As TV DVDs increase in popularity, studios are searching farther back in their catalogues for material that's fit for digital release. Recently some true classics of the small screen have made their way onto shelves.
The Edward R. Murrow Collection
As one of the pioneers of American broadcast journalism, Edward R. Murrow set a standard for television news. This four-disc set from Docurama covers many of Murrow's career highlights and is presented by some of his most famous successors, including Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace, Dan Rather, Barbara Walters, Peter Jennings and Ted Koppel.
The set includes "Harvest of Shame," the famous documentary on the plight of migrant farmers; "The McCarthy Years," which chronicles Murrow's challenge of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his abuses of power; "This Reporter," a reflection on Murrow's career and his effect on journalism; and "The Best of 'See It Now,' " a collection of segments from Murrow's documentary series. (Docurama: DVD $59.95, not rated, available now)
This Is Your Life -- The Ultimate Collection: Vol. 1
In 1952, "This Is Your Life" began a television phenomenon that continues today in more cynical modern incarnations such as VH1's "Behind the Music" series. Now, 18 of the iconic tribute show's classic episodes -- including those with guests Laurel and Hardy, Jayne Mansfield, Roy Rogers, Johnny Cash, Milton Berle, Betty White, Dick Clark and Jesse Owens -- are in a three-disc DVD package. The set includes a 32-page companion booklet, introductions by Ralph Edwards and production photos. (R2 Entertainment: DVD $49.99, not rated, available now)
The Sid Caesar Collection -- 50th Anniversary Edition
"Caesar's Hour" and "Your Show of Shows" were at the pinnacle of television comedy in the '50s and became the model for today's late-night talk shows.
Eighteen of Caesar's classic sketches are collected in this set, including appearances by some of comedy's most famous personas, such as Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. The three-disc collection includes interviews with Caesar's groups of writers and footage from his 1999 Friar's Club Roast. (New Video Group: DVD $49.95, not rated, available now)
Dragnet 1967 -- Season 1
When creator/actor Jack Webb revived his cop-drama from the 1950s, his deadpan delivery of certain lines -- "Just the facts, ma'am," "I carry a badge" and "My name's Friday" -- became even more firmly cemented in the pop-culture lexicon. Joined by Harry Morgan (later of the TV series "M*A*S*H") as Officer Bill Gannon, "Dragnet 1967" saw Joe Friday taking on grittier, more controversial cases.
This DVD set includes all 17 episodes of the 1967 season and an audio CD with a recording of an original "Dragnet" radio show. (Universal: DVD $39.90, not rated, available now)
New on DVD
Dear Frankie (Walt Disney Home Video: DVD $29.99; rated PG-13; available Tuesday) Emily Mortimer and Jack McElhone star in this tale of a deaf Irish boy who believes his father is a busy seaman, a tale invented by his mother.
Bride and Prejudice (Walt Disney Home Video: DVD $29.99; rated PG-13; available Tuesday) Indian super-starlet Aishwarya Rai takes the lead and Martin Henderson ("The Ring") co-stars in this east-meets-west Bollywood adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice. The DVD includes commentary, deleted scenes, extended musical numbers, a gag reel and behind-the-scenes footage.
Prozac Nation (Miramax Home Entertainment: DVD $29.99; rated R; available Tuesday) The film adaptation of Elizabeth Wurtzel's bestselling book stars Christina Ricci and Jessica Lange.