March 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.

I’m making some minor changes to how these columns are presented each month. Rather than list DVD/Blu-ray releases by date, from now on I’ll just be lumping them all together.

March 2014 was a pretty quiet month overall. There weren’t any streaming additions that I’m aware of, nor were there any full series sets released on DVD or Blu-ray. Warner Archive did release the pilot telefilm to ABC’s The Delphi Bureau as well as a made-for-TV movie starring Andy Griffith that didn’t lead to a weekly series. Plus, two more volumes in The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson “Vault Series” were released. See below for details.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

The Delphi Bureau: The Merchant of Death Assignment (TV Movie, Warner Archive, DVD)
Originally broadcast in March 1972 on ABC, this telefilm served as the pilot for the short-lived series aired as part of the network’s wheel series The Men, which ran during the 1972-1973 season. Laurence Luckinbill starred as Glenn Garth Gregory, a man with a photographic memory who worked as a spy for the president of the United States. Manufacture-on-demand release.

The Girl in the Empty Grave (TV Movie, Warner Archive, DVD)
Andy Griffith starred in two made-for-TV movies during the 1977-1978 season as Abel Marsh, a small town police chief. There was talk of a weekly series but none materialized. This was the first, broadcast in September 1977 on NBC. In it, Abel investigates the mysterious reappearance of a young woman who supposedly died months ago and the equally mysterious deaths of her parents. Warner Archive released the second telefilm, Deadly Game (broadcast in December 1977) back in 2009.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series – Volume 4 (TV Episodes, Carson Entertainment Group, DVD)
Includes two complete episodes from 1976, with original commercials. The March 2nd, 1976 episode featured guests Charlton Heston and Michael Landon, as well as Billy Crystal. The March 3rd, 1976 episode featured guests Orson Welles, John Byner and Susan Clark. Plus, a bonus clip from the March 23rd, 1976 episode.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series – Volume 5 (TV Episodes, Carson Entertainment Group, DVD)
Includes two complete episodes from 1976, with original commercials. The March 4th, 1976 episode featured guests Robert Blake, Don Rickles, Bob Hope and Desi Arnaz (and Carson performing “Rhinestone Cowboy”). The March 5th, 1976 episode featured Bing Crosby, Ray Bolger and Marvin Hamlisch. Plus, a bonus clip from the March 23rd, 1976 episode.

DVD/Blu-ray News

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams is getting a complete series set from Timeless Media Group on May 6th. No word yet on whether there will be any new bonus features (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

William Shatner’s post-Star Trek series Barbary Coast will be released on DVD June 3rd by Acorn Media. The ABC spy series co-starred Doug McClure and ran for 13 episodes during the 1975-1976 season. The 4-disc set will hopefully include the pilot movie originally aired in May 1975 (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Timeless Media Group will release The Chisholms – The Complete Series on DVD on June 13th. Presumably, the 3-disc set will include both the 4-part miniseries from 1979 and the 9-episode series from 1980. Both aired on CBS and starred Robert Preston as the patriarch of a family making their way westward during the mid-1800s (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

The CBS sci-fi/action series Now and Again, which ran for 22 episodes during the 1999-2000 season, may be coming to DVD on July 22nd. No official announcement has been made but an Amazon listing has been created, which TVShowOnDVD.com suggests is the real deal (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Streaming

There were no additions to any streaming services during March.

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


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