Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Special post-Memorial Day list: 10 military-themed shows from the BOTNS era we'd like to see on streaming

We hope you had a great extended holiday weekend. Before we abandon Memorial Day--and really the sentiment behind the occasion is valid all year round--we continue our regular look at shows that are not on official streaming video outlets with a summary of some military-themed programs of the 1970s and 1980s.

1) China Beach: We covered this recently. Beach is out on video courtesy of Time Life after being thought unreleaseable due to music clearances. The show has been in reruns since its original run. Do either of these things mean a streaming appearance is possible? It's Warner Brothers, and I could see it being licensed to Tubi if it's clearable.

2) Baa Baa Black Sheep: This is one of the Stephen Cannell shows not floating around all over the place. The 190s NBC show featured Marine fighter pilots and has made some appearances on TV, plus received a full DVD release. It currently airs on Heroes and Icons, and NBC Universal could put it on Peacock and make a lot of Dads happy in June!

3) Operation Petticoat: Another short-lived Universal show; this sitcom with John Astin is a lot more obscure than the Cary Grant movie. I was surprised to see it on..hmm, was it RTV years ago? It had a short stint on TV Land many years ago, too. Don't hold your breath waiting for this one, though.

4) Call to Glory: I believe this Craig T. Nelson drama is all but forgotten today after its single season on ABC in 1984. Nelson played a USAF pilot in the 1960s, and the series focused on his family life. Keenan Wynn and a young Elisabeth Shue co-starred. I believe Paramount owns this now, and any chance of an appearance on streaming is minimal.

5) Emerald Point N.A.S.: A single-season CBS primetime soap set a Naval base, this Dennis Weaver show gained no traction. I believe Fox produced it, so if Disney owns it, forget about seeing it again in any official platform.

6) At Ease: Here's a series even shorter than the previous two: 14 episodes was all this Jimmie Walker sitcom got. It's produced by Aaron Spelling and owned by Paramount, and I doubt we ever see it again.

7) It Ain't Half Hot Mum: I have never seen this Britcom, but it's a long-running show set in WWII-era Burma by the creators of Dad's Army and--hmm, features blackface. Nope, never seeing that one again!

8) Roll Out: This is one I really would like to see, a sitcom created by Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds set in WWII France and starring Stu Gilliam, Hilly Hicks, and Garrett Morris. It appears to be a failed attempt by CBS to get more juice from MASH, but it sounds interesting. Some footage is on YouTube, but since BET aired it in its early days, it might be available someday..except that as a Fox show it's in Disney vaults and likely buried forever.

9) Laverne and Shirley in the Army: This cartoon series somehow got a DVD-R release several years ago, and I think it may have had a short stint on Hulu with Fonz and the Happy Days Gang. It's the kind of thing you'd think Boomerang could show, but I think Paramount controls this Hanna-Barbera show, so it would probably cost money, which eliminates Boomerang!

10) The World at War: This outstanding docuseries is nearly 50 years old, but it had a huge impact, and I don't think we should just shove older nonfiction shows under the rug. There is no lack of WWII material available elsewhere, but this is a seminal work that deserves a spot somewhere. Maybe Britbox could pick it up. I don't think there are rights issues preventing it from being anywhere; it's probably just a bias against "old" material.

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