McHale survivors reunite for DVD

Too often, legendary TV stars are overlooked when their classic shows are being prepared for DVD release. Sometimes it's a case of money; other times it's simple neglect.

At the third annual TV-DVD Conference in October, Jack Klugman made a big stink out of being excluded from the DVD release of Quincy, M.E., particularly because his mug is prominently featured on the cover. And several other stars have noted that they weren't even aware their shows were available on DVD until they saw a copy in stores.

Archival label Shout! Factory is bucking this trend with its March 20 DVD release of the complete first season of McHale's Navy. This week, surviving cast members including leads Ernest Borgnine (Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale) and Tim Conway (Ensign Charles Parker) are gathering for a reunion, footage of which will be included as an exclusive DVD featurette.

It's the first time the cast of the 1962-66 comedy, about a misfit PT boat crew during World War II, has come together since the show went off the air.

"I think it's a great idea for all DVDs to do that," Conway said. "You get a look at what went on and how the guys really got along. I run into Ernie every now and then--he gives you a hug and breaks a couple of ribs--and we always reflect on some crazy thing that happened at that time. But it's great to sit around and talk about those days with all the other guys."

Other cast members taking part in the reunion are Carl Ballantine, Edson Stroll, and Bob Hastings.

Said Gord Lacey, who runs the popular fan site TV Shows ON DVD: "Very few classic TV shows are released with cast interviews, so it's nice to see Shout! Factory go the extra mile. DVD is a wonderful way to preserve these old shows, but it's also a great way to preserve the stars' thoughts and experiences working on the series. I'm surprised more studios aren't shooting bonus material while the stars are still around."

In addition to the regular five-disc set, Shout! Factory is creating a specially packaged edition of McHale's Navy exclusively for US naval bases worldwide.

Comments (8)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Actually, Ballantine is "only" 84, and had a movie role just this year.

Joe Flynn has passed on, as well as half the original crew (Tinker (he would have been 96 this year), Christy, and Yeoman Tate), but the rest are still with us.

No info available on Yoshio Yoda (Fuji).
Reply
Flag
What about the japeness prisoner. Whos name I am not going to try and spell!
Reply
Flag
I noticed that Gavin MacLeod isn't listed as being at the reunion but then again he left the show after its second season because of dissatisfaction over his role.
Reply
Flag
Apparently, I was correct in hearing reports that NBC/Universal does NOT care about its acquisition of the extensive library of "classic shows" from the MCA/Revue era- they're too interested in repackaging "classics" like the network's "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" first season, because "research" told them that's what avid DVD viewers "want". Maybe so, but some of them ALSO want "classics" like "McHALE'S NAVY"...which "Shout Factory" has licensed from NBC/Universal and distributing themselves!!! That's a good deal!!! Now, what about "THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM" and "THE BOB CUMMINGS SHOW" {"LOVE THAT BOB"}?
Reply
Flag
Great idea.
Reply
Flag
Brilliant idea. I kind of wished they did this for shows like American Gothic, instead of the vanilla, out of sequenced rush job they did. The Adventures of Pete and Pete had something similar but only as audio commentary.



But I guess someone must be thinking that this sort of reuinion thing costs more money than a DVD without such extras. Shame. It's not like we get another chance at seeing our faves on a regular basis.
Reply
Flag
Carl Ballantine must be over 100 by now
Reply
Flag
Gavin McLeod? Hap!
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook