Saturday, August 07, 2010

TCA Summer 2010 Press Tour: Cable; Digital Digest: Adam-12 - Season Five DVD Review (8/10)

Before we get into our weekly digital digest, we want to give you an update from the last two days of the TCA Summer 2010 press tour. Cable networks were up yesterday and today, to close out the tour. We will give you the notable news here. On Friday, the cable portion kicked off with breakfast with The Hub - the new network for kids and their families, launching October 10, 2010 (10-10-10), to 60 million U.S. households, replacing the current Discovery Kids network. The Hub announced acquisitions of popular series with appeal to the network's target audience of children and their families. Among the titles that will join the lineup: comedies Doogie Howser, M.D. and The Wonder Years, and iconic animated series classics Transformers - Generation 1 and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. The Hub will plan their schedule in blocks: Pre-school (ages 2-5; 9am -- 1pm); Kids Afternoon/Kids Prime (ages 6-12; 1pm -6pm); Kids and Family Prime Access (6pm -- 7pm); and Kids and Family Prime (7pm -- 11pm). We will have more on The Hub on Monday, so stay with us!
After The Hub, it was more Discovery Networks with Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Planet Green, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery and TLC. During mid-day, Rainbow Media Networks were up at the panel. WE tv, AMC and IFC. Among the highlights were The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, a new comedy series launching on IFC on Oct. 1 starring David Cross (Arrested Development). The comedy follows the awkward misadventures of an American office temp and convenient liar named Todd Margaret (David Cross). Margaret bluffs his way into a senior sales position heading up the London office for the new energy drink Thunder Muscle. Cross' out-of-control farce reaches epic proportions when his character's gaffes and misfortunes wreak havoc on the city of London. His antics are often fueled by Dave, played by Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners), his mysteriously devious and sometimes useless assistant. Complicating matters is Todd's misplaced attempts to win the affection of Alice, played by Sharon Horgan (Pulling), his uninterested UK love interest. Also at IFC, reruns of short-lived Undeclared launches on Friday, November 5.
After lunch, it was on to Ovation Network and then MTV Networks. For MTVN, on hand were TV Land, Nickelodeon, and MTV. TV Land presented Harry Loves Lisa -- a six-episode docu-soap featuring pop culture sensation Lisa Rinna and her heartthrob husband Harry Hamlin launching Oct. 6. Executive produced by Jason Carbone under his Good Clean Fun banner, it centers on the relationship between Rinna and Hamlin as they navigate together through the highs and lows as a devoted family living a hectic Hollywood lifestyle. Audiences will watch as the two balance their differences in the midst of insane professional lives as working actors and entrepreneurs who are parenting two pre-teen daughters. One of Hollywood's most enduring‪ couples, the Hamlins' contradictory personalities make for amazing chemistry both on-screen and off. TV Land also presented a panel for She's Got the Look, which launches its new season on Aug. 25. Nickelodeon presented about a new movie, Fred: The Movie. Fred (aka "Fred Figglehorn"), one of the most popular internet characters of all time, will land on Nickelodeon in his first-ever feature film. Similar to real-life teenager Lucas Cruikshank's fast-talking, hyperactive YouTube videos that have received upwards of 500 million views, the film will center on Fred's latest adventure in trying to win over his unrequited love, Judy. The movie airs next month. MTV presented on new original drama Teen Wolf coming in 2011. Filled with suspense, horror and the struggle to discover one's true identity, MTV puts a modern spin on one of the most popular classic films of the eighties, MGM's Teen Wolf. They will also debut another drama in 2011 called Skins. Created by Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain, a father and son team at Stormdog Films, the ground-breaking series Skins features an ensemble cast as it navigates complex relationships, the politics of friendship and difficulties of daily life in its formative years.
In the late afternoon A&E Networks were up -- History & A&E. Among the notables were Teach: Tony Danza on A&E airing Fridays at 10 starting Oct. 1. The seven-episode one-hour series chronicles the experience of the veteran film, television and stage star as he steps into the toughest role yet, as a first-year teacher at Philadelphia's largest urban high school. Long before his iconic acting career, which includes roles in ABC sitcoms Taxi and Who's The Boss, Tony Danza received a degree in History Education. During the 2009-2010 school year, he took on his most challenging and rewarding role yet as he stepped into the classroom as a full-time teacher at Philadelphia's Northeast High School. Teach: Tony Danza follows the first year-teacher as he instructs a 10th-grade English class with 26 students in back-to-back 45-minute periods.
Closing out day one was cocktails and dinner with talent and executives from E!, The Style Network and G4 (all from the Comcast Entertainment Group).
Stay tuned tomorrow for a brief recap of today's (Saturday) TCA sessions! And now back to your regularly scheduled blog programming...

Welcome to another edition of Digital Digest! Our normal Digital Digest blogger (skees53) as you know is off for the summer and is missed. As always, we have the latest news, upcoming releases for Tuesday, and our DVD review this week is of a Shout! Factory's Adam-12 - Season Five. One Adam-12, one Adam-12, we have speculation that there will be a DVD review of this series on today's Digital Digest!

DIGITAL NEWS

It was a slow week for sitcoms. The only thing of note really was ABC/Disney announcing The Golden Girls - 25th Anniversary Complete Collection on DVD coming out Nov. 9 at a $149.99 MSRP. View the nice purse packaging, but no info yet if there are any special bonus features. Thank you for being a friend! If you like a Britcom, Warner Home Video of Canada is releasing Coupling - The Complete Series on DVD on Sept. 7 at a CDN $99.90 MSRP. View the news story, and as with Golden Girls, we are not sure if there will be bonus features.

Drama wise, Shout! Factory will release thirtysomething - The Complete Final Season on Nov. 9 at a $59.97 MSRP. Pre-order today.

For more information on titles that we won't cover with full or blog DVD reviews, you can head on over to the news section of TVShowsOnDVD.com for all of the latest details.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (August 10) will not have any sitcom releases. Shout! Factory is releasing Adam 12- Season 5, as we mentioned. Our blog review is below. That's really it for this week, what a slow week. Dog days of summer, indeed!


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

This week's review is Adam-12 - Season Five. The classic police series Adam-12 is the series that was a hit for NBC in the '70s about the Los Angeles Police Department, specifically two patrol officers, Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) and Jim Reed (Kent McCord). The series was created by Jack Webb (who also created and even starred in the series Dragnet), and even though it was a made-for-TV drama series, each and every story in the series was based on a true story from the case files of the Los Angeles Police Department. We have turned this series into a blog review. View our previous full reviews -- Adam-12 - Season 4 DVD -- Adam-12 - Season 3 DVD -- Adam-12 - Season 2 DVD -- Adam-12 - Season 1 DVD (Universal)

DVD Review: Adam-12 - Season Five
by Seth Thrasher

Adam-12 - Season Five (Shout!, $34.93) is out on DVD on Tuesday (August 10), and right off the bat let me just say: that's the most unusual suggested retail price I've ever seen. I've been doing this for six years now, and I've never seen one end in a three before.
Officers Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) and Jim Reed (Kent McCord) return for another siren-blasting season of Jack Webb's police drama classic Adam-12. Real badges, real cars, and real cases – season five finds the partnering police pair in a slew of sticky situations when they face killers, burglars, racketeers, and inebriated traffic directors. A spin-off of NBC's hit Dragnet, season five of Adam-12 features special guests from another Jack Webb series, Emergency! keeping alive the tradition of characters crossing over between the shows.

