Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday’s checklist


I figured that now was as good a time as any to express my regrets for temporarily discontinuing a couple of the regular features here at TDOY: Overlooked Films on Tuesday and B-Western Wednesdays.  It’s a combination of several factors—my own preternatural laziness, to start with...and the fact that I can no longer sleep nights because this house has taken on the atmosphere of a sauna since my parents are trying to save a buck by seeing how long they can hold out before turning the A/C on—but chiefly, my duties at the Radio Spirits blog have kept me pretty busy, as I deduced they would.  The fact that we bid a final farewell to three people who had notable careers in old-time radio—Ray Bradbury, Frank Cady and Ann Rutherford—within the past two weeks did not bode well for my getting any kind of Buried Treasure/Guilty Pleasure watching or silver screen oaters staring completed.  I’m not complaining, mind you—I knew the job was dangerous when I took it (and I tend to give my attention to that enterprise ahead of this one because…well, the guy I work for here at TDOY doesn’t pay me diddly squat).  I also want to thank those of you who were nice enough to stop by and leave a comment, as well as TDOY Godfather Scott C. and BBFF Stacia for giving me a generous plug at their respective blogs.

Speaking of Stacia (smooth as glass, I tells ya), she has finally got most of her stuff moved at her brand spanking-new digs at Word Press—the nice thing is, if you enter the old address in the browser of your choice you’ll be whisked away to the new site faster than you can say “Henry Fonda!”  (Please do not say this three times in succession.  All sorts of bodacious supernatural sh*t will happen, and we most assuredly do not want that.)  Stacia still has a few pictures from the voluminous SBBN archives to move…and she’s still waiting to hear from Blogger about her security deposit (we wish her luck with that) but she’ll soon be back in full blogging mode.  You can, of course, read her wonderful musings at Spectrum Culture Online or look for her “lighting up the Twitter sky” if her fields are a little fallow on the new SBBN at first.


Rianna at Frankly My Dear has announced an event that will get underway on July 27-28 and is being referred to as The Great Recasting Blogathon (in conjunction with Natalie at In the Mood).  Without further ado, let’s let her tell you all about it:

What is this blogathon about? The idea for this blogathon came out of a silly post I did on tumblr about recasting The Sound of Music (1965) in the 1940s with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in the leads. (Don't worry, I only half meant it!). Then Natalie and I got to talking about this and we decided it would be a fun idea for a blogathon. So the premise for this blogathon of ours is as follows: to recast a film made after 1965 in a year pre-1965 with actors in the lead roles and a director that were popular at the time. Supporting cast is optional. You have to explain why you chose the actors & director. We are allowing two recasting per film. If this sounds a little confusing, here is an example: the well known modern film Titanic (1997) was made in 1997, but for this blogathon you could change the year, for example, to 1945, cast Ingrid Bergman in the Kate Winslet role, Cary Grant in the Leonardo diCaprio role, and switch the director from James Cameron to George Cukor. (Use your imagination, okay?? :D) Make sense?!! (If not, please, by all means LET ME KNOW and we will try to explain this better.)

When is this blogathon taking place? July 27 - 28 of this year, which is conveniently a weekend.

What's this co-hosting business all about? So if you are interested in signing up (which I hope you are!), read this carefully! As this is a two day blogathon, Natalie's blog will be covering one day and mine will be covering the other. We will you assign you a date when we get closer to the blogathon. IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON EITHER MY BLOG OR NATALIE'S, BUT NOT BOTH. This will make it a lot easier for us to keep track of who is participating and no one will get left out.

I don’t know as of yet whether I’ll be able to participate in this blogathon—I’ve already got enough plates spinning (cue Sabre Dance) as it is.  But I did want to spread the news around for those of you who might jump at the chance to kick in.

I’ve also got a few vintage TV-on-DVD announcements (courtesy of the go-to website for such things, TVShowsOnDVD.com) to run by the TDOY faithful, starting with the news that Inception Media Group, the company that now owns the disc rights to the classic sitcom The Real McCoys, is planning to release the program in its entirety (all six seasons) in one honkin’ big box set this September 18th.  Those of us who bought the first four seasons will have to pony up the wherewithal to buy the show in its entirety.  Am I surprised by this turn of events?  I am not.  So what’s the deal with Inception re-releasing the first season in July?  Well, the company is apparently commemorating the five-year anniversary of when Infinity Resources and Falcon Pictures first started issuing the series on disc—I guess when you bring a classic TV show to people on DVD and bungle it beyond belief you're entitled to reward yourself with a sheet cake.  The news of this development over at TSOD contains a quote from Inception’s promotional department, which reads: “This Complete Series collector’s set includes all 224 half-hour episodes of this treasured series on DVD digitally remastered for unparalleled picture and audio quality.”  Notice it does not mention whether or not the source of these shows are the same edited syndication masters used in the previously issued Infinity sets.  (This is because I strongly suspect they are.)

