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 release today, from MPI Home Video, is The Mothers-in-Law: The Complete Series (8pc). First announced in February of 2009, the set was pushed back a few times but today all 56 episodes, originally broadcast between 1967 and 1969, are available along with slew of bonus features. Included are the original unaired pilot episodes, behind-the-scenes footage, promotional spots, interviews, a featurette, an unproduced script, cast commercials, home movies, and two unsold pilots — “The Carol Channing Show” and “Land’s End” — from Desi Arnaz Productions. And you can get it all at Amazon.com for the absurd price of $18.99, discounted from the suggested retail price of $39.98.
I’ve found two reviews of the set. The first, from Sitcoms Online, gives it an overall 4.5/5 rating and suggests that “even if you have never heard of or watched the show, this is probably one that you could pick up as a blind buy and enjoy.” The second, from user Rob_Ray at the Home Theater Forum, calls the set “a fine example of really going the extra mile to produce a product that does a series proud.”
Also out today, from Paramount Home Entertainment, is Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show – First Season. The series, which premiered in 1955, was originally called You’ll Never Get Rich before it was retitled The Phil Silvers Show and ran for 143 episodes and four seasons, ending in 1959. A 50th anniversary compilation set was released in 2006 with 18 episodes but this is the first time a complete season from the series has been available. You get all 34 episodes from the 1955-1956 season as well as a live audition show/pilot episode show that was never broadcast, network openings and cast commercials and an episode of The Lucy Show guest starring Phil Silvers.
Finally, Alpha Video is releasing two new single disc DVDs, Life With Elizabeth, Volume 3 and Life With Elizabeth, Volume 4, each with four episodes.