CW Movie ‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ Due on Digital and DVD Dec. 14

The Waltons’ Homecoming, a feature-length film commemorating the original holiday film that launched the long-running family drama series “The Waltons,” will be available on digital and DVD Dec. 14 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment following its broadcast premiere on The CW Nov. 28.

The film stars Logan Shroyer (“This Is Us”) as John Boy Walton, Bellamy Young (“Scandal,” “Prodigal Son”) as Olivia Walton, Ben Lawson (“Firefly Lane”) as John Walton Sr., and Richard Thomas (“The Americans,” “The Waltons”) reprises his role as the adult John Boy and narrator.

The Waltons’ Homecoming is set in the 1933 Depression Era and is told through the eyes of John Boy, the 17-year-old eldest child of John and Olivia Walton. His mother expects John Boy to help her raise his sisters and brothers, and his father expects him to follow in his footsteps to help support the family but secretly, John Boy wants to be a writer. Times are hard enough in 1933, but to make matters worse, it looked to be the Waltons’ first Christmas without John Sr. When Olivia receives a letter that John Sr. is planning to make it home for Christmas after all, the family is thrilled and races to prepare for his homecoming. But when a storm threatens his arrival on Christmas Eve and John Sr. is nowhere to be found, Olivia sends John Boy out into the night to find his daddy — a journey that will change John Boy’s life forever.

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The Waltons’ Homecoming also stars Marcelle LeBlanc as Mary Ellen Walton, Christian Finlayson (The Gifted) as Jason Walton, Tatum Sue Matthews as Erin Walton, Samuel Goergen as Jim Bob Walton, Callaway Corrick as Elizabeth Walton, Alpha Trivette as Grandpa Walton,  Rebecca Koon (“The Walking Dead”) as Grandma Walton, Jacinte Blankenship (Just Mercy) as Rose Dooly, Arianna Rosario (West Side Story) as Maggie Sikes, with special appearances by legendary musicians and singers Marilyn McCoo as Sister Harriet and Billy Davis, Jr. as Brother William.

Four David Susskind Archive Titles Due on DVD and Digital From MVD

Four titles from the David Susskind Archive — The Paul Newman Trilogy, The Power and the Glory, Harvey and The Bridge of San Luis Rey — are being released on DVD and digital this fall from MVD Entertainment Group.

Three early live TV performances starring Paul Newman as a college kid, a clothing manufacturer and a cowardly soldier are available Oct. 5 in The Paul Newman Trilogy. Produced by David Susskind for inclusion in various TV anthology series, these shows have not been seen since their original air dates in 1956-57. Featuring all-star casts, headed by Newman, including Jack Lord, Nehemiah Persoff, Sydney Pollack and Frank Campanella, each episode contains the original commercials and previews of future shows. “Five in Judgment” has two hitchhiking college kids forced to seek shelter from a storm in a small town diner where they’re falsely accused of committing murder. The diner customers and owner terrorize the boys in the belief they committed the murder, only to discover the horrible truth. “The Rag Jungle” has Newman working for his father as a clothing manufacturer. They run up against racketeers demanding protection money, Newman refuses to pay and after his father is attacked, he organizes other manufacturers to stand up against the gangsters. “The Army Game” portrays Newman as a spoiled mama’s boy, a nine letter man in college and a narcissist who doesn’t want to be in the Army. His efforts to get a discharge anger his friends and barrack mates and it’s not until he’s attacked in the barracks that he’s given his discharge.

Also due Oct. 5 is The Power and the Glory (1961), based on the Graham Green novel. In the film, set in the 1930s, a cynical Catholic priest is sent to Mexico to preach in post-revolution Mexico: a cleric who risks his life by continuing to conduct the Catholic Mass in secret after the totalitarian government has outlawed the Catholic Church. In order to confer the Christian sacraments, the priest must have wine but his attempts to obtain wine will call attention to his clandestine activities. Featuring a cast with multiple Oscar winners, the film was released theatrically in Europe and was nominated for an Emmy and DGA awards. The novel was recommended reading by Barack Obama in 2008.

