A collection of favorite episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" and the second season of "Cheyenne" lead this look at TV shows new to DVD this week.
"The Andy Griffith Show: 50th Anniversary: The Best of Mayberry" (CBS/Paramount, 1960-86, b/w and color, three discs, $24.99). Those who love this sitcom but who don't want the trouble or expense of wading through the eight season sets have a nice alternative with these fan-favorite episodes.
Included are 17 classic black-and-white shows, all of them funny and warm (my personal favorite is "Citizen's Arrest"), along with the pilot (an episode of Danny Thomas' '50s and '60s sitcom), the 1986 reunion movie (the only color program in this set) and other bonus materials.
Extras: full frame, 17 episodes, pilot: "Danny Meets Andy Griffith," TV movie: "Return to Mayberry," sponsor/ad spots
"Cheyenne: The Second Season, Part One" (Warner Archives, 1956-57, b/w, four discs, $34.95)."Cheyenne: The Second Season, Part Two" (Warner Archives, 1957, b/w, four discs, $34.95). The second season of the early Western series starring Clint Walker has been split into two DVD sets and is being sold through Warner Archives (go to www.wbshop.com and click on "Archives"; watch for sales to bring down prices).
These hourlong episodes were expensive productions, filmed as movies instead of TV shows, with lots of outdoor location scenery. And because of the time it took for each episode, "Cheyenne" was never really a weekly series, but instead rotated with other shows.
Cheyenne Bodie is a tough but soft-spoken character who roams the West helping the disenfranchised and some of these episodes are particularly engaging.
Dennis Hopper and Dan Blocker guest in "Part One," and "Part Two" has episodes with Angie Dickinson, James Garner, Richard Crenna, Slim Pickens, John Carradine and Utah-born actress Marie Windsor.
Extras: full frame, 10 episodes each
"The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Volume 5" (ABC Family, 2010, three discs, $39.99). More high school romance and rivalries with teen mom Amy (Shailene Woodley) and friends in these episodes from the show's third season.
Extras: widescreen, 14 episodes, featurettes
"Billy the Exterminator: Season One" (A&E, 2009, two discs, $19.95)."Billy the Exterminator: Season Two" (A&E, 2010, three discs, $24.95). Pest killer Billy Bretherton goes after Louisiana's creepy crawlies with his pest management company in this reality show, helped (and hindered) by his eccentric family as he attempts to remove bats from a baseball stadium and deals with venomous snakes, water moccasins, wasps and an angry raccoon stuck in a dumpster.
Extras: widescreen, featurettes
"Gene Simmons Family Jewels: The Complete Season 4" (A&E, 2009, three discs, $19.95)."Gene Simmons Family Jewels: The Complete Season 5" (A&E, 2010, three discs, $19.95). Co-founder of the hard-rock band Kiss, Simmons has put his family on display in this reality show for several years now. Strictly for fans, of course. It ain't Ozzie & Harriet, or even Ozzy & Sharon.
Extras: widescreen, 18 episodes ("Season 4"), 17 episodes ("Season 5), deleted scenes