The Goldbergs Coming To DVD

TVShowsOnDVD.com reports that Shout! Factory plans on releasing a six-disc collection of episodes from the various incarnations of The Goldbergs sometime in early 2010. The sitcom ran from 1949 to 1956 on three networks — CBS, NBC and DuMont — as well as syndication, premiering on CBS in January of 1949 as a half-hour sitcom and ran until June of 1951. It then moved to NBC in February of 1952 as a thrice-weekly, fifteen-minute serial before reverting to a half-hour sitcom in July of 1953 and leaving the network in September of 1953. DuMont broadcast the series in a half-hour format from April to October of 1954. All of these network airings were live and reportedly the bulk of the CBS and NBC episodes no longer exist, although most of the DuMont episodes are still around. Another 39 episodes were filmed in 1955 and released in syndication during 1956; all of these episodes exist.

A ten-episode collection consisting of syndicated episodes was released in April of 2008 by Timeless Media Group. The upcoming release from Shout! Factory may include upwards of sixty episodes, including the 39 filmed episodes for syndication, according to The Classic TV History Blog. More information, of course, will be released in the future, including an accurate episode count and more.


3 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    If you DO see “THE GOLDBERGS” on DVD, don’t expect to see a “typical” situation comedy with a laugh track, or a studio audience in attendance. Gertrude Berg insisted that no “canned” or live reactions be part of, or an influence in, the series. The show was basically a “dramedy”- there were some gentle laughs, to be sure, but each story concerned a serious conflict of some kind: in one of the syndicated episodes, Molly Goldberg is supposed to fulfill a medical appointment, but finds herself attracted to a man on the subway who encourages her to read and appreciate poetry. She meets with him again and again, until husband Jake discovers she never arrived at the doctor’s office when she insisted she had to return for a “series of appointments” {Molly Goldberg LIED??? Oy!!!}. This kind of story was one reason the series finally fell out of favor with everyone except its “core audience”…most viewers were becoming conditioned to accept “typical” sitcom plots along the lines of “Oh, Honey, I burned the roast and your boss is coming to dinner!”. Simple, banal, undemanding, and easily digestible for people to watch so that the commercials interrupting the show looked better, making them easier for viewers to pay attention and buy the sponsor’s products on command. I’m sorry I’ve conveyed this cynical attitude, but’s that basically what happened to most filmed sitcoms in the mid-1950’s. “THE GOLDBERGS” [or “MOLLY”, as some stations carrying the syndicated version believed people wouldn’t watch the program under its original title because it was “too ethnic”] just didn’t fit the “mold” that other sitcoms were forced to contract into.

  • Jeff Wildman says:

    This DVD set is a most-welcomed addition for those who can appreciate how rare the network installments of the Goldbergs really are. There has been a huge effort put forth by a number of people to acquire all known episodes (from a wide variety of sources) of this series that exist. Unfortunately, Gertrude Berg had a stipulation in her contracts that required the networks to destroy the kinescopes so many weeks after the episodes aired. It’s little wonder that Gertrude Berg eventually became known as “The most famous women you’ve never heard of”.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    “What am I supposed to do with a bunch of films cluttering up my closet? I should pay MONEY to have them stored so that I’ll never see them again? A live show you only do and see ONCE- it’s not worth saving them…”

    That, I believe, was Gertrude Berg’s attitude towards her kinescopes; unfortunately, the broadcast networks felt the same way. Thank God we have those live episodes that DID survive on kinnies because someone decided NOT to follow her orders….

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