MST3K Vol. XXXI Is An Early Thanksgiving Treat For Classic Film Fans

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is bringing audiences quite a tasty treat of a classic series next month.

Shout! Factory will release Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXIThe Turkey Day Collection on Tuesday, November 25th. The box set’s release is a doubly good thing since it won’t interfere with the annual traditions of watching football and eating lots of food. Though, it could start its own tradition of taking in some of the movie industry’s biggest turkeys each year around Thanksgiving. Speaking of those cinematic turkeys, the movies included in this year’s Thanksgiving special are: Jungle Goddess, The Painted Hills, The Screaming Skull, and Squirm.

Just as with every previous MST3K, the movies included in the box are just part of the whole that audiences will appreciate. It also includes a number of bonus features. Those features include all-new Turkey Day episode introductions by star Joel Hodges, and an interview with Squirm star Don Scardino. There are also featurettes and bonus “movie posters” crafted by artist Steve Vance. The bonus featurettes included in this box set are: “Undercooked & Overstuffed: Inside the Turkey Day Marathon,” “Bumper To Bumper: Turkey Day Through The Years,” “This Film May Kill You: Making ‘The Screaming Skull’” and “Gumby & Clokey.”

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXIThe Turkey Day Collection will be available Tuesday, November 25th on DVD. It will retail for MSRP of $64.99. It can be pre-ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/action-adventure/mst3k-volume-xxxi-the-turkey-day-collection-collector-s-edition-tin. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Timeless Media To Re-Issue Classic Crime Drama Next Month

Courtesy:  Timeless MEdia Group/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Timeless MEdia Group/Shout! Factory

Timeless Media will release one of television’s most beloved classic crime dramas next month.

Timeless Media, in partnership with Shout! Factory, will release M Squad: The Complete Series on Tuesday, November 4th. The series stars famed actor Lee Marvin (The Dirty Dozen, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Shout at the Devil). It ran for three seasons on NBC from 1957 to 1960. Over the course of those three seasons, the series produced a total of 117 episodes. Marvin starred as the series’ lead character Detective Lt. Frank Ballinger, a rather straight forward type of figure among the force’s officers. Marvin’s background made him a perfect choice for the role of Ballinger. Marvin was a highly decorated Marine veteran who served in the South Pacific during WWII. He earned the Purple Heart after the Battle of Saipan.

While Marvin was the star of the show, he was joined over the course of the show’s run by a handful of actors that would go on to be just as well-known in their own right. Dick Wilson and John Hoyt both make appearances in a handful of episodes. Both would go on to star in the hit WWII-based sitcom Hogan’s Heroes after starring in M Squad. And Star Trek co-stars Leonard Nimoy and DeForrest Kelley also made appearances in M Squad. They’re just some of the big names that made appearances throughout M Squad’s run on NBC. There are many others that audiences familiar with classic television and movies will recognize throughout the series’ episodes in its latest re-issue.

The upcoming release of M Squad: The Complete Television Series (Special Edition) is not the first time that the series has been released. Shout! Factory also released the series in a complete series box set in 2008. This latest re-issue includes a bonus disc featuring episodes of Wagon Train, Checkmate, The Virginian, and Lawbreaker. Marvin guest starred in the first three series and served as host of the latter. M Squad: The Complete Television Series (Special Edition) will be available on DVD box set Tuesday, November 4th. It can be pre-ordered now via Timeless Media Group’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/m-squad-the-complete-series-special-edition. More information on this and other releases from Timeless Media Group is available online at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Midnight Special’s Re-Issues Will Have Audiences Singing, Dancing Well Past Midnight

