Monday, September 12, 2011

Televised Treats

It feels like Christmas morning today--a little early, but certainly welcome. I’ve just heard about three new DVD offerings worth noting.

To begin, the blog Crime TV clues me in to Shout! Factory’s recent release of the first season of Police Story, an anthology series created by ex-cop and author Joseph Wambaugh. That’s 21 episodes of smart writing and gritty subject matter. Let’s hope that Shout! Factory will soon follow up with later seasons of this acclaimed show, which originally ran on NBC from 1973 to 1978.

Meanwhile, TV Shows on DVD reports that come November 22, VEI (Visual Entertainment Inc.) of Canada will begin distributing--in both Canada and the United States--McMillan & Wife: The Complete Series at a price of $149.98. If true to its billing, this 21-disc collection will feature all half-dozen seasons of that NBC Mystery Movie series, which starred Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James--including the last one, when the show was retitled simply McMillan to reflect Saint James’ departure from its cast. Also included is the series pilot, Once Upon a Dead Man.

Finally, the Warner Archive Collection is adding Shaft, the 1973-1974 CBS-TV series spun off from Richard Roundtree’s popular 1971 “blaxploitation” film of the same name, to its catalogue. No release date or price has yet been announced, but TV Shows on DVD has at least posted the cover art. Frankly, Shaft--which rotated in a Tuesday-night slot with Jimmy Stewart’s legal drama, Hawkins--was a pale cousin to the original movie. However, this DVD set might be welcomed in the homes of nostalgia buffs like me. (Can anyone take a hint?)

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