Over the last few years Shout! Factory has been the savior of many TV series that were abandoned before their final season made it to DVD. No longer would they have to figure out ways to get all the episodes by taping episodes off Me-TV or illegal means. Everything they ever want was wrapped inside a complete boxset. Even with such great news, there were a few people who wanted their entertainment parsed out. Either they don’t want to repurchase the episodes they already have or they just don’t want to buy in a lump sum payment. No matter what the reason, they can continue collecting season sets as Shout! Factory puts out more season sets based on the TV shows that they’ve previously put out as complete sets.
Hill Street Blues: Season Four is the middle of the iconic show’s seven season run. There was a major chance in the series as Sgt. Phil Esterhaus (Michael Conrad) would stop opening the show by reminding the officers with “Let’s be careful out there.” Why? Because actor Michael Conrad passed away from cancer in the middle of the season. He does his best to give the morning role calls at the start of the episodes for the first half of the season. This is a man giving his all in short bursts. The man and the character are given a fitting departure from the show in “Grace Under Pressure.” The episode allowed a long time guest actor to find a home inside an iconic character. “Doris in Wonderland puts the guys undercover in an adult bookstore. This was the last season that Hill Street Blues would win the Emmy for best series. The Complete Fifth Season is due out May 26th.
Sgt. Bilko, The Phil Silvers Show: The Second Season allows more the greatest military schemes to be pulled at Ft. Baxter. Silvers had become an instant TV sensation when the character debuted in 1955. He was the warm father figure who only wanted to keep his boys safe from harm. And by “boys, this references the cash in the pockets of anyone within an arms reach of Bilko. Even the most simple things can turn into a massive scheme to enrich Bilko’s bank account or ego. “Platoon in the Movies” has a camera crew arrive to shoot a training film. Bilko wants more. So he gets them to make a musical. “Bilko Goes to College” involves a scam involving college football. Sadly he would never be as big of a grifter as the NCAA when it comes to making a mint off unsuspecting free labor. “The Face on the Recruiting Poster” puts the pugfaced Doberman on a publicity program. “Bilko’s Engagement” has him on the road to matrimony with a WAC. “Sergeant Bilko Presents Ed Sullivan” brings the unit to the future home of Late Night with David Letterman. “Sergeant Bilko Presents Bing Crosby” might guest star the legendary crooner. “Show Segments” is one of the first network outtake clipshows. The boxset also includes bonus features. “The Cast of Phil Silvers on Broadway” brings their talents to the Great White Way. Phil Silvers and Jack Benny on The Dick Cavett Show” is a charming conversation between the two legendary wits. Interview with Cathy Silvers has his daughter remember. There’s two more seasons to go.
Mister Ed: The Final Season wraps up the improbably hit about a man and his talking horse. Mister Ed started as a syndicated series for a season before getting picked up by CBS for primetime. The Sixth season would not merely be its last, but somehow it was canceled midseason. Perhaps it had something to do with CBS finally wanting to go color with its programs and Mister Ed not wanting to have the added cost of hues? It’s a fun final batch of 13 episodes. “Ed the Counterspy” makes him a James Bond with hooves. They continue the 00Hay theme with “Ed Sniffs Out a Cold Clue” and “Spies Strikes Back.” “Love and the Single Horse” brings over a couple characters from The Beverly Hillbillies. “Ed and the Motorcycle” makes Ed compete with a two wheeled toy for Wilbur’s attention. “Ed Goes to College” has him enroll into medical school. How many horses are enrolled in online colleges now? The series ended with 143 episodes so Mister Ed got a run that’s longer than the Belmont Stakes. These final episodes should appeal to fans who bought the original series sets.
The Jeffersons: Season Seven takes us back up to the deluxxxe apartment in the sky. The season starts with George Jefferson (Sherman Helmsley) and Tom Willis (Franklin Cover) getting ready for the New York marathon. Can either of the men walk the staircase up to their apartments? “The Jeffersons Go to Hawaii” is a four part tropical trip. Tom and George get lost on an island like Gilligan and the Skipper. “All I Want for Christmas” gets George promising too much to kids. “As Florence Turns” makes the sitcom into a soap opera. “Sorry, Wrong Meeting” brings the KKK to Manhattan. “Small Fish, Big Pond” lets George imagine he’s really rich. “Florence’s New Job” is a backdoor pilot to the Checking In Series that’s a bonus feature on the complete series boxset. There’s four more seasons of The Jeffersons left to go.
Barney Miller: The Complete Seventh Season is the penultimate visit to the 12th Precinct. After a few cast changes over the years, these last seasons have the detective in their own desks. “The Delegate” has a hobo claiming he’s supposed to be at the democratic convention. How can they prove he isn’t? “Call Girl” features a teen hooker. “Movie” has Harris (Ron Glass) write a smutty film. Is he going to have to raid his premiere? “Contempt” is a semi-serious episode when Barney (Hal Linden) won’t name his source on an investigation. “Rachel” is more frustration when Barney’s daughter wants to date a cop. Not just any cop, but one of his men. Even though the show was coming to an end, the quality wasn’t dropping off. The final season comes out on DVD this July 7th.
Tags: Barney Miller, Hill Street Blues, Mister Ed, Sgt. Bilko, The Jeffersons