April 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.

April 2014 saw a number of DVD releases, including Bret Maverick (NBC, 1981-1982) and The Bobby Darin Show (NBC, 1973), as well as several public domain sets from Alpha Video. Plus, Warner Archive Instant added Man from Atlantis (NBC, 1977; 1978) to its streaming service in high definition.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

The Class: The Complete Series (TV Series, Warner Archive, DVD)
This one-season wonder ran for 19 episodes on CBS from September 2006 to March 2007. If it were on the air today, it would be considered a hit. But just eight years ago it was a middling performer for CBS and wasn’t renewed. Manufacture-on-demand release.

Bret Maverick (TV Series, Warner Archive, DVD)
James Garner starred in this one-season wonder as Bret Maverick, returning to the role he played on Maverick from 1957-1962 on ABC. The spin-off/sequel/revival premiered on NBC in December 1981, delayed by the 1981 Writers Guild of America strike. A total of 18 episodes were broadcast, the last of which aired in May 1982. Manufacture-on-demand release.

The Bobby Darin Show (TV Series, MPI Home Video, DVD)
This hour-long variety series ran on NBC from January to April 1973. It followed Darin’s successful 1972 summer replacement series. Guests included Peggy Lee, Nancy Sinatra, Andy Griffith, Leslie Uggams, Carol Lawrence and Elke Sommer. Be warned: reviews at Amazon.com suggest most or all of the episodes have been edited.

Boston Blackie, Volume 1 (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
Four episodes of The Adventures of Boston Blackie, the half-hour crime series starring Kent Taylor originally syndicated for two seasons from 1951 to 1953. It was produced by Ziv Television Programs. The first season was produced in black and white, the second in color. These episodes are from the first season. Manufacture-on-demand release.

Rare TV Mystery (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
Includes four half-hour episodes from four different 1950s television series: Schlitz Playhouse of Stars – “Rabbit’s Foot” (1952); Mark Saber Mystery Theatre – “The Case of the Locked Room” (1952); an untitled episode of Police Station (1959); and The Doctor – “The Guest” (1952) with a young Charles Bronson. Manufacture-on-demand release.

Rare TV Pilots (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
Includes three half-hour television pilots and one half-hour training film produced for Admiral Corporation: “Meet the Family” (1954) with Arthur Lake; “The Nut House” (1964), produced by Jay Ward and Bill Scott; “Starr of the Yankee” (1965), starring Martin Milner; and “Lines and Fines” (1953), the aforementioned training film for Admiral Corporation, a fake quiz show advertising Admiral refrigerators.

DVD/Blu-ray News

Mill Creek will be reissuing Gidget on DVD on May 20th. The one-season wonder starring Sally Field was originally released on DVD in 2006 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Recent one-season wonder The New Normal, which ran for one season NBC from September 2012 to April 2013, will be released on DVD on May 13th by Fox Home Entertainment (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Streaming

Warner Archive Instant has added Man from Atlantis to its streaming service. All 13 episodes of the hour-long series, originally broadcast between September 1977 and June 1978 (but not the four pilot telefilms), can be watched in high definition. Both the series and the telefilms are available separately on DVD.

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

1 Comment

  • David says:

    Thank you for this information. I was not aware of the “Rare TV Pilots” DVD, which I will certainly purchase.

Leave a Reply