DVD Tuesday: Johnny Stacatto, Marcus Welby, M.D.

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.

I didn’t post about last week’s new DVD releases so I’ll run through them quickly: All in the Family – The Complete Seventh Season (Shout! Factory), Gunsmoke: Fourth Season, Volume One (Paramount Home Video) and The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Seventh Season (20th Century Fox). Note that apparently some sets of The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Seventh Season are missing the “final curtain call” scene that was only included in the original broadcast of the final episode See this TVShowsOnDVD.com article for information on getting a replacement disc.

Out this week, from Timeless Media Group, is Johnny Staccato – The Complete Series, with with all 27 episodes from the 1959-1960 season. The NBC drama starred John Cassavetes as a jazz pianist who moonlighted as a private eye. The premiere episode was released on DVD in 2006 but this is the first time the entire series has been commercially released. Also out today, from Shout! Factory, is Marcus Welby, M.D. – Season Two/strong>, with all 24 episodes from the 1970-1971 season.

I’d also like to mention a few announcements made over the past few weeks:

  • I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster will be released on DVD in 2011 by TV Time Machine Productions in two volumes, each with 16 remastered episodes and bonus features. Read more at TVShowsOnDVD.com.

  • Select episodes of the 1960-1961 CBS sitcom Angel, which starred Annie Fargé, are available on DVD through Shokus Video, with more coming in November. Note that these are on DVD-R. Read more at TVShowsOnDVD.com.

  • Both installments of “Legends of the Superheroes,” two specials that aired on NBC in January of 1979, will be available for purchase through the Warner Archive later this month. I wrote about the specials in January of 2009 and never expected to see them released on DVD. And with recently uncovered outtakes. Read more at TVShowsOnDVD.com.

10 Comments

  • Mike S. says:

    Thanks for the heads-up on Season Seven of MTM. I pre-ordered the set from Amazon.com in August, and my copy was delivered earlier this month without the final curtain call footage. I called Fox’s hotline, and they are sending me a new, complete copy. This loyal MTM fan appreciates the effort by Fox, and your link.
    Also, I have one of the copies of “Angel” from Shokus Video; the episodes are well preserved and it’s a funny show in the image of “I Love Lucy.” I can recommend Shokus without hesitation; I’ve ordered material from the company for years and have never had a problem with either quality or service.

  • Pb says:

    I’ve watched the finale of MTM when it original aired but for some reason I don’t remember seeing the “final curtain call.” If this was at the very end of the show I probably changed the channel thinking the show was over.

    Back in those days we didn’t have a TV with a remote.

  • RGJ says:

    Mike, one of the reasons I write about DVD releases is the hope that I’ll be able to let people know about releases they hadn’t heard of. In your case, I’m glad I was able to point you in the right direction to get a corrected set.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    The “curtain call” closing credits were seen only during the original broadcast of the final episode on March 19, 1977; “standard” closing credits were used in repeats [the final network telecast on 9/3/77 and in syndication]. And, knowing Fox Video’s lack of attention towards “THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW” over the years, I’m not surprised the original credits were left off that disc. They could care less about ANY of the MTM series in their library; why SHOULD they, when they’ve got “THE SIMPSONS”, “THE CLEVELAND SHOW”, “FAMILY GUY”, “AMERICAN DAD”, “GLEE”, and their other “in-house” series certain 18-35 year old demographics apparently want to see more of, than “old shows” they just don’t care about?

    Do you think CBS/Paramount/Viacom cares about “ANGEL” (or even if they eventually realize they OWN it?). No, it’s up to people like Stuart Shostak to make sure they’re seen by a new generation…by the way, it’s “in the image of ‘I LOVE LUCY'” because it was created and produced by Jess Oppenheimer, who co-created and co-wrote Lucy’s series in the first place.

    As for the current NBC/Universal regime, they’re not interested in releasing “JOHNNY STACCATO” on DVD on their own because THEY feel it’s not worth the effort {or money} to invest in something they feel has “limited appeal” (“Who watches black and white television, anyway?”). That’s why they license those kind of series to Timeless Media or Shout! Factory, so THEY can spend the money to release them on DVD.

    And by the way, note the “NBC Peacock” featured on the front of the “JOHNNY STACCATO” box. That may echo nostalgia, but the series WASN’T in “Living Color” when it was first telecast. Yet, people will think it is when they see the box…and some are going to be VERY disappointed when they see the first episode…

  • Jeff Wildman says:

    Timeless was contractually bound to place the NBC Peacock on the box even though it will be confusing to some buyers, however I suppose it won’t be long before Timeless will have to start putting a logo on the front of their boxes with a Comcast cable box…lol

  • Mike S. says:

    Update: The correct MTM disk arrived at my door this morning. Yes, it has the original closing with the curtain call. Bravo to Fox! Now, a friend will get the MTM disk, so I can get him hooked on Mary and her friends in the Twin Cities. Thanks again, RGJ. I’ll be glad to return the favor anytime.

  • ejp says:

    I got my replacement disc today too, but I have to admit I find it annoying that the only way I can have both versions of the credits, which is what I want to have for completeness sake (especially since the revamped version is the one I have always experienced over the decades in repeats) is to have two copies of the disc on hand. Why Fox couldn’t have given us a seamless branching option or put one ending in a “bonus” section I have no idea.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    I TOLD you why, ‘ejp’: Fox just doesn’t give a damn about “THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW”–each new DVD release has been an nothing but an “afterthought” to them, whether everything that’s listed on the box is on the actual disc or not. If not, they “shrug” and send out a replacement disc without making a big fuss over it. Or worse, do nothing about it……

  • Jeff Wildman says:

    For anyone contemplating Shout Factory’s “All In The Family” release, don’t bother if you are a purist. Aside from some missing dialogue in one episode, the entire set has been improperly encoded. The episodes have a distracting, jerky motion that appears as if some genius chose to enocde this taped show so that it has a filmed look. Some of the end credit rolls are unwatchable…especially if you are prone to seizures or migranes. I’m betting the idiots used a DIVX encoding (the poor man’s MPEG) thinking they were “improving” the quality.

  • ejp says:

    I noticed that improper encoding too and it drives me up a wall that there are some people who think programs originally done on videotape need to be given a pseudo-film look this way to look “better.”

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