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 2016 was a good month for fans of short-lived TV as well as classic TV in general. The big news was Shout! Factory bringing The Defenders (CBS, 1962-1965) to DVD for the first time with the release of the first season. Hopefully additional seasons are already in the works. Also out on DVD last month were Where’s Huddles? (CBS, 1970), Chopper One (ABC, 1974), and Grady (NBC, 1975-1976). Plus, Alpha Video released episodes of Code 3 (Syndicated, 1957) and Crunch and Des (Syndicated, 1959).
The Defenders – Season One (TV Season, Shout! Factory, DVD)
This drama series ran for four seasons so it’s not an obscurity it terms of length or number of episodes. It was critically acclaimed during its 1962-1965 run but like most people I was surprised when Shout! Factory announced it was releasing the first season on DVD. The Defenders starred E. G. Marshall and Robert Reed as defense attorneys who tackled difficult cases. This 9-disc set includes all 32 episodes aired during the 1962-1963 season. Bonus features the two-part Studio One episode that inspired the series. There will also be an extended version of the pilot episode, new interviews with associate producer Bob Markell and writer Larry Cohen, and an archival interview with the late E.G. Marshall.
Where’s Huddles? – The Complete Series (TV Series, Warner Archive, DVD)
10 episodes of this prime time animated sitcom aired on CBS during the summer of 1970. The voice cast included Cliff Norton, Mel Blanc, and Paul Lynde. The series was produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Manufacture-on-demand.
Nobody seems to know why but this single disc release only includes nine of the 10 episodes of Grady that aired on NBC during the 1975-1976 season. The missing episode (“Merry Birthday, Happy Xmas”) aired on December 18th, 1975 and may have included music that Sony couldn’t or wouldn’t license. A spin-off of Sanford and Son, the series starred Whitman Mayo as the title character, who says goodbye to his friend Fred Sanford and moves in with his daughter’s family. Manufacture-on-demand.
Chopper One – The Complete Series (TV Series, Sony, DVD)
Unlike Grady, Sony included all 13 episodes of Chopper One, an ABC adventure series starring Jim McMullan and Dirk Benedict as police officers who utilized a helicopter to fight crime. It ran from January to July 1974. Manufacture-on-demand.
Crunch and Des [Volume 1] (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
Forrest Tucker and Sandy Kenyon starred in this half-hour syndicated adventure series from 1959 about two fishermen. The series ran for 39 episodes, four of which are included in this single-disc release. Manufacture-on-demand.
Code 3 – Volume 2 (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
This single-disc release features four more episodes of this half-hour syndicated police drama from 1957. Richard Travis starred. Each episode episode ends with an appearance by Eugene W. Biscailuz, the actual Los Angeles sheriff at the time. Manufacture-on-demand.
Overseas Adventure [Volume 1] (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
These four episodes originally aired as part of the third season of syndicated drama series Foreign Intrigue. When that season went into local syndication, the title was changed to Overseas Adventure. James Daly and Anne Preville starred as Michael Powers and Pat Bennett, foreign correspondents in Europe. Manufacture-on-demand.
Short-lived Dinotopia is getting re-released again. Originally released on DVD in 2004, it was re-released by Mill Creek this past March. In October, Mill Creek will release a complete collection DVD set containing both the Disney Channel miniseries and the weekly ABC TV series. The miniseries is also coming to Blu-ray for the first time but not the TV series (TVShowsOnDVD.com).
There were no new additions to Warner Archive Instant or Hulu last month.
Hit the comments with any news about upcoming DVD/Blu-ray releases or additions to streaming services.