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Site News - Wow! - A Ton of New Universal Titles Announced!

Posted by Gord Lacey
7/10/2004
 
Universal has made another pants-wetting announcement today; a whole ton of new titles will be released shortly!

Some of these have already been announced, but many of the titles listed below are being officially announced for the first time.

Go to the bathroom, then read on...

Powerful Slate Includes Full Seasons of Current Hits THE APPRENTICE, AMERICAN DREAMS, LAS VEGAS, LAW & ORDER Plus Classic Series AMAZING STORIES, KNIGHT RIDER, BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY and MIAMI VICE and Much More!!!

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Establishing itself as a leading provider of TV-to-DVD entertainment, Universal Studios Home Video (USHV) announces an electrifying slate of television series on DVD. The releases, many of which have never before been available on DVD, including such classic hits as MAGNUM P.I., NIGHT GALLERY, THE MUNSTERS, COLUMBO, DREAM ON, AMAZING STORIES, BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY and MIAMI VICE as well as high-rated current series including THE APPRENTICE, AMERICAN DREAMS, LAS VEGAS, LAW & ORDER, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. Many of these collections feature extensive bonus materials and innovative one-of-a-kind packaging, making them must-haves for TV fans and DVD collectors alike.

Among Universal's formidable upcoming TV-to-DVD offerings is THE APPRENTICE: SEASON ONE (Street Date: August 24, 2004). With over 20 million viewers, THE APPRENTICE was the top-rated show of the 2003-2004 season. Produced by reality TV guru Mark Burnett ("Survivor") and presided over by notorious business tycoon Donald Trump, THE APPRENTICE challenges 16 eager contestants to compete for the career opportunity of a lifetime while trying to avoid the dreaded words "You're Fired!" The DVD collection is packed with never-before-seen extras including revealing behind-the-scenes interviews and an exclusive peak at the show's exciting second season.

At the same time, Universal Studios Home Video is digging into its storied vault to select popular and critically acclaimed shows from Universal TV's fabled past and releasing them for the first time on DVD. Classic TV series to be released on DVD in coming months include KNIGHT RIDER: SEASON ONE (August 3, 2004), SLIDERS: THE FIRST & SECOND SEASONS (August 3, 2004), THE MUNSTERS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (August 24, 2004), NIGHT GALLERY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (August 24, 2004), MAGNUM P.I. the COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (September 7, 2004), COLUMBO: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (September 7, 2004), DREAM ON: THE FIRST & SECOND SEASONS (October 12, 2004), AMAZING STORIES: SEASON ONE (November 2, 2004), BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY: THE COMPLETE SERIES (November 16, 2004).

More arresting television is headed onto DVD this fall with the September 14, 2004 release of LAW & ORDER: THE FOURTEENTH YEAR, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: THE FIFTH YEAR and LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT: THE THIRD YEAR. Emmy(R) award winner LAW & ORDER, the longest-running drama series on TV, delivers gripping suspense ripped from today's most controversial headlines.

The DVD collections, each priced at $59.98, will allow fans to enjoy every thrilling episode of the most recent 2003-2004 season of their favorite show, whenever they want.

Series creator Dick Wolf followed the success of the original show with Emmy(R)-nominated LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT. Entering its sixth season, this hard-hitting drama chronicles the life and crime fighting of the New York Police Department's elite Special Victims Unit. The latest in the franchise, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, is Wolf's gritty, psychological and suspenseful crime drama, entering its fourth season. LAW & ORDER: CI offers an additional dimension by exposing major crimes from the criminal's perspective, thus offering an up-close and personal look into the criminal justice system.

KNIGHT RIDER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (August 3, 2004) features 22 action-packed episodes of the much loved hit series that jump-started the career of David Hasselhoff. Hasselhoff (Baywatch) plays crime fighter Michael Knight, who with the aid of K.I.T.T. -- a supercar outfitted with high-tech gadgets and a personality (voiced by William Daniels) -- champions the cause of the innocent and the helpless against the powerful and corrupt. As a special bonus, this 4-disc set also includes the television movie Knight Rider 2000 plus three featurettes on the stunts, music and history of KNIGHT RIDER that includes interviews with David Hasselhoff and Glen Larson. KNIGHT RIDER: THE SEASON ONE is available to own at $59.98 SRP.

