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Rights issues keep 'Batman' series from DVD,best bets [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

September 30, 2013


Question: Last summer, there was a major media announcement that the 1960s "Batman" TV series is due out on DVDs. It's over a year later, and I can't find it. Some of these new "Batman" characters are less-than-to-be-desired role models for kids; they should have a chance to see the old Batman vs. the new one and judge who their role models are.

Answer: Fans of the 1966-68 "Batman" series starring Adam West have hoped there would be a DVD release when 20th Century Fox, which owns the TV show, and Warner Bros., which owns Batman generally, worked out a deal for merchandise tied to the old series. But that did not open the door all the way to a DVD release, because getting the rights to the guest stars and other elements of the old show is extremely complicated; one report called the situation "an absolute nightmare." So, it still seems too soon to expect any such release.

Q: I would love to find episodes of "Open House." It was on TV years ago. It's not the one from 2004. It was a comedy about a real estate office. I am a Realtor, and I would love to be able to see the show again.

A: The "Open House" that you remember aired on Fox in 1989-90 and was a spin-off of an earlier Fox series, "Duet" (1987-89). The previous show had focused on the romantic life of a couple played by Mary Page Keller and Matthew Laurance and, somewhat secondarily, on a married pair played by Alison LaPlaca and Chris Lemmon. "Open House" had Keller divorced from Laurance and LaPlaca at center stage as a former movie-studio executive now selling real estate. Keller also worked at the real estate agency, and the new cast members included Philip Charles MacKenzie, impressionist Danny Gans and Ellen DeGeneres.

This was DeGeneres' first regular role on a TV series; she played Margo Van Meter, "the marginally competent man-hungry receptionist," says "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows." Unfortunately, I do not know of an authorized release of either series on video.

Rich Heldenfels is a staff writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. Write him at Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44328 or,iHeartradio Music Festival, Night 1

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