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:
— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) January 15, 2014
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.