid in the late 70s had WBK lunchboxes and Vinnie Barbarino pee-chee folders. And yet it's only managed one lone season on dvd... Okay, now it's your chance to add some fave sitcoms to the list!