Maude Complete Series DVD Set to Include Two Unaired Episodes

Shout! Factory has issued a press release for its 19-disc complete series set of Maude, which has a release date of March 17th. Among the bonus features are two unaired episodes. If you’re a fan of Maude you’re probably thinking “What unaired episodes? There aren’t any unaired episodes of Maude.” You’re right. Sort of. The two episodes in question — “The Double Standard” and “Maude’s New Friend” — were broadcast but it turns out earlier versions were produced and then for reasons unknown shelved without being aired. Later, the episodes were remade using the same scripts.

Here’s the official explanation from the Shout! Factory website:

Product Note
*The two unaired episodes of Maude share titles and story elements that eventually did air. “The Double Standard” was originally shot for Season One as episode 15 and did not air. However, the same script was reshot for Season Two with cast changes and aired on 10/30/73. “Arthur’s Friends” (a.k.a. “Maude’s New Friends”) was originally shot for Season Three as episode 16. This version also did not air, but the script was reshot in Season Five with cast changes and aired 11/29/76. Tapes for both episodes were recently found in the Sony vault and have never been seen by the public until now.

So, depending on how you define “unaired” these two episodes technically never aired but the concepts and storylines were. This is relatively unprecedented, I believe. There are plenty of examples of TV shows with alternate pilot episodes and I can think of a few occasions were partially alternate versions of episodes have been released on DVD. But this is something different.

(Via Sitcoms Online.)

5 Replies to “Maude Complete Series DVD Set to Include Two Unaired Episodes”

  1. This is really interesting. Thank you for that information. I was on the fence about purchasing this DVD set, but now I think I will.

  2. Upon reading this, I would have guessed that the controversial abortion episodes, the two-parter “Maude’s Dilemma”, would have been the two episodes “re-shot” but it wasn’t. One episode, “The Double Standard”, had to do with unmarried daughter Carol invited a gentleman friend to spend the night with her under Maude and Walter’s roof, and the other, “Maude’s New Friend” had to do with Maude’s befriending a homosexual author. Not such a surprise that both had to do with sexuality in the seventies when times were becoming more enlightened but CBS still had touchy affiliates to deal with, especially those who had been bombarded with letter campaigns after Maude opted to choose to have an abortion. In hindsight, the abortion episodes were even more courageous on the part of Mr. Norman Lear and CBS as abortion was still illegal at the time they aired, being about a year ahead of the Supreme Court’s landmark “Roe v. Wade” decision.

  3. “Courageous?” Not really, considering the one-sidedness with which Norman Lear programs would take on just about any social issue, which makes it more predictable. And FYI, New York State already had passed liberal abortion laws along with other states which meant Maude was not getting something “illegal”. Roe vs. Wade was a case about the right of states to restrict the practice through the democratic process and for many people it was a “landmark” only in the same sense that Dred Scott vs. Sanford was a “landmark” case.

  4. Norman Lear is a theatrical genius. Mr. Lear broke through the static barriers in television that kept television from advancing during the times. The benign premise of sugar coated sitcoms that dominated the networks in the ’50s and ’60s were challenged by the avant garde progressive genius: Norman Lear.

    Norman Lear created intelligent comedies that touched on serious issues that are every bit as relevant today as they were 45 years ago. I applaud Mr. Lear’s tenacity in producing some of the most provocative and comically intelligent sitcoms ever produced.

    Mr. Lear also cast his shows beautifully. All in The Family had one of the greatest casts of any sitcom past and present; Maude was another sitcom that had a class A cast as well.

    As a young child I used to watch Maude when it was still on CBS with my family. I was too young to really understand the provocative story lines, but I thought that Bea Arthur and Bill Macy were funny especially when they’d argue.

    As an adult I can fully appreciate norman Lear’s classic gems to the fullest. With brilliant casts, writing and acting, shows like Maude and All In The Family have aged remarkably well. These shows will continue to attract new viewers and will forever leave a special place in our hearts for those who remember these shows when they were broadcast on network prime time.

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