Detective Story: One of the greatest police detective sagas ever, Columbo: The Complete Series stars Peter Falk as the discombobulated investigator with the tattered trenchcoat in the role that won him Emmy Awards and international recognition. Collected here on 34 discs are 45 episodes of the TV series and 24 of the TV movies, perfect for the Columbo completist. There’s no need to guess the killer in each installment as we learn that from the outset. Just be amazed how the not-so-dapper criminal-sniffing genius Falk figures it all out.
Funnyman Frolics: Talent juggernaut Dick Van Dyke brought his skills at comedy, dancing, singing and clowning around to Van Dyke & Company: The Complete Series, a 1976 variety show. Regulars included Andy Kaufman and Bob Einstein (aka “Super Dave”), and guests included Lola Falana, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Gabe Kaplan and Tom Smothers. All 11 episodes can be found on this four disc set.
New Cook: Coma, Robin Cook’s medical thriller, was a hot book in the 1970s and was followed by a hit movie with Michael Douglas. This new production produced by Ripley and the late Tony Scott, stars Lauren Ambrose as the medical student who tries to figure out why so many patients in a Boston hospital spiral into comas. James Woods and Richard Dreyfuss also star in this gripping two-part suspenser shown originally shown on the A&E Network.
Good Lieutenant: Before he went into space in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Gary Lockwood was featured in The Lieutenant: The Complete Series, Part 1 and The Lieutenant: The Complete Series, Part 2, playing the leader of a USMC rifle platoon. Robert Vaughn, Richard Anderson and Linda Evans also appeared as regulars on the NBC show that ran from 1963-1964 and was created by Star Trek’s Gene Rodenberry. It dealt with the daily activities of life in the military and on the base of Camp Pendleton.
Cummings Attraction: Sarcastic, acerbic, wild…comic Whitney Cummings has been called all this—and more. She brings her brand of no-holds barred humor, seen on Chelsea Lately and in classic Comedy Central “roasts,” to Whitney: Season One, a 22-show set on three discs. Here she plays, well, Whitney Cummings, a brash, almost-30 comic living with longtime noncommittal boyfriend Chris d’Elia. Meanwhile, the couple has a host of oddball friends—played by Zoe Lister Jones, Maulick Pancholy, Dan O’Brien and Rhea Seehorn– who discover love is just out of their grasp.
Not Just Whistling Dixie: Rachel Bilson plays the New York medical intern whose hopes of becoming a big time surgeon are dashed, and who settles for a job with a medical practice in a small town in Georgia. But when the head physician dies, she must deal with control of the practice, and the new friends and foes that come with it, in the CW series Hart of Dixie: The Complete First Season. Jamie King, Cress Wilson and Tim Matheson also star in this five-disc compendium with 22 episodes.
Miami Vice: Magic City: The Complete First Season is set in 1959 and centers on Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the proprietor of Miami’s most glamorous resort. In order to maintain the resort’s standing, Ike must make a deal with a notorious gangster (Danny Huston). Chockfull of violence and sex, the stylish series also stars Steven Strait and Olga Kurylenko. Eight episodes are presented on three discs.
Johnny on the Spot: John Vivyan takes over the role Cary Grant made famous in this 1959-1960 CBS series adaptation of Grant’s 1943 picture Mr. Lucky. Vivyan is the lead character, the slick gambler and head of a casino ship. Vivyan is helped by sidekick Andamo (Ross Martin) girlfriend Maggie (Pippa Scott) and cop associate Lt. Rovacs (Tom Brown). Henry Mancini composed the score to this Blake Edwards production, presented as 34 episodes on four discs.
Father & Son: From Tim Kring, the man behind Heroes, Crossing Jordan and Strange World, comes Touch: The Complete First Season, a psychological drama with Kiefer Sutherland as a baggage handler whose wife died during the September 11 attacks in New York. He has an 11-year-old mute son (David Mazouz) who communicates using cell phones and has an amazing knowledge of numbers. Danny Glover also stars as a professor who believes the boy has special powers. Twelve episodes are offered on three discs.
Abby Normal: Sanctuary: The Complete First Season is a Canadian production that has become a surprise hit on the Syfy Network. The show centers on Dr. Helen Magnus, a 150-plus-year-old scientist who works with a group of powerful creatures and humans called Abnormals, who observe the unusual life around them, occasionally having to step in when one of the creatures turns bad. Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Ryan Robbins and Christopher Heyerdahl star. Thirteen episodes are presented on four discs.