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July 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.

One season wonder The Powers of Matthew Star (NBC, 1982-1983) came out on DVD in July. So did four recent short-lived FOX TV shows: Second Chance (2016), Pitch (2016), Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life (2016), and Son Of Zorn (2016-2017).


DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Highlight of the Month: The Powers of Matthew Star

Peter Barton stars as Matthew Star, an alien prince sent to Earth after his home planet is invaded. Matthew has special powers but otherwise looks like a regular teenager. Louis Gossett, Jr. co-stars as Matthew’s guardian, Walt Shepherd. At first, Matthew attends high school, where he had a girlfriend played by Amy Steel. Halfway through the season, the show shifted gears, gave Matthew additional powers, and abandoned the high school setting in favor of weekly adventures. NBC aired 22 episodes during the 1982-1983 season.

Support Television Obscurities and purchase The Powers of Matthew Star from Amazon.

Other Releases

Second Chance
Pitch
Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life
Son Of Zorn
-Hawkeye And The Last of The Mohicans, Volume 9 [Alpha Video]
-Captain Z-Ro, Volume 3 [Alpha Video]
-Captain Z-Ro, Volume 4 [Alpha Video]

News

As I reported earlier, the 1957 NBC sitcom Blondie is coming to DVD on September 18th from ClassicFlix. All 26 episodes have been newly transferred from the original 36mm film elements. If you pre-order from the ClassicFlix Shop, your DVD set will be autographed by Stuffy Singer, who played Alexander on the show.

According to VideoETA, Television’s Lost Classics Volume 2 has a new release date: October 9th. Available on DVD and Blu-ray, it includes four unsold pilots: “Case of the Sure Thing” (CBS, 1951) with Reed Hadley; “Cool and Lam” (Unaired, 1958), with Billy Pearson and Benay Venuta; “The Life of Riley” (Unaired, 1948) with Lon Chaney, Jr.; and “Nero Wolfe” (Unaired, 1959) with Kurt Kasznar and William Shatner.

(Television’s Lost Classics, Volume 1 is still scheduled for release on September 11th. It includes a pair of hour-long dramas starring John Cassavetes.)


Hit the comments with reviews of recently released DVD/Blu-ray sets or news about upcoming releases.

A Few Test Videos on YouTube

As I announced last month, my big project this summer is launching a Television Obscurities channel on YouTube. Progress has been slower than I anticipated but I recently uploaded three test videos. They’re unlisted, which means you won’t find them by searching YouTube. Here they are:

For comparison, here’s how the third commercial (Valenti Chevrolet) looks on Television Obscurities right now:

Loading the player…

It may not be easy to tell, but the video on YouTube is higher quality. Especially if you watch it on a laptop or desktop full screen. Still, I’m not completely happy with the video quality but there’s not much I can do about it. I’m working with VHS tapes that are 30+ years old, recorded at SLP speed to fit more on each tape, and my digitization setup is far from ideal.

I’m not trying to clean up the video but I do clean up the audio to remove hiss as best I can. The raw digitized video is slightly sharper than what you see in the YouTube videos above. Part of that may be due to YouTube compressing the files after I upload them. It may also be due to the video editing software I’m using.

So, before I start uploading large numbers of videos, I’m going to take a little more time to play around with my video editing software. I want to have the best quality video before uploading to YouTube. Whatever happens after that is out of my hands.

Site Loading Slowly – Please Be Patient [Updated]

August 4th, 2018 Update: After my web host changed some settings, Television Obscurities has been loading faster for the past week. If you still have problems, please let me know.

If you’ve tried to visit Television Obscurities over the last few days or weeks and you’ve noticed the site loading slowly or failing to load, I apologize. I’ve been dealing with intermittent slow load times for months. I recently upgraded my web hosting but it has not solved the problem. I appreciate your patience while I attempt to troubleshoot the issue and correct it.

Blondie (1957) Coming to DVD on September 18

ClassixFlix will release forgotten sitcom Blondie (NBC, 1957) on DVD on September 18th. Based on the popular and long-running comic strip of the same name, the show starred Arthur Lake as Dagwood and Pamela Britton as Blondie. Lake earlier played Dagwood in a series of 28 films released between 1938 and 1950. The 4-disc set will include all 26 black-and-white episodes, newly transferred from the original 35mm elements.

