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TV series galore on Blu-ray, DVD this week
Clockwise from left, Peter Scolari, Tom Poston, Mary Frann, Bob Newhart and Julia Duffy, the cast of "Newhart." Season 4 has just been released on DVD. - photo by The Shout! Factory

“Newhart,” “The Good Wife” and both “NCIS” shows lead TV series season sets on Blu-ray and DVD this week.

“Newhart: The Complete Fourth Season” (Shout!/DVD, 1985-86, three discs, 24 episodes). Bob Newhart’s second hit sitcom follows the formula that made “The Bob Newhart Show” so popular. Here, innkeeper and local cable-show host Dick Louden (Newhart) and his wife Joanna (Mary Frann) are the only sane members of an extremely eccentric Vermont community, with George (Tom Poston), Stephanie (Julia Duffy) and Michael (Peter Scolari) chief among the latter. Along with Larry and his brother(s) Darryl.

This season, Jose Ferrer shows up in two episodes as Stephanie’s father, Dick fills in for a kiddie-show host and causes the show to be canceled, George starts his own lodge and a ghost begins haunting the inn.

“The Good Wife: The Fifth Season” (CBS/Paramount/DVD, 2013-14, six discs, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, music video, bloopers). This season, Julianna Margulies and Matt Czuchry form their own law firm in competition with their old firm and the war games begin. Guests include Michael J. Fox, Jane Alexander, Rita Wilson, Edward Herrmann, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham and Tom Skerritt.

“NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Services: The Eleventh Season” (CBS/Paramount, 2013-14, six discs, 24 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes). Mark Harmon leads his team of investigators to New Orleans for a two-part mystery that serves as a pilot for the new “NCIS: New Orleans,” which begins next month and stars Scott Bakula. Other guests include Colin Hanks, Robert Wagner, Lolita Davidovich, Billy Dee Williams, Keith Carradine, Ben Vereen and Ralph Waite.

“NCIS: Los Angeles: The Fifth Season” (CBS/Paramount, 2013-14, six discs, 24 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes). LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell star in this “NCIS” spinoff, stopping a train bombing and heading to Afghanistan on a rescue mission. Linda Hunt and Miguel Ferrer co-star.

“Parks and Recreation: Season Six” (Universal/NBC, 2013-14, three discs, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, music video, bloopers). This season begins with a two-part episode filmed in London (to accommodate Chris Pratt, who was shooting “Guardians of the Galaxy” there, causing him to miss a few early episodes), and Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones leave the show after Episode 13. Meanwhile, Amy Poehler’s character becomes pregnant and accepts a new Chicago job. An abbreviated Season 7 will mark the show’s last 13 episodes.

“The Mindy Project: Season Two” (Universal/DVD, 2013-14, three discs, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, bloopers). Mindy Kaling’s silly sitcom has her playing an OB/GYN in a small New York practice, surrounded by the expected eccentrics. In the first episode here she returns from Haiti and must decide whether to stay in New York after meeting another doctor, played by James Franco. Other guests include Timothy Olyphant, Chloe Sevigny, Peter MacNicol and Tim Daly.

“Revolution: The Complete Second and Final Season” (Warner/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2013-14, five discs, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Post-apocalyptic sci-fi series follows a group of survivors struggling to get along without computers, transportation, electricity, etc., as paramilitary groups and freedom fighters roam the territory. Their goal is to re-establish the United States in the face of duplicitous leadership.

“Once Upon a Time: The Complete Third Season” (ABC/DVD, 2013-14, five disc, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). Season 3 finds the gang heading to Neverland to rescue Henry Mills from Peter Pan, and in the two-episode finale, who should show up but Elsa, the Snow Queen from Disney’s animated “Frozen.”

“The Millers: The First Season” (CBS/Paramount/DVD, 2013-14, three discs, 23 episodes, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers). Will Arnett stars in this sitcom as a newly divorced TV reporter ready to live the single life when his meddling mother (Margo Martindale) moves in, while his loopy father (Beau Bridges) moves in with his married sister (Jayma Mays). Good cast but only intermittently funny.

“Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fourth Season” (HBO/Blu-ray/Digital, 2013, four discs, 13 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes). HBO’s usual R-rated language, violence, sex and nudity are pervasive in this crime drama set in 1920s New York, following Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), who this season clashes with a Harlem power broker and is tempted by criminal opportunities in Florida.

“14 War Stories” BBC/DVD, 2014, two discs, eight episodes). The 14 personal World War I stories alluded to in the title unfold from letters written 100 years ago in diaries, letters, postcards and telegrams, enhanced by re-creations and archival footage.
“37 Days” (BBC/DVD, 2014, three episodes). Three-part British miniseries, a historical drama, explores the surprising chain of events that led to World War I. Ian McDiarmid and Tim Piggott-Smith star.

“Churchill’s First World War” (BBC/DVD, 2014). Documentary about Winston Churchill takes a unique approach, examining his fall from grace during World War I and his efforts to rebuild his reputation and work his way back into public office, much of it told through letters to his young wife Clementine.

“Royal Cousins at War” (BBC/DVD, 2014, two episodes). Documentary two-parter about three cousins — Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II, Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II and England’s George V — who mismanaged their countries and foreign policy in the run-up to World War I.

“A Haunting: Season 6” (Timeless/DVD, 2013, four episodes). So-called “reality” series of “true” horror stories, with re-enactments of hauntings that prompt people to call upon paranormal investigators.

“Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy” (Warner/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, two bonus episodes: “A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts,” “To Switch a Witch”). New Scooby-Doo cartoon feature (74 minutes) has Scooby, Shaggy, Fred and Daphne investigating Velma’s great-great-uncle Dr. Von Dinkenstein’s cursed castle in Transylvania, Pennsylvania.

Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at and can be contacted at