As the irascible Mama Harper, Vicki Lawrence was wondrously transformed into a full-tilt senior citizen, and it wasn't a matter of if, but when, she would get her own TV series, Mama's Family debuted in 1983 on NBC, lasting two seasons before going into syndication for another four years.
"Mama's Family never looked so good!" -- Parade.com "Before the ratings' juggernaut Roseanne, Mama's Family gave us a glimpse into the workings of an average family of underperformers who, amid the slapstick and one-liners, worried about money, about finding love, and about getting some respect." -- DVD Talk.com "A sweet blast from the past" -- TV of the Absurd.com
THIS FEBRUARY, WARD OFF THE WINTER CHILL WITH THE CONSTANT LAUGHTER FOUND IN THE LATEST DVD RELEASE FROM VICKI LAWRENCE'S FAN-FAVORITE TV COMEDY SPUN OFF FROM "THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW"
Mama's Family: Complete Third Season
Street Date: February 25, 2014 DVD SRP: $29.95 (4 discs)
Vicki Lawrence Interviews Thelma Mae Harper + Carol Burnett & Betty White Interviews
In the world of prime-time television, success often begets success by way of the spin-off. The Carol Burnett Show lasted eleven seasons on CBS, thanks in part to the recurring comedy sketches that attracted a large, loyal viewership. "The Family" remained a favorite because fans related to the Harpers' constant squabbling about the mundane. As the irascible Mama Harper, Vicki Lawrence was wondrously transformed into a full-tilt senior citizen, and it wasn't a matter of if, but when, she would get her own TV series, Mama's Family debuted in 1983 on NBC, lasting two seasons before going into syndication for another four years.
Following the DVD release of the first two single seasons of this hilarious - and often heartwarming - family comedy, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life delivers another season of laughter and dysfunction in equal measure with Mama's Family: Complete Third Season. Across four DVDs, fans of classic TV comedy will find 25 complete episodes from the show's first full season of syndication, and a host of specially-created bonus features.
•One of the first sitcoms to successfully reinvent itself in first-run syndication, the creative team behind Mama's Family - which, in Season Three included the return of Joe Hamilton as executive producer and director Dave Powers, who had previously helmed "The Carol Burnett Show" and "Three's Company" - was able to build upon the first 35 episodes and reshape the series to its full potential. In this third season, big changes are afoot in the Harper household: Vint's kids Buzz and Sonja are gone, replaced by Bubba Higgins (Allan Kayser), the son of Eunice and Ed. Bubba arrives fresh from a stint in juvenile hall, learning of his parents' move to Florida only after he settles in at Mama's place. The Harpers communicate about as well as they show each other some love. Mama's sister, Fran, mysteriously dies of "natural causes" - "natural" only if you belong to the crazy Harper clan. Before the service, Mama chides Naomi (Dorothy Lyman) about her big hair by cracking, "You're going to a funeral, not the Country Music Awards!" Thelma's mad at daughter Ellen (Betty White) for missing Fran's funeral, but she eases up when Ellen goes under the knife. And nosy old-maid neighbor Iola (Beverly Archer), who has her eye on Vint (Ken Berry), blames the Harpers when she loses her pearl necklace at their house. It doesn't take Columbo to solve this "crime."
* Family History: A Classic "Family" Sketch from The Carol Burnett Show, featuring Maggie Smith (Show #909, Original Air Date: November 15, 1975)
* Featurette: Mama's Family Tree: The Sprouts (All about Bubba)
* Mama Knows Best: A Mama's Family Cast Reunion
* Interview: Allan Kayser (Bubba Higgins)
* Betty White ("Hot in Cleveland", "The Golden Girls")
* Dr. Joyce Brothers
* Brent Spiner ("Star Trek: The Next Generation")
* Jack Dodson ("The Andy Griffith Show")
* Lewis Arquette (Best in Show)
ABOUT Mama's Family
From the first time the wildly-popular sketch "The Family" aired on "The Carol Burnett Show" in 1974, Vicki Lawrence has been followed by a buxom, blue-haired, purse-lipped, 65-year-old widow. This is, of course, Thelma Mae Crowley Harper, Lawrence's indelible, abrasive and smart alecky alter ego who would eventually be spun-off into her own delightfully offbeat sitcom "Mama's Family," which debuted on NBC on January 22, 1983 and ran for six seasons. Set in the fictional city of Raytown, MAMA'S FAMILY revolves around the eye-opening escapades of the Harper clan, headed by formidable matriarch, Mama Harper, a fiery-tempered no-nonsense woman who does not suffer fools gladly. In fact, she makes everybody suffer a little with her patented snappy retorts that truly put the "diss" in dysfunction. Across 130 thirty-minute episodes, viewers were treated to family comedy of the highest degree.
Catalog #: 30369-X
Running Time: 655 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Posted by: News Editor - February 19, 2014, 8:28 am - PR
Keywords: television, comedy