Front cover art to the DVD release of Blondie (1967)
Blondie (1967) DVD cover art
(Courtesy of ClassicFlix)

If you pre-order through the ClassixFlix Shop, your copy will be autographed by Stuffy Singer, who played Alexander on the show. The pre-order price is currently $27.99, $12 lower than the suggested retail price.

Earlier this month, ClassicFlix launched an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign to raise money to bring Blondie to Blu-ray.

Streaming Guide to Short-Lived & Forgotten TV Shows

Guide Last Updated: July 15th, 2018

Are you searching for TV shows to stream? Do you enjoy watching short-lived and/or forgotten television? If so, this guide is for you. Below you’ll find more than 100 TV shows you’ve either never heard of or you forgot existed, all streaming and ready to watch. Most of these shows were on the air for a single season or less. I’ve also included some shows that ran for two seasons or more, particularly if one or both of those seasons were short.

Not surprisingly, most the TV shows included in this guide originally aired during the last two decades. But you can stream a handful of forgotten TV shows dating back to the 1950s.

Currently, the guide covers the following streaming services:

  • Amazon Prime Video (Subscription)
  • CBS All Access (Subscription)
  • CW Seed (Free/Ad-Supported)
  • Hulu (Subscription)
  • Netflix (Subscription)
  • Shout! Factory TV (Free/Ad-Supported)
  • Sony Crackle (Free/Ad-Supported)

There’s some overlap, with certain TV shows available on multiple streaming services. Also, TV shows disappear from streaming services all the time, often without warning. Before sighing up for any of the subscription services, be sure to double check to make sure the show(s) you want to watch are still available.

I’ll be updating this guide periodically but I can’t possibly keep track of all the TV shows coming and going on all of these streaming services. I’ll be relying on contributions from readers to keep this guide up-to-date.


Amazon Prime Video (Subscription)

A Gifted Man (CBS, 2011-2012) – 1 season, 16 episodes
Accidentally on Purpose (CBS, 2009-2010) – 1 season, 18 episodes
The Adventures of Kit Carson (syndicated, 1951-1955) – 4 season, 103 episodes [40 streaming]
The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (NBC, 1956-1957) – 1 season, 30 episodes
The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson (PAX, 1998) – 1 season, 30 episodes
American Gothic (CBS, 2016) – 1 season, 13 episodes
BrainDead (CBS, 2016) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CBS, 2011) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Decoy (syndicated, 1957-1958) – 1 season, 39 episodes
Eerie, Indiana (NBC, 1991-1992) – 1 season, 19 episodes
Harts of the West (CBS, 1993-1994) – 1 season, 15 episodes
Harper’s Island (CBS, 2009) – 1 season 13 episodes
Judge Roy Bean (syndicated, 1958) – 1 season, 39 episodes [15 streaming]
Life Unexpected (The CW, 2010-2011) – 2 seasons, 26 episodes
Mr. Lucky (CBS, 1959-1960) – 1 season, 34 episodes
The Mothers-in-Law (NBC, 1967-1969) – 2 seasons, 56 episodes
Movin’ On (NBC, 1974-1976) – 2 seasons, 44 episodes
My Living Doll (CBS, 1964-1965) – 1 season, 26 episodes [10 streaming]
Out of Practice (CBS, 2005-2006) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Pat Paulsen’s Half a Comedy Hour (ABC, 1970) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Private Secretary (CBS, 1953-1957) – 5 seasons, 104 episodes [18 streaming]
Robert Montgomery Presents (NBC, 1950-1957) – 8 seasons, 276 episodes [2 streaming]
Space Precinct (syndicated, 1994-1995) – 1 season, 24 episodes
Stanley (NBC, 1956-1957) – 1 season, 19 episodes
Star Trek: The Animated Series (NBC, 1973-1974) – 2 seasons, 22 episodes
Street Hawk (ABC, 1985) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Three Rivers (CBS, 2009-2010) – 1 season, 13 episodes
The Tick (FOX, 2001-2002) – 1 season, 9 episodes
Vegas (CBS, 2012-2013) – 1 season, 21 episodes
The Veil (1958) – 1 season, 10 episodes
Yancy Derringer (CBS, 1958-1959) – 1 season, 34 episodes

CBS All Access (Subscription)

(CBS All Access doesn’t have a separate website. You can access the service through the official CBS website.)

