March 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.

March 2015 saw three two one season wonders, both Westerns, released on DVD: The Dakotas (ABC, 1963) and Shane (ABC, 1966). The big news last month was a post from Warner Archive hinting that NBC’s 1965-1966 sitcom Hank may be coming to DVD.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Shane: The Complete Series (TV Series, Shout! Factory/Timeless Media Group, DVD)
David Carradine starred in this hour-long ABC Western that ran for 17 episodes during the 1966-1967 season. Jill Ireland and Bert Freed co-starred. The series was based on a 1949 Jack Schaefer novel, which was turned into a movie in 1953.

The Dakotas: The Complete Series (TV Series, Warner Archive, DVD)
This ABC Western was a mid-season replacement during the 1962-1963 season, premiering in January 1963 and running for 20 episodes. The pilot aired as April 1962 episode of Cheyenne. Larry Ward, Jack Elam, Chad Everett, and Mike Greene starred. It was pulled off the air following a controversial episode in which a character gunned down two men inside a church. One episode was left unaired. Manufacture-on-demand.

DVD/Blu-ray News

NBC’s 1965-1966 color sitcom Hank may be coming to DVD via Warner Achive, according to a post to the company’s official Facebook page:

Although we can’t say it’s a sure thing, until the work is completed, we can say that we have cleared HANK (1965) for release and plan to start creating new masters shortly.

Hank ran for 26 episodes. Dick Kallman starred as Hank Dearborn, a teenager tasked with raising his younger sister while trying to attend college as an unregistered student. The final episode served as a decent series finale, making Hank one of the earliest TV shows to actually conclude rather than just end. I don’t believe the series was syndicated. Hopefully Warner Archive will include the unaired pilot episode.

The Bold Ones: The Senator will be released on DVD on June 16th by Shout Factory!/Timeless Media Group. The Bold Ones was a wheel series that ran from 1969 to 1973 and featured a rotating set of shows. One of them was The Senator starring Hal Holbrook, which aired for eight episodes during the 1970-1971 season. Holbrook won an Emmy Award for his role. This is the first series from The Bold Ones to be released commercially (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

I’m breaking my rule about only discussing one season wonders again. Time Life will be released the first season of CPO Sharkey on DVD on May 19th. The sitcom aired for two seasons and 37 episodes on NBC between December 1976 and July 1978. Don Rickles starred as a nasty Navy Chief Petty Officer in charge of a group of new recruits. Although it has never been released before on any format, it was aired in local syndication following its network run and later aired on Comedy Central in the 1990s. (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Streaming

There were no new additions to Warner Archive Instant or Hulu. A handful of TV series returned to Warner Archive Instant last month, including Bronk, Hondo, and McLain’s Law.

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


2 Comments

  • Hal says:

    Warner Archive Instant has been superb for TV series that have been hard to find in syndication. Great to see HONDO back, and 77 SUNSET STRIP has returned as well, but unfortunately not much of the first 2 seasons is available at present.

  • David says:

    I adored “CPO Sharkey!” I was very disappointed when it was cancelled. Thank you for this news. I will certainly be purchasing the DVD. I am also interested in watching “Hank.” It is a series I have only read about.

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