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Barney Miller - The First Season

180 customer reviews

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(Jan 20, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Barney Miller is the kind of cop we'd all like to meet. He somehow manages to maintain order over a group of inner-city detectives who gamble for a hobby, get hit on by anything in skirts, go to renaissance philosophy conventions for fun, and would really prefer to be writing. Stars Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda and more! Two-disc set includes all 13 episodes from the first season.

The brainchild of veteran writer-directors Danny Arnold and Theodore J. Flicker, the comedy/drama Barney Miller (1975-1982) offered a very human look at the inner workings of a New York City police precinct; its wry and observant scripts, aided by a stellar cast, helped earn the series three Emmy Awards and a devoted fan base, which should be pleased by this two-disc set that compiles its entire first season. Viewers familiar with the series' later seasons will notice substantial differences in the cast and storyline; episodes divide Barney's (Hal Linden) time evenly between the 12th Precinct and his apartment, which he shares with wife Barbara Barrie and two children (all of whom would be phased out of the series). The first season squad was composed of Abe Vigoda's dyspeptic Fish, the overeager Wojciehowicz (Max Gail), dry-witted Yemana (Jack Soo, who passed away during the fifth season), and street-smart Chano (Gregory Sierra, who departed the series after the second season); Ron Glass's dapper Harris would not be listed in the opening credits until subsequent seasons.

Arnold, along with Chris Hayward (Get Smart) and other scribes, would pen the majority of the first season, which set the tone for the series by pitting the squad against a host of offbeat criminals, other cops, and regular citizens, several of whom would become semi-regulars; James Gregory's crusty Inspector Luger makes his debut in "Vigilante" (episode 9), while unscrupulous lawyer Arnold Ripner (Alex Henteloff) and Detective Wentworth (a pre-Alice Linda Lavin) have their first appearances in "The Experience" (episode 2) and "Ms. Cop" (episode 8), respectively.