9JKL (CBS, 2017-2018) – 1 season, 16 episodes
American Gothic (CBS, 2016) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Angel from Hell (CBS, 2016) – 1 season, 13 episodes
BrainDead (CBS, 2016) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Jericho (CBS, 2006-2008) – 2 seasons, 30 episodes
Life Unexpected (The CW, 2010-2011) – 2 seasons, 26 episodes
Limitless (CBS, 2015-2016) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Star Trek: The Animated Series (NBC, 1973-1974) – 2 seasons, 22 episodes
Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS, 2017-2018) – 1 season, 13 episodes

CW Seed (Free/Ad Supported)

Aliens in America (The CW, 2007-2008) – 1 season, 18 episodes
Birds of Prey (The WB, 2002-2003) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Constantine (NBC, 2014-2015) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Forever (ABC, 2014-2015) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Harper’s Island (CBS, 2009) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Hellcats (The CW, 2010-2011) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Life Unexpected (The CW, 2010-2011) – 2 seasons, 26 episodes
Moonlight (CBS, 2007-2008) – 1 season, 16 episodes
Privileged (The CW, 2008-2009) – 1 season, 18 episodes
Pushing Daisies (ABC, 2007-2009) – 2 seasons, 22 episodes
The Secret Circle (The CW, 2011-2012) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Undateable (NBC, 2014-2016) – 3 seasons, 36 episodes

Hulu (Subscription)

American Gothic (CBS, 1995-1996) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Andy Barker, P.I. (NBC, 2007) – 1 season, 6 episodes
Better Off Ted (ABC, 2009-2010) – 2 seasons, 26 episodes
Bordertown (FOX, 2016) – 1 season, 13 episodes
The Catch (ABC, 2016-2017) – 2 seasons, 20 episodes
Commander in Chief (ABC, 2005-2006) – 1 season, 18 episodes
Conviction (NBC, 2006) – 1 season, 13 episodes
The Crossing (ABC, 2018) – 1 season, 11 episodes
The Dana Carvey Show (ABC, 1996) – 1 season, 8 episodes
Dark Shadows: The Revival (NBC, 1991) – 1 season, 12 episodes
Dirty Sexy Money (ABC, 2007-2009) – 2 seasons, 23 episodes
Dollhouse (FOX, 2009-2010) – 2 seasons, 26 episodes
Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (ABC, 2012-2013) – 2 seasons, 26 episodes
Eli Stone (ABC, 2008-2009) – 2 seasons, 26 episodes
The Event (NBC, 2010-2011) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Fashion House (MyNetworkTV, 2006) – 1 season, 78 episodes
Firefly (FOX, 2002) – 1 season, 14 episodes
The Firm (NBC, 2012) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Gary Unmarried (CBS, 2008-2010) – 2 seasons, 37 episodes
The Grinder (FOX, 2015-2016) – 1 season, 22 episodes
John Doe (FOX, 2002-2003) – 1 season, 21 episodes
Kitchen Confidential (FOX, 2005) – 1 season, 13 episodes
L.A. Dragnet (ABC, 2003-2004) – 2 seasons, 22 episodes
Life (NBC, 2007-2009) – 2 seasons, 32 episodes
Lipstick Jungle (NBC, 2008-2009) – 2 seasons, 20 episodes
The Loop (FOX, 2006-2007) – 2 seasons, 17 episodes
Marvel’s Agent Carter (ABC, 2015-2016) – 2 seasons, 10 episodes
My So-Called Life (ABC, 1994-1995) – 1 season, 19 episodes
October Road (ABC, 2007-2008) – 2 seasons, 19 episodes
Outsourced (NBC, 2010-2011) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Pitch (FOX, 2016) – 1 season, 10 episodes
The Real O’Neals (ABC, 2016-2017) – 2 seasons, 29 episodes
Resurrection (ABC, 2014-2015) – 2 seasons, 21 episodes
Samantha Who? (ABC, 2007-2009) – 2 seasons, 35 episodes
Second Chance (FOX, 2016) – 1 season, 11 episodes
Selfie (ABC, 2014) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Son of Zorn (FOX, 2016-2017) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Stacked (FOX, 2005-2006) – 2 seasons, 18 episodes
Standoff (FOX, 2006-2007) – 1 season, 18 episodes
The Time Tunnel (ABC, 1966-1967) – 1 season, 30 episodes
Touch (FOX, 2012-2013) – 2 seasons, 26 episodes
Vanished (FOX, 2006) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Wayward Pines (FOX, 2015-2016) – 2 seasons, 20 episodes
Welcome to Sweden (NBC, 2014-2015) – 2 seasons, 20 episodes