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment/NBC

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment/NBC

StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment have made quite the name for themselves over the course of recent years.  Releases of classic series such as The Carol Burnett Show, Mama’s Family, The Dean Martin Show, China Beach, and most recently The Wonder Years have taken a company that for years was the butt of many people’s jokes to a place in the upper echelons of home entertainment companies.  For years, Time Life was known mainly for the not-so-well-known products that it pushed through extended advertisements on television.  Now it has carved out even more of a comfortable place in that upper echelon with the release of The Midnight Special on DVD.  The classic late night live concert series was released in a number of formats last month, resurrecting one more important piece of television and music history.  The show’s six-disc collector’s edition is one of the best of the sets that any fan of classic television and music can add to their own home library.  That is because it is one of the best examples of what made this series so great during its nine-year run on NBC.  It presents ninety-six total performances from bands, artists and groups across the music industry’s spectrum.  The acts that make appearances throughout the set’s six discs are the center of this box set’s enjoyment and success.  Just as important to note is the quality of the footage.  More than four decades have passed since the Midnight Special first debuted in 1972.  In that time, the footage presented in these performances has stood the test of time quite well.  And last but not least worth noting in the set’s success is its companion booklet.  The booklet serves as an episode guide for viewers.  That is the central point of its importance.  It also features personal insight from the series’ creator Burt Sugarman. Sugarman’s retrospection on the series and its importance adds one more layer of appreciation for this series.  Together with the acts that appear on each set and the quality of the footage, all three factors together make The Midnight Train another wonderful release from Time  Life Entertainment and StarVista Entertainment.

The Midnight Special was one of the most famed and beloved series on television during its day.  Unlike so many other series of the time, acts that came on the series in its heydey actually sang instead of lip synching.  What’s more, unlike American Bandstand, The Midnight Special focused on more than just the big pop acts of its day.  The acts that came to perform on NBC’s live overnight concert series spanned the music world’s ranks.  That is the most important aspect of this recently released classic series.  The acts that performed on The Midnight Special included the likes of John Denver performing alongside Linda Rondstadt and Aerosmith performing alongside Barry White, The Stylistics, and ELO.  It also featured acts the likes of: B.B. King, Frankie Vallie, Sammy Hagar, The O’Jays, BeeGees, and so many other greats that are still remembered today.  Even the show’s host himself, radio host Wolfman Jack was a celebrity in his own right.  Even today, he and those acts noted here are just as beloved as they were decades ago.  In an era when so many musical acts are little more than flash-in-the-pan pop acts and rarely radio worthy rock bands, musicaians and audiences alike need to be reminded of what once made music great and could again–originality and real talent.  That in mind, it makes sense that the list of performers that came on The Midnight Special is the central point of this series’ success whether in its six-disc box set or its other formats.

The list of artists, bands, and groups that graced The Midnight Special’s stage during its nine-year run on NBC is the most important aspect of this series’ recent re-issue.  More than four decades have passed since it first debuted on NBC in 1972.  That makes for plenty of reason to be concerned about the quality of the show’s footage in its transfer from tape to disc.  Luckily for audiences of all ages, painstaking efforts were taken to present the performances as they appeared in their original broadcasts. Those efforts paid off in spades as both the audio and video of each performance have been well-balanced.  Any impurities in the quality of the footage whether in the audio or video are so minute that they are unnoticable.  The end result is a product that for the show’s original audiences will generate a much-welcomed sense of nostalgia.  Both for those same audiences and the show’s much younger audiences, it also serves to show just how far music has come (both in a good and bad way) and how far recording technology has come, too.  So in the end, the quality of the footage in these performances makes Time Life and StarVista’s new re-issue of The Midnight Special even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages.

The efforts taken to transfter The Midnight Special’s master tapes to disc have definitely not been for nothing.  The show looks and sounds just as good as it did in its original run all those years ago in its rencet re-issue.  The acts that appeared on the show (and that are featured on the new six-disc compilation) are just as important to the overall presentation.  Both aspects together more than make the series worth a watch or two in any of its three re-issue formats.  The last aspect of the series’ re-issue (at least in its six-disc compilation format) that makes it a success and so enjoyable is the set’s companion booklet.  The booklet serves primarily as an episode guide, pointing out disc-by-disc and episode-by-episode each artist, band, and group that appears.  That listing even includes the songs performed by said acts.  By itself, the episode listing more than helps the enjoyment of the series’ re-issue.  The added insight from series creator Burt Sugarman adds one more layer of enjoyment to the series’ various presentations.  In terms of the six-disc box set, Sugarman recalls how so few people had faith in the show and how great it felt to prove those naysayers wrong.  That insight along with other comments from Sugarman make for even more interest and enjoyment in watching the performances culled for the show’s different re-issues.  While being the last of the noteworthy factors that make The MIdnight Special so…well…special, it is hardly the least important of the factors that make the series’ sets such a joy.  This aspect, along with the quality production values and the performances culled for the releases, makes The Midnight Special a truly special experience for viewers of all ages.

