2020 Holiday Gift Guide

If you haven’t started thinking about buying gifts for friends and loved ones, now is the time to start. If you’re looking for the perfect present for someone who loves forgotten or obscure television, my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide offers plenty of ideas. You’ll find DVDs, books, and even collections of reprinted TV tie-in comics. This year’s guide looks a little different. I’ve listed short-lived TV shows on DVD by decade rather than by genre.

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.

Short-Lived TV Shows on DVD

The 1950s
The 1960s
The 1970s
The 1980s
The 1990s
The 2000s
The 2010s


Unfortunately, gift options for high definition classic TV enthusiasts are few and far between. 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.

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.

Also, 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.


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.

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2 Replies to “2020 Holiday Gift Guide”

  1. A couple of weeks ago I splurged and bought myself a copy of The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of Television. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the DuMont Television Network, which lasted (on a very limited budget) from 1946 to 1955. The book is still available from Temple University Press (www.temple.edu/tempress) or you can do as I did, and buy a less expensive used copy from an online seller.

  2. My second book The Golden Age of Telefantasy covering telefantasy programmes of the 1940s and 1950s from the USA, Canada Eh! and the UK has just come out. Has many obscure ones in it as well as a number of them that will never be seen again since copies were never made or junked. Has over 300 pictures in it!

    Can order directly from me:


    I’ve been told one store owner who bought several copies from me has it on amazon although amazon itself has not yet ordered any.

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