Saturday, August 14, 2010

Forgotten TV shows I’d like to see available on DVD or Internet streaming

Here’s my top 10 list of good TV shows not available on DVD:

1. Harry O (1974-76)
2. Rich Man, Poor Man (1976)
3. The Word (1978)
4. Brimstone (1998-99)
5. Cupid (1998-99)
6. Robbery Homicide Division (2002-03)
7. Karen Sisco (2003)
8. Miss Match (2003)
9. Ashes to Ashes (2008-10)
10. Cupid (2009)

Harry O

“Harry O” was a private detective show starring David Janssen (“The Fugitive”). Janssen played Harry Orwell, a San Diego cop forced into early retirement after taking a bullet to the back. To support himself, he works as a private investigator.
The critically acclaimed show ran for two seasons on ABC, with two pilot movies and 44 hour-long episodes. (The movies were “Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On” and “Smile, Jenny, You’re Dead.”)
Guest stars included Farrah Fawcett, Jodie Foster, Cab Calloway, Sal Mineo, Anne Archer, Robert Loggia, Roddy McDowall, Kurt Russell and Martin Sheen.

Rich Man, Poor Man

“Rich Man, Poor Man” was a mini-series that aired on ABC in 12 one-hour episodes. It was the first event program of its type and the forerunner for similar literary adaptations such as “Roots.”
It was based on the best-selling 1970 novel by Irwin Shaw and starred Peter Strauss, Nick Nolte and Susan Blakely.
The U.S. DVD release is scheduled for Sept. 28.

The Word

“The Word” was a CBS mini-series based on the novel by Irving Wallace and starring David Janssen. The plot revolves around the discovery of a new gospel purportedly written by Jesus’ younger brother James. Janssen played a public relations executive hired to find out if the document is authentic or a hoax.


“Brimstone” starred Peter Horton as a dead police detective on a mission from the Devil (John Glover) to return 113 spirits who have escaped from Hell to Earth.
Only 13 episodes of the Fox show were aired.


“Cupid” (1998-99) was a comedy-drama series created by Rob Thomas (“Veronica Mars”). It starred Paula Marshall as Dr. Claire Allen, a Chicago psychologist who is given charge of a man named Trevor Hale, played by Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”). Hale believes he is Cupid, sent down from Mt. Olympus by Zeus to connect 100 couples without his powers, as a punishment for his arrogance.
Fifteen episodes of the ABC series were filmed and one was unaired, according to Wikipedia.

Robbery Homicide Division

“Robbery Homicide Division” was a police drama executive produced by Michael Mann (“Miami Vice”). It starred Tom Sizemore as Lt. Sam Cole leading a detective squad dedicated to solving the L.A.’s worst crimes.
Thematically, the CBS show is reminiscent of Mann’s film “Heat.” Stylistically, Mann used “RHD” as an opportunity to test out the high-definition digital cameras he would later employ to great effect when shooting “Collateral,” according to Wikipedia.
The show lasted 13 episodes.

Karen Sisco

“Karen Sisco” was an ABC series about a fictional U.S. marshal created by novelist Elmore Leonard. Carla Gugino played Sisco, a role first played by Jennifer Lopez in the movie “Out of Sight.”
Ten episodes were filmed.

Miss Match

“Miss Match” starred Alicia Silverstone as an attorney who doubles as a matchmaker. The comedy-drama was co-created by Darren Star, who also did “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Melrose Place” and “Sex and the City.”
The NBC series filmed 18 episodes but only eight aired in the U.S., Wikipedia says.

Ashes to Ashes

“Ashes to Ashes” is a time travel and period police show created by the BBC. It tells the story of Alex Drake, a female police officer in London who is shot in 2008 and inexplicably regains consciousness in 1981. It serves as the sequel to the BBC’s “Life on Mars.”
It ran for three seasons, spanning 24 episodes.


“Cupid” (2009) was a reboot of the 1998-99 series by creator Rob Thomas for ABC. The revival starred Bobby Cannavale as Trevor Pierce, who may or may not be Cupid the god of love, and Sarah Paulson as his psychiatrist.
It did even worse than the original, lasting just seven episodes.

These are all noteworthy shows deserving of a release on DVD or, at least, made available for online streaming.

Update: Please check out my Nov. 19, 2014, article on 14 notable TV shows not available on DVD.

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