For an amusing example of what he dubs (thanks to Stephen Colbert) “truthiness” in the DVD world, I strongly recommend you read this splendid post by Stephen Bowie at The Classic TV History Blog.  I had toyed with the idea of selling my Route 66 sets in order to raise the necessary funds to purchase the complete Shout! Factory collection…but now I’m not certain if I want to.

For those of you whose household budgets simply wouldn’t entertain the thought of buying Image Entertainment’s Thriller: The Complete Series collection due to its hefty price tag, the company is going to release a smaller 2-disc version this September 4th with ten of the best episodes from the series including “The Grim Reaper,” “Pigeons from Hell,” “The Hungry Glass,” “The Cheaters” and a favorite of mine that I caught on Me-TV this past Sunday night, “The Prisoner in the Mirror.”  This set will retail for $19.98 SRP, so if you shop around online you might be able to strike a better bargain.

The press release for the upcoming The Carol Burnett Show: The Ultimate Collection mentions that among the extras in this 22-DVD package will be three episodes of The Garry Moore Show, the 1958-64 comedy-variety series on which Carol got her boob tube start.  In all honesty, I would buy this set for these shows alone…but my mother and I have reached a mutual decision in that I will not be bringing any more DVDs into this house until I have squirreled away enough funds to invest in a new computer.  (I’m still using one of those gasoline-powered models.)  But this announcement by TSOD trumpets that a separate bidness concern known as Legendary Entertainment Alliance is going to release a set entitled Carol Burnett – The Prime Time Specials Collection.  This collection will include the four specials that preceded Burnett’s long running variety series (1967-78): Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall, Calamity Jane, An Evening with Carol Burnett (aka Carol and Company) and Carol + 2.  I would guess, judging by the content, that this would be a 2-disc set but it will retail for $29.98 SRP…so you might be able to shop around.

Shout! Factory has finalized plans for that Get a Life collection I mentioned a while back on the blog—Get a Life: The Complete Series will be released on September 18th in a 5-disc set that has a SRP price tag of $59.97.  (They must be gambling on a good response to this one—I was halfway expecting it to be one of those odious Select releases.)  And speaking of odious, the Warner Archive released Alice: The Complete First Season to MOD DVD yesterday (June 12), with a price tag of $29.95 (a three-disc set).  The question remains: does “odious” refer to the show itself…or that it’s been shunted to MOD status?  Or both?  (I shall stroke my beard and look mysterious.)

Finally, Shout! Factory completes the run of the popular ‘70s TV crime drama Kojak with an announcement that the series’ fifth and final season is headed for some mean DVD streets come September 11th in a 6-disc set that will retail for $44.99 SRP.  (I am, of course, referring to the show’s original 1971-76 run…whether or not the TV-movie revivals of the 1980s or the show’s later stint as one of the “wheels” on the ABC Mystery Movie will see DVD action I cannot say.)

But with the show finally completed on DVD, Me-TV has decided to give Kojak a rest from its schedule starting June 18th—they’ll move The Rockford Files into Theo’s old time slot and return Hogan’s Heroes to its former five-nights-a-week glory at 5:30 and 5:30pm.  The channel will institute a special brand of programming over the summer in prime time that they’re calling “The Summer of Me-TV” (similar to what the old Nick at Nite used to do before it started to drink) and it shapes up like this:


Mondays – Mary, Dick, Bob & Ralph
08:00pm Mary Tyler Moore
08:30pm The Dick Van Dyke Show
09:00pm The Bob Newhart Show
09:30pm The Honeymooners

Tuesdays – Groovy Tuesday
08:00pm The Brady Bunch
08:30pm The Mothers-in-Law
09:00pm That Girl
09:30pm Love, American Style

Wednesdays – Hillbillies & Hooterville
08:00pm The Beverly Hillbillies
08:30pm The Beverly Hillbillies
09:00pm Green Acres
09:30pm Green Acres

Thursdays – Summer Camp
08:00pm Batman
08:30pm Batman
09:00pm Get Smart
09:30pm Get Smart

Fridays – Comedy Classics
08:00pm The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour
09:00pm The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour

I’m not sure if something like this will go over with the vast Me-TV audience (personally, I don’t think I can handle being able to watch only two episodes of The Honeymooners “Classic 39” a week—but that’s why the TV Gods created DVDs); I’m guessing this will go about three months, and then they’ll revert back to the old lineup.  I am pleased to see the addition of The Mothers-in-Law to Me-TV (they’ll also show reruns on Sundays from 2-3, made possible by cutting back to only one episode of Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley…which is no big loss), not to mention Green Acres, which will also take over Hogan’s Saturday night time slot from 6-7.  The only other change that I noticed was that the hour-long Twilight Zones will vanish from their 11-12pm time slot on Sunday nights and will be replaced by a pair of the half-hour shows.

