See Part One
Over the past six years, some programs I’ve written about have made no progress at all on getting DVD releases out and others that have seen some great new sets.
Sadly, the television filmography of Jack Webb remains unavailable outside of his three most successful series: Dragnet, Adam-12, and Emergency. Other series such as Sierra, Mobile One, and the DA’s man remain unavailable.
Of the twelve TV detective series that I listed back in 2012, only one has gotten a DVD release: Longstreet, the one-season series featuring a blind insurance investigator. Others that have not been released include Academy Award winner Edmond O’Brien’s series Johnny Midnight, Richard Boone’s Hec Ramsey series, or the Black detective series Tenafly.
Some of these series it’s obvious why they’ve not been released. As much as I loved Mathnet as a kid, it’s probably too much a product of its time for PBS to consider a release. Thankfully several episodes have been put together on YouTube and so far no effort has been made to pull them down. The Cosby Mysteries will probably not have a release for reasons obvious to anyone following the news.
There were some series that I hadn’t mentioned that did get a release. Decoy, the great first crime TV show featuring a female lead, had circulated among collectors with only twenty-seven of its thirrty-nine episodes available. Some of these had lapsed into the public domain while others were under copyright, now all of them are available on DVD and look better than ever.
Old Ziv syndicated TV series have been making their way on to DVD. When I first wrote about them, MGM was not doing a great job making them available. The only release they had was a ridiculously over-priced Season 1 box set of Highway Patrol. Now, I’m happy to say that not only have there been multiple box sets released for Highway Patrol, but also Sea Hunt, Ripcord, Harbor Command, and a single release for Waterfront. MGM farmed these releases out to other companies which has resulted in inexpensively priced releases of these classic 1950s series.
Sadly, other Ziv releases haven’t made it including releases with OTR counterpart like Easy Aces, Boston Blackie, or Doctor Christian, or the classic series on communism I Led Three Lives. It seems like more of the series that are getting released tend to fall into the action/adventure category. Thanks to MGM and the companies they’ve farmed this work out to, a lot of great adventures have become available at very reasonable prices.
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