Tuesday, February 5, 2008

They’ll keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…

TVShowsOnDVD.com has a fistful of TV-on-DVD announcements today, and the one that has me the most stoked is the news that CBS-Paramount is readying a release for the third season of the classic television oater Rawhide (albeit in those still-too-annoying split-season sets). The rumor mill at the Home Theater Forum was that the company was getting ready to close the book on Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood’s yearly cattle drive after the second season, so I’m relieved that the rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated. Rawhide: Season 3, Volume 1 is scheduled to hit the streets (or dusty trail, if you prefer) May 27th.

Also on that same day, Gunsmoke: Season 2, Volume 2 will be released by CBS-Paramount—and I’m hoping that the company will address the “missing episode” controversy soon because I’d like to put my Columbia House copies of Gunsmoke’s sophomore year up on eBay to generate a little cashola, if you know what I mean…and I believe you do. What happened with the Season 2, Volume 1 set is that they substituted the second season episode “How to Cure a Friend” (11/10/56) with one from the fourth season, “How to Kill a Friend” (11/22/58). You can read all about the mix-up at TVShows here, but until this lulu of a boo-boo is solved I have to hang on to the Columbia House releases (where they got it right the first time).

Finally, everyone’s favorite country-boy Marine—Gomer Pyle, USMC—will be showcased in the fourth season of the popular 60s sitcom come May 20th…a show I wasn’t too concerned about being cut off after a season or two due to the popularity of The Andy Griffith Show releases. I am kind of curious, though, as to whether someone will see fit to considering the Griffith Show’s spin-off, Mayberry RFD, for DVD candidacy; the series is apparently owned by Warner and Hank Dearborn, resident curmudgeon at HTF, is pretty convinced that eventually seeing RFD on DVD will require a great leap of faith in light of their continued disinterest in their vintage TV holdings. Still, hope springs eternal.

TVShowsOnDVD.com also has an interesting item that the cult UK sitcom, Spaced, may be coming to Region 1 DVD sometime next year—if you’re a fan of films like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Spaced is where it all began (I wrote an essay about the show back in the old Salon days here). This bit of news was apparently gleaned from a podcast interview with director Edgar Wright at the UK version of the website Rotten Tomatoes; Wright nixed the idea of bringing Spaced to American television in the tradition of The Office because “he really doesn’t want to be part of a version of his show centered in Malibu.” (This, by the way, is the cleaned-up version of the quote—the real McCoy can be downloaded here.)

Finally, for all you Walter Lantz fans out there in YesteryearLand, TVShows has the lineup for the Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection: Volume 2 that’s scheduled for release April 15th. I bought the first volume despite the fact that I never cared much for Woody—he was a bit too obnoxious for my tastes, and he didn’t have the panache that the Warner characters possessed to cover up for this shortcoming. But I reasoned that if I did buy the first volume, Universal would follow up with a sequel…so it was purely altruistic on my part, thinking of other Woody-maniacs. Sometimes one must make sacrifices in the name of TV-on-DVD.

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