Some good news for Harry O fans: Although there’s still no word on a DVD release of that full and oft-acclaimed 1974-1976 TV series, which starred David Janssen as Southern California cop-turned-private eye Harry Orwell, the Web site TV Shows on DVD has announced that the second pilot film for the series will go on sale on May 3. You’ll be able to purchase it as a $19.95 manufacture-on-demand DVD through the Warner Archive Collection site.
Yes, there were two pilots made for Harry O. The first one ran 73 minutes long, was titled “Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On,” and featured both Martin Sheen and Margot Kidder. It was originally broadcast on March 11, 1973. After ABC-TV passed on turning it into a weekly program, a second and quite a bit better, 100-minute Harry O film, “Smile Jenny, You’re Dead,” was made co-starring Andrea Marcovicci, Clu Gulager, and Jodie Foster.” It was shown for the first time on February 3, 1974, and convinced the network to give Harry Orwell a Thursday night timeslot.
If you have never seen Harry O before, or haven’t already purchased a bootleg copy of that series’ 66 regular episodes, then “Smile Jenny, You’re Dead” should serve as a great reminder of why it’s considered one of American television’s best-ever P.I. shows.