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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Munsters TV.com Page


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Saturday, July 20

Mind Your Business - "Choices" (Bounce TV, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Alfonso must make a major career decision while Lucielle's son comes home with a big confession.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 15)

Friday, July 19

  • Kumail Nanjiani (Only Murders in the Building/Bless the Harts/Silicon Valley) - Kumail guest hosts a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Scheer (Black Monday/Fresh Off the Boat/The League) - Watch Paul on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Joey King (Bent) - Joey appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Chris Redd (Kenan/Disjointed) - Chris is a guest on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan) and Rachael Harris (Surviving Jack/In the Motherhood/Notes from the Underbelly) - Brooke and Rachael are guests on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Kerry Washington (UnPrisoned) and Delroy Lindo (UnPrisoned) - Kerry and Delroy talk about UnPrisoned on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.


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