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Due Nov. 9 is Harvey (1958). The classic stage hit gets the Hollywood treatment in the story of Elwood P. Dowd, an endlessly pleasant and delightfully eccentric bachelor living in a small town that isn’t aware that its newest citizen is an invisible, 6’3″ white rabbit named “Harvey” that only he sees. After his sister tries to commit him to a mental institution, Elwood and Harvey become the catalysts for the family to heal. Featuring an all-star cast (Art Carney, Larry Blyden, Fred Gwynne, Marion Lorne, Elizabeth Montgomery, Charlotte Rae, Jack Weston), the film master elements were provided by the Paley Center for Media. The novel won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize.

In The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1958), available Dec. 14, a friar is tried by the Inquisition for questioning God’s intentions when five die in the collapse of an Andean bridge. In early 18th century Peru (1714), an old Inca rope bridge over a gorge in the Andes, collapses, plunging five travelers to their deaths. Brother Juniper, who was within minutes of being on the bridge himself, becomes obsessed with discovering how five people of differing class and circumstances came to be on the bridge at that moment. The Catholic friar wants to know if it was mere existential happenstance or part of God’s cosmic plan. After researching the lives of the victims for five years and publishing his findings in a book, he is accused of heresy by the worldly Archbishop of Lima and put on trial for his life by the Inquisition. Starring Judith Anderson (who received an Emmy nomination for her role) and Theodore Bikel, Hume Cronyn, Rita Gam, Viveca Lindfors and Kurt Kaznar, the film originally aired as part of “Dupont Show of the Month.” The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder’s second novel, won a Pulitzer Prize and is  No. 37 on the American Modern Library’s list of “100 Best 20th Century Novels.”

HBO Max to Debut ‘Friends: The Reunion’ Special May 27

HBO Max will debut the “Friends: The Reunion” special on May 27, the one-year anniversary of HBO Max’s launch.

“Friends” stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer return to the iconic comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank for an unscripted celebration of the show.

The special will feature a variety of special guests including David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon and Malala Yousafzai.

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Ben Winston directed the special and executive produced along with “Friends” executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. The special hails from Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon, Fulwell 73 Productions and Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer executive produced the special. Emma Conway, James Longman and Stacey Thomas-Muir co-executive produced.

The streamer also released a teaser:

Will Smith and ‘Fresh Prince’ Cast Reunite to Tape Special for HBO Max

Will Smith released two first-look photos at the 30th anniversary Sept. 10 taping for the upcoming “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion special from Westbrook Media.

Will Smith and Janet Hubert

Smith was joined by series regulars Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid and Alfonso Ribeiro as well as recurring co-star DJ Jazzy Jeff for a reunion on set in the Banks’ home in this one-time special.

Surprising the rest of the cast, Smith revealed that he sat down Sept. 9 with Janet Hubert, who originated the role of Aunt Viv, for the first time in 27 years for a reunion and a candid conversation.

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As previously announced, the special will include music, dancing and more special surprise guests in honor of the series that ran for six seasons and 148 episodes.

Produced by Westbrook Media, the reunion will launch exclusively on HBO Max around Thanksgiving. HBO Max is the exclusive SVOD home of the full original series library in the United States.

Shout! Announces Complete Series of ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ Will Be Available for Streaming June 1

All 11 seasons of “The Carol Burnett Show” will be available June 1 for viewing on streaming platforms from Shout! Factory TV.

On May 30 and May 31, Shout! Factory TV will kick things off by celebrating the release with a weekend-long marathon.

“The Carol Burnett Show” will be available for streaming-on-demand across Shout! Factory TV platforms, on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV-branded channels, including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.

Many of the episodes included in the streaming release will be available to watch for the first time since the original broadcast more than 40 years ago. The comedy legend, who turned 87 on April 26, worked with Shout! Factory to find the long-lost masters of these episodes.

