In our last report
about Fat Albert
DVDs, dated October 24, we passed on a report from ToonZone.net's Craig Crumpton about the details of two December releases, which would be out in time to tie in with the new live-action feature film that debuts on Christmas Day, 2005. Along the way he passed on word from publisher UrbanWorks that there would be "episodic releases throughout 2005."
It looks like the first of these episodic releases is up for pre-order
at hot e-tailer Amazon.com: Fat Albert - Episodes 1-10
is listed there as a 2-DVD set that arrives on March 8th
. List price is shown to be $24.99, but Amazon is discounting it to just $17.49 if you place your order now.
UrbanWorks themselves hasn't made any announcement about this release so far, even though they are in the process of revealing their March 2005 line-up. We'll have to stand by until they are ready with the official word about this set before we get any further details, or cover art.
However, it's not difficult to conclude that the episodes on this disc will consist of "Lying," "The Runt," "The Stranger," "Creativity," "Fish Out Of Water," "Moving," "Playing Hookey," "The Hospital," "Begging Benny," and "The Hero." Those were the first ten episodes aired during the regular weekly series starting in 1972. Three of them - #'s 2, 5, and 8 - were not part of the old Time/Life Fat Albert
DVD releases, nor are they scheduled to be part of the first wave of UrbanWorks offerings.
Another early Fat Albert
installment that hasn't been on DVD yet - indeed, sources tell me that it hasn't been seen since it first aired! - is the original 1969 pilot, "Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert!" One of the reasons it has been rarely seen since then is because the characters were designed a bit rougher than Bill Cosby and the producers wanted, the character of Fat Albert himself was a bit more rotund than originally intended, and the whole thing didn't turn out to be as fun and as wholesome as Cosby was aiming for. However, a few years later CBS came back to the property and turned it into the classic, lovable cartoon series that we fondly remember today.
And it would be great to have that original pilot on DVD, perhaps with an introduction or commentary by Cosby himself explaining what he didn't like about it. Our understanding is that UrbanWorks has been looking into whether or not they are able to bring the pilot episode to DVD. I suppose it's entirely possible that it will be one of the episodes included on the March release. We don't know that; we're just speculating. A fan can hope, though.
Stay tuned for the official announcement from UrbanWorks, where we hope this question and others will all be answered. Don't touch that dial!