On August 3rd, sci-fi fans will relish the DVD release of the complete first and second season of SLIDERS ($89.98 SRP), deemed "Fox's hottest cyber- buzz show since 'The X-Files'" by TV Guide. The series centers on brilliant grad student Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell), who opens a wormhole to parallel universes where history has taken different paths, some subtly changed and others radically different. Quinn's first voyage goes awry, stranding his physics professor Arturo (John Rhys-Davies), his friend Wade (Sabrina Lloyd) and bystander Rembrandt (Cleavant Derricks) in parallel San Franciscos, "sliding" from one alternate reality to another unable to return home. Arriving in a 6-disc collection, bonus features that whisk viewers to an alternate reality include audio commentary of the pilot episode with creators Tracy Torme and Robert K. Weiss and interviews with series star Jerry O'Connell.

One of the most popular series in TV history, MAGNUM PI, starring Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R)-winner Tom Selleck (3 Men and a Baby, In & Out), is being released for the first time on DVD in a must-own collection on September 7, 2004. MAGNUM PI: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON includes 18 episodes plus a special bonus DVD featuring four additional episodes ($59.98 SRP) showcasing the show's biggest guest stars. Serving up action and adventure on the islands of Hawaii, the DVD includes star turns by Sharon Stone, Morgan Fairchild and fellow private eyes "Simon & Simon." Tom Selleck plays Thomas Magnum, a Vietnam veteran turned private investigator who works as head of security on the luxurious Hawaiian estate of wealthy absentee owner Robin Masters. With the mansion and its amenities -- including a 308 GTS Ferrari -- at his disposal, Magnum investigates his cases while clashing with the strict estate caretaker, Jonathan Higgins (John Hillerman). Created by Glen A. Larson ("Knight Rider," "Battlestar Galactica") and Donald P. Bellasario ("Quantum Leap," "JAG"), the first season guest stars included Ted Danson ("Cheers," "Becker") and "The Sopranos" latest mob figure, Robert Loggia (Scarface).

COLUMBO: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($59.98 SRP) comes to DVD for the first time ever on September 7, 2004. Starring four-time Emmy(R)-winner Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo, the DVD includes a first season episode directed by Steven Spielberg and three episodes from acclaimed television writer, Steven Bochco ("NYPD Blue," "LA Law," "Hill Street Blues"). Described by the Los Angeles Times, as "television's greatest detective, as well as one of its best loved characters," the smart and clever series arrives in a five-disc set and includes the two original Columbo movies -- "Prescription: Murder" and "Ransom for a Dead Man."

Another popular television sleuth, Jessica Fletcher makes her return to the small screen with the first season of MURDER SHE WROTE, starring Golden Globe and Tony(R) award-winning actress Angela Lansbury as everyone's favorite mystery writer. The Emmy(R)-winning series that remained a consistently top rated show for over a decade will be released on DVD for the first time ever.

Prepare for the chill of a lifetime as the master of suspense, Rod Serling, hosts over 20 stories of terror in NIGHT GALLERY ($59.98). This classic series on DVD features the original pilot movie and every spine- tingling episode from the complete first season. Thrill to stories adapted from short story legends such as H. P. Lovecraft and Conrad Aiken, performed by Hollywood greats including Diane Keaton, Joan Crawford and Roddy McDowall, and directed by cinematic masters like Steven Spielberg in this unforgettable series -- available on DVD for the first time on August 24, 2004.

DREAM ON, the sexy and hilarious Emmy(R)-winning HBO series that paved the way for the cable channel's "Sex & The City" will steam up the small screen again when it makes its DVD debut on October 12, 2004. Called "a sexy, urbane comedy" by the Los Angeles Times, the groundbreaking series from writer- director John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers) and "Friends" creators Kevin S. Bright, David Crane and Marta Kauffman ran for six seasons on HBO. It centers on Martin Tupper (Brian Benben), a divorced dreamer living with his teenage son, who is obsessed with dating but has no idea how to relate to women. The series is renowned for its use of classic movie clips plus pushing the envelope of language and female nudity. Now 29 unedited episodes plus bonus materials will be available on the five-disc set DREAM ON: THE FIRST & SECOND SEASONS for $59.98 SRP.

Universal's Action and Suspense Series -- Newly Available To Own on DVD -- Dominate Decades

Universal's strength in the television action genre is once again flexed with the recent first-time-ever DVD release of A-TEAM, and the upcoming DVD releases of KNIGHT RIDER and MAGNUM P.I. The trend continues when MIAMI VICE, the television show that captured a decade and defined popular culture, will be released on DVD. Executive produced by director Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider, Ali) and Dick Wolf (Law & Order franchise), the multiple Emmy(R)- winning action-packed police drama, MIAMI VICE, set trends in fashion, music and filmmaking. Starring Don Johnson (Sonny Crockett) and Philip Michael Thomas (Rico Tubbs), MIAMI VICE is set under the pulse and rhythm of the glamorous resort city of Miami and is juxtaposed against the seedy haunts of the drug underworld. Led by a notable line-up of season one guest stars including Bruce Willis, Jimmy Smits ("NYPD Blue"), Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible), Pam Grier (Jackie Brown) and John Turturro (O Brother Where Art Thou?), MIAMI VICE: SEASON ONE, will be a must-own for any DVD fan.

