January 2018: The Month in Home Media

The Month in Home Media highlights short-lived or rare TV shows released on DVD or Blu-ray in the United States during the previous month. Check back on the first Thursday of each month for a new The Month in Home Media column.

Support Television Obscurities

Due to popular demand, I’ve decided to continue publishing The Month in Home Media every month. However, I will no longer be tracking TV shows on streaming services like Amazon Prime or Netflix on a monthly basis. I’m working on a master list of short-lived TV shows available for streaming and hope to have it completed in a few weeks.

January 2018 was another quiet month. Alpha Video released episodes of The Funny Company (syndicated, 1963) on DVD for the first time. Also, ABC’s recent limited series Ten Days in the Valley came out on both DVD and Blu-ray.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Highlight of the Month: The Funny Company

This single-disc release from Alpha Video includes 19 six-minute episodes of The Funny Company. Produced in 1963 to provide educational content aimed at children, each episode of The Funny Company includes a live-action segment featuring educational or informational content. Sponsored by Mattel, the series aired in syndication, often as part of a local morning or afternoon children’s program. Characters include Buzzer Bell, Polly Plum, Shrinkin’ Violette, Terry Dactyl, Super Chief, plus a super computer called the Weisenheimer.

The Funny Company debuted on September 6th. I don’t know how long it remained in local syndication.

NOTE: At the moment, The Funny Company is out-of-stock at Amazon. It may be available for purchase from Oldies.com (the official Alpha Video retailer).

Other Releases

Sci-Fi Cartoon Classics, Volume 6 [4 episodes of Space Angel]*
Ten Days in the Valley, A 10-Part Limited Series
Ten Days in the Valley, A 10-Part Limited Series [Blu-ray]

*This is also currently out-of-stock at Amazon.


Coming from Alpha Video on February 13th is Lost TV Mystery Classics . The single-disc release includes episodes of four mystery programs from the early 1950s: The Shadow of the Cloak (DuMont, 1951-1952), Charlie Wild, Private Detective (CBS/ABC/DuMont, 1950-1952), The Files of Jeffrey Jones (syndicated, 1952), and The Telltale Clue (CBS, 1954). The Shadow of the Cloak episode (“The Last Performance”) is notable because Rod Serling wrote the script, years before The Twilight Zone. According to Alpha Video, this is the only surviving episode of the short-lived series.

Kino Lorber will release The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler (the pilot telefilms to ABC’s Kolchak: The Night Stalker) on DVD and Blu-ray, featuring new 4k restorations. No release date has been announced (TVShowsOnDVD.com).

1 Comment

  • michaels says:

    I am anxious to see the Charlie Wild episode. There is much confusion over Charlie.

    He began as a radio show. The Adventures of Sam Spade radio show was sponsored by Wildroot Hair cream oil. Their jingle told Charlie to get Wildroot. Wildroot wanted to take Spade to TV but the people involved refused and claimed the series was too expensive to produce for TV. Wildroot then created their own version called Charlie Wild (with a secretary reportedly named Effie (same name of Spade’s secretary).

    There is confusion over whether Charlie and Spade are the same character. They are not. Howard Duff as radio Spade in character introduced Charlie to the radio audience and both were on radio at the same time.

    Meanwhile Sam Spade has never been made a TV series. I have seen one Charlie Wild and really want to see more.

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