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Are You Ready for ... the Complete "Mama's Family"?

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 6, 2013

It's coming. Here's the official word: From the first time the wildly-popular sketch “The Family” aired on “The Carol Burnett Show” in 1974, Vicki Lawrence has been followed by a buxom, blue-haired, purse-lipped, 65-year-old widow.  This is, of course, Thelma Mae Crowley Harper, Lawrence’s indelible, abrasive and smart alecky alter ego who would eventually be spun-off into her own delightfully offbeat sitcom “Mama’s Family,” which debuted on NBC on January 22, 1983 and ran for six seasons.

 This July, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, invites all classic TV aficionados and sitcom lovers to spend some quality time with one of television’s original dysfunctional families with MAMA’S FAMILY: THE COMPLETE SERIES.  Marking the first time the entire run of this fan-favorite series will be released to DVD, the set will initially be offered exclusively online, available for pre-order beginning July 26 for $199.95 at

Set in the fictional city of Raytown, MAMA’S FAMILY revolves around the eye-opening escapades of the Harper clan, headed by formidable matriarch, Mama Harper, a fiery-tempered no-nonsense woman who does not suffer fools gladly.  In fact, she makes everybody suffer a little with her patented snappy retorts that truly put the “diss” in dysfunction.  Across 130 thirty-minute episodes spanning six seasons, viewers are treated to hilarious – and sometimes heart-warming -- family comedy of the highest degree.  Adding to the unforgettable mix are Mama’s journalist sister, Fran (Rue McClanahan, The Golden Girls), who lives with her; her youngest son, Vint (Ken Berry, F-Troop), who moves in with his two teenagers after he is evicted; and Naomi (Dorothy Lyman, All My Children), who marries Vint by Episode 4.  Mama’s extended family includes her two daughters, highfalutin’ Ellen (Betty White) and high-strung Eunice (Carol Burnett), as well as Eunice’s husband, Ed (Harvey Korman).

MAMA’S FAMILY: THE COMPLETE SERIES will arrive in a handsome collector’s set featuring all 130 episodes on 24 DVDs.  The first two seasons feature the rare, original broadcast masters (the “Joe Hamilton” cuts) of the episodes which fans have clamored about for years; they also feature Harvey Korman’s hilarious introductions as Alistair Quince (spoofing Alistair Cooke).  The set also contains over ten hours of specially-created programming including: a cast reunion roundtable with Vicki Lawrence (Mama), Ken Berry (Vint), Dorothy Lyman (Naomi), Beverly Archer (Iola), and Allan Kayser (Bubba), all-new cast and crew interviews, including the aforementioned cast, Betty White, executive producer Rick Hawkins, costumers Ret Turner and Bob Mackie and others, a very special one-on-one interview with Vicki “interviewing” Mama through the magic of split-screen; an exclusive new Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence interview, the 1982 CBS-TV movie “Eunice”,  which takes the Harper Family on a 23-year journey; an introductory note penned by Lawrence, key “Family” sketches from THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW and much more.

“I couldn’t be more excited that ‘Mama’s Family’ is being released to DVD by StarVista/Time Life,” said Vicki Lawrence. “They did such a wonderful job in bringing ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ to a new generation with their recent collector’s editions, and now, consumers will finally be able to bring Mama and her relations into their very own homes!”
“Well, it’s about damn time,” said Mama.  “I thought I was gonna have to wait’ll the Great Beyond to see this day”.

Following StarVista Entertainment/Time Life’s triumphant release of THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW (which, to date, has sold over 4 million DVDs), MAMA’S FAMILY is certain to thrill fans who’ve been eagerly awaiting its complete, unadulterated DVD release for years.  And, if you’ve never visited Raytown, you’ll be glad you did in this spinoff sitcom that launched 1000 quips.
# # #

Online pre-order begins: July 26, 2013
Price: $199.95
Online Exclusive Collection includes:
130 episodes across 24 DVDs in a collector’s set featuring eye-catching artwork and an introductory note from Vicki Lawrence
Collectible Mama's Family Album featuring character bios, a Mama's Family Tree, and interviews and anecdotes from cast members
Ten hours of specially-created bonus material including interviews, featurettes and more, including:
- A cast reunion roundtable with Vicki Lawrence (Mama), Ken Berry (Vint), Dorothy Lyman (Naomi), Beverly Archer (Iola), and Allan Kayser (Bubba)
- All-new cast interviews, including the aforementioned cast members as well as Betty White
- A special interview featuring Vicki “interviewing” Mama through the magic of split-screen technology
- An exclusive, new interview featuring TV comedy legends Vicki Lawrence and Carol Burnett
Crew interviews with executive producer Rick Hawkins, costumers Ret Turner and Bob Mackie and show writers Jim Evering and Manny Basanese
- The 1982 CBS-TV original movie “Eunice” – the precursor to the MAMA’S FAMILY series -- which takes the Harpers on a 23-year journey
- Key “Family” sketches from THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW


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