When the show debuted on CBS in 1955, the program title was "You'll Never Get Rich." But Sergeant Ernie Bilko sure tried, as he ran every scam in the book trying to get money - and get his way - as the Master Sergeant in charge of the motor pool at fictional Fort Baxter in Kansas. Due to the popularity of the main character and the star who played him, the show's name was quickly changed to The Phil Silvers Show. It ran 138 episodes over four years.
Joining Silvers as the legendary Sgt. Bilko were Paul Ford as Colonel Hall (supposedly in charge of the base, but no match for Bilko's schemes), Harvey Lembeck as Corporal Rocco Barbella, and Al Melvin ("Sam the Butcher" from The Brady Bunch) as Corporal Steve Henshaw. The show won 4 Emmy Awards in its first season, including Best Actor (Phil Silvers) and Best Comedy Series. Its success was especially sweet considering the competition: the show was scheduled up against "Mr. Television" himself, Milton Berle!
Earlier this year, we relayed info from a Feb. 23rd Wall Street Journal article explaining that Paramount Home Video intended to step up their TV-on-DVD production, especially where classic shows were concerned. Now new rumors have reached our ears that The Phil Silvers Show is on Paramount's possible list of classic shows to bring to DVD either later this year or perhaps early next year.
We have to make it clear that this is a RUMOR at this time, so take it with the proper grain of salt. Still, we've seen enough interest in this show in our years here at TVShowsOnDVD, it seemed proper to let the fans know that their long wait may at last be over. We're watching this one very closely, so stay tuned and we'll see what Paramount says about this series as time goes on!