The Midnight Special is available online now.  Its eleven-disc and sixteen disc sets can be ordered online direct from Time Life’s online store at http://timelife.com/products/the-midnight-special-collector-s-edition.  The six-disc collector’s edition can be ordered via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Special-6DVD-Amaray/dp/B00L9OPJ5C/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1414009549&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Midnight+Special.  More information on this and other releases from Time Life Entertainment and StarVista Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.timelife.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN’s MNF Wins Monday’s Ratings Race

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Monday Night Football brought in some big numbers for ESPN Monday night. The matchup of the Steelers and Texans helped the worldwide leader in sports essentially run the table. The network won the night among all networks in viewers, households, and all key male and adult demographics. It came in as the top broadcast of the night across cable and broadcast among those key male demos, as well as adults 18 – 34 and 18 – 49.

Monday night’s matchup between the Steelers and Texans averaged an 8.1 household U.S. rating. That equals to 9,483,000 households and 13,275,000 viewers (P2+) according to Nielsen. The broadcast peaked from 9:45 – 10pm ET with a 9.1 rating and 15,124,000 viewers.

The battle between the AFC foes pulled in a 14.3 rating on ESPN and a 13.0 on KIAH-CW for a combined 27.3 rating for that market. Pittsburgh viewers pushed the game to a 10.8 rating on ESPN and a 27.8 on WTAE-ABC for a combined 3805 rating in the Pitttsburgh market. In Baltimore, home of the Steelers’ AFC North divisional foes the Ravens, Monday night’s broadcast pulled in a 12.1. Fellow AFC markets Indianapolis and Jacksonville brought in a 10.6 and 10.5 respectively. In the bigger picture of the nation’s top ten metered markets, Las Vegas brought in the highest ratings with a 15.1. It was followed by Sacramento and San Diego. Both pulled in a 12.2 rating. It brought in an 11.0 with San Antonio and Richmond bringing in a 10.8 and 10.7 respectively.

Monday Night Football is averaging an 8.3 household U.S. rating through the first seven weeks of the season for ESPN. That is the equivalent of 9,618,000 households and 13,355,000 viewers.

The numbers or ESPN’s digital broadcast of Monday night’s matchup between the Steelers and Texans was impressive in its own right. Monday’s game reached 313,000 unique visitors on WatchESPN. That is an increase of 87 percent compared to week 7 from last season. It logged 21.5 million minutes viewed. That is an increase of 76 percent from the same time last year. It had an average minute audience of 106,000. That, too is an increase of 76 percent. These combined numbers drove ESPN as the most social network for the seventh straight Monday. Additionally they pushed Monday Night Football to the position of the most social program for the day.

Spanish-speaking audiences helped push Monday night’s game to the top, too. Monday night’s game between the Steelers and Texans averaged a 0.4 average Hispanic household U.S. rating. That is the equivalent of 66,000 Hispanic Household impressions. This is an increase of fourteen percent over the same time last year. It brought in 86,000 Hispanic P2+ impressions. So far this season, ESPN Deportes is averaging a 0.4 Hispanic Household rating. That is a one hundred percent gain, with 59,000 Hispanic Household Impressions and 87,000 Hispanic P2+ impressions. That are increases of 73 percent and 85 percent respectively.