On June 17, Me-TV will run a four-hour marathon from 1-5pm entitled “The Dads of Me,” which will feature four episodes of The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy).  The ad the channel is running promoting this refers to the Thomas sitcom as joining the Me-TV family…but since it doesn’t seem to have a regular berth on the schedule I’m going to guess that it will make its official debut at the Classic TV Cotillion Ball once The Summer of Me reaches its end.

And...now that Mom's gone to the store, I kind of went behind her back and purchased a DVD: the Hermitage Hill release of Don Winslow of the Navy, the 1942 Universal serial based on the popular comic strip by Frank V. Martinek (there was also a radio version from 1937-39 and 1942-43).  I already have the cliffhanger's sequel, Don Winslow of the Coast Guard (1943; courtesy of VCI), so it seemed only fair that I should also obtain the original...it's been released to disc before but I'm going to tell you here and now the Alpha Video version is horrendous (Navy, I mean).  Don't know how I'm going to justify this purchase but I'll come up with some wacky sitcom excuse.  (Hermitage Hill has also made available the script version of Don Winslow of the Navy...but for $37.50 I'll transcribe that sucker myself.)

13 comments:

BrittReid said...

I'll jump into the blogathon with Raiders of the Lost Ark to be posted on Secret Sanctum of Captain Video™!
Please let me know what date you'd like it!

ClassicBecky said...

Carol Burnett and the Real McCoys! I'm going to start saving my pennies (the ones I don't already use for silly things like rent, utilities, etc.) Thanks for the heads-up, Ivan!

Rich said...

I read about 'The Garry Moore Show' in Carol Burnett's recent memoir, 'This Time Together.' She spoke very highly of him and the show. I wouldn't mind seeing that too.

Brent McKee said...

I have to admit, while I'm not the target writer for the Recasting Blogathon (though the idea of recasting Star Wars "Episode 4" as a silent with Harrison Ford replacing Harrison Ford - on basic principle if nothing else - is tempting) there is something to be said for applying the same idea to TV shows with a suitable date adjustment. Imagine recasting "CSI" with Gene Berry as Dr. Gil Grissom; or "NCIS" with Jack Webb as Gibbs. No, maybe not Jack Webb. Yeah, it's probably ripe for stealing.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

though the idea of recasting Star Wars "Episode 4" as a silent with Harrison Ford replacing Harrison Ford - on basic principle if nothing else - is tempting

"Don't poke the bear, Eric...do not...poke...the bear!"

I've talked myself out of participating in this only because I would be the world's worst casting director. Seriously, I would reach new heights in suckitude.

That having been said, I think your idea of Gene Barry playing Grissom is sensational -- he would have been perfect. And I always lament that Jack Webb turned down John Landis when he was offered the part of Dean Wormer in Animal House.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Dairy observed:

the ones I don't already use for silly things like rent, utilities, etc.

You really can be frivolous sometimes, Beckers.

And Rich rapped the podium for attention:

I read about 'The Garry Moore Show' in Carol Burnett's recent memoir, 'This Time Together.' She spoke very highly of him and the show. I wouldn't mind seeing that too.

There's a famous anecdote concerning CBS big shot James "The Smiling Cobra" Aubrey and how he casually told Jack Benny at a social function that the network was dropping his show with his typical dickish attitude. But Milt Josefsberg wrote in his Jack Benny book that Aubrey dropped the hammer on Garry Moore in that fashion, not his boss. Everywhere else I've read that story it always attributes Jack Benny as the victim.

Jeff Overturf said...

I'm glad to hear your busy doing good stuff you like, Brutha! Tell that Blogmeister to give you a raise! I work for one of those guys too.

Rick29 said...

Ivan, I naturally sweat a lot so the thought of living in a sauna is perfectly frightening. I own the first three seasons of ROUTE 66, so was initially perturbed when the whole series was released for less. But that's not uncommon, alas--plus I miss Buz and may just skip season 4 (Glenn Corbett as Linc is OK). My main issue with Shout is its decision a few years back to release the first two half-seasons of PEYTON PLACE and then stop. Finally, will someone please release THE DEFENDERS on DVD?

