Saturday, July 13, 2013

Digital Digest: Netflix Extends CBS Licensing Deal; More Arrested Development in the Works?; Medical Center - The Complete Third Season DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest! This week, we've got all of our regular features (including some Netflix news), along with a review of Medical Center - The Complete Third Season. Let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS

CBS announced this week that they have extended their licensing deal with the streaming service Netflix. Under the new deal, CBS content will be streamed instantly to Netflix, adding new titles including the CW's L.A. Complex, 4400 and CSI: NY.

Speaking of Netflix, it wasn't that long ago that they debuted the fourth season of the series Arrested Development, and at the time they made it clear that those episodes would essentially wrap up the series... maybe. It seems, though, that more could be on the way. So will a fifth season materialize? It sounds like all parties are interested, even after the previous insistence that the fourth season would be the last. Of course, this tends to be more or less the course of things when it comes to the series anyway!

TVShowsOnDVD.com brought two news stories of interest to fans of animated comedies, and September 24 is the date to mark on the calendar for those fans. On that date, Fox will be releasing Family Guy - Volume 11 and American Dad - Volume 8. Both of these releases will be DVD only (so still no Blu-ray for either of these series), but we're glad to see them coming nonetheless.



UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (July 16) has one sitcom release, with Warner Home Video's release of George Lopez - The Complete Third Season. Additionally, CBS has Matlock - The Ninth and Final Season.



BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
 
 

Blog DVD Review: Medical Center - The Complete Third Season (Warner Archive, $49.95)
by skees53

Warner Archive is paging Dr. Joe Gannon (Chad Everett) and Dr. Paul Lochner (James Daly) once again with their release of Medical Center - The Complete Third Season. The classic series, which ran from 1969-1976 on CBS, follows the two surgeons, each from much different generations, in a Los Angeles hospital as they work hard to save lives each and every day. The third season contains 24 episodes from the 1971-1972 season in a six disc set, available only as a MOD title (with some initial pressed copies) from Warner Archive.

The season kicks off with "Blood Line," where a fugitive who is on the run from the law may be the only hope to save his son's life. A highly respected country doctor may not be what he seems to be in "The Imposter." A heart patient risks her life to protect her sterile husband's pride in "Double Jeopardy." In "Circle of Power," a distinguished surgeon may be losing the use of his hands. A husband is being treated for psychological impotence in "The Shattered Man." In "Albatross," a young man's mental handicap is spawning a family tragedy. A surgeon who also happens to be a once-convicted sex offender is accused of child molestation in "Suspected." A charming fraud is risking the life of a young patient in "The Pawn."

Suzanne Pleshette plays a lung cancer victim determined to keep her nightmare a secret in "Conspiracy." A murder takes place in the two part episode "Shock," and the prime suspect hits a bit too close to home for Dr. Lochner. In "Secret," a doctor is driven back to a past of alcoholism. A doctor is torn between two decisions in "The Choice." In "Deadlock," a surgeon's wife is kidnapped, and she will be saved only if he can arrange the death of a certain patient. A man awakes from a three year coma following a car crash in "Awakening," only to find that there were even more consequences to the car crash than just the coma. The season ends with "Conflict," where a rape-murder mystery ends with a shocking confession by a young intern's fiance.

The episodes are unedited, including even the original MGM logo at the end (this was one of the many classic MGM series that ended in the hands of Turner in the '80s, which in turn the Turner library ended in the hands of Warner later). Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "Blood Line" (50:16)
2. "The Corrupted" (50:21)
3. "The Imposter" (50:21)
4. "Double Jeopardy" (50:18)

Disc 2:
5. "The Idol Maker" (50:19)
6. "Circle of Power" (50:19)
7. "The Shattered Man" (50:21)
8. "Albatross" (50:15)

Disc 3:
9. "The Martyr" (50:19)
10. "Suspected" (50:19)
11. "The Loser" (50:19)
12. "The Pawn" (50:17)

Disc 4:
13. "Conspiracy" (50:19)
14. "The Nowhere Child" (49:57)
15. "Shock (Part 1)" (50:19)
16. "Shock (Part 2)" (50:19)

Disc 5:
17. "Fatal Decision" (50:21)
18. "Terror" (50:18)
19. "The Secret" (50:18)
20. "The Choice" (50:09)

Disc 6:
21. "Deadlock" (50:18)
22. "The Awakening" (50:13)
23. "Confession" (50:18)
24. "Conflict" (50:18)

The set comes packaged in a SINGLE Viva Case (which is a bit different from the typical Warner Archive practice of doing "Part 1" and "Part 2" sets for these multi-disc drama series). The cover has a photo of Dr. Gannon preparing a syringe, and on the back, there is a descritpion of the series along with a few episode snapshots. Inside the case, you'll find the six discs, all of which have a photo of an operating room scene with a green tint. Episode titles are printed on each disc. Once again, even though Warner Archive titles are typically MOD releases, this multi-disc set is on pressed DVDs for those purchasing some of the initial copies.