Next week on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys host the Washington Redskins. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 8:30 pm ET. It will mark the sixteenth time that the NFC East rivals will face off on Monday night. That is second only to the Raiders and Broncos, who have faced one another seventeen times in the forty-five year history of ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

More information on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, its 2014 broadcast schedule and more is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl/mnf

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Women’s College Basketball Broadcast Schedule For 2014 – 2015 Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced its broadcast schedule for the upcoming 2014 – 2015 Women’s College Basketball season over the weekend.

ESPN and its family of networks will cover a total of 131 games in the upcoming 2014 – 2015 Women’s College Basketball season. Coverage on the women’s side includes coverage on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, the SEC Network and Longhorn Network. Audiences will also be able to catch a number of those games online via ESPN3 and via Satellite on ESPN Full Court. Fans can also catch games online via WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com via the WatchESPN app. The breakdown of the upcoming season’s coverage is as follows:

ESPN will carry coverage of the annual Jimmy V. Women’s Classic presented by Corona on Saturday, December 6th. The lady Huskies will take on Number 5 Notre Dame in that game in a rematch of last season’s Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

ESPN2 will carry thirty-six of those 131 games. ESPN will carry every Big Monday matchup as well as most Sunday games throughout the season. It all starts with an opening day doubleheader November 17th featuring four ranked teams. Those teams are: two-time defending champion Connecticut,  Number 20 Stanford, Number 13 Baylor, and Number 6 Kentucky.

ESPNU will carry nineteen of the season’s games, most of which will be Sunday double headers during the conference season. It will also carry the annual Play 4 Kay tournament alongside ESPN2. The tournament brings attention to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. It is held in partnership with The V Foundation and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). That tournament is scheduled to begin February 22nd, 2015.

The SEC Network will dedicate its time to carrying more than sixty games. That schedule includes a double head every Thursday and a game of the week every Monday.

The Longhorn Network will have thirteen games. Of those thirteen games, seven will feature the Longhorns taking on a Big 12 opponent.

The information noted above is just part of the ESPN networks’ coverage of the 2014 – 2015 Women’s College Basketball season. The current full schedule of games and networks is included below.

2014-15 ESPN Network’s Women’s Basketball Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Sat, Nov 15 TBD UT San Antonio at Texas Longhorn Network
Sun, Nov 16 8 p.m. Duke at Alabama SEC Network
Mon, Nov 17 7 p.m. Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Dish: Baylor at Kentucky ESPN2
  9 p.m. Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Dish: Connecticut at Stanford ESPN2
Thu, Nov 20 7 p.m. Clemson at South Carolina SEC Network
Wed, Nov 26 8 p.m. Texas Pan American at Texas Longhorn Network
Sun, Nov 30 1 p.m. Duke at Texas A&M SEC Network
Mon, Dec 1 9 p.m. Virginia Tech at Florida SEC Network
Wed, Dec 3 7 p.m. Louisiana Tech at LSU SEC Network
  8 p.m. New Mexico at Texas Longhorn Network
Thu, Dec 4 8 p.m. Charlotte at South Carolina SEC Network
Sat, Dec 6 3:15 p.m. Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona: Connecticut at Notre Dame ESPN
Sun, Dec 7 1 p.m. South Carolina at Duke ESPN2
  4 p.m. Michigan State at Georgia SEC Network
Mon, Dec 8 Noon Southern at Texas Longhorn Network
Wed, Dec 10 7 p.m. Wisconsin at Florida SEC Network
Fri, Dec 12 9 p.m. Middle Tennessee State at Kentucky SEC Network
Sun, Dec 14 1 p.m. Mercer at Alabama SEC Network
  3 p.m. Holiday Hoops presented by Kay Jewelers: Tennessee at Rutgers ESPN2
  Northwestern State at Texas Longhorn Network
  6 p.m. Belmont at Kentucky SEC Network
Tue, Dec 16 7 p.m. Wichita State at Tennessee SEC Network
Wed, Dec 17 8 p.m. McNeese State at Texas Longhorn Network
Sat, Dec 20 1 p.m. Stanford at Tennessee SEC Network
Sun, Dec 21 1:30 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge: Texas vs. Texas A&M (Little Rock, Ark.) SEC Network
3 p.m. Holiday Hoops presented by Kay Jewelers: Kentucky at Duke ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge: Oklahoma vs. Arkansas (Little Rock, Ark.) SEC Network
  5 p.m. Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Holiday Showcase as part of Holiday Hoops presented by Kay Jewelers: UCLA vs. Connecticut (Uncasville, Conn.) ESPN2
Sun, Dec 28 Noon East Carolina at USF ESPNU
  1 p.m. Oregon State at Tennessee SEC Network
  8:30 p.m. Temple at Memphis ESPNU
Mon, Dec 29 9 p.m. Duke at Connecticut ESPN2
Tue, Dec 30 8 p.m. Rice at Texas Longhorn Network
Fri, Jan 2 7 p.m. Auburn at South Carolina SEC Network
  9 p.m. Missouri at Tennessee SEC Network
Sat, Jan 3 8 p.m. Kansas at Texas Longhorn Network
Sun, Jan 4 1 p.m. Maggie Dixon Classic: Connecticut vs. St. John’s (New York, N.Y.) ESPN2
  1:30 p.m. Texas A&M at Arkansas ESPNU
  2 p.m. Ole Miss at Kentucky SEC Network
  3 p.m. South Carolina at LSU ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. George Washington at Dayton ESPNU
  4 p.m. Florida at Auburn