Shout! Factory TV will celebrate the streaming launch by hosting “The Carol Burnett Show” marathon, which will be streaming curated episodes of the classic show all weekend long on May 30 and May 31. The marathon can be viewed on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and the following digital streaming platforms: Twitch, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, YouTube, Redbox, Vizio, Pluto TV, IMDb, and STIRR. Viewers will also be able to chat live on Shout! Factory TV’s Twitch channel and the Shout! Factory YouTube channel, and answer trivia questions on Twitter @ShoutFactoryTV.

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Burnett and her cast of Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman and Lyle Waggoner were among the originators of the sketch comedy format. Cited as one of the best TV shows of all time by TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Rolling Stone and others, “The Carol Burnett Show” ended its 11-year run three years after “Saturday Night Live” started in 1975.

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Over 11 seasons, “The Carol Burnett Show” featured a who’s-who of stars from film, TV and music, including Betty White, Steve Martin, Carl Reiner, Lucille Ball, George Carlin, Cher, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Roddy McDowall, The Smothers Brothers, Bernadette Peters, Sammy Davis, Jr., Lily Tomlin, Bing Crosby, Ken Berry, Madeline Kahn, Steve Lawrence and Jim Nabors, among others.

‘The Shield’ Series Set Coming to Blu-ray From Mill Creek Entertainment

The entire series set of “The Shield” will come out on Blu-ray Dec. 18 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

The collection includes all 88 fully restored episodes in high-definition from the series’ seven season run, which ended in 2008. Packaged in a digi-book with 18 Blu-ray discs, the set retails at $229.98.

“The Shield” stars Michael Chiklis as antihero Detective Vic Mackey, who runs his elite Strike Team under his own set of rules as he tries to maintain balance in the criminal ecosystem on the streets of Los Angeles.

The set is “the exclamation point to the legacy of ‘The Shield,’” said series creator Shawn Ryan in a statement. “A high-definition restoration was not possible until now,” he stated.

A new patented process allowed the entire series to undergo a 4K transfer and restoration from the 16mm film elements, “preserving the intentional grit and raw texture that’s unique to this series,” according to a Mill Creek release.

“We are thrilled to be able to present ‘The Shield’ in its entirety, available for the first time on Blu-ray having been masterfully restored in widescreen, high definition,” said Barrett Evans, VP of marketing and product development for Mill Creek Entertainment, in a statement. “The series had a monumental impact on television when it debuted, and its themes and subject matter are still poignant and relevant today.”

Bonus features include an all-new cast reunion, writers panel featurette, and a retrospective on the landmark series. For the release extras, Mill Creek Entertainment is orchestrating a reunion with the principal cast and crew, including Shawn Ryan, Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins, Jay Karnes, Benito Martinez, CCH Pounder, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, Kenny Johnson, David Rees Snell, Paula Garcés and David Marciano. Also included on this special Blu-ray release will be a writers’ panel from the ATX Festival, featuring Ryan, Kurt Sutter and Glen Mazzara, plus interviews with the executives and critics who framed and followed the show as it changed the television landscape.

“’The Shield’ redefined cable television and paved the way for a new level of hard-hitting shows that followed,” says J.W. Starrett, director of product development for Mill Creek Entertainment, in a statement. “Getting the cast and crew back together 10 years after the final episode aired gives some really interesting insight and fascinating stories about their experience working on the show.”

Additional special features will be included from previous DVD releases, as well as new features currently in development. A complete listing will be announced in the coming weeks, according to Mill Creek.

“The Shield” originally aired on FX from 2002-2008.  It won two Golden Globe awards, including Best Television Series – Drama, a Primetime Emmy award and two AFI Awards for “TV Program of the Year.”

This story originally posted July 27, 2018, has been updated to reflect a change in street date from Nov. 6 to Dec. 18.

Classic TV Shows, Rare TV Pilots Among Titles Coming From VCI and MVD This Fall

A collection of rare and “lost” programs from the early days of television are being released this fall on disc by VCI Entertainment and MVD Entertainment Group.

