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Classic TV Blog / TVparty!
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Thursday, September 14, 2006 - 8:12am : Billy Ingram
Superman on DVDComing soon to DVD, click on the title to order or pre-order: Daniel Boone Season 1; Dick Cavett, Hollywood Greats; Bob Newhart - The Complete Fourth Season; Adventures of Superman - The Complete Fifth and Sixth Seasons; Bewitched: Complete Fourth Season;

Thursday, September 14, 2006 - 8:02am : Billy Ingram
I am so far behind the curve in my TV watching. It may surprise you that someone who created the internet's most popular classic TV Website doesn't watch much television, at least not a lot of what's on TV currently. I prefer to watch my shows on DVD - that way I can watch as much or as little as I want.

Appointment TV just doesn't work for me anymore. I can't remember what shows come on when - and why watch those annoying commercials if you don't have to. (Don't even get me started on stations that boost the sound when the commercials come on. That USED to be against the law.)

Watching Lost, 24, Rome and Veronica Mars are a real joy on DVD (you can keep up with the intricate plotlines better), rich treats like Home Movies, South Park and The Sopranos are devoured rapidly.

The reality is, I'm just now starting to watch current TV shows after more than a decade away from the box. I'll let you know about other great programs I discover along the way - many that you already know about - duh!- like Rescue Me...

What I'm watching - and enjoying - on DVD right now:
That Girl, Season One
Rescue Me, Season 2
Perry Mason, Season One

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 11:00am : Billy Ingram
I moved last month, one of a series of events and calamities that have kept me from working (and updating this site) as much as I'd like. Moving isn't generally a pleasurable experience but there were unexpected pleasures.

While going through some old boxes (like panning for gold) I discovered some audio tapes I made as a kid and turned up this audio gem, a lively a duet between Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey. These magnificent performers both played the lead in Hello Dolly on Broadway at different times. This clip was originally captured holding the tape recorder up to the TV so I have no idea what show it was broadcast on but the year was 1974.

I'll have more clips from those tapes for you in the near future, many featuring one of my favorite comedians during the 1970s, George Burns.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 12:25pm : Billy Ingram
Here's a quaint video clip from the TVparty book's CD-Rom - a nicely animated public service spot that ran on the Captain Kangaroo show - along with the original program bumpers. Sadly, there are almost no existing copies of the entire CBS run of Captain Kangaroo.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 8:25am
: Billy Ingram
Will the last person on Earth to start a blog please turn out the lights? Oh, that's me, your TVparty host - and I'm taking this opportunity to share some of the mail we get, requests from readers, ultra-rare video clips, outrages and obtuse observations. ONE WARNING: we're not pulling any punches here. Let's get started...

Reviewing a couple of hundred classic TV DVD collections as I have, you quickly learn which companies really care about the product and want to give the consumer (that's you) as much as possible for your money. One of those DVD leaders was (and maybe still is) R2 Entertainment. Their success was largely because of the guy in charge of production, Brant Berry, who, in word and deed, set out to create the most magnificent DVD packages possible. Examples include The Sonny and Cher Collection, Johnny Carson Collection, Bob Hope and other variety show classics like The Captain & Tennille and Tony Orlando & Dawn. If you purchased any of these DVD sets you know what a quality product each of them was, with lots of extras and a fierce dedication to crisp restoration.

With that in mind, recently I got this note from Anthony of Television Archives in Hawaii. Anthony helps networks, stars and producers track down hard to find broadcasts:

Aloha Billy,
I think I had told you before that I was working on a extra feature network promo compilation for the upcoming Donny & Marie Show on DVD. I worked very hard finding the promos and compiling them from various formats and source tapes I had. I sent the disc to Brant Berry, VP of production at R2 Entertainment (someone you can google his name and he pops up everywhere in relation to the company), he was my contact there and was very excited to receive my disc. I was also assigned to work on other projects involving the Mike Douglas Show, Captain & Tennille as well as other shows. I decided to waive any fees this first time, being nice I guess and simply asked that they credit me for doing this work for them either on the DVD itself and/or DVD box itself. Here is where things start to go wrong....

About a month after I sent the disc, I decided to write Brant and check how things were doing. He always responded to me, even telling me about new projects in the works, he had a excitement and true interest in doing his job and for others helping the production company see the vision of what they wanted to project. Well, time went on and I still never heard from him. Then one day, a few weeks ago, I was perusing the R2 website which oddly enough hasn't had much updates in quite sometime which isn't a good sign. Well, I see Brant's name has been removed as a contact which may explain a few things. Was he was either fired or abruptly quit in a re-organization of the company?

Unfortunately, this re-organization is not working well for them, for starters Toni Tennille in her website blog wants nothing to do with R2 Entertainment and stated as such; after they released their DVD of the variety show everything was set to release their TV specials on DVD this Christmas, but it was abruptly stopped without any warning or contact to them. She felt that was very rude and unprofessional by R2 and says she will seek some other production company to work with her.

Now Donny Osmond has stated he is frustrated with the way things are going with the DVD, He and Marie were on Larry King in June saying the DVD would be released shortly and are now embarrassed that it has been delayed until at least October. Quite frankly I don't think he wants to work with R2 Entertainment again either.

(I believe R2 got its initial boost from Johnny Carson and Bob Hope related material. They seemed to have dropped selling additional Bob Hope material, for whatever reason, and Carson Productions cut back on selling material as well. At one time Carson Productions was selling copies of complete shows for a 100 bucks a piece and I guess about 200 or more shows were bought by various collectors.)

The new person in charge of things is Monica Simmons, she wrote me back, basically stated that "Brant no longer worked for the company and they are in no longer need of my services". That was it. Thanks a lot, I guess! I wrote her back and asked what happened with the material I sent and will it be used in the DVD, she said, "no because production will soon be finishing up and they won't be needing it for this release". Well, they have had it since May so they could have used it. I think anything to do with Brant they wanted to wash their hands with for some odd reason.

You know I'd love to contact Brant and find out what happened, it costs A LOT of money to have a production company but I bet if yourself, Brant, I, and some other people worked on a project we would get it done and the people would like it. I don't like R2's new direction and I'm not sure if they will be producing anymore variety show DVD's- and just think, a few months ago we thought they were amongst the best in all of the various DVD production companies.

Thanks, Anthony

Gee, I wonder what happened? I spoke with Brant a few times over the years and he really is top notch talent, who I'm sure will be picked up eagerly by another company.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
7:45am
: Billy Ingram
Alex Toth Book
We (Billy Ingram and James Counts) have a new book out that I think animation and comic book fans might be interested in - 'Dear John: The Alex Toth Doodle Book.' It's a bit different than any other book I've ever seen before, it's a collection of correspondence and sketches from the master artist Alex Toth's last 25 years. If you know who Alex was, click here for more info on the book. There are very few copies left, I understand, and I haven't heard any serious talk of a second printing - it was released only to comic book stores in August 2006.

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