March 2016: 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 2016 was a decent one for short-lived TV shows: Future Cop (ABC, 1977) and Young Maverick (CBS, 1979-1980) were released on DVD, as were episodes of Wire Service (ABC, 1956-1957) and The Jim Backus Show (syndicated, 1960) through Alpha Video.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Future Cop: The Complete Series (TV Series, Mill Creek, DVD)
This short-lived ABC sci-fi series ran for just six episodes in March and April 1977. Ernest Borgnine and John Amos starred as veteran police officers teamed up with a rookie cop played by Michael Shannon–who was an android. A pilot telefilm aired in May 1976 followed by a brief weekly run in 1977. A follow-up telefilm aired in March 1978 on NBC, apparently as an attempt to revive the series.

Young Maverick: The Complete Series (TV Series, Warner Archive, DVD)
Eight years ago, Warner Archive released the pilot telefilm to Young Maverick, which aired on ABC in 1978. The resulting weekly series ran for only eight episodes on CBS between November 1979 and January 1980. According to a review at Amazon.com, the first episode on the DVD is missing a brief cameo by James Garner, star of the original Maverick. Manufacture-on-demand.

Brave Eagle – Volume 1 (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
This single-disc release includes four episodes of the 1955-1956 CBS western starring Keith Larsen. It may have been the first TV show with a Native American lead character. Manufacture-on-demand.

The Jim Backus Show – Volume 1 (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
Broadcast in syndication during the 1960-1961 season, this sitcom starred Jim Backus as the editor of a small press service. Nina Talbot co-starred. A total of 39 episodes were produced; this single-disc release contains four of them. Manufacture-on-demand.

Wire Service – Volume 1 (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
ABC aired 37 episodes of this series during the 1956-1957 season. It was one of the earliest hour-long dramas with a regular cast. There was a catch, however. The three stars–Dana Clark, George Brent, and Mercedes McCambridge–rotated each week. You get three episodes in this single-disc release, one featuring each of the three stars. Manufacture-on-demand.

Mill Creek also rereleased My Big Fat Greek Life and Dinotopia on DVD last month. The former series was originally released in November 2003 while the latter was first released in January 2004.

DVD/Blu-ray News

Star Trek: The Animated Series will be released on Blu-ray later this year (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

On April 26th, Warner Archive will release The New Adventures of Gilligan on DVD (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Carol Burnett’s 1966 CBS special “Carol +2” will be released on DVD by Shout! Factory on May 2016. Also included is the 1972 CBS special “Once Upon a Mattress” (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Streaming

Recent one season wonder FlashForward, which ran on ABC for 22 episodes during the 2009-2010 season, was added to Hulu last month.

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


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