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|RCA Press Release for January 12, 1981|
RCA Corporation plans to offer many of television's finest programs on its "SelectaVision" VideoDiscs, RCA executive vice president, Herbert S. Schlosser said today.
"We expect that the many thousands of hours of programs broadcast over the past 35 years will be a rich reservoir from which to choose material for the emerging video disc industry," he said.
These programs, added to the hours of television programming yet to come, "give us access to some superb dramas and comedies and even individual episodes of some classic series that people will want to buy and see and keep."
The RCA executive said research indicates that the public is interested in collecting the best of television for home video libraries. "In fact, our research tells us that consumer interest in many television programs is as great as that for some major feature films."
Mr. Schlosser said that some recent RCA video disc acquisitions include episodes of "The Fugitive," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Little House on the Prairie" and "NBC's Saturday Night Live."
One planned video disc will contain the two-part conclusion of "The Fugitive," entitled "The Judgment." The late David Janssen was the star of this extremely popular series. The final episode, which aired on August 29, 1967, was seen by more people than any single episode of a regular series in the history of television and remains a regular series standard which has only been beaten by two shows in recent history, "Roots" and a recent episode of "Dallas." RCA also has options for additional episodes of "The Fugitive" for release on video disc.
"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was one of the best written, most popular, and enduring situation comedies of the 1970's. The series was on the air for seven years and won an Emmy for the best comedy series three years in a row, an event unequalled in TV history.
RCA plans to offer a video disc featuring the first and last episodes of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" series plus two other award-winning episodes. The first episode was entitled "Love Is All Around" and its original air date was September 19, 1970. The final episode, "The Last Show," was aired on March 19, 1977. The other two episodes are "Put On a Happy Face" and "Chuckles Bites The Dust." All four episodes won Emmy awards in several categories.
RCA also plans to offer a video disc of the two-hour pilot of "Little House on the Prairie" which was telecast in March of 1974. RCA also has options for video discs drawn from the weekly episodes that have appeared on NBC since the series began September 11, 1974. The long-running series, based on the perennially popular "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, has been highly acclaimed by the nation's TV critics as well as the viewing public.
RCA has acquired rights to four episodes of "NBC's Saturday Night Live" for two video discs, featuring guest hosts George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Richard Pryor, and Steve Martin, with options for the remaining 102 episodes. The highly successful and popular program set a standard for innovative comedy in the 1970's.
"NBC's Saturday Night Live" was first telecast on October 11, 1975 becoming more and more popular in succeeding years, and eventually becoming the most popular program in late night television.
Lorne Michaels produced "NBC's Saturday Night Live" and each week a different guest star served as the host. Many of the actors on the show became household names, including: Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Garrett Morris, and Jane Curtin.
RCA already has rights to an impressive video disc line-up of television programs, including:
. . . Major TV Events: "Jesus of Nazareth" and "Holocaust" . . .
. . . Documentaries: "Victory at Sea," "Meet Mr. Lincoln" and "Meet George Washington"; "Reading, Writing and Reefer" and "The American Alcoholic"; "Nightmare in Red" and "The Twisted Cross"; "The Law and the Prophets" and "The Inheritance"; "Tut The Boy King," and "The Louvre"; "Kennedy in Ireland," Survival Anglia's award-winning nature programs, and Jacques Cousteau . . .
. . . TV Drama: "Star Trek," "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman," "A Doll's House," "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom," "Larry," "Clarence Darrow" with Henry Fonda, FDR, That Man in The White House," "Our Town" . . .
. . . Children's TV Programs: "Heidi," "Hans Brinker," 21 Charlie Brown programs, Disney Cartoons, "Best of Big Blue Marble," "Cosmic Christmas," and "The Hobbit."