It's been several years since I've had the privilege of getting to watch this show. That said, I've recently spent a lot of time with the show Adam-12 spun-off from, the aforementioned Dragnet, so I've gotten myself in the mood for police series. Many of you reading this review are going to be more familiar with the show than I am, so I'm not going to spent a lot of time waxing poetic about episodes that I'm not actually that familiar with. Let me just say that in my short time with this DVD set I've come to have a new appreciation for this show. Normally when you see season five and remember a show only ran seven years, you assume that a show is in its "winding down" phase, but episodes like "The Chaser," "Hot Spell," and "Suspended" really prove that not all shows wind down in the home stretch. For the purposes of special guests, I'm going to exclude cast members of Emergency! That said, watching this season will turn up 77 Sunset Strip cast member Edd Byrnes, Micky Dolenz from The Monkees, Rose Marie from The Dick Van Dyke Show, Donna Douglas from The Beverly Hillbillies, Pat Buttram from Green Acres, and finally Joe E. Tata from Beverly Hills, 90210.

Runtimes:

Disc 1
Dirt Duel: 24:33
The Late Baby 24:30
Airdrop: 24:30
Lost and Found: 24:28
Training Wheels: 24:33
Badge Heavy: 24:29

Disc 2
Harry Nobody: 24:29
The Surprise: 24:29
Vendetta: 24:29
The Chaser: 24:26
Hot Spell: 24:31
Gifts and Long Letters: 24:29

Disc 3
O'Brien's Stand: 24:29
Clear with a Civilian (Part 1): 24:27
Clear with a Civilian (Part 2): 24:29
Citizen's Arrest: 484: 24:33
The Beast: 24:31
Killing Ground: 24:30

Disc 4
Night Watch: 24:31
Suspended: 24:28
A Fool and His Money: 24:29
Anatomy of a 415: 24:30
Keeping Tabs: 24:29
Easy Rap: 24:32

Packaging is straightforward and simple: Two slim cases, each holding two discs, with the two slim cases in their usual outer box. Front cover features Malloy and Reed posting – with Malloy talking into a radio. The duo split the two slim case covers. Discs are designed to match the black and white grid layout of the inner artwork.

The menus are well-done, animating in with a combination of show shots and CGI visuals. The main menu is a CGI version of an early '70s police radio. Main theme plays in the background. Episode selection is the left panel of the radio. There are six episodes per disc.

Video quality is very typical for shows of the era. They've cleaned up the video to look as good as it can, but shows from the early '70s are going to have the occasional bits of grain and noise and color fade, and that's just the way it is. You can only restore video to a certain point. The video looks quite good for its era. Audio is serviceable – it won't win any awards for breakthrough in audio transmission, but it does its job well enough. There's really nothing else to say – audio is audio. As long as they don't replace the audio with the sound of ducks quacking, the audio is going to be fine. Chapter stops occur between acts. No bonus features are on this set.

Without bonus features, there's nothing to push this set over-the-top, as it were, but what's presented is still quite good. I got to re-discover a classic show that wasn't quite on my radar prior to the review. I'm now at a point where I'm eagerly awaiting the final two seasons to be released, and I'm also at a point where I'm now likely to consider going back and re-watching older seasons. Obviously, it goes without saying I recommend this set. Bonus features would be nice, but just having another season released is quite good too.

(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Adam-12 on TV.com


LOOKING AHEAD

Come on back right here next week for more news and reviews. In the coming weeks we will have the long awaited blog DVD review of Heroes - Season 4 so stay tuned. And don't forget to read our full DVD reviews, as many sitcoms will be coming fast very soon. Stay with us! Until next time keep it digital, over and out!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, November 24

Andi Mack - "The Snorpion" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Andi invites Amber over for a sleepover; Buffy becomes frustrated when the basketball team captain TJ excludes her from gameplay.

K.C. Undercover - "Deleted!" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Judy's new virus comes up, Judy threatens to send to The Organization there whole secret in the past, so its up to the Coopers to stop Judy and delete the camera footage from telling their secret.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 20)

Friday, November 24

  • Woody Harrelson (Cheers) - Watch Woody on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul is a musical guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Billy is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia appears on a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Reba McEntire (Reba/Malibu Country) - Reba performs on a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Eric appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi stops by The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December)

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest