Between 2004 and 2008, CBS DVD and Paramount Home Entertainment have released the first 4 seasons of Happy Days, a show that ran for 11 season overall. As fans know, the sitcom is full of classic music of the '50s and '60s...music which has to be licensed (at quite a large expense!) to be included on the DVD releases. Fans are less-than-thrilled, naturally, at song replacements. But it's also difficult for the studio to justify spending the money on the music rights for the fifth season and beyond. Keep in mind that while there were fan-favorite happenings starting in that season (after all, Scott Baio joined the cast as "Chachi Arcola" that year!), it's also the one which LITERALLY coined the phrase "jumping the shark." This unfortunately would still be a dilemma even if CBS/Paramount decided to license the show's home video rights out to any third-party studio. So things remain up-in-the-air, with no signs available to us of any changes so far.
Since Happy Days on DVD is still on hiatus, though (along with the final season of Mork & Mindy; sorry!), it's GREAT to see that the studio is thinking of ways to give the fans whatever they possibly can. There's news today of a new Laverne & Shirley DVD release (please see separate article), and even better is the more direct spin-off show: CBS/Paramount has today announced that Joanie Loves Chachi - The Complete Series will arrive on DVD this February 4th. The show's run consisted of 17 episodes in two seasons (the first season was a mere four episodes!), starring Erin Moran (as "Joanie Cunningham") and Scott Baio along with Al Molinaro as "Al Delvecchio" and Ellen Travolta as "Louisa Arcola Delvecchio" (Chachi's mom, now married to Al). The program aired in 1982, during the ninth and tenth seasons of Happy Days. The DVD set will run 410 minutes, and includes a Gag Reel. Pricing and package art haven't been made available yet, but stay tuned!