Saturday, December 23, 2006

Book Review - 5000 Episodes and No Commercials: The Ultimate Guide to TV Shows on DVD 2007

Welcome to another Saturday edition of reviews! With over 6,000 TV DVD releases available, how do you decide which sets are worthy of picking up? More than just a list of TV--on--DVD releases, 5000 Episodes and No Commercials: The Ultimate Guide to TV Shows on DVD 2007 takes readers on a candid and humorous trek through the history of television.

5000 Episodes and No Commercials: The Ultimate Guide to TV Shows on DVD 2007

5000 Episodes and No Commercials: The Ultimate Guide to TV Shows on DVD 2007 (Watson-Guptill, $14.95)

With 5000 EPISODES of television of DVD, who needs to go to the movie theater?! Sales of TV DVDs are outpacing all other categories. The Simpsons, 24, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Alias, even old chestnuts like Columbo and Home Improvement are blowing out of the stores as fans and collectors rush to buy their favorite shows, compact and complete. Did you miss the third episode of Grey's Anatomy's second season? Not to fear: it's now on DVD! How do buyers know which shows are the best, which season contains that favorite moment, which episode features that guest star? 5000 Episodes and No Commercials: The Ultimate Guide to TV Shos on DVD 2007 (Watson-Guptill; $14.95; November 2006), by TV Historian Dave Hofstede, is a celebration of television's greatest moments, most memorable achievements, and silliest mistakes. Each entry offers a quick reference guide for finding the best scenes and episodes in each collection, and lets viewers know when to reach for the fast forward button. You'll also learn which sets contain bonus features, and which use syndicated-episode cuts and music substitutions. 5000 Episodes and No Commercials lists, reviews, and rates on a 0--5 star scale the DVD release of every prominent television series--including season sets, individual episodes, and "best of" compilations. The objective is to let fans know what is out there, and whether it's worth picking up.

346 pages ~ 6 x 9 ~ 0-8230-8456-6
$14.95 ~ Indexed ~ 2 Appendices
Watson-Guptill ~ November 2006

About the Author
David Hofstede has written twelve books on film and TV, including What Were They Thinking? and the successful companion volumes to The Dukes of Hazzard and Charlie’s Angels. He covers the film and theater beat for AOL’s Digital City Las Vegas website and serves as film editor for Cowboys & Indians magazine. He lives in Las Vegas.

My Review: This book is a pretty good off-line reference for the TV on DVD fan and collector. Each series profiled lists the seasons currently available (as of the fall 2006), star rating, the studio that released it, video and audio information, description of the series, great moments, fast-forward (episodes that you should skip) and extras. There is also a section of Christmas episodes and an index of personalities.

This paperback book will probably appeal to and be more useful for people that don't have internet access. A lot of information on TV DVD releases can be found at online databases such as or the listings at . The information in this book, while well researched and presented, is just not incredibly detailed. There are many omissions (only 2 seasons of ALF, 1 season of I Dream of Jeannie, and 3 seasons or Roseanne are listed - no entries for Alice, Chico and the Man, Dinosaurs, Dream On, Hazel, The Job, Kate & Allie, Living Single, Titus, Welcome Back Kotter) in this book and with 50-100 new sets being released every month, information in this book will fast become out-dated. I would have preferred to see a book that profiled the top 50-100 TV DVD releases in great detail rather than short entries on hundreds of series.

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
3.5/5 stars)

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Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, March 21

The Goldbergs - "The Scrunchie Rule" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Beverly gets a glimpse into a soon-to-be empty nest, she replaces her kids with the Mellor brothers, nursing Coach Mellor back to health after falling off the rope climb. Meanwhile, Erica and her college roommate get on each other’s nerves in their dorm room, especially when Valley Erica puts a scrunchie on the door and kicks Erica out.

Speechless - "N-O-- NOMINEE" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
JJ travels to a film festival where he’s been nominated for an award but is upset when he learns the real reason he’s being honored. Jimmy stays home and struggles to protect Dylan from the truth about an impending eviction. And Ray takes an unlikely and painful route to basketball stardom in hopes of winning back Taylor.

Modern Family - "Wine Weekend" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The family goes on a wine tasting trip and stays in Haley’s new boss’ country house where the only rule is: Don’t touch the tiara! Meanwhile, Gloria and Mitch are invited to a party at Oprah’s house but can’t bring anyone else.

American Housewife - "It's Hard to Say Goodbye" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Katie and Greg struggle to help the kids accept loss as a family friend suddenly passes away and as their pet pig, Hans Gruber, must be returned to his natural habitat.

Schitt's Creek - "The Gesture" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
David looks for a way to reconcile with Patrick after spending time away from him; Moira pitches the idea of a singles week event.

grown-ish - "Crew Love" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The crew prepares for Freshman Formal; Jazz revels in a new relationship.

Alone Together - "Property Management" (Freeform, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Benji and Esther get swept up in the allure of retirement life.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Wednesday, March 21

  • Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Luis) - Watch Charlie on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Monty/Out of Practice/Arrested Development) - Henry appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World) - Sabrina is a musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Keri Russell (Running Wilde) - Keri visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kim Matula (LA to Vegas) - Kim stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Krysten appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Mila Kunis (That '70s Show/Family Guy) - Mila appears The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together/The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement) - Jenna and Oliver are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie visits The Wendy Williams Show and Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Jones and Natalie Zea (The Detour) - Jason and Natalie are guests on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Eric Christian Olsen (The Loop) - Eric appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/The Louie Show/Life with Louie) - Louie opens up about his alcoholic father's rough childhood – and why he doesn't hold anything against him today on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jason George (Eve) - Jason talks about Station 19 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • Kyle MacLachlan (Sex and the City) - Kyle talks about Portlandia on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove talks about Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the BUILD Series at 12pm.
  • Liv Hewson (Santa Clarita Diet) - Liv talks about Santa Clarita Diet on the BUILD Series at 4pm.