Every Tuesday I take a look at obscure and/or classic television programs, specials, miniseries or made-for-TV movies being released on DVD. For the record I consider anything broadcast prior to 1980 to be classic or else there wouldn’t be much to discuss. The releases referred to in these posts are encoded for Region 1 use in the United States and Canada.
The big news this week is the release of Leave It To Beaver: The Complete Series, from Shout! Factory. You get all six seasons and 234 of the classic family sitcom that ran on CBS from 1957-1958 and then ABC from 1958 to 1963. Interestingly, the complete series comes out just two weeks after Shout! released Season Three on DVD; Season Four will come out in September with Seasons Five and Six also expected. For a bit of history, Universal Home Entertainment released the first two seasons on DVD in November of 2005 and May of 2006, respectively, and that was it. Fast forward to January of 2010 when Shout! announced it would be releasing the third season as well as the complete series on DVD.
An official press release for the complete series can be found here. All six seasons have been “beautifully restored and remastered” and there are a slew of bonus features, including the 1957 pilot episode (which aired as an installment of syndicated anthology series Studio 57, also known as Heinz Studio 57). Reviews can be found at DVD Talk, DVDTown and The Home Theater Forum. A recent article in The New York Times about Leave It To Beaver can be found here.
Also out today, from Infinity Entertainment, is The Real McCoys – Season 4, with all 39 episodes from the 1959-1960 season. I haven’t seen any reviews of this set yet. Finally, Alpha Video has two new public domain releases, both single discs, that are either out today or tomorrow (the official Alpha Video site gives June 30th, 2010 as the release date while Amazon.com says June 29th for one and June 30th for the other): Frontier Doctor, Volume 6, with four episodes of the Western adventure series, and something called Cigarette Commercials, which collects “dozens of politically incorrect cigarette television commercials from the 1950s and 1960s.”