July 2015: 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.

July 2015 was a very slow month with only the release of the third volume of Steve Canyon (NBC, 1958-1959) on DVD and the addition of several pilot telefilms to Warner Archive Instant, including the 1974 CBS pilot telefilm The Family Kovack

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

The Complete Steve Canyon, Volume 3 (TV Episodes, Milton Caniff Estate, DVD)
More than six years after the release of Volume 2 in May 2009, the final 10 episodes of NBC’s 1958-1959 series Steve Canyon are finally out on DVD plus the original unaired pilot episode. Each episode features an audio commentary as well as original commercials and network promotional spots.

DVD/Blu-ray News

Shout! Factory will release the much-maligned Manimal (NBC, 1983) as well as Automan (ABC, 1983-1984) on DVD at some point. The announcement was made at the Shout! Factory panel on July 10th during the 2015 San Diego Comic Con but no details have been released. Both shows were produced by Glen. A Larson and both have been available on DVD in Britain for several years (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

The 1955 and 1956 live telecasts of Peter Pan starring Mary Martin, aired as part of NBC’s Producers’ Showcase, will be released on DVD and/or Blu-ray by Video Artists International (VAI) on August 25th. Both originally aired in color but only survive as black-and-white kinescopes. The 1956 version will be released on both DVD and Blu-ray. The 1955 version, however, will only be available on Blu-ray alongside the 1956 version. The Blu-ray set also includes bonus features (Home Theater Forum).

Time Life will release The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes on DVD the week of August 10th. The 22-disc set will include 45 episodes from the first five seasons (1967-1972) of the long-running CBS variety series. While it’s true that these episodes were never syndicated and haven’t been seen since they were originally broadcast, I really wish Time Life hadn’t used word “lost” in the title of this set. Perhaps “The Unseen Episodes” would have worked better. Two editions are available for purchase through the Time Life website where you can find a comprehensive list of the episodes and bonus features. A trailer for the set can be viewed here.

Streaming/Downloads

Warner Archive Instant added a number of TV movies to its streaming collection, including several that were pilots for potential series: The Family Kovack (CBS, 1974), Nevada Smith (NBC, 1975), and This Is Kate Bennett (ABC, 1982). None of these are available on DVD.

Hulu has added “The Jazz Singer” starring Jerry Lewis, aired as an episode of NBC’s Lincoln-Mercury Startime on October 13th, 1959. It was released on DVD in 2012. Also new to Hulu is the 2011 four-part PBS documentary series America in Primetime which was released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2012.

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

One Reply to “July 2015: The Month in Home Media”

  1. It’s annoying, but a lot of shows & collections that were never released before are called “lost” though it’s pretty well-known they never were “lost”. I still remember Monty Hall referring to the “lost” 1963 NBC pilot for Let’s Make a Deal when it was aired on GSN, but I’d seen clips from the same pilot a few years earlier on an infomercial.
    I got a chance to see the first episode of Carol Burnett Show at 1 of the Paley Museums, but it was on B&W kine, so I’m glad all these were preserved on videotape and are now in digital format. This collection’s too expensive for me now, but I’d love to buy it in the future when the price comes down.

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