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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

TV on DVD Wish List

Back in December I posted my Wish List of movies that I would love to see released on DVD, and so far only one out of my 61 films is available on a Region 2 disc--1961's Paris Blues with Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier. And now I've compiled a second Wish List of a "few" favorite TV shows/miniseries that I think deserve to be on DVD (I'll keep you posted if any of them are released):

All That Glitters (1977): This short-lived syndicated soap opera spoof by Norman Lear was set in a world of role-reversal, in which the women were the breadwinners and men were treated as sex objects. It starred Eileen Brennan, Greg Evigan, Gary Sandy, Jessica Walter, Anita Gillette and Linda Gray.

Beggars and Choosers (1999-00): This very funny behind-the-scenes look at network television appeared on Showtime for 35 episodes and starred Brian Kerwin, Charlotte Ross, Tuc Watkins and Carol Kane.

Behind The Screen (1981-82): This short-lived late-night weekly serial aired on Fridays at 10:30 pm (CST) on CBS and starred Janine Turner, Michael Sabatino, Mark Pinter and Debbi Morgan. I know it will never be released on DVD, but I still fondly remember it.

The Carol Burnett Show (1967-78): Columbia House already released some complete episodes, but I'm still hoping that season sets will come along one of these days.

China Beach (1988-91): Dana Delany and Marg Helgenberger were wonderful in this drama set during the Vietnam War. I suspect that music rights are holding up a release of this show.

The Colbys (1985-87): I'm hoping that once the Dynasty DVD releases reach 1985 that they might give us this spin-off, starring Katharine Ross, Barbara Stanwyck, Stephanie Beacham (as Sable!), Tracy Scoggins and a hunky Maxwell Caulfield.

The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd (1987-91): A truly original comedy-drama starring the delightful Blair Brown and an excellent supporting cast that included Allyn Ann McLerie as Molly's mother and David Strathairn as a quirky love interest.

Falcon Crest (1981-90): TV's Dallas and this show were the one-two punch every Friday night for many years. The fabulous cast included Jane Wyman as Angela Channing, the owner of the Falcon Crest winery, Ana Alicia as the scheming Melissa, Susan Sullivan as the sweet Maggie, David Selby as the conniving Richard, Abby Dalton as the crazy Julia, and Lorenzo Lamas and William R. Moses as the handsome beefcake. The soapy drama also featured an impressive list of guest stars, including Lana Turner, Kim Novak, Celeste Holm, Eve Arden, Leslie Caron, Gina Lollobrigida and Morgan Fairchild.

Flamingo Road (1980-81): Speaking of Morgan Fairchild, anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I adore this short-lived soap opera that featured the actress in her best bitchy role as Constance Weldon Carlyle. Add in Stella Stevens, Barbara Rush, Mark Harmon and the hairy chest of John Beck and you've got yourself a damn good show.

Fresno (1986): This soap opera parody featured Carol Burnett as family matriarch Charlotte Kensington, Charles Grodin as her son Cane, Teri Garr as Cane's wife Talon, Dabney Coleman as the evil Tyler Cane, and a shirtless Gregory Harrison as Torch, who certainly got me all hot and bothered.

From Here to Eternity (1979-80): The classic 1953 film was remade in this sexy 1979 miniseries starring Natalie Wood, William Devane and Kim Basinger. It then became a weekly series in 1980 with Barbara Hershey replacing Wood and Don Johnson joining the cast.

Hollywood Wives (1985): A delightfully trashy miniseries starring Candice Bergen, Mary Crosby, Angie Dickinson, Anthony Hopkins, Stefanie Powers, Suzanne Somers and the hunky Andrew Stevens.

Homefront (1991-93): This drama should've lasted for many years instead of only two seasons on ABC. The fabulous cast included Wendy Phillips as Anne Metcalf, a widowed mother, Kyle Chandler as her son Jeff, Tammy Lauren as Jeff's girlfriend Ginger, Sammi Davis as the scheming Caroline, Mimi Kennedy as socialite Ruth Sloan, and Kelly Rutherford as Judy, a beautiful bartender who attracted both Ginger and Ruth's men.

Huff (2004-06): I loved the first season of this Showtime drama starring Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt and Blythe Danner, and I'm hoping they might someday release the second season on DVD.

Knots Landing (1979-93): The second season of my favorite prime time soap is finally being released on DVD next month, which means we've only got 12 more seasons to go. I want to see Ciji Dunne (Lisa Hartman), Chip Roberts (Michael Sabatino), Greg Sumner (William Devane), Joshua Rush (Alec Baldwin), Jill Bennett (Teri Austin), Peter Hollister (Hunt Block), Paige Matheson (Nicolette Sheridan), Anne Matheson (Michelle Phillips) and Ruth Galveston (Ava Gardner).

The Larry Sanders Show (1992-98): Only the first season of this great HBO sitcom has been released on DVD. It starred Garry Shandling as a neurotic talk show host, Rip Torn as his producer, and Jeffrey Tambor as his sidekick.

