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Newhart: Season 1

354 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Feb 26, 2008)
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(Apr 12, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bob Newhart returns to the TV as Dick Loudon, as he and his wife Joanna decide to leave life in New York City and buy a little inn in Vermont. Dick is a how-to book writer, who eventually becomes a local TV celebrity as host of "Vermont Today."

Looking for the perfect getaway? Check in to Newhart, finally open for business on DVD. Let’s consult the travel guide: "Nestled in a grove of majestic maples just a stone’s throw from the ivy covered walls of Dartmouth University lies the authentic colonial comfort of the Stratford Inn. Your jolly and congenial hosts are well known author Dick Loudon and his wife, Joanna." It’s the ideal setup for the understated Newhart who is right at home in this quaint and bucolic setting. Between the guests and the colorful town characters, he has ample opportunities to do what he did so expertly on The Bob Newhart Show; deal with the crazies (as he so elegantly puts it in one of this set’s bonus featurettes). Newhart stars as Loudon, a successful New York writer of how-to books, who, with his more reluctant wife, Joanna (Mary Frann, who rises to the unenviable challenge of following Bob’s first TV wife, Suzanne Pleschette), uproots their lives to buy and run the venerable Stratford. The place comes with some colorful history (in the pilot, it is revealed that the inn once served as a house of ill repute, and in another episode, Bob learns that a woman hung as a witch is buried in the basement). It also comes with George Utley (Tom Poston), the handyman, who may have more than one screw loose. Newhart’s first season provided the series with a solid foundation. It just needed a little tinkering. Kirk (Second City veteran Steven Kampmann), owner of the neighboring café, is introduced as a habitual liar, a character trait that is thankfully phased out as the season unfolds (his character would exit the show after two seasons). Pam-pretty and sweet Leslie (Jennifer Holmes), the maid, an heiress who wants "to experience the real world," would be replaced in season two by Julia Duffy, who is introduced as her cousin in the episode, "What is This Thing Called Lust?" But the series’ most welcome additions are backwoodsmen Larry (William Sanderson) and his silent brothers Darryl (John Voldstad) and Darryl (Tony Papenfuss), who make their auspicious debut in the second episode. An instant hit, they were brought back for another before becoming regulars in season two. Newhart is four-star character-based comedy. There is nary a cheap or easy laugh in these episodes. Lines such as "There go the dregs of society," "I haven’t got $80," and "What would you say if you weren’t a college graduate," aren’t funny out of context, but spoken by these characters, they’re boffo. The DVD box lists four extras, but there are only three. The best is "Getting to the Heart of Newhart," in which cast members Newhart, Duffy, Sanderson, and Voldstad reflect on the series and pay moving tribute to the late Poston and Frann. Considering how much fun they all say it was to work on the show, a gag reel (including the classic blooper in which Newhart accidentally calls Frann’s character, "Emily") would have been a nice amenity. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Steven Kampmann, Rebecca York, Cliff Bemis, Todd Susman, Linda Carlson
  • Directors: Jim Buck, John Tracy (II), Ellen Falcon, Peter Scolari, Lee Shallat Chemel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 546 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (354 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YKYT1M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,497 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Newhart: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 174 people found the following review helpful By USAF Veteran VINE VOICE on November 19, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
They don't make them like they used to. This is one of TV's great comedies, anchored by Bob Newhart, and supported by an excellent cast that changed through the seasons. Season one has almost no Julia Duffy character - the ditzy, pampered maid - no Peter Scolari (the irritating yuppy) in love, and minimal Larry, Darryl and Darryl, the Marx brother like stooges who later become a major fixture on the show.

Still Tom Poston, the handyman, Kirk, the narcissistic cafe owner, and the wonderfully inept local Vermont Townsmen do a great job, and they just get better as the show develops. Truly intelligent family fare.

I really miss this one considering the current wasteland of staged "reality" shows, nasty and violent cop dramas, and smutty dysfunctional family comedies. You can sign me up for this one, and I can't wait for the other seasons.
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132 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Farrell Wheeler on March 5, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I don't remember a television show that was as funny as The Bob Newhart Show. The staid, professional Dr. Hartley and his wife are surrounded by a parade of the wackiest neighbors, colleagues and friends that one could imagine. Even Dr. Hartley's "group" is an hysterical array of people who somehow make even those in for psychological help seem funny without making fun of their individual problems. This show is classic Newhart. It is not slapstick or in-your-face humor nor is it anything like the comedy seen on television today. Bob Newhart is subtle and timed with absolute precision. Bob's facial expression (or should I say lack of one) tells us that something funny is about to happen. You won't go wrong getting The Bob Newhart Show if you love wonderful, colorful characters, first-rate writing and everyday situations which are full of humor and wit.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By R. Jamieson on November 21, 2007
Format: DVD
Newhart was very likely the best situation comedy of the 80s and I sorely miss seeing Bob on TV. I'm one of those who has a fondness for the first couple of seasons, when the humour was at its most intelligent and subtle...not unlike Bob himself, come to think of it. This DVD release is highly anticipated though I share the pessimism of others that Fox will stick with the series. Inevitably, demand for series TV tends to drop off as additional years are released. Perhaps more distrubutors should take a cue from Time-Life, who released all seasons of Get Smart in a single package, before rolling out individual seasons. It allows true fans to collect the full set at a reasonable one-time price and more casual fans to collect only selected seasons. Much smarter marketing, in my view, than the painful sporadic (and indefinite) release of discs over a period of years.
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201 of 219 people found the following review helpful By Ned on February 27, 2005
Format: DVD
At last Bob Newart is on DVD.

