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


FOLLOW ME

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!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, April 21

The Simpsons - "Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Krusty releases an all-female reboot of "Itchy and Scratchy," so Bart and his friends decide to boycott the show.

Bob's Burgers - "Bobby Driver" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob agrees to drive professional quilter Edith around town after she convinces him to help her get revenge; the kids attend a lavish "Gatsby"-themed birthday party; Linda helps Teddy expand his taste palate.

The Simpsons - "E My Sports" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
As Bart begins to excel in video game competitions, Homer discovers a passion for coaching him; Lisa attempts to bring Homer back to reality, but the plan causes chaos.

Bob's Burgers - "Nightmare on Ocean Avenue Street" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The kids set out for their regular Halloween shenanigans, but when everyone's candy bags start mysteriously disappearing, it's up to Tina, Louise and Gene to find the culprit.

Family Guy - "No Giggity, No Doubt" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When the guys volunteer to chaperone the high school prom, Quagmire hits it off with Courtney only to discover that she is his daughter.

Family Guy - "You Can't Handle the Booth" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Griffins provide DVD commentary on a recent episode and reveal never-before-told drama between Peter and Lois.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 15)

Friday, April 19

  • Beth Behrs (The Neighborhood/2 Broke Girls) - Watch Beth on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Henry Winkler (Barry/Out of Practice/Happy Days) - Henry appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Billy Crystal (Soap/The Comedians) - Billy is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Sarah Chalke (How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)/Mad Love/Scrubs/Roseanne) - Sarah appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tichina Arnold (The Neighborhood/Survivor's Remorse/Happily Divorced/Everybody Hates Chris/Martin) - Tichina guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP/Scream Queens) - Keke guest co-hosts ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Bill Hader (BarrY) - Bill talks about Barry on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Rick Fox (The Game/Mr. Box Office) - Rick talks about Morning Show Mysteries: Countdown to Murder on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Jake Choi (Single Parents) - Jake talks about Single Parents on the BUILD Series at 11am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April)

Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season

02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
04/02 - Archer: Danger Island - The Complete Season Nine
04/09 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fifth Season
04/12 - Evening Shade - The Complete Collection
04/16 - The Big C - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
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