Monday, June 29, 2009

“Nick! Heath! Jarrod! There’s a fire in the barn!” is announcing that the Route 66: The Complete Third Season, Volume 2 collection has been rescheduled from its former August 25th date to October 20th, and that the complete set containing both volumes one and two will hit the streets on January 12th of next year (previously scheduled by Infinity-Roxbury Entertainment for November 10th). I don’t mind waiting a bit to acquire the full Monty (I think my position on “split-season” releases has been made quite clear) but I would be a bit remiss if I didn’t point out that I could have hand-walked Route 66 up and back in the time it’s taking for Infinity to get on the stick.

The big news for vintage television fans—and classic film buffs as well—is that E1 Entertainment (the company responsible for the Studio One: Anthology collection released last November in tandem with the Archive of American Television) will bring the Emmy-winning NBC-TV anthology series The Barbara Stanwyck Show to DVD this October…October 13th, to be precise. Although this collection will, too, be a split-season release (Volume 1, containing 15 of the 36 episodes telecast) it will certainly be a welcome addition to the libraries of televised dramatic anthology fans and those who are fond of Babs as well. Stanwyck appeared in all but four of the telecasts (the remaining four served as pilots for series starring other actors that never got off the ground) and earned a trophy for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Series; one of the shows in which she appeared (“The Miraculous Journey of ‘Tadpole Chan’” [11-14-60]) was offered up as a pilot for a potential series, and while a mail-in campaign generated enough positive buzz for her character to appear in two follow-ups—“Dragon by the Tail” {01-30-61) and “Adventure on Happiness Street” {03-20-61)”—the series never really got off the drawing board. (Four years later, of course, Stanwyck would hit pay dirt with the hit TV western The Big Valley.)

One of my favorite childhood cartoon shows, Beany & Cecil, will see a second DVD release come this September 8th—ten years after a first volume was released by Image Entertainment (and which has been long discontinued, become a collector’s item in the process)! Hen’s Tooth Video is releasing Beany & Cecil: The Special Edition, Volume 2, and the disc will contain eleven classic cartoon adventures and a fistful of bonuses and extras. (I wouldn’t have thought it possible after the overloaded Special Edition, Volume 1—but there you have it.) I was such a huge fan of this show as a sprout that I even had a Cecil-the-Sea-Sick-Serpent jack-in-the-box, and when I think what might have happened had I or my mother thought to have kept that…well, let’s just say that people would be looking at me a lot different today. (As in, “What the hell is a forty-five-year-old man doing with a jack-in-the-box?”)

As for the last item on our list, it technically doesn’t fall into the category of classic or vintage television but since it borrowed so many of its conventions (particularly from George Burns and Jack Benny) I thought it was worthy of a heads-up to point you to the news that Shout! Factory will release the complete series run (1986-90, all seventy-two episodes) of It’s Garry Shandling’s Show. A series that started out on Showtime before receiving a larger audience via the fledgling Fox network (I hated watching this on Fox, by the way—they had to edit the program to stick in all those commercials) I fell in love with this sitcom the first time I saw it and at the risk of arousing the ire of Larry Sanders fans I always preferred Shandling’s simply because I identified with it more (the episode that spoofs The Fugitive is still one of my all-time favorites of any television comedy)—an accurate depiction of my life had it been turned into a sitcom. I have a feeling the price tag on this baby is going to be astronomical (I may have to go back to mowing lawns) but I’ll find someway to obtain it; who knows, in the time it takes me to get it I’ll probably learn that they’ve edited the shows due to copyright restraints and won’t want it any more.

1 comment:

Rick Brooks said...

I can't believe It's Shandling's Show is on its way--or maybe I should believe it since I obtained a set from, uh, other sources a year or so ago. If they do a good job with this set, it's a must-buy for me, but I'm worried about the usual problems, music being the biggest concern.

I'm gonna give Shout a conditional "Right On!" for this one, though. Maybe they can somehow sort out the mess surrounding Chris Elliott's "Get a Life" and get that one out in a complete series set.