The upcoming DVD release of the critically acclaimed “Route 66″ television series will be a four-disc set of the show’s first 15 episodes in 1960.
Among the special features will be descriptions of the Chevrolet Corvettes used during the series’ run, plus biographies and filmographies of impressive list of actors who appeared on the show.
Also, new DVD sets of additional episodes of “Route 66″ will be rolled out about every six months, until all 116 episodes about Buzz and Tod’s road adventures across America are back in the market.
These additional details about the long-awaited DVD release of “Route 66″ episodes were revealed by Kirk Hallam, president of Roxbury Entertainment, during a telephone interview. Roxbury, along with distributor Infinity Entertainment Group, are releasing the first “Route 66″ set on Oct. 23.
Amazon.com is taking pre-orders for the set, with a list price of $29.98. That’s less than eight bucks per disc. “Route 66″ fans have waited for years for a proper DVD release, and shoddy bootlegs have made the rounds in the interim.
The episodes will be digitally remastered for the best sound and picture possible. Roxbury appears to have good record in this regard. It released a “Best of Route 66″ two-DVD set of 11 favorite episodes, which was widely praised for its picture quality.
Hallam said he hopes future DVD releases will contain interviews with “Route 66’s” directors and supporting actors. Unfortunately, that probably won’t include co-stars Martin Milner and George Maharis, both are in fragile health. Glenn Corbett, who replaced Maharis when he left the show, died in 1993. “Route 66″ producer Herbert B. Leonard died in October.
Hallam said he acquired the rights to “Route 66″ from Leonard about seven years ago and the distribution rights from Sony two years ago so he could produce a “Route 66″ feature film.
Hallam said he always was a fan of the original “Route 66.” He found out he wasn’t alone.
“Along the way, we met so many people who asked, ‘Whatever happened to the old TV show? Why can’t we see it?'” Hallam said. “I realized there was a pretty big fan base who wanted to see it again.”
That convinced him to release “Route 66″ on DVD.
Hallam says the “Route 66″ feature film is in pre-production, with a release date of 2009 at the earliest. He says it already has secured a “major” director and screenwriter. Filming is tentatively scheduled for 2008.
Hallam says he and the main screenwriter soon will take a road trip down Route 66. He said all of the film’s exterior shots will be on the Mother Road, including in Joliet, Tulsa and San Bernardino.