According to TVShows, apparently Amazon.com has a pre-listing in place for a possible release of the first season of Room 222 (the date is March 24, 2009), the critically-acclaimed comedy-drama focusing on the interactions between the instructors and students at the fictional Walt Whitman High. When it premiered in the fall of 1969, it faced steep competition from an older-but-still-potent The Beverly Hillbillies, so in its third season ABC shifted it to Friday nights, where it became part of a pre-TGIF lineup that included The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, The Odd Couple and Love, American Style. I watched all of these shows during my formative years but in all honesty I never developed a real appreciation for 222 until it was rerun a good deal on the USA Network many years ago. The show was noted for its fine writing (many of the episodes were written by future director James L. Brooks) and superlative cast: Lloyd Haynes, the foxy Denise Nichols (I saw her in Blacula  and thought “So this is what Miss McIntyre does on her nights off”), Michael Constantine and Karen Valentine. Though I’m sure much of 222’s content has dated badly, back then it was ten pounds of hip in a five-pound bag. (Both Constantine and Valentine took home Emmys for their work on the show, and the series itself won for Outstanding New Series in 1970.) I hope this news is legitimate, particularly since I put the series on my “I’d buy that for a dollar” list this past August.
TVShows also reports that a week before the alleged Room 222 release, Infinity Entertainment will roll out the third and final set of vintage Suspense TV shows, Suspense: The Lost Collection, Volume 3. If you’re not familiar with this saga, apparently Infinity obtained the rights to some previously missing kinescopes (ninety in all) from the TV version of “radio’s outstanding theatre of thrills” and have released two previous sets (Volumes 1 and 2) containing thirty episodes each. These sets are positively fascinating to look at, giving the viewer a look at Television’s Golden Age at a time when many dramatic shows were broadcast live. (I’d still like to know the story as to how these kinescopes were uncovered—“Nah, I think my pencil fell right behind this cab…hey! Look what I found behind the file cabinet!”) Nevertheless, I’m really looking forward to this set’s release, slated for a March 17, 2009 street date.