‘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.