2019 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time again, time to start thinking about buying gifts for friends and loved ones. If you’re searching for the perfect present for someone who loves forgotten or obscure television, my 2019 Holiday Gift Guide will give you plenty of ideas. You’ll find DVDs, books, and even collections of reprinted TV tie-in comics.

My focus here is on rare and short-lived TV shows, so you won’t find iconic shows like Star Trek, I Love Lucy, Bonanza, or The Dick Van Dyke Show. But items related to those shows are always fine gift options for a classic TV lover.

New to DVD in 2019: Classic and Current TV Shows

Several all-but-forgotten TV shows were released on DVD for the first time in 2019, including Public Defender (CBS, 1954-1955), Deadline (Syndicated, 1959-1960), Bronk (CBS, 1975-1976), and The Practice (NBC, 1976-1977). So did Life with Lucy (ABC, 1986) plus more recent obscurities Jake 2.0 (UPN, 2003) and Angel from Hell (CBS, 2016).

Two long-running, popular TV shows finally came to DVD for the first time this year: Our Miss Brooks (CBS, 1952-1956) and Ben Casey (ABC, 1961-1966):

Both of these shows have fallen into relative obscurity because they weren’t successful in syndication and haven’t been available on home video–until now.

There were also a handful of animated obscurities released on DVD or Blu-ray this year:

Finally, two spin-offs of The Brady BunchThe Brady Brides (NBC, 1981) and The Bradys (CBS, 1990)–came to DVD for the first time as part of The Brady Bunch: 50th Anniversary TV & Movie Collection. Likewise, the recent Charlie’s Angels reboot (ABC, 2011) is included in the new Charlie’s Angels – The Complete Collection Blu-ray set.

More DVD Options: Classic TV

Dozens of other one season wonders and short-lived TV shows from the 1950s through the 1970s (and beyond) are available on DVD. I’ve curated a selection and even grouped them into categories for your convenience. I’ve been working slowly through the first season of The Rebel and it is quite well done. It’s About Time is ideal for anyone who enjoys Gilligan’s Island. If you’re looking for a family friendly TV show, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams is a good option. Decoy is very popular with visitors to Television Obscurities, as is the first season of The Defenders.

Sitcoms

Dramas

Sci-Fi

Westerns

More DVD Options: Modern Sci-Fi TV Shows

I’ve been a science-fiction fanatic my entire life. I’ve watched almost every network sci-fi show since the mid-to-late 1990s. Earth 2 (NBC, 1994-1995) is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. The first season of Jericho (CBS, 2006-2007; 2008) is incredible but the brief second season isn’t nearly as good. Cleopatra 2525 (Syndicated, 2000-2001) is silly but a lot of fun.

Blu-ray

Unfortunately, gift options for high definition classic TV enthusiasts are few and far between. Only a handful of short-lived TV shows are available on Blu-ray. It’s rare for one season wonders from the past decade to get a Blu-ray release, let alone older obscurities. However, there are a handful of options.

*The Definitive Collection includes the original full screen episodes alongside remastered widescreen versions. The cheaper Remastered Collection only includes the widescreen episodes.

Blu-ray releases for beloved classic TV shows are uncommon as well. Star Trek, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Twilight Zone have are available on Blu-ray in their entirety. But only the first two seasons of I Love Lucy and just the first season The Andy Griffith Show made it to Blu-ray.

Star Trek: The Original Series – The Roddenberry Vault contains 12 episodes from the first two seasons of the famed sci-fi series. The special features are the big draw. The set features outtakes, alternate scenes, deleted scenes, special effects shots, and more.

Books

Unfortunately, most of the books I’ve reviewed here at Television Obscurities are out of print. Even the ninth (and final) edition of The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present from 2007 is only available used. However, a Kindle version is available.

Likewise, Lee Goldberg’s two-volume Unsold Television Pilots is no longer available new. In 2015, Goldberg published a new version but not a revised edition. It covers more than two thousand unsold pilots from 1955 through 1989.

Comic Books

Hermes Press has republished comic books based on Dark Shadows, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Land of the Giants, My Favorite Martian, The Time Tunnel, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Many of these reprinted volumes are only available used through Amazon. Some may still be available new at the Hermes Print website.

Gold Key published 61 comic books based on Star Trek between 1967 and 1979. Checker Books began reprinting the comics in 2004 (as the Key Collection) and published five volumes before abandoning the project. IDW started reprinting the Gold Key comics in 2014 (as the Gold Key Archives) and appears to have given up after six volumes.


One Reply to “2019 Holiday Gift Guide”

  1. Bonsoir
    Je recherche deux téléfilms avec Heather Menzies
    Man un thé Moelle 1972
    Thé Keegans 1976
    En format DVD ou autre…
    Ou trouver ses deux téléfilms ?

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