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April 24, 2014

10 TV Shows That Are Still Not Completely on DVD, But Really Should Be

by David Hofstede, posted Feb 24th 2010 4:30PM
Charlie's angelsFor classic TV fans, there's nothing like owning every episode of a beloved series on DVD. However, sometimes the wait to complete the run of a favorite show is longer than anticipated. And sometimes, sadly, it doesn't happen at all.

New season releases on these 10 shows have been missing for a long time, but if you're a fan don't give up hope. Both 'Leave it to Beaver' and 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' are now back on track after years of non-activity, so anything is possible.Charlie's angelsFor classic TV fans, there's nothing like owning every episode of a beloved series on DVD. However, sometimes the wait to complete the run of a favorite show is longer than anticipated. And sometimes, sadly, it doesn't happen at all.

New season releases on these 10 shows have been missing for a long time, but if you're a fan don't give up hope. Both 'Leave it to Beaver' and 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' are now back on track after years of non-activity, so anything is possible.

1. 'Charlie's Angels'
Status: Four of the series' five seasons are now available on DVD, following a three-year gap between the releases of seasons 3 and 4. During its original run, ratings for 'Charlie's Angels' fifth season plummeted. Kate Jackson was gone, Farrah Fawcett would not return for any more special guest appearances, and the casting of new Angel Tanya Roberts was not enough to reverse the series' fortunes.

Prognosis: Despite dwindling interest in the show's final season, it's hard to believe that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment would abandon 'Charlie's Angels' with just one season remaining, thus also depriving the company of a chance to release a complete series set somewhere down the road. We predict fans won't have to wait another three years to complete their 'Angels' collection.


2.'Murphy Brown'
Status: Season 1 was released in 2005. Since then, nothing. While sales figures for TV shows on DVD are rarely made public, rumors swirled that Warner Home Video was very disappointed with the performance of season 1, especially given the popularity of this critically-acclaimed 1988-1998 sitcom, starring Emmy-winner Candice Bergen. It was a nice deluxe set, too, with a behind-the-scenes documentary and episode commentaries from Bergen and series creator Diane English.

Prognosis: While many of the show's then-current news references now seem dated (does anyone even remember Murphy's "family values" feud with Vice-President Dan Quayle?) we think the show is too good to stay dead forever. Now that Warner is offering select titles on-demand through its Warner Archive program, perhaps this will be the way that fans finally get more Murphy. However, don't expect any extras.

3. 'Dragnet 1967'
Status: Despite being one of the most groundbreaking and influential cop shows in television history, best remembered for Jack Webb's portrayal of no-nonsense Sgt. Joe Friday, 'Dragnet' has not been treated well on DVD. The original 1952-1959 series is available only in poorly-produced public domain sets, and the more widely syndicated '60s series, a Nick at Nite staple for more than a decade, stalled after just one season, released back in 2005.

Prognosis:
Shout! Factory licensed 'Adam-12,' another Jack Webb-produced series originally abandoned by Universal, and season sets are back on track. How could the company not also pick up Webb's signature show? We're guessing they'll eventually step in here as well.


4. 'The Bob Newhart Show'
Status: The first four seasons are available. The final two seasons are still missing, with no word from Fox Home Entertainment on further activity. Fans have been waiting for updates since September of 2006, when season 4 was released. In a 2008 interview, even Bob Newhart expressed frustration with Fox for keeping fans in limbo. "I think it hurts because people don't want to start collecting if they're not sure they're going to have the whole collection," he said.

Prognosis: You never know with Fox. The company finally revived season sets of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' which also aired on Saturday nights in the '70s, following a three-year wait. Chances are they'll get around to finishing 'The Bob Newhart Show' as well, but exactly when is anybody's guess.


5. 'The Love Boat'
Status: Season 2,Volume 2 was released fairly recently, in August of 2009. However, the every-six-months schedule of new 'Love Boat' volumes has been discarded, leaving fans to wonder when they'll again set sail with Gopher, Julie, Isaac, Doc and Captain Stubing.

Prognosis: Paramount Home Video has slowed down on several TV-on-DVD releases, from 'Happy Days' to 'Hotel.' It's too early to abandon hope for more 'Love Boat,' but at this rate we won't see Teri Hatcher's 1985 appearances as a Love Boat Mermaid until the 'Desperate Housewives' star is collecting Social Security.


6. 'Kojak'
Status: Season 1 was released in March of 2005. Since then, Kojak hasn't sucked another lollipop on DVD.

Prognosis: Who loves ya, baby? Certainly not Universal Home Video. Telly Savales' Emmy-winning portrayal of Theo Kojak aired for five years, but Universal has responded to fan requests on its website by stating there are "no current plans" to release subsequent seasons. Season 2 has been released in Sweden, however, so fans with a multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player can pick it up online. Another distributor will have to take over the series' US release, otherwise this one is likely dead.


7. 'One Day at a Time'
Status: Since April of 2007, when the first season hit shelves, there have been no new announcements from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Prognosis: 'One Day at a Time' aired for nine years, so it will take a long-term commitment to see this one through the final episode. While Mackenzie Phillips has been back in the news of late, and her costar Valerie Bertinelli is still selling Jenny Craig in her bikini, the show that made them both famous doesn't seem likely to be picked up, unless a company like Shout! Factory decides to step in. Glenn Scarpelli fans, start writing.


8. 'St. Elsewhere'
Status: Another one-season and out show, with nothing new to report since November of 2006. As one of the most-acclaimed medical dramas in television history (60 Emmy nominations!), and the launching pad for stars such as Denzel Washington and Howie Mandel, you'd think there would be more interest in completing 'St. Elsewhere's six-season run.

Prognosis: If 'St. Elsewhere' were a patient, it would be on life support. There were rumblings last year when one TV writer reported that many MTM-produced series would be revived in 2009, but nothing apparently came of it, and a Fox studio spokesperson would only say "we are looking at the possibility." We're cursing the DVD gods that allowed 'Small Wonder' to reach the home video market while shows like 'St. Elsewhere' and 'Hill Street Blues' are forgotten.


9. 'Laverne & Shirley'
Status: We're halfway home, with four of eight total seasons now available. But there's been no word from Paramount on new releases since season 4 came out in April of 2008.

Prognosis: Paramount may have recognized the diminishing returns from the series' approaching California-set episodes, but that's no excuse to not give us the final Milwaukee season, which features several classic episodes including 'The Diner.' 'Happy Days' and 'Mork and Mindy' are also stalled, but the studio should pick them all up again eventually, perhaps through an on-demand service like the one at Warners.

10. 'WKRP in Cincinnati'
Status: The first season arrived on DVD back in 2007, and was roundly attacked by fans for its wholesale music changes. Les Nessman's preparing for his date with Jennifer to the strains of Foreigner's 'Hot Blooded'? Gone. Dr. Johnny Fever singing 'So Long For a While' in the episode 'A Commercial Break'? Cut. Even Jennifer's doorbell, which played one line of 'Fly Me to the Moon,' was not spared.

Prognosis: The near unanimous disdain for the syndicated episode cuts and music substitution on Fox's season 1 release does not bode well for those awaiting further sets.


Tell us: Which shows are you waiting to see completed on DVD?

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