Friday, October 27, 2006

Lifetime and Nick@Nite Schedule Notes; Mini-DVD Review: The Munsters: America's First Family of Fright

Lifetime has announced a schedule change, but it is ONLY for October 31-November 3. I think they will be testing sitcoms Still Standing and Reba a bit because the afternoon airings (12-2pm) of those shows will be moved to 7-9pm for these four days. The Golden Girls and The Nanny will take the afternoon slots on these four days. Maybe this is for more exposure for Still Standing and Reba to try and lure more of an audience? No idea, but we do know that this change is happening for four days next week. Click here to view them in a list form.
And Nick@Nite has announced that the end of the year marathon will be...The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! Yes, you will see non-stop Fresh Prince from Dec. 11-14, all night (9pm-6am) long. What else did you think it was going to be? I thought it was for sure Fresh Prince, but Roseanne would have been an option as well.

Halloween is just around the corner and we will celebrate by giving you a review of The Munsters: First Family of Fright DVD set from Image Entertainment. See below for the review. But for now don't forget to watch a 25-hour marathon of The Munsters tomorrow on TV Land! Why 25-hours? Because tomorrow Daylight Savings time ends, so don't forget to turn your clocks back an hour. So we will get an extra hour of sleep! This marathon will sort of be a farewell marathon for the show since its contract expires after October 31 (how fitting).
And don't forget to watch It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC. The show will be uncut this year! Because it is the 40th anniversary for that classic special and like all Charlie Brown holiday specials, it is a tradition for Americans to watch it every year! It's your duty! Forget the World Series for an hour. The classic special will be followed by a bonus special, the 1972 show You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, since Election Day is right around the corner, too.

Today we take a look at Image Entertainment's The Munsters: America's First Family of Fright DVD. See Shawn Eaton's mini-DVD review of The Munsters: America's First Family of Fright.

The Munsters: America's First Family of Fright (Image, $18.99) brings us lots of information on the classic TV. The Munsters, America's first family of fright, rises from the grave to bring you a stellar set of extras, on this two-disc DVD compilation from Image Entertainment. The Munsters was a sitcom that aired from 1964 to 1966, running a total of 72 episodes, that featured Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster, Yvonne DeCarlo as Lily Munster, Al Lewis as Grandpa, Butch Patrick as Eddie with Beverly Owen and Pat Priest sharing the duties of Marilyn. Debbie Watson would go on to play Marilyn in the film "Munster, Go Home." The main box art features a nice shot of The Munsters -- in color -- and in a photo frame. There are two discs in the set. The first disc contains four full-length documentaries.

Here's what is on the first disc:
* The Munsters: America's First Family of Fright (approx. 43 minutes), which is an actuality, the TV-ography, or Biography, that aired on the A&E channel and can also be found on the Season 2 box set of "The Munsters". It's a general summary of the series, from conception, to casting, until the end. A very nice documentary.
* Fred Gwynne: More Than A Munster (approx. 44 minutes), which again, is actually the A&E Biography of Fred Gwynne. This two, can also be found on the season 2 box set of "The Munsters." Topics range from his time on "Car 54, Where Are You?" to his time on "The Munsters" and his time afterwards, in which he was sadly type-casted.
* Al Lewis: Forever Grandpa (approx. 44 minutes), which is, once again, the A&E Biography of Al Lewis. This too can be found on Season 2 of "The Munsters" which is available on DVD. Topics discussed are his time on "The Munsters" as well as his time afterwards in which he was a restaurateur, a basketball scout and even a political candidate!
* Yvonne De Carlo: Gilded Lily (approx. 44 minutes), and for the fourth time, this is just the A&E Biography of Yvonne DeCarlo. This too can be found on the Season 2 box set of "The Munsters." Topic range from her time as a movie actress in the 1940s and 1950s to her time on "The Munsters" and it's filled with television clips, rare photos and interviews with family and friends.