 

 

More information on this season’s coverage is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

A Haunting: The Television Series Is One Wonderfully Fright-Filled Box Set

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory/Discovery Channel/Discovery Communications/Destination America

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory/Discovery Channel/Discovery Communications/Destination America

Halloween is a little over a week away. Many stores have already stored away their Halloween decorations and have replaced them with their Christmas decorations. Others are even already pumping the annual stream of Christmas music over their speakers. It’s sad. But worry not Halloween lovers. Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have not fallen victim to that trend just yet. Timeless Media and Shout! Factory released A Haunting: The Television Series last Tuesday. This nine-disc box set is a good fit for any fan of the paranormal whether on Halloween or any other time of the year. The main reason for that is that it has compiled the series’ first six seasons into one complete set. The inclusion of the series’ first six seasons in one place is its own positive in that it means not having to hunt from box to box for one episode or another. It just means hunting through one full box. This is only one positive to this set. Another positive to the box in whole is that one box versus multiple boxes saves space on anyone’s DVD rack o in said persons’ cabinets (depending on which one a person uses). And last but hardly least of all worth noting of this set is the stories themselves. What examination of this set would be complete without a look at the stories that make up the set? They offer plenty of frights for audiences. This is the case both on Halloween and any time of the year. Together with the box’s packaging and its associated factors, the stories included in this set complete the box and make it one that anyone looking for a good scare will appreciate whether it be on Halloween or any other time of the year.

A Haunting is one of the more interesting paranormal series on television in recent years. Unlike its counterparts on Syfy, LMN, and Travel Channel, it never seemed to really fit in with the other programs on Discovery or even Destination America. Yet somehow it has continued to maintain a healthy fan base. It has gone on to see a number of episode compilations released throughout the years as well as stand-alone single season sets for said fan base. Now, fans have been rewarded for their loyalty to the series with this complete nine-disc set that encompasses the series’ first six seasons. Having all six previously released seasons put into one complete set is a reward as those single-season stand-alone sets and compilation discs are not easy to find. Now audiences won’t have to hunt for each one. They can have all six previously released seasons in a single box. Those that do have any of said previous releases will appreciate this set as having all six seasons in one set also means no more fumbling through their other boxes for one episode or another. They need only open the box and flip through the discs to find their favorite episodes. It’s a major positive and possibly the most important to the box set in terms of what does and doesn’t work about it.

