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Vintage TV series The Rebel makes its DVD debut this week
James Spader stars in "The Blacklist." The series' second season is now on Blu-ray and DVD. - photo by Chris Hicks
A vintage Western series is on DVD for the first time, along with the latest seasons of Mike & Molly and the NCIS shows.

The Rebel: The Complete Series (TMG/Shout!/DVD, 1959-61, b/w, 11 discs, 76 episodes, featurettes, commercials, photo gallery; vintage TV pilot: The Yank). Nick Adams was a charming young actor and rising star that had a guest shot on just about every major network-TV anthology program during the 1950s, as well as supporting roles in a number of major movies, including Mister Roberts, Rebel Without a Cause, No Time for Sergeants and Pillow Talk. He was nominated for a supporting Oscar in 1964 for Twilight of Honor. Then, in 1968, Adams died of a prescription-drug overdose at the age of 36.

In 1959, in the middle of his burgeoning career, Adams landed the starring role in a TV series. The two-season Western The Rebel holds up very well as a highly entertaining vintage show. Adams plays Johnny Yuma, a traumatized Civil War veteran who wanders the West helping others get out of various scrapes while trying to find redemption for himself.

Guests on the show are a whos who of the period, including then-new singing star Johnny Cash, up-and-comers Dan Blocker, Richard Farnsworth, Jamie Farr, Robert Vaughn, Robert Blake, Leonard Nimoy and wait for it Soupy Sales (as different characters in two episodes), as well as such veterans as John Carradine, William Demarest, Bob Steele, Tex Ritter, Agnes Moorehead, Jack Elam, Elisha Cook Jr. and Utahn Marie Windsor.

Mike & Molly: The Complete Fifth Season (Warner/DVD, 2014-15, three discs, 22 episodes, bloopers). Emmy-winner Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell make a charming, funny couple in this fitfully amusing sitcom, in which they are married and living in the basement at the home of her mother (Swoosie Kurtz) and sister (Katie Mixon). This season, Molly returns from a writers workshop with a publishers advance in hand for a romance novel, only to find she has writers block. (Season 6 begins this fall.)

NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service: The Twelfth Season (CBS/Paramount/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014-15, six discs, 24 episodes, deleted/extended scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes).

NCIS: Los Angeles: The Fifth Season (CBS/Paramount/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014-15, six discs, 24 episodes, featurettes).

NCIS: New Orleans: The First Season (CBS/Paramount/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014-15, six discs, 23 episodes, featurettes). It wont be long before well need an NCIS cable channel just to handle the reruns of all these shows! The anchor series, led by Mark Harmon, is still a top-rated program, and the five-year Los Angeles spinoff, starring Chris ODonnell and LL Cool J, also garners a lot of viewers. So it should be no surprise that the latest spinoff in the franchise, New Orleans, starring Scott Bakula, scored big in its first season. (And youll be happy to know that all three crime shows will be back on CBS next month, Los Angeles on Sept. 21, and the other two on Sept. 22.)

The Blacklist: The Complete Second Season (Sony/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014-15, five discs, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes). James Spader is creepy ex-government agent Red Reddington who became Americas most wanted criminal before surrendering in the first season to help a secret agency find terrorists, but only if he was partnered with rookie profiler Agent Keen (Megan Boone). Of course, he manipulated everyone until the FBI was working for him to take out his own enemies, and this season the twists and turns continue as Keen learns about her complicated past and the team begins to question her loyalties. (Season 3 begins Oct. 1.)

Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fourth Season (ABC/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014-15, five discs, 23 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). This popular mash-up of fairy tale characters and Disney villains (such as Cruella de Vil) cleverly switches up good guys and bad guys (Capt. Hook and Peter Pan, for example), and this season gets a jolt by bringing in the central players from Disneys Frozen. (Season 5 begins Sept. 27 on ABC.)

Greys Anatomy: Complete Eleventh Season (ABC/DVD, 2014-15, six discs, 24 episodes, deleted scenes, extended finale, featurettes). This medical soap operas 11th season revels in surprise relationships, deepening relationships and bumpy relationships, some involving Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) until tragedy intervenes. (Season 12 begins Sept. 24.)

Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One (eOne/DVD, 2014, three discs, 11 episodes, featurette, webisodes). Two officers who were shot in Season 4s cliffhanger are touch and go in the hospital while the crew gets back to business with a gang war, illegal gambling, car bombs, etc. (This DVD is titled Volume One because the 22-episode fifth season of the Canadian police procedural was split in two, with these 11 representing the first half. But when the second half was shown on TV this past May-July, it was labeled Season 6. Go figure.)

The Royals: The Complete First Season (Lionsgate/DVD, 2015, three discs, 10 episodes, featurettes). A fictional modern-day British royal family is the subject of this opulent soap opera on the E! cable channel, with Elizabeth Hurley starring as a seductive and scheming queen. The series kicks off with the death of the heir to the throne, putting his younger brother in line, forcing him to carefully navigate his romance with an American. (Season 2 is scheduled for next year.)

Izzy Young: Talking Folklore Center (MVD/DVD, 1989). This 1980s hourlong Swedish TV documentary follows Izzy Young as he makes a pilgrimage to the Folklore Center, the famed Greenwich Village book-and-record store he established in the late 1950s to embrace all things related to folk music. There, he meets up with old friends, including Pete Seeger, Mayor Ed Koch, Allen Ginsberg and others. (Young, who is now 87, has lived in Sweden since 1973, where he opened the Folklore Centrum.)

Operation Wild (PBS/DVD, 2014, three episodes). This three-part documentary follows a veterinary team around the world as its members treat large and exotic animals.

The Rise and Rise of the Bitcoin (PBS/DVD, 2015). This is a feature-length (96 minutes) overview of the Bitcoin through the eyes of a 35-year-old computer programmer that has immersed himself in the crypto-currency since 2011.

Frontline: Obama at War (PBS/DVD, 2015). Hourlong episode of Frontline examines the Obama administrations policies regarding Syria, beginning with the 2011 Arab Spring.

Frontline: Secrets, Politics and Torture (PBS/DVD, 2015). The hourlong Frontline episode uses recently declassified documents and interviews with prominent politicians to look at the CIAs top-secret interrogation program.

The Beginners Bible (StarVista/DVD, 1995, three episodes). Three non-denominational animated Bible stories for children, with English- and Spanish-language options (and an original theme song by Kathie Lee Gifford): Jesus and His Miracles, The Good Samaritan and The Prodigal Son.

The 7th Dwarf (Shout!/Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2015, featurettes, sing-alongs, downloadable royal birthday invitation). This dubbed-in-English German animated feature (88 minutes) is yet another fairy tale mash-up, with Snow White, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and, of course, the Seven Dwarfs. The plot has the dwarfs fighting off a witch and a dragon as they search for the true love of a princess so he can break a sleeping spell cast over the entire kingdom.

Daniel Goes to School (PBS Kids/DVD, 2012-14, eight episodes). Animated series adapted from Mister Rogers Neighborhood about young Daniel the tiger. These episodes are aimed at preschoolers who are getting ready to attend school.

Celebrate Fall (Nickelodeon/Paramount/DVD, 2010-15, six episodes). This includes episodes related to fall activities from six Nickelodeon animated series: PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Wallykazam!, Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi and Fresh Beat Band.
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