Columbia/TriStar's two-disc set offers all 13 episodes of the first season, as well as short credit lists for some of the major players; the little-seen 1974 pilot, "The Life and Times of Captain Barney Miller," might have made an interesting supplemental feature, but fans should be pleased to have this set regardless. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • 13 episodes on two discs
  • Cast TV-ographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Ron Glass, Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Max Gail, Jack Soo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 320 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008EY6N
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,408 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Barney Miller - The First Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 174 people found the following review helpful By B-MAN on February 22, 2004
Format: DVD
Who can forget that classic bass line intro! Barney Miller is finally on DVD in a two DVD set featuring the first 13 episodes of season 1 totally uncut and commercial free for the first time! Barney Miller ran from Jan. 1975 to May 1982 (8 seasons, 170 episodes). The sitcom was a new concept, concerning a group of Police Detectives and their Captain and the goings-on in a NY precinct squadroom. The cast, which would make slight changes over the years, had to be one of the most diverse in TV history. In season one, the cast includes Barney (Hal Linden), Wojciehowicz (Max Gail), Harris (Ron Glass), Fish (Abe Vigoda), Yemana (Jack Soo) and Chano (Gregory Sierra). Season 1 is also the only time Barney's whole family were shown. In Season 2, only his wife Elizabeth (Barbara Barrie) had appearances and by Season 3, even she was written out of the show. Barney Miller is a rare sitcom from the 70s that is essential and makes a welcome addition to other classics like All in the family, Sanford & Son, and the Jeffersons. Season one includes these episodes:
Disc One:
01. Ramon
02. The experience
03. Snow job
04. Graft
05. Courtesans
06. Stakeout
07. The Bureaucrat
08. Ms. Cop
09. The vigilante
Disc Two:
10. The guest
11. Escape artist
12. Hair
13. Hero
*The characters of Barney, Wojo, & Harris would be the only detectives to remain throughout the entire series as regular cast members. Fish left after 3 seasons, Chano after 2, and Yemana after 4 (Jack Soo passed away in January 1979). In season 3, Detrich (Steve Landesberg) & Levitt (Ron Carey) would join the cast as regulars until the series ended.
*Look for Linda Lavin (TV's Alice) in episode 8 debuting as Det. Janice Wentworth.
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105 of 107 people found the following review helpful By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt on January 28, 2004
Format: DVD
Okay, I know there was a lot of dreck back then too, (Remember "The Nancy Walker Show"? Count yourself lucky if you don't.) but it does seem that the 70s were the golden age of the TV sitcom, with such ground-breakers as "All In The Family," "M*A*S*H" and "Mary Tyler Moore" leading the way. Those fine shows always got their due in terms of critical applause, but nestled among them was a quiet little gem of wit and insight that to my mind was never fully appreciated, then or now.
That show is "Barney Miller," and finally, at long last, it comes to DVD. That alone is reason to rejoice. The show has been pretty much gone from syndication for years, for some odd reason. The Internet Movie Data Base has almost nothing on it. Virtually the only evidence it ever existed is Barney's badge, which is on display in the Smithsonian Institution.
The first season is a bit different than the rest of the series, however. The writers and producers were still finding their voices, or rather the show's voice. Things are a bit more "hysterical," and the droll wit that later became the show's signature is present here only in small amounts. (Tellingly, those jokes get the biggest laughs.) The first season sought to balance Barney's home life with his work, but gradually the home, including the wife and kids, were phased out. ("Just Shoot Me" followed the same trajectory, albeit much more quickly. With "JSM," however, I liked it the original way.) Even in the pilot episode, the home sequences are stagy, slow and a one-joke affair. (Wife wants hubby to quit the force; hubby loves his job too much.) The show only displays its true potential when we're in the stationhouse. And Ron Glass, not a permanent member in the first year, is not present in all the episodes.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By cyclista on February 8, 2004
Format: DVD
Wow! Barney Miller had a lot of talented actors. Abe Vigoda as "Fish" is one of our favorites. We thought that Gregory Sierra was great as Julio on "Sanford & Son", and we enjoyed him just as much on "Barney Miller". The multicultural crew was a tremendous mix of people and personalities. We thought "Barney Miller" was one of the funniest shows on TV. This wasn't one of the seasons that won an Emmy, but a good season anyway. As others have noted, the video quality is not the best. The audio is acceptable with the dialogue being understandable in most places. I don't mind the lack of extras. I'd rather have no extras than something thrown together at the last minute. It would have been great to have the pilot, "The Life and Times of Barney Miller". The price seems a bit high for only 13 episodes. ("Gilligan's Island" has 36 episodes and the pilot episode for only a few dollars more!) We loved the comedy on this show.
Here is an episode guide, with a tiny description:
1. Ramon: A junkie holds the precinct hostage.
2. Experience: Detective Fish thinks about retiring. A bomb is left at the precinct.
3. Snow Job: Wojo has been entrusted with cash from a department store during a blizzard.
4. Graft: An inspector arrives to investigate possible corruption at the precinct.
5. The Courtesans: When Wojo tries to reform a hooker, she threatens to file harrassment charges.
6. Stakeout: A stakeout operation is threatened by some nosy neighbors.
7. Bureaucrat: A drunken bureaucrat is jailed.
8. Ms. Cop: Linda Lavin's first episode as a "by-the-book" cop.
9. Vigilante: An elderly man defends his neighborhood.
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Releasing All Seasons of Barney Miller
I agree. Barney Miller and WKRP were very funny shows. I know that getting the music releases for WKRP may be difficult and expensive, but I would bet the people would buy the set.

I can't believe that sales for Barney Miller-Season One were so low that it would impact releasing the other... Read More
Nov 18, 2006 by Dave O. |  See all 18 posts
barney miller dvd
I've searched everywhere I could, and I can't find an answer to your question. It's amazing to me that they would release the first season only. It seems that the dvd isn't selling that bad, so I don't see a reason why the other seasons would not be released.
Jul 26, 2006 by Bill Mobley |  See all 4 posts
Can anyone tell me if this release is either CC or has English subtitles?
You asked this forever ago, so this probably won't help you now. To the best of my knowledge, the DVD's are captioned, but don't have subtitles. If you have a TV/DVD player that can pull the captions from the DVD, you'll be okay (my old setup still does this). If you have to rely on a... Read More
Jan 7, 2010 by Hunk Golden |  See all 3 posts
Nobody born gay (Harvard supports this website info) Be the first to reply
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