Chris Vosburg said...

Ivan writes: I always lament that Jack Webb turned down John Landis when he was offered the part of Dean Wormer in Animal House.

Coupla things, first that I laughed like a madman upon reading this, and second that this opens up a tangential area of speculation, to wit: how would this movie have looked if x was cast instead of y?

Just caught "All Through the Night" on TCM, and was told in Ben Mankiewicz's afterword that Walter Winchell, of all people, was actually the first choice for the role of Gloves Donahue, which ultimately went to Humphrey Bogart.

There is a sort of subgenre, by the way, of gangster films, that of gangsters v nazis, and this may be the best of the lot. Although I did recently acquire from netflix a close runner-up (for enthusiasm if nothing else), Hitler Dead or Alive, in which Ward Bond schemes to collect a million dollar bounty offered on the erstwhile paperhanger by an American industrialist. Yeah, he gets his man, after giving Adolph a shave anna haircut, after which Hitler is executed by his own staff, while shouting but I am der fuhrer, etc.

No you're not, says the firing squad, and lets him have it.

If it's classic forties gangster patter you're looking for, you can't really do much better than either of these films, mug.

And God Bless TCM. And TDOY, of course.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Rick offered up a few thoughts:

Ivan, I naturally sweat a lot so the thought of living in a sauna is perfectly frightening.

The thermometer is supposed to hit 96 on Saturday, so I think they may weaken by then. (I sure hope so.)

My main issue with Shout is its decision a few years back to release the first two half-seasons of PEYTON PLACE and then stop.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's perturbed by this...though it would appear that maybe you and I are the only two people who purchased the sets. When Shout won't even offer this through their Select program, you know the interest in the series is pretty much bupkis.

Finally, will someone please release THE DEFENDERS on DVD?

Stephen Bowie at The Classic TV History Blog says that's probably not likely to happen. (He's the go-to guy on that classic series.)

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Brother Chris sang out:

Just caught "All Through the Night" on TCM, and was told in Ben Mankiewicz's afterword that Walter Winchell, of all people, was actually the first choice for the role of Gloves Donahue, which ultimately went to Humphrey Bogart.

I had not heard this before...and to be honest, I think it might have worked. Winchell wouldn't be on anyone's list of great thesps, but his personality was strong enough to come across. I rather liked Wake Up and Live, his "feud" picture with Ben Bernie.

I ran All Through the Night for my mother one time--I think it was the first movie I dubbed from VHS to my then-new DVD recorder--and she was thoroughly entertained by it. "I didn't know Bogart could do comedy," she said joyfully -- I guess she forgot about The African Queen and other pictures.

If it's classic forties gangster patter you're looking for, you can't really do much better than either of these films, mug.

And God Bless TCM. And TDOY, of course.


Aw...thank you, kind sir. By the way, I have seen Hitler Dead or Alive and it is every bit as entertaining as you say.

Chris Vosburg said...

Jeez, still laughing at the thought of Jack Webb in the Dean Wormer role in Animal House.

It's especially the Wormer line, "fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son", that gets me-- I have no doubt that the writers had Webb's classic Dragnet soliloquy repertoire in mind when they wrote this.

"Well you may think you're pretty high and far out, son, but let me tell you..."

Sadly, Webb seems to have lost his sense of humor somewhere between Sunset Boulevard and Dragnet, so of course he couldn't abide a little self-deprecating comedy. I sort of get the sense that he was every bit as grim in real life as he was in the TV Cop Show.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Jeez, still laughing at the thought of Jack Webb in the Dean Wormer role in Animal House.

John Landis told that story about offering him the part in an issue of Entertainment Weakly, where they were doing a retrospective of House with interviews from some of the people who worked on the film. When I read that, I cried a little...because Webb would have been so perfect in the part.

Sadly, Webb seems to have lost his sense of humor somewhere between Sunset Boulevard and Dragnet, so of course he couldn't abide a little self-deprecating comedy.

Definitely the 1967-70 revival of Dragnet...though he didn't completely abandon it because he performed that memorable Tonight Show sketch ("The Copper Clapper Caper") with Johnny Carson. It was probably about the time his show became, in the words of an industry wag, "the fuzz industrial."

Webb even thought Stan Freberg's Dragnet send-ups were funny. The only thing he didn't care for was the fact that the Freberg stuff made people think "Just the facts, ma'am" was a constantly-used catchphrase on the show and it wasn't...Stan just heard it in an episode he watched before he recorded "St. George and the Dragonet."