Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Long tall Texan

It never fails…whenever I’m experiencing a critical cash flow, that’s the time they start rolling out the vintage television goodies on DVD.

Case in point: TVShowsOnDVD.com has the skinny on Timeless Media Group’s upcoming box set (due out November 18th) The Texan: The Best of, which I mentioned briefly here on the blog in July. The 1958-60 CBS western series, which starred Rory Calhoun as fast gun Bill Longley, ran for a total of seventy-eight episodes over two seasons, and Timeless Media Group had put out feelers among the TV collectors’ community to see if they could track down five missing episodes. Not only did they fail to locate the prodigal segments—they discovered that three additional installments were incomplete…which means they’ll only be releasing seventy episodes on a 10-DVD set. Still, it will be nice to see a rare program like this get some exposure—Minow knows you won’t be running across it on TVLand anytime soon, particularly since that channel is going to hell in a hand basket.

Timeless Media Group is also releasing a pair of DVD sets dedicated to one of television’s long-running westerns: a three-disc collection with twelve episodes of Wagon Train (the hour-long, black-and-white version—which will be called Wagon Train: Going West and will hit the trail near you on October 7th) and a much more ambitious release of the entire color season (1963-64) of the series—which also expanded its format to ninety minutes in an effort to ape its competition at the time, The Virginian. This sixteen-disc set, containing all thirty-two color episodes, will also contain an additional sixteen black-and-white shows promoted by Timeless as “best-loved” shows. The press release doesn’t specify whether or not any of the early episodes featuring Ward Bond will be included (he’s definitely not on the 3-DVD set, and he passed away before the show switched to color) but I certainly hope so; our RTN affiliate WSB runs a two-hour block of Wagon Train from 11:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays and I have really gotten a kick out of seeing those shows. The street date for this set is November 4th.

TVShowsOnDVD.com also has the box art for the second season of Mannix up, and some clips from the Adam-12: Season 2 set due out in two weeks (September 30th). (The second season of Adam-12 is being released by Shout! Factory—and I’m looking on this optimistically as a sign that the Factory might take on further releases of Dragnet as well.)

No comments: