TVShowsOnDVD.com has a blurb up that the long-awaited first season release of the 1960s cult comedy The Mothers-in-Law will be unleashed to a TV-on-DVD buying public on either April 27 or May 4th. I know, it does sound like they’re a bit uncertain; they’re going on the information posted on Mothers co-star Kaye Ballard’s website that the set will be out in time for…wait for it…Mothers’ Day. That falls on May 9 of this year, and because DVDs aren’t generally released on Sundays, the reasoning is that the collection will have to be released on either of the two aforementioned dates in plenty of time for you to buy your favorite matriarch one. (It also doesn’t speculate as to whether the two seasons will be included in one big honkin’ set or two separate sets…or four if they go the dreaded split-season route. We must wait and see.)
Further news from the TSOD website confirms that the sixth season of Emergency!—all 24 episodes from the 1976-77 season—will be available April 13th. TSOD also mentions that there is a bit of buzz concerning the six post-series telefilms telecast in 1978-79 and that these could possibly see a disc release sometime in 2011. As for the cartoon spin-off, Emergency +4 (which featured the voices of stars Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth), and Sierra, a 1974 dramatic series spun-off from Emergency! (I’m familiar with the show, but was completely unaware that Emergency! was the father, so to speak) there is no news forthcoming on either program or its DVD chances.
I have to confess that I was never much of a fan of Emergency! though my sister Kat was (not to mention Laura at Miscellaneous Musings)—but I’ve always been impressed at how star Tighe turned out to be a first-rate character actor later in his career. I caught him in a Law and Order: Special Victims Unit rerun two weekends ago (“Avatar,” in which he plays a creepy convicted kidnapper who strikes again after completing his twenty-year hitch in The Big House) and he really turned in a nice piece of work…properly menacing yet resisting the urge to go over the top—but my favorite performances of his are in the John Sayles films Matewan (1987; as one of the union-busting thugs) and Eight Men Out (1988—he’s “Sport” Sullivan, the gambler who has that memorable line: “You know what you feed a dray horse in the morning if you want a day's work out of him? Just enough so he knows he's hungry.”). (Tighe also appeared briefly in the first season of the woefully short-lived Murder One as the veteran cop who worked as the law firm’s investigator…and I’m sure a few Lost fans might recognize him as “Anthony Cooper” as well.)
And finally, in our “It’s not much, but it’s a start” department, the Warner Archive has released a MOD DVD of Operation Heartbeat (1969) (originally titled U.M.C.), the telefilm that served as the pilot for the long running CBS-TV medical drama