February 2014: The Month in Home Media

The Month in Home Media is a monthly column highlighting short-lived or rare television series, specials, miniseries or made-for-TV movies released on DVD or Blu-ray during the previous month, as well as recent additions to streaming services like Warner Archive Instant. The releases discussed in this column are encoded for Region 1 use in the United States and Canada. The Month in Home Media is published on the first Thursday of each month.

February 2014 was a pretty good month for short-lived television on home media. The Adventures of Champion the Wonder Horse, Joanie Loves Chachi and SEARCH were released on DVD while A Man Called Shenandoah and The Rounders were added to Warner Archive Instant. See below for details.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Tuesday, February 4th

The Adventures of Champion the Wonder Horse (DVD, Film Chest Media Group)
The cover to this 3-disc set declares it has been “restored in HD from 16mm Original Archival Prints” which certainly sounds impressive. Has anyone purchased the set? If so, what is the quality like? Only 23 of the 26 episodes produced and aired by CBS during the 1955-1956 season are included. I wonder what became of the other three episodes. The series starred Barry Curtis as Ricky North, a young boy living with his uncle with his horse Champion and his dog Rebel. Timeless released 10 episodes on DVD back in December 2012.

Joanie Loves Chachi – The Complete Series Seasons 1 & 2 (DVD, Paramount Home Video)
Yes, I know technically this series ran for two seasons but the first featured just four episodes and only 17 were produced overall. Plus, this is Joanie Loves Chachi, the infamous flop that nobody expected (or wanted?) to see on DVD. The series aired on ABC from 1982 to 1983 and now you can watch all 17 episodes as often as you want. No extras. A review can be found at DVD Talk.

SEARCH – The Complete Series (DVD, Warner Archive)
Includes all 23 episodes from the cult NBC series that aired from 1972-1973 but not the original pilot telefilm (it is available separately from Warner Archive). Hugh O’Brian, Doug McClure and Tony Franciosa starred on a rotating basis as high-tech private investigators working for World Securities Corporation. No extras. Note that while this is a manufacture-on-demand release, Warner Archive’s website states “Initial quantities of this release will be traditionally replicated (pressed) in anticipation of high consumer demand.” A review can be found at DVD Talk.

DVD/Blu-ray News

MPI Home Video will release The Bobby Darin Show on DVD on April 8th. The 3-disc set will include 13 episodes featuring the likes of Peggy Lee, Nancy Sinatra, Andy Griffith, Leslie Uggams, Carol Lawrence and Elke Sommer. The hour-long variety series ran on NBC from January to April 1973, a follow-up to his successful 1972 summer replacement series, which is not included on this set (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Streaming

A Man Called Shenandoah (ABC, 1965-1966, 34 episodes) and The Rounders (ABC, 1966-1967, 17 episodes) have been added to Warner Archive Instant.

Hit the comments with any news about upcoming DVD/Blu-ray releases or additions to streaming services.

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3 Comments

  • Phil says:

    I thought ‘A Man Called Shenandoah’ was pretty good when the bootlegs were on Youtube. IMDB says only 29 of the 34 episodes “survived”, but that’s no longer correct, as WB Archive lists all 34 episodes. If they put up ‘Banyon’, I might sign up for their service.

  • Alex Isabel says:

    Not on the subject here. But you must have noticed that some lamebrains have been posting a lot of spam the past few days, particularly under your post on W*A*L*T*E*R. Hopefully you can take quick measures to stop this, as it takes away from the excellence of your blog.

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