Get ready for the first season of LAS VEGAS on DVD -- the fast-paced, sexy drama that follows the elite Las Vegas surveillance team charged with maintaining the security of one of "Sin City's" largest resorts and casinos. The slick, stylish NBC hit LAS VEGAS, was the highest rated drama among 18-49 year olds of the 2003-2004 season. Big Ed Deline (James Caan) is the head of the surveillance team for the Montecito Resort & Casino, as well as the newly appointed President of Operations. His right-hand man is Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel). They deal with card-counting cheaters, costly streaks of random luck and rival casinos stealing their big-money players. If the job-related pressures weren't enough, Big Ed recently found Danny in bed with his only daughter, Delinda (Molly Sims). The first season of LAS VEGAS also includes an impressive line-up of guest stars: Paris Hilton, Alec Baldwin, Dennis Hopper, Sugar Ray, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sean Astin, Wayne Newton, Little Richard, and Penn & Teller.

The Next Great American Family Drama Comes to DVD This Fall

AMERICAN DREAMS is coming to DVD like you've never seen it -- or heard it -- before. Universal Studios Home Video is proud to announce the release of the complete first season of the Emmy Award(R) winning series featuring extended performances from today's hottest music superstars appearing as 1960s music icons. Packed with unforgettable rock and roll hits and exciting bonus features all presented in digital 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, AMERICAN DREAMS -- SEASON 1 EXTENDED MUSIC EDITION is a must-own for fans of the critically- acclaimed series or anyone who just loves great music. Featured artists include Usher, Ashanti, Kelly Rowland (of Destiny's Child), LeAnn Rimes, Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton, India.Arie, B2K, Stacie Orrico, Third Eye Blind, Duncan Sheik and more. An evocative drama set against the memorable, upbeat sounds of the 1960s, AMERICAN DREAMS depicts a more innocent America, bracing for cultural turbulence ahead, as seen through the youthful Pryor family.

One of the Funniest Classic Comedy Series of All Time Comes to DVD, Scaring Up Laughs Again and Again

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, the first season of America's first family of fright, THE MUNSTERS, releases on DVD for the first time ever. Starring Fred Gwynne and Yvonne De Carlo, this timeless collection, which has entertained fans of all ages and generations, is available to own at $59.98 SRP. DVD fans will take a trip back to the spooky house at 1313 Mockingbird Lane as the highly-collectible set includes the wacky un-aired pilot episode plus all 38 episodes from THE MUNSTERS first season. Get ready to laugh as the decent and loving family can't understand why the outside world reacts to them with shock and horror.

ADDITIONAL TELEVISION GEMS

Additional gems to be released as the Universal TV vaults open include ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, the classic series which offered a chilling story in each episode by the master of suspense himself; AMAZING STORIES, the Emmy(R)-Award winning anthology series created and produced by Steven Spielberg featuring an incredible roster of guest appearances including Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Kevin Costner, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Drew Barrymore and many more; BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY, from legendary creator and producer Glen A. Larson ("Knight Rider," "Magnum P.I.," "Battlestar Galactica"), the visionary sci-fi program starring Gil Gerard and Erin Gray celebrates its 25th anniversary and spun off from "The Six Million Dollar Man" comes THE BIONIC WOMAN, TV's original female action-hero, immortalized by Emmy (R)-winner Lindsay Wagner, whose special surgery has replaced her ear, arm, and both legs with bionic ones.

Universal Studios Home Video will also be releasing several acclaimed miniseries from the USA Network. TRAFFIC, from the producer of 24 and based on the critically acclaimed Oscar(R)-winning film by the same name offers viewers a look into the world of trafficking, where drugs, weapons, and even people are traded all over the world and in the tradition of Gladiator, Troy and Alexander, the legendary story of SPARTACUS comes alive in an epic motion picture event. This all-new version of the classic adventure stars ER's Goran Visnjic as the slave-turned-gladiator who takes on the Roman Empire. Packed with action, suspense and romance on a grand scale, the SPARTACUS miniseries will be available to own for the first time on DVD. Get ready for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE ALL-NEW MINISERIES, the classic sci-fi series reinvented for the new millennium and featuring Oscar-nominated actors Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver) and Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves). The SCI-FI Channel hit miniseries comes to DVD later this year.

Universal Studios Home Video is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (http://www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates the No. 1 television network, the fastest-growing Spanish-language network, a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

Thanks to Martin Albert from www.coindudvd.com for the heads up on this announcement.

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