July 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.

July 2014 saw Warner Archive release three short-lived shows from the 1980s on DVD, none of which lasted for more than 13 episodes. Warner Archive Instant added a number of made-for-TV movies and miniseries to its streaming service while Hulu added a handful of episodes of The Goldbergs.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Beyond Westworld (TV Series, Warner Archive, DVD)
Warner Archive announced it would be releasing this very short-lived series — just five episodes were produced and only three were broadcast in March 1980 — at San Diego Comic Con 2014 and days later it was available for sale. The CBS series was spin-off of the 1973 film Westworld, which was written and directed by Michael Crichton, and its 1976 sequel Futureworld. Jim McMullan, James Wainright and Connie Sellecca starred.

The official page for the set at WBShop.com includes the following notice:

Initial quantities of this release will be traditionally replicated (pressed) in anticipation of high consumer demand.

$25 might seem a bit steep for just five episodes but that’s the price we have to pay to see short-lived shows like this released on DVD.

Wizards and Warriors (TV Series, Warner Archive, DVD)
Also announced by Warner Archive at Comic-Con, initial quantities of this set will also be traditionally pressed, so if you’re a fan you’d best buy now. Jeff Conaway, Walter Olkewicz, Duncan Regehr and Julia Duffy starred in the fantasy series, which ran for 8 episodes on CBS between February and May 1983.

Gilligan’s Planet (TV Series, Warner Archive, DVD)
Another Warner Archive release (this one not announced at Comic-Con) that will also have initial quantities traditionally pressed. CBS aired 13 episodes of this animated Gilligan’s Island spin-off on its Saturday morning block during the 1982-1983 season. All of the original castmembers returned to voice their characters with the exception of Tina Louise. Instead, Dawn Wells voiced by Mary Ann and Ginger.

DVD/Blu-ray News

CBS/Paramount announced that one season wonder Now and Again (CBS, 1999-2000) will be released on DVD on August 26th (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Streaming

Warner Archive Instant has added a number of made-for-TV movies to its streaming service (all of which I believe are also available on DVD), including Search for the Gods (ABC, 1975) and Strange New World (ABC, 1975), as well as miniseries like The Awakening Land (NBC, 1978) and Pearl (ABC, 1978).

Hulu has added nine episodes of The Goldbergs to its streaming service, which it incorrectly suggests might be the first TV sitcom. The episodes in question are from the 1955-1956 syndicated version of the series. In March 2010, Shout! Factory and UCLA Film & Television Archive released a six-disc set including all 71 episodes of the series known to exist, including these nine.

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


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