The second disc contains all the fantastic bonus features! This one is a MUST have for hardcore fans of "The Munsters." Here is a rundown of what's available.
* "My Fair Munster" pilot presentation. When you select this, it takes you to a sub-menu where it lists two selections: "Presentation #1" which is the first unseen pilot for "The Munsters", which is 15 minutes in length. It's basically just "The Munsters" episode "My Fair Munster" with a different cast. Beverly Owen is Marilyn, Al Lewis is Grandpa and Fred Gwynne is Herman, but with Joan Marshall as Phoebe (not Lily) and Happy Derman as Eddie. You also get to see the opening credits. "Presentation #2" is more or less the same, same pilot premise, just with Yvonne DeCarlo as Lily. It runs about 10 minutes and opening credits are there too.
* The Munsters un-aired main title sequence with Portuguese subtitles. Just the opening credits. Runs about 46 seconds. The music is about the only thing different. It's the same music heard in the first season, just a little different, and it features a less made up Butch Patrick as Eddie.
* "Seven Wonderful Nights" is a CBS special that was hosted by Buddy Ebsen back in 1964. We only see the 2 minute segment that introduces "The Munsters."
* "CBS Network Promos" is what it says: promos. There are 4 to choose from.
* "Wayne and Schuster Take an Affectionate Look at the Monsters". It's a 4 minute segment in which they talk about "The Munsters" (or "Monsters" as it is spelled on the special).
* "Marineland Carnival" is a 1 minute promo of "The Munsters" going to Marineland.
* "Big G, Little O" is a 31 second commercial featuring Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne and Yvonne De Carlo for the Cheerios cereal.
* "Munster, Go Home" the 2 minute theatrical trailer for "The Munsters" big screen flick.
* "Munster, Go Home" TV spots. There are 4 different commercials for the movie.
* "Syndication TV Spots" is what it says. There are 5 different commercials for "The Munsters" in syndication.
* "Universal Newsreels" there are three different newsreels. The first "New Studio Center" is a tour of Studio Center and features the Munsters house. It runs about 1 minute. The second "Santa's in Town" is another 1 minute news reel. And finally, "Movie Munsters" newsreel, which runs about 50 seconds is a newsreel about the Munsters movie.
* "It's What's Happening Baby" (with Murray The "K") - a strange commercial that runs about 2 minutes in length.
* "Bonus Interviews" - A list of interviews with Al Lewis, Yvonne De Carlo, Butch Patrick, Beverly Owen, Pat Priest and Debbie Watson. The menu for this selection lists the name and you can select them, and you go to another sub-menu which lets you select the topic they discuss. Most of them appear to be fairly new interviews. Al Lewis' appears to be from around 2000 or so. What's interesting is seeing Yvonne DeCarlo. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of her in the recent years! She has aged well but looks completely different! I almost didn't even recognize her! Fantastic interviews. A must see!
There are chapter skips on the documentaries. The picture varies, naturally. It's mostly in great condition, but for the lost pilot and promotional footage, it's clearly grainy at times and the color is off on some things, but that's to be expected.
In conclusion, this is an awesome set that any fan of "The Munsters" should own. The bonus material is just phenomenal! A must have!

-- Reviewed by Shawn Eaton
(5/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Munsters TV.com Page


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, September 26

The Simpsons - "The Star of the Backstage" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A musical comes to life in Springfield as Marge stages a revival of her beloved high school show -- but her wonderful memories are threatened by the return of a rival from the past.

The Great North - "Brace/Off Adventure" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Judy embarks on a journey after getting some unexpected news from the dentist.

Bob's Burgers - "Manic Pixie Crap Show" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Louise must pay a debt to Millie by attending the Pixie Princess Promenade; a bouquet in the shape of a dog forces Linda to confront her past.

Family Guy - "LASIK Instinct" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
With her vision waning, Lois elects to get LASIK surgery but exploits her new disability for monetary gain; Peter, Chris and Stewie must partake in all the activities with Doug that his father neglects.

Wellington Paranormal - "Mobots" (The CW, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Officer Minogue meets Officer O'Leary's mom when they use her house for a stakeout to investigate why a mass quantity of obsolete electronics goes missing.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 20)

Friday, September 24

  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends/Muddling Through/Ferris Bueller/Molloy) - Watch Jennifer on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She will also be on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Dave "Lil Dicky" Burd (Dave) - Dave appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Hannah Einbinder (Hacks) - Hannah is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Phil Dunster (Ted Lasso) - Phil appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Liza Koshy (Liza on Demand) - Liza chats about My Little Pony on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Arsenio Hall (Arsenio) - Arsenio guest hosts The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Together/New Girl/Happy Endings) - Damon talks about Peacock's Frogger on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June-September)

Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/07 - No Activity - Season 2
07/13 - The Unicorn - Season 2
07/20 - Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season
07/27 - Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Deluxe Edition (100 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Standard Edition (50 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/24 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season 2
09/07 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
09/21 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
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