Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick starred as Ernesta and Gwendolyn Snoop (in Gwen’s case, Snoop-Nicholson, because she had been married), two elderly sisters who channeled their inner Jane Marple and solved crimes in their copious needlepoint-occupied free time. The show also starred Tattletales host Bert Convy as their nephew and contact on the police force, Lt. Steve Ostrowski and future TV director Lou Antonio as Barney, an ex-con who worked as their chauffeur. (Elderly women not behind the wheel of a car? Obviously this show did not take place in Florida.) Because it rotated with the returning Banacek and two new series, Tenafly and Faraday and Company, Sisters only telecast four episodes before being cancelled at the end of the season ... but all four of these installments and the original 1972 pilot will be available on [VEI’s] three-disc collection ...I find this news interesting, not because I haven’t seen The Snoop Sisters in decades (I actually purchased a bootleg copy of the series and its pilot a few years back), but because the unexpected release of Sisters in DVD suggests other TV mystery dramas that never achieved cult status or generated dozens of episodes might also appear in stores sometime in the foreseeable future. Dare I hope that Harry O, City of Angels, Petrocelli, Hec Ramsey, Hooperman, Cool Million, Banyon, Private Eye, Assignment: Vienna, The Duke, and Search, as well as the aforementioned Tenafly and Faraday and Company, might eventually be added to my collection of vintage TV shows on DVD?
One other series that I can be guaranteed of adding soon to my shelves is the gumshoe drama Johnny Staccato. As TV Shows on DVD explains:
Johnny Staccato--starring legendary actor, writer and director Johnny Cassavetes-first appeared on TV in 1959, and although it lasted only 27 episodes, the unique mixture of big-city mystery-adventure and jazz left an indelible impression on a generation of TV viewers. Johnny is an ex-jazz musician/detective who finds himself drawn into cases where his distaste for crime, criminals and injustice is put to test. Many notable Hollywood guest stars include Michael Landon, Martin Landau, Shirley Knight, famed soundtrack musician John Williams, Dean Stockwell, Elisha Cook, Susan Oliver, Gena Rowlands, Elizabeth Montgomery, Norman Fell, Cloris Leachman, and Mary Tyler Moore!The three-disc set of Johnny Staccato is due out on October 12.