Batman Coming to DVD – So What’s Next?

The world learned yesterday that ABC’s 1960s Batman series will finally be released on DVD sometime this year by Warner Home Video. Believe it or not, Conan O’Brien broke the news on Twitter:

This is welcome news to countless fans who have been waiting for decades for the series to see an official release on home video. There were many, myself included, who never thought the series would see the light of day on DVD. The big questions now are whether there will also be a Blu-ray release and what sort of extras/bonus features will be included.

For example, will it include the short Batgirl presentation filmed in January 1967 to convince ABC executives that the character should be added to the series? Outtakes would be nice to see, as well, as would promotional spots, bumpers and other similar material.

In this brave new world in which Batman will soon be available on DVD — only days ago considered an impossible dream — anything seems possible. What other unlikely shows could potentially see a DVD release now that Batman is officially in the works?

Reportedly, there were some serious conflicts between Greenway Productions (the company owned by executive producer William Dozier), production company 20th Century Fox and ABC over the rights to Batman. If those have been resolved, it could pave the way to one season wonder The Green Hornet coming to DVD. It would be an obvious choice, given its connection to Batman, although it doesn’t have quite the same cult following.

Then there is short-lived The Tammy Grimes Show from 1966, famous for being pulled after just four episodes had been aired. It was also executive produced by William Dozier, co-produced by Greenway Productions and 20th Century Fox (with another production company in the mix) and aired on ABC. But I doubt anyone has been clamoring for it to come out on DVD.

Moving more into the realm of fantasy, what about other 1960s shows fondly remembered by baby boomers, like Mr. Terrific and Captain Nice, the NBC and CBS imitations of Batman? Mr. Terrific was released on DVD in Germany several years ago, so conceivably it wouldn’t be too much trouble to release it here in the States.

Coronet Blue has a very small cult following that would love to see it on DVD. It’s About Time has its fans, too. As long as we’re talking long shots, how about my favorite television obscurity: The New People?

Realistically, with the exception of The Green Hornet, Batman finally coming to DVD isn’t going to have much of an impact on any other shows being released on DVD. Batman is a unique show with a unique set of circumstances that have kept it off of home video.

14 Replies to “Batman Coming to DVD – So What’s Next?”

  1. I’m half-thrilled and half-wary over the news of Batman’s release. Sometimes shows are announced to be coming out and then years come and go without another word. Or the show comes out and parts have been cut out (Odd Couple, Gomer Pyle, etc.) because of music conflicts. Or the show comes out and it plays at a faster speed than it was recorded (Doris Day Show, Combat, I Spy, etc.) via time-compression, which people with a keen eye can notice – admittedly, some viewers seem to be oblivious to time-compression, but personally it annoys me. Or it comes out at an absurd price, a king’s ransom. So I’m crossing my fingers none of these things happen to Batman. If there is a bat in heaven…

    1. One would think, given the incredible amount of work that appears to have gone into getting all sides to agree to releasing Batman at all, everyone involved would want to do it right.

      1. With Warner officially handling the release, that’s actually a good sign nothing will be cut or edited/replaced. Warner, in all of their vintage TV releases whether retail or Warner Archive, has been conscientiously releasing titles only when they can be done unedited which is why we’re still not seeing the detective shows like “77 Sunset Strip” which have a lot of music clearance issues. In “Batman” there’s the matter of Lesley Gore’s second song in the two part episode she was in, which is cut from the current TV prints made in the 1990s and which are part of the “TV Land Canada” boot set that circulates widely. We of course would also hope to see the original bumpers (the “Batman In Color”) and the tags for next week’s villain that were part of Season 2.

  2. While there are several unreleased shows (mainly short-lived and obscure… i.e. CORONET BLUE, SUSPICION, PANIC!, THE IMMORTAL, BUS STOP, WAY OUT, CAPTAIN NICE, Q.E.D., etc) I want on DVD, my two top “grails” would be T.H.E. CAT and a proper release of WKRP IN CINCINNATI (if not *all* of the original music cleared, at least *most* of it cleared, ala Shout’s old SCTV collections).

    T.H.E. CAT, in particular, since it appears that there are no outstanding issues with it, other than its obscurity and whatever the state of its original materials, since the prints in circulation are in terrible condition. It’s really a great show, and what the better-known GREEN HORNET series *should’ve* been more like –pulpy rather than campy.

  3. With MAVERICK, BILKO and DOBIE GILLIS now out in single season sets, I think the biggest gap remaining for the 1950’s is THE BOB CUMMINGS SHOW/LOVE THAT BOB. We’ve only had PD samplers with no more than 16 eps out; this very funny show deserves a proper release. Cummings’ later MY LIVING DOLL finally came out last year, and there was a lot of publicity for it. I think his earlier show (and biggest hit) would generate a lot of discussion as well.

  4. I’d also love to see the remaining seasons of WKRP IN CINCINATTI with all the original music intact-not most.
    But from what I hear that seems highly unlikely.

    I’d also like to see BRET MAVERICK the short-lived 1980 NBC show where James Garner revived the character of Bret from the show MAVERICK on ABC.

  5. The show that deserves to be on a dvd and blu ray is the Green Hornet tv series. Fans have been asking for this show on dvd for years. When I say fans we we are talking Bruce Lee fans and that means around the world. The Green Hornet series was ahead of it’s time and to mature for Batman fans. There was no camp and people got killed in this series. Also T.H.E. Cat needs to be released on dvd or blu ray. Another show that was good and lasted only one season. Executives at ABC and NBC didn’t know a good show from a limp show if you paid them.

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