You Say You Want a Revolution: One of the top TV events of the 1970s was The Kent Chronicles, three movies based on John Jakes’ Bicentennial Trilogy. Andrew Stevens plays Phillip Kent, the illegitimate son of a British duke who travels through England, France and America for his rightful inheritance against the backdrop of the dramatic birth of a new nation in the 18th century. The 8 ½ hour saga that includes “The Bastard,” “The Rebels” and “The Seeker,” also showcases Kim Cattrall, William Shatner, Lorne Greene, Don Johnson, Delta Burke, Ross Martin, Peter Graves as George Washington, and Tom Bosley as Benjamin Franklin.
Stand In the Place That You Live: One of the most irreverent TV series ever to hit the airwaves was Get A Life: The Complete Series, featuring Chris Elliott as Chris Peterson, an aging paperboy living above his parents’ garage, who is determined to remain (and act) juvenile no matter what the situation. Featuring Elinor Donahue, Bob Elliott (Chris’s legendary comic father), Robin Riker, Sam Robards and Brian-Doyle Murray, the Fox show that ran from 1990-1992 is offered in a five-disc, 35 episode, extra-packed set.
Alice Keeper: Inspired by Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Alice starred Linda Lavin as Alice Hyatt, a recently widowed aspiring singer, transplanted to Phoenix from New York City with her son (Phillip McKeon), who takes a waitressing job at Mel’s Diner to pay the bills. The show ran on CBS for an impressive nine years, from 1976 to 1985, and the three-disc set Alice: The Complete First Season includes the first 24 episodes. One of the Emmy-winning show’s best assets was its cast, which included Polly Holliday as good server Flo (who eventually had her own spin-off series), and Vic Tayback as Mel, the joint’s owner.
Alpha (Sure) Bet: In Alphas: Season One, a group of folks with extraordinary powers use their abilities to tackle supervillains in an exciting science fiction series showcased on the Syfy Network. David Strathairn plays neurologist/psychologist Dr. Rosen, the leader of the group, while Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Laura Mennell, and Malik Yoba are the amazingly gifted people working for the top-secret government force. All 11 episodes, along with featurettes and deleted scenes, are available in a three-disc set. But if you had some of the alphas’ powers, you’d already know that.
Cashless Cuties: 2 Broke Girls: The Complete First Season stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as newly-minted if unlikely BFFs waitressing together at a Brooklyn diner. Dennings is pure working class, while Behrs is the once-pampered daughter of a billionaire who lost all of his cash after it was discovered he running a Ponzi scheme. Their dream is to open a cupcake store, but first they have to get through their daily grind, dealing with quirky customers, a flirtatious cook and a bizarre manager. Garrett Morris and Jennifer Coolidge also star.
Perfect Grammer: In what is a major shift from his typical TV persona, Kelsey Grammer excels as the lead character in the acclaimed Starz series Boss: Season One. He plays Tom Kane, the ruthless mayor of Chicago who happens to have a personal secret that threatens the stability of his hard-won political empire. Gritty Windy City locations, no-holds-barred dialogue and a fascinating storyline, bolstered by Grammer’s tour-de-force performance and a supporting cast that includes Connie Nielsen, Martin Donovan and Kathleen Robertson make Boss, well, boss. This three-disc set includes eight electrifying episodes.
Brothers In Arms: Strike Back: Cinemax Season One, a British series from Sky TV and Cinemax, delivers action, espionage and, yes, sex, in heavy dollops. The focus is on a counterterrorism group called Section 20. Two top commandoes working for the unit are no-nonsense Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton, a Yank with Delta Force experience. The pair battle terrorists in the world’s hotspots, including the Middle East, Africa and Europe. All ten volumes of the show are available on a three-disc set.
Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?: A first-rate treatment of the classic novel by Edward Bulwer-Lyton, The Last Days Of Pompeii is an epic miniseries from 1984 that was broadcast on ABC. The production offered first-rate production elements, a top-notch cast and an involving, complex story about the people in the resort town near Naples that was frequented by the rich and powerful of Roman society in AD 79 while the threat of Mt. Vesuvius looms in the background. Laurence Olivier, Franco Nero, Ned Beatty, Lesley Anne-Down, Olivia Hussey, Duncan Regehr and Ernest Borgnine head the fine cast.
On The Way: Expect to see announcements soon on the following TV shows making their DVD debuts:
Hatfields & McCoys: The infamous feud between Appalachian families becomes an impressive History Channel (not-so) minseries with Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Jena Malone, Powers Boothe and Tom Berenger.
Person of Interest: A computer genius (Michael Emerson) teams with a gangster (Jim Caviezel) to halt crimes before they occur, thanks to the use of a computer that tracks potential terrorists.
Scandal: Kerry Washington plays the former White House communications director who becomes the Beltway’s top “fixer” when it comes to problems, political and otherwise, in this drama from Shonda Rimes (Grey’s Anatomy).
Suburgatory: After he discovers a box of unused condoms in his teenage daughter’s room, architect Jeremy Sisto decides to move from Manhattan to the suburbs much to daughter Jane Levy’s dismay. In the ‘burbs, Levy learns that neighbors, students and parents are a little odder than she expected away from the city. Ana Gasteyer, Chris Parnell and Jay Mohr also star.
Homeland: A critical smash that airs on Showtime, this intense drama stars Clare Danes as a CIA operative-turned-terrorism expert who believes a decorated and celebrated U.S. Marine (Damien Lewis) rescued from the Middle East may have ties to Al Qaeda.
Peter Gunn: That cool Henry Mancini jazz theme is forever etched in our memory as the signature tune of Blake Edwards’ private eye show. Craig Stevens was the sophisticated investigator who operated out of a waterfront club called Mother’s and whose singer girlfriend was played by Lola Albright.
Yancy Derringer: Jock Mahoney plays the title character, a former Confederate Army soldier who moves back to New Orleans after the Civil War and runs a riverboat while he keeps the peace and works for the Secret Service using his derringer, knife and fists. He has a Native-American sidekick (X Brands) and a gal pal (Frances Bergen) who owns a gambling hall.
We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments for these and other titles.