Netflix

About a Boy (NBC, 2014-2015) – 2 seasons, 33 episodes
American Odyssey (NBC, 2015) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Battle Creek (CBS, 2015) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Containment (The CW, 2016) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Emily Owens, M.D. (The CW, 2012-2013) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Freaks and Geeks (NBC, 1999-2000) – 1 season, 18 episodes
Frequency (The CW, 2016-2017) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Galavant (ABC, 2015-2016) – 2 seasons, 20 episodes
Jericho (CBS, 2006-2008) – 2 seasons, 29 episodes
Life Sentence (The CW, 2018) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Life Unexpected (The CW, 2010-2011) – 2 seasons, 26 episodes
Limitless (CBS, 2015-2016) – 1 season, 22 episodes
No Tomorrow (The CW, 2016-2017) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Star-Crossed (The CW, 2014) – 1 season, 13 episodes
The Tomorrow People (The CW, 2013-2014) – 1 season, 22 episodes

Shout! Factory TV (Free/Ad-Supported)

The Goldbergs (CBS/NBC/DuMont/Syndication, 1949-1955) [71 episodes streaming]
The Goode Family (ABC, 2009) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Fridays (ABC, 1980-1982) – 3 seasons, 58 episodes [select episodes streaming]
The Rebel (ABC, 1959-1961) – 2 seasons, 76 episodes
Street Hawk (ABC, 1985) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Swan’s Crossing (Syndicated, 1992) – 1 season, 65 episodes

Sony Crackle (Free/Ad-Supported)

Bad Teacher (CBS, 2014) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Between Brothers (FOX/UPN, 1997-1999) – 2 seasons, 17 episodes
The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC, 2017) – 1 season, 8 episodes
Breaking In (FOX, 2011-2012) – 2 seasons, 20 episodes
Brothers (FOX, 2009) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Charlie’s Angels (ABC, 2011) – 1 season, 8 episodes
The Grinder (FOX, 2015-2016) – 1 season, 22 episodes
Kidnapped (NBC, 2006-2007) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Last Resort (ABC, 2012-2013) – 1 season, 13 episodes
The Mob Doctor (FOX, 2012-2013) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Mr. Sunshine (ABC, 2011) – 1 season, 13 episodes
The Player (NBC, 2015) – 1 season, 9 episodes
Rake (FOX, 2014) – 1 season, 13 episodes
Rush Hour (CBS, 2016) – 1 season, 13 episodes
The Tick (FOX, 2001-2001) – 1 season, 9 episodes
The Unusuals (ABC, 2009) – 1 season, 10 episodes


If I’ve missed any short-lived or forgotten TV shows streaming on any of these services, please let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an e-mail. Also, if you think I should include additional streaming services in this guide, I’m open to suggestions.

Bring Blondie to Blu-Ray Kickstarter Campaign Unsuccessful

The Kickstarter campaign to raise money to bring the 1957 NBC sitcom Blondie to Blu-ray has failed. ClassicFlix launched the campaign on June 20th. It ended on July 11th after 22 days. The campaign raised $6,626 in pledges, far short of its $20,000 goal.

That’s the bad news. The good news? ClassicFlix still plans to release Blondie on DVD. No release date has been announced. Based on earlier information, the episodes on DVD will likely feature minimal restoration and the DVD set may not contain bonus features.

Hopefully, the failure of this particular campaign won’t stop companies from considering crowdfunding in the future to help finance short-lived and forgotten TV shows on DVD (or Blu-ray).