Produced by Jeff Joseph (SabuCat Productions), film archivist, historian, author and producer, the shows have been restored in high definition from the best archival film elements available. Some of the programs have not been seen since they were originally broadcast.

Due Sept .11 is Television’s Lost Classics – Volume One – John Cassavetes on DVD and Blu-ray, which features two dramatic programs starring the actor. Episode one is “Crime in the Streets,” which is from The Elgin Hour (Elgin watches) and was broadcast live on ABC March 8, 1955. Written by Reginald Rose and directed by Sidney Lumet, it stars Robert Preston and a very young Cassavetes. Episode two is “No Right to Kill,” with Cassavetes, Terry Moore and Robert H. Harris. It was part of the Climax! series and was presented by the Chrysler Corp. Broadcast on CBS Aug. 9, 1956, it is based on Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Original commercial messages are included in the episode, as well as a bonus blooper reel from the “Defenders” and “The Nurses” series.

Coming Oct. 9 is Television’s Lost Classics – Volume Two – Rare ‘Pilots’ with four episodes on DVD and Blu-ray. “Case of the Sure Thing” stars Reed Hadley, Louise Currie and Milburn Stone and introduced the series “Racket Squad,” which lasted for three seasons and was nominated for two Primetime Emmys. The program reportedly may have inspired parts of the Hollywood hit The Sting. First broadcast on CBS June 7, 1951, the pilot contains original network commercials as originally broadcast. Directed by Jacques Tourneur, “Cool and Lam” stars Billy Pearson, Benay Venuta, Alison Hayes and Sheila Bromley in a light-hearted, detective yarn featuring characters first created by Erle Stanley Gardner. Bertha Cool runs a detective agency and Donald Lam is her junior partner, hence “Cool and Lam.” “The Life of Riley” features Lon Chaney Jr., Rosemary DeCamp and John Brown. It stars Chaney as Chester Riley and was produced in 1948, but by the time the first season went into full production in 1949, Chaney had been replaced by Jackie Gleason. “Nero Wolfe” stars Kurt Kasznar, William Shatner and Alexander Scourby in another one-off production based on characters created by Rex Stout. Also included on the disc is a bonus CBS blooper reel hosted by James Arness.

Additional volumes are planned with the third in the series already in production for release in late 2018.

Also on tap Oct. 9 on DVD is I Married Joan: Classic TV Collection Vol. 4, with 10 episodes. The show, featuring physical humor in the vein of “I Love Lucy,” centers on Joan, a scatterbrained housewife, and her husband, Bradley Stevens, who was a staid and settled domestic court judge. Beverly Wills, Joan Davis’ real-life daughter, also co-starred on the show playing the part of her sister.

Streeting Sept. 11 is the “Boris Karloff Collection” on two DVDs, a compilation of four rare films featuring the horror legend. Films in the collection include Alien Terror, Cult of the Dead, Dance of Death and Torture Zone. In addition to Karloff, the films star Andres Garcia, Carlos East, Enrique Guzman and Christa Linder.

Finally, due Oct. 23 on Blu-ray and DVD is Blood and Black Lace, director Mario Bava’s film about an unscrupulous business operating under the guise of a top fashion house with exotic models running sexual favors, cocaine dealings and blackmail. Bonus features include 2018 commentary by Kat Ellinger, editor-in-chief and author, Diabolique Magazine; 2018 commentary by film historian David Del Valle and director/writer C. Courtney Joyner; a video Interview with Mary Dawne Arden; an archival video interview with star Cameron Mitchell, with Del Valle; an original American theatrical trailer, plus Italian, German and French trailers; bonus trailers of other Bava films; a photo gallery; alternate original Italian or original U.S. theatrical main titles; bonus music tracks by composer Carlo Rustichelli; video comparison of American and European cuts; and a two-sided cover wrap with alternate cover art.

