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Chris Hicks: 'Roots: The Next Generations' now on DVD

Henry Fonda stars as an ultraconservative leader in the post-Civil War South in the excellent sequel "Roots: The Next Generations."
Henry Fonda stars as an ultraconservative leader in the post-Civil War South in the excellent sequel "Roots: The Next Generations."
Deseret Morning News Archives t-->

The sequel to one of TV's best miniseries arrives on DVD Tuesday, along with a wide variety of other programs, both recent and vintage.

TV miniseries

"Roots: The Next Generations" (Warner, 1979, four double-sided discs, $59.98). This excellent sequel picks up where Alex Haley's "Roots" left off in the post-Civil War South, with Georg Stanford Brown repeating his role as Kunta Kinte's great-grandson (though Ben Vereen's Chicken George is now played by Avon Long, whose take is quite different). The story moves over seven 90-minute episodes from 1882 through the 1970s, when Alex Haley (James Earl Jones) goes to Africa in search of Kunta Kinte's village.

The high-caliber cast includes Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Pam Grier, Andy Griffith and Marlon Brando as Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell.

Extras: Full frame, featurette (also available in a box set with the first miniseries as "Roots: The Complete Collection," $119.82)

TV variety specials

"Captain & Tennille in Hawaii" (Retroactive, 1978, $19.99)

"Captain & Tennille in New Orleans" (Retroactive, 1978, $19.99)

"Captain & Tennille Songbook" (Retroactive, 1979, $19.99)

"Captain & Tennille: The Christmas Show" (Retroactive, 1976, $14.98). Fans of singer Toni Tenille and keyboard wiz Daryl Dragon ("Love Will Keep Us Together") will be in heaven with these vintage TV specials, highlighted by plenty of music.

The first two shows, taped in Hawaii and New Orleans, respectively, are fairly typical variety shows of the 1970s, with comedy skits and guest stars (Kenny Rogers, David Soul and Don Knotts in the first; John Byner, Hal Linden and Fats Domino in the second). "Songbook," however, is a departure, with the legendary Ella Fitzgerald and B.B. King joining them (along with Glen Campbell) for a special that's all music all the time.

"The Christmas Show" is the holiday episode of their one-season variety series, with Christmas songs and skits, featuring Don Knotts, Tom Bosley, the Pointer Sisters — and the Tennille Sisters!

Extras: Full frame, audio commentaries (by Tenille and Dragon). (The three specials will be available in a box set on Nov. 6, "Captain & Tennille — The Specials," $49.99.)

TV series

"CSI: NY: The Complete Third Season" (CBS/Paramount, 2006-07, six discs, $72.99). Gary Sinese and Melina Kanakaredes head the fine cast in this solid police procedural set in Manhattaan.

Extras: Widescreen, 24 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes

"Family Ties: The Second Season" (CBS/Paramount, 1983-84, four discs, $42.99). Michael Gross grew his trademark beard as Steve Keaton this season. Funny, thoughtful sitcom with former '60s radicals (Gross, Meredith Baxter) whose oldest son is an ultra-conservative (Michael J. Fox).

Extras: Full frame, 22 episodes, featurettes

"Everybody Hates Chris: The Second Season" (CBS/Paramount, 2006-07, four discs, $42.99). Chris Rock's sitcom about his childhood is witty and smart.

Extras: Widescreen, 22 episodes, featurettes, bloopers

"Entourage: Season Three, Part 2" (HBO, 2007, two discs, $39.98). Funny but profane and very inside show-biz HBO comedy series.

Extras: Widescreen, eight episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes

"Girlfriends: The Second Season" (CBS/Paramount, 2001-02, three discs, $39.99). Sitcom about four professional African-American women in Los Angeles is occasionally amusing.

Extras: Full frame, 22 episodes, featurettes

"Agatha Christie's Marple, Series 3" (Acorn, 2006-07, four discs, $59.99). Geraldine McEwan is Miss Marple in these four feature-length mysteries, with guests Jane Seymour, Julian Sands and Juliet Stevenson, among others.

Extras: Widescreen, four episodes, photo gallery, text biographies/filmographies

"Robin of Sherwood: Set 2" (Acorn, 1985, five discs, $59.99). More adventures with Robin (Jason Connery, son of Sean) and friends going up against the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

Extras: Full frame, 13 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, U.S. credits, bloopers, text filmographies

"Degrassi High: the Complete Collection" (WGBH, 1987-91, four discs, $49.95). Those "Desgrassi Street" kids head for high school.

Extras: Full frame, 28 episodes, featurette, trivia, text interviews

"Meerkat Manor: Season One" (Animal Planet/Genius, 2007, two discs, $24.95). Sean Astin narrates this charming anthropomorphic look at a meerkat family in the Kalahari Desert.

Extras: Widescreen, 13 episodes, featurette, trailer


"The Gospel Music of Johnny Cash: A Story of Faith and Redemption" (Spring House, 2007, b/w and color, $29.98). TV clips and talking heads (including vintage interviews with Cash and his wife June Carter Cash) and, of course, lots of gospel music help make this an entertaining and faith-promoting look at the religious side of Cash's life. Hosted by Dan Rather.

Extras: Widescreen

"Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea" (Docurama, 2006, $26.95). Offbeat look at oddball characters who populate the vicinity of the dying Salton Sea, which is not too far from upscale Palm Springs. Narrated by filmmaker John Waters.

Extras: Full frame, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, short films, trailer, text biographies

"Sun Dogs" (Palm, 2007, $19.99). A look at the unlikely Jamaican dogsled team, formed of mutts rescued from the ASPCA.

Extras: Featurettes

"Building Bombs" (Docurama, 1991, $26.95). Oscar-nominated look at the hydrogen bomb and its long-lasting effects, focusing on a South Carolina plant. Narrated by Jane Alexander.

Extras: Full frame, featurettes, trailer, photo gallery, text biographies

"The Panama Deception" (Docurama, 1992, $26.95). This Oscar-winning documentary, narrated by Elizabeth Montgomery, is a look at the December 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama.

Extras: Full frame, featurettes, trailers, text resource guide/biographies

"Chicken Soup: Conversations for the Golfer's Soul" (Echo Bridge, 2007, $19.99). Just what the title implies.

Extras: Full frame, featurettes, MP3 audio-interview tracks

Kids shows

"The Year Without a Santa Claus: Deluxe Edition" (Warner, 1974, new featurettes, $19.97)

"A Flintstones Christmas Carol" (Warner, 1994, $14.98)

"Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale" (Warner, 2007, new 49-minute cartoon, $19.98)

"VeggieTales: The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's" (Big Idea/Warner, 2007, featurettes, $14.99)

"Hannah Montana: Life's What You Make It" (Disney, 2007, four episodes, $19.99)

"The Complete Ben 10: Season 2" (Warner, 2007, two discs, 13 episodes, $19.98)

"Go, Diego, Go! Safri Rescue" (Nick Jr./Paramount, 2007, $16.99)

"Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board" (Disney, 2007, $26.99; sequel to "Johnny Tsunami")

• "Bratz: Super Babyz" (Lionsgate, 2007, $19.98)

"The Wiggles: Getting Strong!" (Warner, 2007, $19.98)