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The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Third Season



DVD Release Date: April 11, 2006 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.98
Number of Discs: 3 (double-sided)
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 632 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Subtitles in English and Spanish; Closed Captioned.
Special Features: Commentary with Bob Newhart, Peter Bonerz, Fred Willard and Jim Burrows on select episodes and "The Bob Newhart Show: Finding Their Grove - Season 3" featurette. (Total runtime: 8 minutes and 56 seconds)


The doctor is in again! Bob Newhart is back as successful Chicago psychologist Dr. Bob Hartley in the third season of his successful 70s sitcom. Join Dr. Hartley (Bob Newhart), his wife, Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), his wise-cracking secretary, Carol (Marcia Wallace), his two best friends, erratic dentist Jerry (Peter Bonerz) and airline pilot Howard (Howard Daily). Considered one of the greatest television shows of all time, "THE BOB NEWHART SHOW" THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON features all 24 episodes on three discs, audio commentaries and an all-new "making-of" featurette.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

This season, watch as Bob ... has second thoughts after he gives his younger sister his blessing to move in with her new boyfriend - Howard Borden in "Big Brother is Watching." In "The Battle of the Groups," When Bob takes two of his therapy groups on a marathon session up at a mountain retreat; the group's problems are the last thing that gets discussed. Bob and Emily's hectic schedules cause the couple to decide that it would be a good idea to live apart in "The Separation Story." In "Sorry, Wrong Mother" Howard tries to mold Ellen into the perfect mother for little Howie before she meets him. In "Dr. Ryan's Express" Jerry hires an elderly temporary receptionist who can't keep anything straight - not even Bob's name! In "Tobin's Back in Town," Howard's insecurities suffer a beating when Ellen's ex-fiance, the handsom and debonair John Tobin, arrives in town to win Ellen back. In "Think Smartly - Vote Hartley," Bob runs for chairman of the local school board. In "My Business is Shrinking" Bob is losing his confidence just as fast as he's losing his patients, so he finally takes Emily's advice and goes to see a psychologist. In "The New Look" while Bob is away on a business trip, he gives Emily carte blanche to redecorate their apartment - unfortunately, he hates the results. In "The Ceiling Hits Bob," when the ceiling in his office collapses, Bob attempts to conduct therapy sessions at home.

Memorable cameos throughout the season included the fantastic and much missed John Ritter ("Sorry, Wrong Mother"), Shirley O'Hara ("Dr. Ryan's Express"), David L. Lander ("Ship of Shrinks"), Martha Scott ("An American Family"), Gail Strickland ("Jerry Robinson Crusoe"), Howard Platt ("Serve for Daylight"), Bill Quinn ("Home Is Where The Hurt Is"), Fred Willard ("Tobin's Back in Town"), Quinn Redeker ("Think Smartly - Vote Hartley"), Wayne Tippet ("The Way We Weren't"), Mary Jo Catlett ("My Business is Shrinking"), among others.


The cover art is gold in color and features square boxes, with the city's skyline on the bottom, and a color cut out picture of Bob, with Howard, Carol, Emily and Jerry in separate boxes. Inside are two slip cases that feature the exact same design as the cover (both slip cases are exactly the same, in both color and design). The back of the cases lists the episodes, what disc they are on, a brief description as well as an original airdate. All three discs have no design because they are double-sided. Disc 1/Side A contains Episodes 1-4. Disc 1/Side B contains Episodes 5-8. Disc 2/Side A contains Episodes 9-12. Disc 2/Side B contains Episodes 13-16. Disc 3/Side A contains Episodes 17-20 (40-43) and Disc 3/Side B contains Episodes 21-24 (44-47) as well as the special features.

Menu Design and Navigation:

Wow! The menu design keeps changing each season! This one is by far the most simple of them all. The main menu screen pops up immediately and features an art rendering (caricature) of one of the cast members, such as Bob on Disc 1, Side A. Next to the character is a list of the episodes, and a "Play All" feature. When you select an episode it takes you to another menu screen with more options, such as "Play Episode," "Scene Selection," "Language Selection," or "Home" (which means main menu). I'm not sure how I feel about this. It makes it easier to "customize" each episode, but its way too many menu screens to have to go through. Of course, just my opinion, and I don't want to sound picky!

Video and Audio Quality:

The video quality itself is well ... it's not bad, but there is obvious grain, especially during the opening credits. It's not a big distraction, but it is noticeable. Other than that, the video is fine and the audio seems much better than on prior releases. And, to add, closed captioning as well as Subtitles in English, and Spanish are available. The good thing is that there are chapter skips during each episode and each episode runs around 24 to 25 minutes in length.

Special Features:

Well once again, we have special features! Special features include an all-new "Making-of" featurette and audio commentary by Bob Newhart ("Bob"), Peter Bonerz ("Jerry"), Fred Willard (a guest star in the episode "Tobin's Back In Town"), and Jim Burrows (director) on selected episodes.

* Commentary by Bob Newhart, Peter Bonerz, Fred Willard, and Jim Burrows

Commentary by Bob Newart and Peter Bonerz on "The Battle of the Groups," and "Sorry, Wrong Mother." Commentary by Bob Newhart and Fred Willard on "Tobin's Back in Town." Bob Newhart and Jim Burrows on "The Way We Weren't" and commentary by Bob Newhart on "The Ceiling Hits Bob."

* All New "Making-of" Featurette (approx. 8:56 minutes)

This all new featurette includes an in-depth interview with Bob Newhart. The main focus of this special is "Finding Their Groove" in which he discuss how the show "found it's groove" in the third season in terms of storylines, characters, etc. Another good feature!

Final Comments:

Kudos to 20th Century Fox for another great release! I've been very disappointed in a lot of my releases that I review due to the lack of special features. I'm very happy to report I wasn't disappointed in "Bob Newhart Season 3." We have some GREAT commentary by Bob Newhart, as well as Peter Bonerz, guest star Fred Willard and director Jim Burrows. And each season seems to see a different menu design, which keeps things fresh and interesting, I suppose. I'm still not sure how I feel about this one. Other than silly nit-picks, this was a wonderful release and I cannot wait until Season 4!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn Eaton) on 04/23/06

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