FilmRise Acquires Exclusive U.S. SVOD Rights to ‘CHiPs’

FilmRise has acquired from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution the exclusive U.S. SVOD rights to the 1970s TV show “CHiPs,” starring Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox, according to the company.

The show is available on Prime Video, through FilmRise’s Prime Video Direct self-service program.

“We are thrilled to have concluded a deal with Warner Bros. to bring this classic television favorite to Amazon’s Prime Video audience,” said FilmRise CEO and co-founder Danny Fisher in a statement. “The show is a perfect fit for the Prime Video service, which boasts an ever-expanding catalog of classic film and TV.”

“CHiPs” ran for more than six seasons on NBC. It followed California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers Jon (Wilcox) and Ponch (Estrada) as they patroled the streets of Los Angeles.

FilmRise has also brought other classic TV shows to the Prime platform, including “Hell’s Kitchen” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.”

Original ‘Roseanne’ Series Available to Stream on FilmRise’s Ad-Supported Network

FilmRise has just released the complete original series of “Roseanne” on its ad-supported streaming network.

The series, starring Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, is available to stream for free across FilmRise apps, including on the Roku and Xbox platforms. The company will soon launch “Roseanne” on FilmRise apps across additional platforms, connected TVs, and mobile devices.

ABC recently re-booted the Emmy award-winning sitcom featuring many of the original cast members to strong ratings.

During the original run that aired from 1988 to 1997, “Roseanne” reached No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings, at one point becoming the most watched television show in the United States. The show remained in the top 4 rated shows for six of its nin seasons. Its finale attracted 16 million viewers.

“We are thrilled to offer fans of this unique series an opportunity to watch all of the original ‘Roseanne’ seasons for free on FilmRise ad-supported platforms,” said Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, in a statement. “The original ‘Roseanne’ broke social barriers and connected with millions of viewers, and we are excited to bring this iconic show to the FilmRise streaming network.”

FilmRise licensed the show from Carsey-Werner Television Distribution.

 

Time Life Re-Releasing ‘Wonder Years’ DVDs for 30th Anniversary

Time Life March 13 is re-releasing its DVD boxed sets of “The Wonder Years” for the show’s 30th anniversary.

The Wonder Years: The Complete Series Deluxe Edition, originally released in 2014, is a 26-disc deluxe edition featuring all 115 episodes and nearly 23 hours of extras housed in a mini school locker and includes magnets to custom-design each locker; two “notebooks,” each featuring detailed episode information and production photos, as well as a replica yearbook embellished with signatures from cast members; behind-the-scenes photos and show memorabilia; and liner notes penned by Fred Savage, series creators Neal Marlens and Carol Black, and executive producer Bob Brush.

All 115 episodes are also available in the slimmed down 22-DVD The Wonder Years: The Complete Series Slipcase Edition, originally released in 2016.

The Wonder Years debuted in 1988 for six seasons captured the angst of growing up in suburban middle-class America in the late 1960s, as seen through eyes of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage), from his first kiss with Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) to his friendship with Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) and the ups and downs of the Arnold family. The series would also go on to win 24 awards (and be nominated for 70 more), including multiple Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe and, in 1989, a Peabody Award for pushing the boundaries of the sitcom format and using new modes of storytelling.

Both sets include complete show notes with episode synopses, cast member reflections, “Current Events,” and the soundtrack of more than 300 classic period songs as they were featured in the original broadcasts, including tracks from such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, and Joe Cocker’s unforgettable theme.

Bonus features include highlights from the cast reunion; roundtable discussions with Danica McKellar, Fred Savage and Josh Saviano; the farewell set tour; the one-hour ABC broadcast of the series finale; and exclusive interviews with the show’s creators and cast including Fred Savage, Danica McKellar, Josh Saviano, Alley Mills, Dan Lauria, Olivia d’Abo and Jason Hervey.

A spokesperson for Time Life said the sets will not include any additional content than what was released before, but that they should be discounted more than 25% at retail compared with the earlier releases.