DVD Tuesday: Hawaii Five-O, The Judy Garland Show

Quite a few classic and/or somewhat obscure programs have DVD releases out today. You can pick up The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: The Best of Season 2 from Time Life, a 3-DVD set containing 715 minutes from the 1967-1968 season. According to the Time Life website, guests include Mickey Rooney, The Who, The Byrds, Bette Davis, Patty Duke, The Association and Don Rickles (and many more). Whether there will be full episodes or just excerpts is unknown (I’ve read that the Best of Season 3 release had shortened episodes). Plus, more than two hours of bonus features (backstage footage, interviews, etc.). While perhaps not as desirable as complete season sets, best of sets for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour are more than many ever expected to see.

Also out today, from Timeless Media Group, is Tales of Wells Fargo – The Best of the Color Season – 22 episodes, containing 22 episodes from the 1961-1962 season, the show’s last, which consisted of 34 episodes. And from Infinity Resources, Route 66: Season 3, Vol. 2, with the remaining 15 episodes of the 1962-1963 season. There were issues with the Season 3, Vol. 1 release but they were quickly worked out.

Infinity Resources is also releasing The Judy Garland Holiday Show, broadcast on December 22nd, 1963 as part of The Judy Garland Show on CBS. And from Paramount comes Hawaii Five-O: The Seventh Season, with all 24 episodes from the 1974-1975 season. And from Warner Brothers comes Peanuts: 1970’s Collection, Vol. 1, containing six television specials featuring the whole Peanuts gang (It’s a Mystery Charlie Brown / Play It Again / A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving / It’s the Easter Beagle / There’s No Time for Love / You’re Not Elected).

Finally, Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Remastered is out today from BBC Video. Hardly obscure but what a classic comedy. And, it can quite easily be connected to obscure television. There have been three attempts to remake the show for audiences in the United States. The first never made it past the pilot stage in the late 1970s but the second resulted in a sitcom called Amanda’s starring Bea Arthur. It ran for ten episodes on ABC in early 1983 (a total of thirteen were produced). That’s a show that will never make it to DVD. As for the third attempt, it was called Payne and starred John Larroquette. Eight of the nine produced episodes aired on CBS in the spring of 1999.


3 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    The first attempt to create an American version of “FAWLTY TOWERS” was ABC’s 1978 pilot “SNAVELY” {aka “CHATEAU SNAVELY”}, starring Harvey Korman, who had just signed a long-term contract with the network with a guarantee of starring in at least one prime-time series. However, that wasn’t it. As good as Korman was, the pilot fell short of expectations, and he appeared in another pilot that DID sell: “THE HARVEY KORMAN SHOW”, which had a VERY brief run.

    The second variation {“unauthorized”, I believe, as it gave no screen acknowledgement to John Cleese or the original series} was supposed to have been titled “AMANDA’S BY THE SEA”, but ABC just whittled it down to “AMANDA’S” (it did have a GREAT theme by Peter Matz). The ratings, however, just weren’t there {“MAGNUM, P.I.” on CBS, anyone?}. and, despite Bea Arthur and supporting cast member Tony Rosato, just couldn’t match Cleese’s original.

    As for “PAYNE”…forget it.

  • RGJ says:

    Although I haven’t seen the “Snavely” pilot, based solely on the title it doesn’t sound very good.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Betty White was Harvey’s co-star in the “SNAVELY” pilot, so it couldn’t have been THAT bad.

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