Timeless Media and Shout! Factory’s newly released A Haunting: The Television Series succeeds so strongly primarily because of the inclusion of all six of the series’ previous seasons in one box. Their inclusion means no more hunting in stores, online and through DVD racks for one season or another. It’s all right there in one box set. Having everything in one single box set is a positive not just for the content but also for the matter of space, speaking of DVD racks. Any number of stand-alone compilation discs has been spawned from A Haunting. And each of the series’ previous seasons have been released as stand-alone sets, too. All of those compilation discs and stand-alone seas sets take up a lot of room on DVD racks. Now audiences can trade in all of those noted releases in favor of this ergonomically packaged nine-disc set. All nine discs that make up the series’ previous seasons are here. They have been packaged in exactly the same fashion as other releases from Timeless Media and Shout! Factory. That packaging means has become the standard seemingly across the board. However not every company out there utilizes that standard even today, believe it or not. It’s sad. Thankfully fans of A Haunting don’t have to worry about that. It’s one more reason that the partnership between Timeless Media and Shout! Factory has made both leaders in home releases of TV series and movies. And it’s one more reason that audiences will appreciate this latest release from their partnership.

The overall packaging of A Haunting: The Television Series and the inclusion of the series’ full six season run—prior to its now seventh season airing on Destination America—couple to make the box set even more enjoyable for audiences than it would have been in lacking one factor or the other. As important as those factors are, the stories that make up each season are just as important if not more so. Without interesting and gripping tales of terror, there would be nothing to watch. In “Hungry Ghosts,” audiences are taken to Japan where an American family is haunted by ancient spirits when the family moves into a posh new home upon the father accepting a high-ranking position in his company. “Nightmare Upstairs” sees an Arkansas family scared out of its house when it is revealed that it is haunted by demons and possibly evil incarnate itself. Viewers are also taken to Ireland for a heart wrenching story about a house haunted by the spirit of a murdered child in “A Haunting in Ireland.” These are just a few of the terror-filled tales that make up A Haunting’s six-season run in this set. There are far more tales from which viewers can choose their own favorite(s). Needless to say, having so many stories to take in, there are plenty of frights to be had. And after watching the stories that make up A Haunting: The Television Series, audiences might not be going to sleep anytime soon. Some might even find themselves checking under their beds and even turning on that night light when they go to bed. Who knows? There might…or might not….be something there….Or maybe they’re all just stories. Audiences can choose for themselves when they purchase A Haunting: The Television Series for themselves. It is available now on DVD and can be ordered direct via the Timeless Media website at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group. More information on this and other releases from Timeless Media is available online now at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

History Detectives Impresses Again With Its Special Investigations

Courtesy: PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS has proven time and again in recent years that it is the last bastion of truly worthwhile educational programming.  While History Channel, Discovery Channel, and others of their ilk have continued to fall victim to their heads’ lust for reality TV programming, PBS has held its guns and stood its ground, becoming the gold standard for educational programming.  One show that has helped to make PBS the gold standard is its fan favorite series History Detectives.  PBS recently released a new History Detectives special to DVD titled History Detectives: Special Investigations.  Not that PBS needs it at this point, but this DVD is more proof of why the series is such a fan favorite and why PBS continues to help make PBS the leader in quality educational programming.  Audiences, whether they be new to the series or are more familiar with it, will appreciate that the series delves into some of history’s greatest mysteries in this new special.  That’s a change from its normal format.  Those that are less familiar with History Detectives will appreciate that it uses a rather familiar format in investigating each of the special’s mysteries.  And last but hardly least of all, in none of the cases studied in this special does the team try to prove or disprove any theory set forth.  The team merely investigates the facts and leaves the rest up to viewers.  When audiences take into consideration all three of the factors noted here, they will agree that this DVD proves once more why History Detectives is one of the best series on television for educators and lovers of history, and why PBS remains today the gold standard in quality educational programming.

