February 2015: 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.

Last month was another slow one, with the unnecessary re-release of recent obscurity Canterbury’s Law (FOX, 2008) on DVD and little else. Unless you really like beer commercials from the 1950s and 1960s, in which case Alpha Video has a DVD for you. Hulu added two recent obscurities to its streaming service: The Goode Family (ABC, 2009) and The Unusuals (ABC, 2009).

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Canterbury’s Law: The Complete Series (TV Series, Mill Creek Entertainment, DVD)
As I mentioned back in January, I’m not sure why Mill Creek is bothering to re-release this short-lived FOX drama. It ran for just six episodes in March and April 2008 and was released on DVD through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in February 2009. That release is still in print and can be purchased for less than $10. The new Mill Creek release has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $9.98 but is currently available for just $5.19 on Amazon.

Sci-Fi Cartoon Classics (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
This single-disc release includes four episodes of syndicated cartoon Space Angel, produced by Cambria Productions (the same company responsible for Clutch Cargo) in 1962. The syndicated series was offered in five-minute segments that could be stripped Monday through Friday or bunched together to create a half-hour episode. I believe that’s how they’re presented on this set. Back in July 2008, VCI released nine episodes on DVD. Mill Creek included nine episodes (some of which appeared on the VCI set) in its 12-disc Classic Sci-Fi TV set released in January 2009. The Alpha Video release includes one episode (“Space Hijackers”) not on either of the earlier sets. Manufacture-on-demand.

Beer Commercials of the 50s & 60s (TV Commercials, Alpha Video, DVD)
If you like old commercials and you like beer, this one-disc release from Alpha Video may be of interest. It includes over an hour of beer commercials featuring the likes of Jackie Gleason, Mel Allen, Buster Keaton, and others. The commercials are a mixture of black and white and color. Manufacture-on-demand.

DVD/Blu-ray News

Recent obscurity The Crazy Ones, which starred the late Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar, will be getting a complete series DVD release at some point from Fox Home Entertainment but no release date has been announced yet. The sitcom ran for 22 episodes on CBS during the 2013-2014 season. It is currently available for pre-order through Amazon’s manufacture-on-demand program (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Shout! Factory will release Science Fiction Theatre on DVD on May 12th. The syndicated series ran for two seasons and 78 episodes between 1955 and 1957 so it can’t really be considered obscure or short-lived but outside of certain classic TV circles it is certainly forgotten (ShoutFactory.com).

Streaming

Hulu has added ABC’s animated comedy series The Goode Family to its offerings. A total of 13 episodes were broadcast between May and August 2009. The complete series was released on DVD in January 2013.

Also new to Hulu is ABC’s The Unusuals, an hour-long dramedy about New York City homicide detectives. Amber Tamblyn, Jeremy Renner, Adam Goldberg, and Harold Perrineau starred. Ten episodes were broadcast between April and June 2009. The complete series was released on DVD in April 2010.

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


2 Comments

  • Ross says:

    One claim to fame for “Science Fiction Theater”: It’s the show George McFly mentions wanting to watch when he’s trying to weasel out of going to the dance in “Back to the Future”.

    There’s kind of a clever thing going on in that reference. I remember when we first saw the movie on home video, my dad heard that line and immediately pointed out that Science Fiction Theater aired on Friday night, but the dance was on a Saturday. But, of course, we know that George is just making up excuses.

    Also, Michael Fox was a regular in it. He’s the reason Michael J. Fox got his middle initial, since SAG only allowed one actor per name.

    • Dennis Morgan says:

      Science Fiction Theater was not on a network. It was shown at different times and days across the country. So it could have been shown on a Saturday night.

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