The menus on the set are in line with other Warner Archive releases. On the main menu, there is a Play All option along with a list of episodes. The only artwork on the main menu is the same artwork that is seen on the cover. Once you select an episode, it plays immediately. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.

Warner Archive claims that the episodes on this set are newly remastered, and based upon what I found on here, I am inclined to believe them. Sometimes, that phrase is thrown around a bit carelessly, but the episodes on this set look excellent, far better than I would anticipate from 40 year old episodes. There is only a very minimal amount of grain and debris, and the colors look fine. The audio is fine as well, but there are no closed-captions or subtitles on this set.

The set contains no special features.

This is an excellent collection of episodes, and an excellent series. Fans of classic medical dramas (even those who haven't seen this) are sure to enjoy it. I really enjoy these late '60s and early '70s medical dramas that deal not only with the medical crisis at hand, but also take time to deal with ethical issues and social issues of the time. The series is a lot like Marcus Welby, MD (which coincidentally ran in the exact same seasons as this series on ABC), even down to the "young doctor, old doctor" theme, with this one focusing on the younger doctor and work at the hospital (as opposed to Welby focusing on an older doctor with a more traditional family practice). Still, fans of that show (as well as the healthy fan base of the recently deceased Chad Everett) are sure to enjoy this series, and this particular season of the series.

(4/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Warner Archive

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Medical Center on TV.com


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Who to Follow: Carl Reiner (Twitter), "Actor, Film Director, Author, 12 Emmys, 1 Grammy and a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 3 great kids from 1 great wife"
Claim to Fame: Hopefully, this isn't something that anybody doesn't already know. Carl Reiner has been actively involved in television going all the way back to the earliest days of television in 1950 with Your Show of Shows. Of course, his most memorable claim to fame came in 1961 with the series that he was supposed to star in (but didn't), The Dick Van Dyke Show. He has worked both behind the scenes and on camera on many TV series and movies, and even continues to work actively these days at the age of 92.
Why You Should Follow Him: Hopefully, you don't need too much convincing to know why you should follow a man who could be considered one of the pioneers of television. He is surprisingly active on Twitter and his humor seems to manifest itself naturally. He seems to talk about food quite a bit on Twitter, his career, his professional sidekicks, and occasionally even political and social issues (but he doesn't get too outraged over any of them).
Pick of the Tweets: "If you had told me 10 years ago that one day I'd send out my 200th tweet, I'd have said, "Heavens to Betsy, what the hell is a tweet?" (March 17, 2013)

That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May/June)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 20

The Big Bang Theory - "The Brain Bowl Incubation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After a successful experiment combining their genes, Sheldon will stop at nothing to convince Amy they should procreate. Also, Koothrappali is embarrassed to tell the gang what the new woman he’s dating does for a living.

Life in Pieces - "Awkward Bra Automated Ordained" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dinner gets awkward for Jen and Matt when they find themselves alone without Greg and Colleen. Also, Lark accidentally locks out Greg and Jen from the house, prompting Greg to install a complicated home automation system; Heather and Tim try to sneak wine into an ice skating show to get out of paying at the venue; and John and Joan agree to an impromptu wedding after Colleen mentions that she’s an ordained minister.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 17)

Thursday, July 20

  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - Catch T.J on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Abby Elliott (Odd Mom Out) - Abby appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kate Micucci (Raising Hope/The Big Bang Theory) - Kate is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World) - Jada drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Regina Hall (Grandfathered) - Regina guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Tim Daly (Wings) - Tim is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Linney (The Big C) - Laura talks about Netflix's The Big C on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Steve Guttenberg (Ballers) - Steve talks about HBO's Ballers on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Madison Iseman (Still the King) - Madison talks about CMT's Still the King on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.