The Mothers-In-Law Coming to DVD on July 27th

I’m sure there are those who won’t believe it until they actually have the set in their hands but it looks like the long saga of The Mothers-In-Law on DVD will come to a close in a few months. Recall that the collection was first announced more than a year ago in February of 2009, with a late 2009 release date, but was later pushed back to 2010 and reportedly was going to come out around Mother’s Day in early May, only to be pushed back again.

Today TVShowsOnDVD.com reports that MPI Home Video will release The Mothers-In-Law – The Complete Series on July 27th. Included are all 56 episodes from both seasons of the sitcom plus a slew of bonus features, all for a suggested retail price of just under $40. Bonus features include the original unaired pilot episode, a featurette with series star Kaye Ballard, an introduction from Desi Arnaz, Jr., original cast commercials and billboards and network promotional spots. Plus, you get two unsold pilots produced by Desi Arnaz.

Check TVShowsOnDVD.com for the complete list of bonus features.


6 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    I don’t mean to sound like a cynic, but as far as the current “street date” of “THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW” DVD box set is concerned, “I’ll believe it when I SEE it”. And I think I have a perfect right to, after so many delays and last minute decisions NOT to release it, due to something-or-another.

    I wasn’t aware the original version of the pilot existed; that’s the one originally pitched to CBS, with different actors portraying “Jerry Buell” and “Suzie Hubbard” {they turned it down, but sponsor Procter & Gamble told Desi Arnaz that if he recast the young leads, they’d find a place for the series in one of “their” time periods- which they did, at 8:30pm(et) on NBC’s Sunday night schedule in the fall of ’67}. The September 1967 NBC ‘Fall Preview’ special, “Remember Next Year?” (featuring Danny Thomas), features excerpts from the first pilot…and of course, “Jerry” and “Suzie” are never seen.

    I haven’t seen the list of “bonus features” on ‘TVShowsOnDVD.com’ yet, but as for the “unsold pilots” Desi produced, they’d have to be “THE CAROL CHANNING SHOW” (for General Foods and CBS’ projected 1966-’67 schedule), and “LAND’S END”, a Rory Calhoun vehicle {it would have been his first series for Desi since “THE TEXAN”} for the 1967-’68 season [it was originally an hour-long pilot, but cut to half its length when it pre-empted “THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW” one Sunday evening in April 1968].

  • pBOB says:

    Was Lucy still working with Desi on all these pilots?

    I thought she kicked him out DesiLu and took over the daily operations while doing her own TV show.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    After Lucy bought out Desi’s share of “Desilu” in November 1962 (and took over the studio), he “retired” for a while, then decided to form his own company, “Desi Arnaz Productions”, in 1966, with the intention of again producing his own TV series. He rented office space and a soundstage at Desilu; he and Lucy were still friendly with each other, despite their divorce, and she allowed him to produce whatever he wanted to at her facilities, but she wasn’t directly involved with his projects. The only weekly series he produced was “THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW”, created and mostly written by Bob Carroll, Jr. and Madelyn Davis, who did such a great job for him writing “I LOVE LUCY”. If you worked for Desi and gave him fantastic results, he never forgot it, and remembered you when he created other projects. Bob and Madelyn were “out of favor” with Lucy after she fired them, following the first two seasons of writing “THE LUCY SHOW” [they wouldn’t write for her again until 1970]. Desi gave them the opportunity to flourish again on “THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW”. In fact, he was VERY protective of their talents; when a Procter & Gamble rep called them to complain about one of their scripts, they told Desi about it; he called the guy back, and yelled, “Don’t you ever call them again! If you’ve got a complaint about the script, you call ME, and I’LL take care of it!!”. He gave Tommy Thompson a chance to direct an episode or two after Lucy fired him from “THE LUCY SHOW”, ending a 16 year relationship that began when he was a script clerk on “I LOVE LUCY”, working his way up to being her producer at the time she dumped him from her staff. Desi, however, knew how loyal and a dedicated employee Thompson was…

  • Rick says:

    I am glad that it is finally being released. It was announced over a year ago that it was coming. Maybe that is why people think that it has been pushed back so many times.

    AFAIK, it really has not been delayed as many times as people think. It was to be released in late 2009. It was then to be released some time in 2010. The unofficial report that it was to be released on Mother’s day 2010 was untrue.

    I have not heard or read anywhere before that it was in danger of not being released or that the project was in danger of being scrapped. If anybody knows why this set could have been canceled, please post the info. It would be interesting to read or know about. thanks! Anyway, here it is folks!

  • RGJ says:

    Rick, in a sense it was never delayed at all, if you consider it necessary to have a release date in order for something to be delayed. And the general time frame for the release was actually pushed back on only two occasions, from the initial late in 2009 announcement to a vague second quarter 2010 time frame (perhaps around Mothers Day in May) and finally to later in 2010, which July 27th fits.

    I think there is a general unease among collectors of TV-on-DVD whenever releases are pushed back, even though it happens all the time. Another example would be Big John, Little John, which has actually had two release dates (October 13th, 2009 and April 20th, 2010) announced and then delayed. The second date hasn’t even passed yet.

    So I can understand Barry’s concerns. Hopefully the set will come out in July as planned and, more importantly, all this waiting will have been worth it.

  • kollmar says:

    .. as you know ME T^V started the run of episodes this summer 2012.. if calculated correctly. the first season should run its course by new years..pk

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