History Detectives is one of PBS’ best programs.  It is a favorite among educators and lovers of history.  The main reason for this is that it presents history at its purest.  It has never attempted to over-glorify history and make it sexy for the sake of eyeballs to put it bluntly.  It takes the road far less traveled today in comparison to programs on the likes of History, Discovery, Destination America and others under those corporate umbrellas.  This latest release from History Detectives proves why that approach has–and continues to–make it a fan favorite.  Normally, History Detectives focuses on the history behind items and documents owned by ordinary people.  This time though, it turns the focus to a pair of history’s greatest mysteries and a couple that while not as well-known are just as interesting.  The two more well-known of the mysteries presented here center on famed band leader Glenn Miller and Jimmy Hoffa.  The lesser known of the mysteries presented here focus on the river boat Sultana and on a group of servant girls from Texas.  The study on Glenn Miller is exactly what audiences expect.  It examines the possible fate of the famed band leader.  The findings from the study are pretty interesting to say the least.  That’s because they leave just as many questions as answers.  Unlike the study on Miller, the study on Hoffa isn’t what audiences might think.  Instead of focusing on his fate–as so many do–this episode focuses on who might have been responsible for his disappearance.  The findings here are just as eye opening as the theories concerning where he may be.  Some may be surprised to learn that apparently Hoffa even had a link to none other than President Richard Nixon.  That’s just one of many rather interesting facts that audiences will learn from this episode. As if this isn’t enough, the episode centering on the riverboat Sultana brings up thoughts of the Maine and its controversy.  It might event raise thoughts of the Titanic disaster.  And the story centering on the murders of the young Teas servant girls will engage audiences just as much.  As should be evident by now, these stories by themselves more than make History Detectives: Special Investigations worth the watch by any educator or history lover in general.

The stories that make up History Detectives: Special Investigations are by themselves more than enough reason for audiences to check out this new DVD.  The manner in which the team approaches each investigation is another reason that audiences will appreciate this special.  Whether or not they are familiar with this series, audiences will recognize the manner in which the team approaches each case.  It is a formula that was once used in Discovery’s Mythbusters before the team of Kari, Grant and Tory was let go.  The only difference is that unlike Mythbusters, the show’s heads and hosts don’t try to make the investigations sexy for the sake of eyeballs.  It’s a welcome breath of fresh air.  It proves that history doesn’t have to be sexy to be interesting.  It’s just one more way that this latest release from PBS and History Detectives prove the value of both collectively.

The cases presented here and the manner in which each one is investigated together make History Detectives: Special Investigations solid proof of why this series is so belived by fans and why it makes PBS so invaluable to audiences today.  While both of the factors noted here play their own important role to the enjoyment of this presentation, there is one more aspect of this DVD that makes it so enjoyable for audiences.  That last aspect is the fact that within the course of the investigations, at no point does the team of Wes Cowan, Kaiama Glover, and Tukufu Zuberi try to prove or disprove any of the theories around which each case centers.  Rather they merely investigate each case, presenting the facts as they find them.  The rest is left up to audiences to decide for themselves.  In the case of Glenn Miller’s disappearance, audiences are left with a strong probability in terms of what might have actually happened.  But because his body was never recovered, audiences are still left to decide for themselves if the facts gathered actually lead to anything solid.  And in the case of Hoffa’s disappearance, audiences are left just as much to decide for themselves if the mob actually played a role in his disappearance or if in fact Nixon himself might have played a role.  The team never tries to actually say yeah or nay in the end.  They just gather the information needed to make educated guesses in each case.  Such approach serves to make each case all the more enthralling that each already was to begin with.  The end result is a special that leaves audiences wanting History Detectives to investigate some of history’s other major mysteries between its regular investgations.

Next to PBS’ History Detectives, the only other history based series on television today that present any real value anymore are Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum and History’s American Pickers.  While both series offer their own value to audiences, History Detectives still comes in first.  Special Investigations is more proof of that.  The cases and the team’s approach to each case more than make this series a joy for viewers.  The fact that it never really sets out to prove or disprove any theory, but rather simply investigates each one makes these episodes even more enthralling.  Altogether, all three factors together make this collection of investigations one that every educator and lover of history should have in their own personal collection.  It is available now on DVD and can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=38349276&cp=&sr=1&kw=history+detectives+special+investigations&origkw=History+Detectives+Special+Investigations&parentPage=search.  More information on this release and all of the latest news from History Detectives is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/historydetectives

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/historydetectives

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