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Mama's Family - Thanks a Lot, Mama! Could New DVD Releases Be In-the-Works at Long Last?

Amazon shows pre-order for Season 1 (could it be uncut?!?!?), Season 2, plus Best-of DVD for both of those seasons. Good Lord!

Posted by David Lambert
In September 2006, Warner Home Video released Mama's Family - The Complete 1st Season on DVD, a 2-disc set with all the episodes from the short initial season of this program based on the skits of "The Family" that were often seen on The Carol Burnett Show. The outcry from fans came very quickly, however, that this release was actually less-than-complete, as these were edited versions of the episodes missing roughly 3 minutes per installment. Warner soon clarified that there were rights issues with the missing footage, and quickly it became known that the rights to the full episodes lay with John Hamilton, whose late father had run Joe Hamilton Productions (Joe had been married to Carol Burnett from 1963-1984). As recently as late 2011, Warner was stating publicly at their Facebook page that there were still rights issues preventing further DVD releases of Mama's Family.

Now, Amazon has a listing for a September 10th re-release of Mama's Family - Season 1 on DVD. Cost shown is discounted from a $22.95 SRP list price of a set running 339 minutes. As of this writing, Amazon shows the studio name to be "Wea-Des Moines Video" (which is the way the big e-tailer often lists the Warner Music Group and their subsidiaries, such as Rhino), but from what we've discerned the actual studio will be StarVista Entertainment (which is the company name that Time-Life Entertainment is in the process of switching over to); the same organization currently releasing licensed DVDs for The Carol Burnett Show. StarVista/Time-Life hasn't formally announced anything, however; all we have to go on right now is the Amazon listings. ListingS, did I say? Yes, because this is just one of 4 items that are up for pre-order at this time, all showing the same release date of September 10th: Our thanks to many of our readers, starting with "Emmy," for pointing these listings out to us. "Old lady, this time, you've gone too far! Season 1 shows "339 minutes." Now, often this early those running times will be guess-timates, calculated quickly by someone at the studio (sometimes not even involved in the DVDs' production) in order to fill in the blank on a solicitation of that upcoming title to the sellers. A running time cannot ever be truly calculated until the DVD masters are fully completed and ready to go to the factory to be pressed. BUT...IF the "339 minutes" happens to be correct, then that indicates an hour more of running time than Warner's 2006 release, which has a finalized run time of 278 minutes. So MAYBE good things are coming here. We'll have to wait and see, though! Please take it with a grain of salt for now.

Should you oughta pre-order these right away, then? You can, but keep several things in mind. If this show IS coming from StarVista/Time-Life, remember that this particular studio LOVES to put out Complete Series packages via their direct-sale website at, and have done so successfully in the past with shows like Get Smart, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Six Million Dollar Man and this year's China Beach. Since we don't have an official studio announcement yet, it is ENTIRELY possible to suspect that when the formal word comes, it might include word of a six-season package of Mama's Family - The Complete Series. Dare we hope? I'll hope for it. But you can always pre-order from Amazon now, and cancel later if a big set becomes available. It's also true, too, that since there is no formal announcement yet, that the Amazon listings might possibly be premature, and could be taken down until it all becomes official. That's certainly happened before. We don't know what's next, as of this writing, but please stay tuned and we'll try to bring you updates about these new items, as further developments occur!

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