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976-77): This syndicated soap opera parody has only received one DVD release so far, and I want to see all 325 episodes featuring Mary Kay Place in her best role as Loretta Haggers. I also wouldn't mind seeing the sequel, Forever Fernwood, and the talk show parody spin-off, Fernwood/America 2-Night, with host Barth Gimble (Martin Mull) and his sidekick, Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard).

Maude (1972-78): Yet another wonderful show that has only had its first season released on DVD. For me, Bea Arthur will always be Maude Findlay, the outspoken liberal of Tuckahoe, New York, and Rue McClanahan will forever be her best friend, Vivian.

Paper Dolls (1984): Only 14 episodes exist of this prime time soap, but I'd love to see them again. The cast included Dack Rambo, Brenda Vaccaro, Nicolette Sheridan and Morgan Fairchild as the bitchy Racine, who had no last name.

Pasadena (2001): I was very bitter when this addictive drama was axed by FOX after only four episodes (13 were filmed). Dana Delany was excellent as Catherine McAllister, and it's such a shame that the show was never given a chance to find an audience.

St. Elsewhere (1982-88): I know some folks might disagree with me, but I think this hospital drama was a better show than ER. It received 13 Emmys during its six seasons, and the impressive ensemble cast included Denzel Washington, Alfre Woodard, Mark Harmon, David Morse, Ed Flanders, and William Daniels in his best role as Dr. Mark Craig. Only the first season was released on DVD back in 2006.

Sisters (1991-96): I think this drama was the last show I watched every Saturday before that night of the week became a barren no-man's land. I loved spending time with the screwed-up Reed sisters, and the cast was marvelous: Swoosie Kurtz, Sela Ward, Patricia Kalember, Julianne Phillips, George Clooney and Ashley Judd.

thirtysomething (1987-91): I loved this show about baby boomer yuppies, and seeing Ken Olin and Patrica Wettig act together again on Brothers & Sisters has only made me miss their old characters of Michael Steadman and Nancy Weston even more.

And here's some breaking TV-on-DVD news: I just learned today that Peyton Place (1964-69), which is finally being released on DVD on May 19, will be receiving a second DVD release on July 14. Considering there are 514 episodes of the show, I'm hoping that these releases continue on a regular basis. I gotta have my Mia Farrow/Ryan O'Neal/Dorothy Malone fix.


Jeff said...

Excellent list.

Will recorded Paper Dolls onto DVD a couple years ago when it ran on SoapNet. What a fabulous mess that show was, especially the episodes where John Waite guest starred! Official DVDs of this would be great.

Anonymous said...

What about Sarah T. Portrait of a Teen-age Alcoholic starring Linda Blair from 1975

MaxStone01 said...

If the fans get out there and support future Knots Landing releases, Warner Brothers will consider Falcon Crest for release.

Unfortunately, several of the shows on your list have major music rights issues. The studio has already said the Motown catalog for "China Beach" is so expensive they'd never turn a profit on the DVDs, so you'll either get sound-alike replacement music, a la the much reviled "WKRP in Cincinnati" release, or no DVDs at all unfortunately. Same with "thirtysomething." At least Universal acknowledged the value of the original music when they did the "Miami Vice" releases!

Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only person in the world that remembered "All That Glitters." I always get blank stares when I bring it up. It was truly one of the most subversive shows I've ever seen. I'd also like to see full episodes and seasons of "The Carol Burnett Show" make it to DVD. It's crazy that it hasn't already.

Anonymous said...

i'm dating my self, but the old adam west / burt ward batman series was a classic piece of camp. i wanna see the boy wonder in tights again.


Dean said...

Good list. I loved Ginger in Homefront. I'd also like to see Tales of the Gold Monkey and I'll Fly Away come out on DVD.

Lyon Burke said...

GREAT List...

I have Maude, Knots Landing (S3-S14), Falcon Crest, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman at the top of my wish list.

Another show I would love to see again that was very short-lived is "2000 Malibu Road" starring Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Beals, hunky Brian Bloom, and Tuesday Knight, who played a creepy but memorable character.

Deep Dish said...

I do remember "2000 Malibu Road" with Drew and Jennifer. It didn't last long, but I think I enjoyed it.

MTM said...

Peyton Place looks like it's been stalled for anymore releases, unfortunately. Thankfully they did run it on Romance Classics and many people recorded it (so you can usually find all 514 episodes on iOffer, etc.)... but those DVD releases were nice. Now if only they'd release daytime soaps, like old Days of our Lives from the 80's and the wonderful Santa Barbara!

Marc said...

Hey, MTM (love your name!), it is a shame that they're not releasing anymore Peyton Place on DVD - but I do have all of the Romance Classics episodes on VHS. As for daytime soaps on DVD, SoapClassics has been releasing As the World Turns and Guiding Light in recent months.