This first release of The Bob Newhart show on DVD contains all of the episodes of its first season. All 24 episodes are contained on 3 disks. It is full frame and list at 657 minutes.

1) Fly the Unfriendly Skies - Bob invites Emily to join his fear of flying group on a outing to New York.

2) Tracy Grammar School - Bob feels left out when he is not invited to one if of Emily's classes.

3) Tennis, Emily? - Emily's tennis instructor comes to see Bob about his inability to turn down the women who are attracted to him.

4) Mom, I Love You - Bob can't tell his mother that he loves her.

5) Goodnight Nancy - Bob's old girlfriend comes to town.

6) Come Live With Me - Carol wants move in with her boyfriend.

7) Father Knows Worst - Howard believes that his son does not like him.

8) Don't Go To Bed Mad - Bob and Emily have a disagreement about Monday Night football.

9) P-I-L-O-T - Since Bob and Emily can't have a child, they think about adopting.

10) Anything Happen While I Was Gone - Jerry announces his engagement.

11) I Want To Be Alone - Bob needs some quite time, moves into a hotel and Howard thinks that Bob and Emily are breaking up.

12) Bob and Emily and Howard and Carol and Jerry - Howard has a tooth pulled.

13) I Owe it all to you... But not that Much - Jerry becomes one of Bob patients when he can't get serious with any of his dates.

14) His Busiest Season - When Bob's group can't find any Christmas spirit, he invites them over for Christmas Eve.

15) Let's Get Away from it Almost - Bob and Emily spend time at a ski lodge and find themselves with an annoying couple.
Read more ›
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Autumn Christmas on November 14, 2007
Format: DVD
Newhart is simply the best television show ever made. It's funny, relaxing, and something that the whole family can watch together. I will buy this dvd set on Feb 26th, and will be ready for season 2 by 9pm that night!
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on May 14, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Long before today's stand-up comics started to get their own series, Bob Newhart made the move from being a stand-up comic to the main character of his own situation comedy. His success as a stand-up comedian had led to his hosting a variety show in 1961, but hosting a show is not the same as acting and this show from the 1970s led the way to so many comedians making the move. As with all his series, the success of "The Bob Newhart Show" comes from the ensemble and the writing.

The first season (1972-1973) is a bit uneven at the start, but the creators and writers tweaked it a bit to get the right feel and by the end of the first season the show had really hit its stride. The difference between the pilot episode and shows like "The Man with the Golden Wrist", "Not with my Sister you don't", and "Bum Voyage" is tremendous. So if you think the show isn't as good as you remembered it when you are watching the shows from the first third of the season, don't worry too much, because it keeps getting better, and the last third of the season is very funny.

There are no extras in this DVD set. There are 24 episodes on 3 DVDs each of which has 4 episodes per side. There are no actor profiles, features, interviews, or anything like that. The sound is mono, and they probably could have done a better job of cleaning up the video. However, despite these issues this is definitely a funny show and for those who like comedy with more thought and less slapstick, this is for you. I can only give this DVD set 3 stars because of the issues I mentioned with the DVD set, and because the show itself gets better in subsequent seasons.
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Annoyed with Fox? Here's contact info!

You are absolutely right. I would also specify 'among others', includes "Green Acres" and "The Flying Nun".

Eric Henderson
Jan 2, 2008 by Eric Henderson |  See all 4 posts
Disc's are skipping
I'm having a problem with my disc too. The first one has a "disc error" on it, or so my DVD player tells me! I only played it once and didn't even get to see all the episodes.
Apr 30, 2008 by Jane |  See all 2 posts
Newhart's first season here was on videotape but...
I actually like the fact that the first season was shot on live-look videotape (a la "Living Single" or "Martin"). It gives it a more intimate look and feel than film did. Later seasons, though, they switched to videotape that I believe was processed with Filmlook®... Read More
Mar 1, 2008 by The Angry Charlottean |  See all 4 posts
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