Blogging will probably slow down to a crawl the next couple of days due to some outside work on a Radio Spirits project that needs my immediate attention. I did, however, want to direct you to an announcement at TVShowsOnDVD.com that gives Petticoat Junction fans a heads-up on some bonus materials to be made available on the December 16th release of Petticoat Junction: The Official First Season.
This DVD set will contain all thirty-eight episodes of the bucolic sitcom’s freshman year, and to accompany these wacky shenanigans there will be introductions by Linda Kaye “Betty Jo” Henning and Pat “Bobbie Jo” Woodell, who played “Bobbie Jo” for two seasons before being replaced by the better-known Lori Saunders (whom I had a crush on when I was a rerun-obsessed teenager). There will also be interviews with the two actresses, and a 1990 interview with series creator Paul Henning—plus a photo gallery to complete the extras.
Now, speaking only for myself—bonus materials are nice when you can get them but I don’t wring my hands if they’re not included and I certainly wouldn’t repurchase a disc just because, say, they’ve added four additional hours of footage consisting of blowing things up real good as is the case with some modern movies on DVD. I’m planning on purchasing Junction because the previous MPI release contained only the twenty-or-so episodes that had fallen into the public domain. I will say this, though—the MPI Junction set had bonus material that will be very hard to top; not only did Linda Kaye do intros for all the episodes in the collection but she hosts a great documentary entitled The History of Hooterville, which tells the story of the show along with interviews from Saunders, Frank Cady, Charles Lane, Mike Minor and Gunilla Hutton. Also included on the MPI collection are cast commercials for Ivory Soap and Tide, and footage of Bea Benaderet recreating her Gertrude Gearshift character (from The Jack Benny Show) and her Blanche Morton laugh for Art Linkletter.
Yesterday, the UPS dude delivered The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Second Season to my front door and while I haven’t had a chance to open it up yet there’s a list on the back cover of some of its extras, including Irene Ryan’s screen test, a Henning interview from 1969 and a clip from the Tiffany Network’s 1963 Fall Preview Show, “The Stars’ Address is CBS.” I’ll be certain to have something on the blog as soon as I can sit down with the discs for a closer look.