The Best

The best producer of boxed sets of TV shows on DVD is Paul Brownstein. No one else comes close. His love of television is obvious in his brilliant work on DVD sets for shows like THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, GUNSMOKE and now THE WILD WILD WEST. The prints are terrific, the menus are clever and vibrant, and he goes out of his way to jam-pack his sets with amazing, rare, and informative supplemental material.  His sets have all the usual stuff… and far, far more.  The GUNSMOKE set, for example, includes behind-the-scenes home movies from Dennis Weaver, appearances from James Arness and Dennis Weaver on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW, an Amanda Blake interview on the MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW, Emmy Award appearances by the cast,  network promos, interviews from The Western Channel, a video of a  GUNSMOKE retrospective held at the Museum of Broadcasting, promos, bloopers, and a huge number of audio commentaries… and I’m only scratching the surface of what’s offered. 

This week, I bought his  THE WILD WILD WEST boxed set and, once again, he’s done incredible work. The set includes all the usual extras and so much more, like audio tracks from the original scoring sessions for the main title theme with alternate versions and aborted takes (a rare find which is worth the price of the set alone),  the original pilot main title sequence, network promos, and audio interviews with the composer, various writers,  the studio casting exec, special effects person. It’s a TV fan’s wet dream.

Some savvy studio should put Paul in charge of ALL their TV boxed sets…because he simply does it better than anybody.

2 thoughts on “The Best”

  1. Picked it up today…anyone who remembers the 60’s era of television fondly should indulge in this one! Lee’s right…the extras alone are worth the cost. (All of 29.95 at Wal-Mart).
    Also, for what it’s worth, NIGHT STALKER is out, including the four episodes never aired. I grabbed it for the sake of completion, but there’s an intriguing interview with Frank Spotnitz that was worth it.

  2. I agree with you to a point.

    The best producer of boxed sets of TV shows in DVD is Andrew J. Klyde, producer of BONANZA (CBS Home Entertainment), THE HIGH CHAPARRAL (Shout Factory) and GUNSMOKE (CBS Home Entertainment). Working with “stone knives and bearskins” (a reference every STAR TREK enthusiast should recognize) he has managed to nevertheless come up with some pretty amazing bonus features to supplement the episodes. Back in the heyday (mid-2000s) of Paul Brownstein, we could expect some pretty impressive stuff. But now, in an increasingly exclusively streaming world, bonus features — not to mention DVDs and blu-rays themselves — are becoming increasingly rare.

    Hats off to Klyde and his ability to stretch a budget to consistently give viewers gems like new audio commentaries, extensive photo galleries, vintage appearances of cast members on variety shows, and possibly my favorites, cast commercials. (It’s quite a thrill to see the casts of BONANZA, MY THREE SONS, ROUTE 66, BEWITCHED and THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. tooling around the Ponderosa and Virginia City in brand-new Chevrolets.)

    I know you’re more of a GUNSMOKE than BONANZA man, Lee, but have a peek at some great bonus materials. Start with BONANZA: The Official First Season, then BONANZA: The Official Third and Fourth Seasons for especially nifty extras.

    And keep writing your fantastic blog!


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