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.
August 2015 was a pretty slow month with two exceptions: both seasons of The Rebel (ABC, 1959-1961) was released on DVD while most of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies was added to Warner Archive Instant.
The Rebel: The Complete Series (TV Series, Shout! Factory, DVD)
This 11-disc set includes both seasons and all 76 episodes of The Rebel, which ran on ABC from October 1959 to June 1961. The memorable theme song, performed by Johnny Cash, is present but the video on some of the episodes is reportedly not great due to the varying quality of the source material (16mm prints). There are several extras, including a lengthy interview with creator Andrew J. Fenady, an interview with the children of star Nick Adams, the unsold pilot for “The Yank,” commercials featuring Nick Adams, and production stills. Season 1 is already available separately while Season 2 will be released later this year. Reviews can be found at 50 Westerns from the 50s and Inside Pulse.
Lost TV Classics Featuring The Joe Palooka Story (TV Episodes, Alpha Video, DVD)
This single-disc release includes three episodes of the 1954-1955 syndicated The Joe Palooka Story, based on the long-running comic strip. Star Joe Kirkwood Jr. earlier played Joe Palooka in 11 low-budget films released between 1946 and 1951. Manufacture-on-demand.
Shout Factory! has revealed that it will release Manimal (NBC, 1983) and Automan (ABC, 1983-1984) on DVD on November 10th. Both complete series sets will include bonus features (TVShowsOnDVD.com).
Season 2 of The Rebel will receive its own standalone set on November 17th, courtesy of Shout! Factory. The complete series and a separate Season 1 set were released last month (TVShowsOnDVD.com).
S’more Entertainment will release a 4-disc collection of The Great American Dream Machine on September 29th. The satirical variety show aired on PBS from 1971 to 1972. Exactly how many episodes will be included is unclear. A press release states the set “includes nearly every hilarious, unforgettable and trenchant moment from the show’s two season run – nearly 13 hours of peerless and thoughtful comedy and opinion.” According to this webpage, a total of 34 episodes were produced: 19 were 90 minutes long, 15 were 60 minutes long. That adds up to a lot more than 13 hours but we’ll have to wait for more details (TVShowsOnDVD.com).
If you’re a fan of Don Rickles and CPO Sharkey you’ve got some decisions to make. Time Life released the first season of the 1976-1978 NBC sitcom on DVD in May. Season 2 will be released on September 22nd. A “best of” collection featuring six episodes from Season 1 will be released on December 8th. As if that weren’t enough, The Ultimate Don Rickles TV Collection scheduled for October 20th includes both seasons of CPO Sharkey as well as four Don Rickles TV specials from the 1970s (TVShowsOnDVD.com).
Warner Archive Instant added most of the 1965-1967 NBC sitcom Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (which ran for two seasons, so it isn’t a one season wonder). You can watch 49 of the 58 episodes spread across two “best of” collections that feature 26 out of 30 episodes from Season 1 and 23 out of 28 episodes from Season 2. My guess is the episodes not available for streaming featured music that could not be cleared. That does not bode well for a potential DVD release. I believe Please Don’t Eat the Daisies hasn’t been seen on television since it aired on Turner South in 2000.
Warner Archive Instant has also added Hawkins: The Complete TV Movie Collection and Shaft: The TV Movie Collection. These both aired during the 1973-74 television season as part of The New CBS Tuesday Night Movies. The Shaft TV movies were released on DVD in November 2011 while the Hawkins TV movies were released on DVD in November 2012.
Hit the comments with any news about upcoming DVD/Blu-ray releases or additions to streaming services.