Here's the latest batch of new-to-DVD television programs, arriving in stores between now and next week.
• "Unsuitable Job For a Woman: Series 1 & 2" (WGBH, 1997-2001, four discs, $49.95). Helen Baxendale is quite good as P.D. James' English private eye Cordelia Gray in this collection of four feature-length episodes. Cordelia inherits a rundown detective agency and gets training on the job as she investigates mysteries where nothing is quite as it seems, including an apparent suicide, a philanderer who may be guilty of much more, a routine surveillance that uncovers a murder, and another murder that gets her tangled up with Scotland Yard.
Extras: full frame, four episodes
• "Gunsmoke: The Second Season, Volume 1" (CBS/Paramount, 1956-57, b/w, three discs, $39.99). This is the first half of the second season of this seminal Western TV series at this point still a half-hour drama in black and white, as U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) encounters a variety of characters who pass through Dodge City including an Army deserter, a former member of Billy the Kid's gang and a mountain man with an Indian wife (played by a very young Angie Dickinson).
Extras: full frame, 20 episodes, sponsor spots
• "Growing Up Arctic" (Animal Planet/Genius, 2007, $14.95). Families can enjoy this enjoyable cable program together as episodes focus on an orphaned walrus, seal and polar bear, with a bonus episode about penguins adapting to warmer climes.
Extras: full frame, four episodes
• "The Tudors: The Complete First Season" (Showtime/Paramount, 2007, $42.99). Typical R-rated Showtime fare, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII, who becomes king at 19 and begins to indulge in appetites that would become legendary.
Extras: widescreen, featurettes, episodes of other Showtime series
• "Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends" (Warner, 2007, two discs, $24.98). Clint Eastwood interviews Tony Bennett, with archival clips and contemporary performances for a look at Bennett's half-century career as a crooner. Harry Belafonte, Alec Baldwin, Christina Aguilera, and in historical clips, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, are among those who pay tribute.
Extras: widescreen, Bennett performing at the 2005 Monterey Jazz Festival, featurette
• "Words and Music by Jerry Herman" (PBS, 2007, $24.99). Fans of Broadway musicals are the target audience for this entertaining look at the life of the title composer, who scored "Hello, Dolly!" "Mame" and "La Cage aux Folles," among others. Performance clips include Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury and Charles Nelson Reilly.
Extras: widescreen, three musical numbers (one with Channing, another with Ethel Merman)
• "Citizen Tanouye" (WGBH, 2005, $19.95). Fascinating, sad story of Ted Tanouye, who was fighting overseas in World War II (he won a Medal of Honor), even while his family was being relocated to an internment camp.
Extras: widescreen, deleted scenes, trailer, featurette
• "Terry Jones' Barbarians" (Koch, 2006, two discs, $29.98). Former Monty Python member Jones combines history lessons with entertaining introductions and narrations in this look at a society we tend to think of as, well, barbaric, but which actually had a highly intelligent and organized people who left their mark on the creation of the modern world.
Extras: widescreen, four episodes
• "Secrets of the Samurai Sword" (WGBH, 2007, $19.95). Interesting exploration of the development of the razor-sharp katana, or samurai sword, which was designed to cut a person in half with a single stroke.
Extras: widescreen, printable materials
• "Weird Science: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2" (A&E, 1994, four discs, $44.95). Syndicated series based on John Hughes' 1985 teen farce about high school science geeks Wyatt and Gary (Michael Manasseri, John Mallory Asher) who "create" a computerized dream girl named Lisa (Vanessa Angel). The TV version turns into "I Dream of Jeannie," as Lisa grants them brief wishes.
Extras: full frame, 26 episodes, audio commentaries, text biographies, trivia quiz
• "Rob & Big: Complete Seasons 1 & 2: Uncensored" (MTV/Paramount, 2006-07, four discs, $39.99). Another MTV "reality" show, with professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and his bodyguard Christopher "Big Black" Boykin throwing a lavish birthday party for their bulldog and taking a road trip to California to enter their mini-horse in a show.
Extras: full frame, 16 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes
• "Jackass 2.5" (Paramount/MTV, 2007, $29.99). More crude, obnoxious pranks and stunts from Johnny Knoxville and friends.
Extras: widescreen, 16 segments, featurettes, photo gallery
• "The Naked Brothers Band: Season 1" (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2007, two discs, 13 episodes, $26.99)
• "Clifford the Big Red Dog: Playtime With Clifford" (Lionsgate, 2007, $14.98)• "Clifford the Big Red Dog: Be My Big Red Valentine" (Lionsgate, 2007, $14.98)
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