Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Most of My Three Sons Not Available on DVD or Blu-Ray

Chances are good that if you are an American belonging to the Baby Boom, Generation X, or even possibly Generation Y that you are familiar with the sitcom My Three Sons. It was a highly successful sitcom starring bona fide movie star Fred MacMurray as the widowed father of three sons (hence the title). My Three Sons debuted on ABC in 1960 and then moved to CBS in 1965 when ABC refused pay for the show's conversion to colour. In all, My Three Sons ran twelve seasons, making it the third longest running live-action sitcom after The Jack Benny Programme and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Seven of those seasons it spent in the top twenty shows for the year and ten of them in the top thirty.

Three years after ending its network run, the colour episodes of My Three Sons went into syndication in 1975. The show proved rather successful as a syndicated rerun and would remain a mainstay on American television for decades. Eventually even the early seasons shot in black and white would be seen again. The black and white episodes aired on such venues as Nick at Nite, The Family Channel, TBS, and TV Land. More recently the colour episodes have aired on FamilyNet and ME-TV.

Now one would think that given the show's success its entire run would have been released on DVD and Blu-Ray by now. One would think that at the very least the more popular colour episodes would have been released. Amazingly enough, this is not the case. Only the first two seasons of the show, rarely seen since it first aired, have been released on DVD and nothing has been released on Blu-Ray. What is more, it has been five years since the last batch of episodes were released on DVD.

Given the success of My Three Sons this seems most odd. The show ran for twelve years, longer than any other live action sitcom besides The Jack Benny Programme and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. The colour episodes that had aired on CBS proved rather successful in syndication and aired recently on ME-TV. There is clearly still something of an audience for the show--at least the colour episodes that many younger Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, and possibly even Gen Yers grew up with. I can only guess that perhaps the first four sets of My Three Sons DVDs (The First Season: Volume 1, The First Season Volume 2, The Second Season Volume 1, and The Second Season Volume 2) did not sell well. Of course, there is no reason that they really should have. They were rarely seen in syndication and very few people probably even remember them. I have to suspect that if they had stared with the later colour seasons with which most people are familiar, the DVD sets would have sold better.

At any rate, My Three Sons not being on DVD seems like an enormous oversight, especially when much, much less successful and even some rather obscure shows have been released on DVD. It seems to me that if CBS Home Entertainment were to release the show on DVD--at least the colour episodes--they might be surprised by the amount of money they would bring in.


Dr. Mark said...

Greetings! I agree there should be more SONS on dvd. The studio seemed to do everything to work against the DVDs succeeding. First there was the separating of each season into two sets. Then (Google for more specific info) there was the issue of them changing some of the incidental background music to newly recorded tracks. That was a big turn-off to me and I avoided getting them. Paramount did this to dvds of THE FUGITIVE as well.
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Jan said...

First, Me-TV only played the color episodes from seasons 6 through 10. They're now currently playing the black & whites from season 1, and possibly season 2. It's my understanding that the seasons not on DVD have some ownership issues, in that the people who own the rights to them don't want to put them out there (disgustingly selfish, if you ask me). I also understand that the same reason is why seasons 11 and 12 never make it to television. I keep hoping I'll get to see the Chip and Polly episodes, but it doesn't look good.