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Updating the Files: 'True Blood,' 'American Dad' and More

3 Mar, 2011 By: John Latchem

Here’s a show whose destiny is intrinsically linked to its home video counterpart. When “True Blood” first aired on HBO in 2008, its ratings were all right. But its first season on DVD was a runaway top seller in 2009.

The show’s HBO viewership subsequently more than doubled in its second season and rose more in the third. The DVD/Blu-ray releases have been the bestselling TV DVD product in their respective years, according to HBO.

Get ready for round three. HBO Home Entertainment is releases True Blood: The Complete Third Season May 31 (order date April 26), a few weeks before the premiere of the fourth season.

The five-disc set is listed at $59.99 for DVD and $79.98 for Blu-ray.

Extras on the DVD include an “Anatomy of a Scene” featurette about the werewolf fight at the beginning of the season, the “True Blood” post-mortem segments, Snoop Doog’s hilarious “Oh Sookie” music video and seven audio commentaries with the cast and crew.

In addition to these extras, the Blu-ray also includes an enhanced viewing mode for all 12 episodes, offering a picture-in-picture display with original interactive content that extends the fiction of the series through character perspectives, bios and episode flashbacks. The Blu-ray also includes “True Blood Lines,” an interactive on-screen guide that highlights the connections between the many worlds in the series.

HBO promises twice the bonus content as the season two discs.

Other TV DVD Titles Announced Recently:

• Fox is breaking out American Dad Vol. 6, featuring the 18 episodes from season five), on DVD April 19, with deleted scenes and audio commentary.

• BBC Video May 3 releases Being Human: Season Three on DVD ($49.98) and Blu-ray ($59.98). This is the original British version, not the Americanized Syfy remake. Extras include deleted scenes, extended interviews and a set tour. The Canada street date for this title is June 7.

• Warner Home Video June 14 (order date May 10) will release Supernatural: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray. The show is currently in its sixth season, but the second season is the only season not yet released on Blu-ray, so it’s coming to complete the set. The four-disc set is offered at $59.96.

• Disney April 26 is offering two DVD volumes of “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” an animated series that began airing last year, at $19.99 apiece. Vol. 1 offers episodes 1-7 and Vol. 2 offers episodes 8-13. The show features such superheroes as Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America, which makes it a pretty obvious tie-in to the upcoming Thor, Captain America and Avengers movies.

• ESPN Home Entertainment May 17 (order date March 22) releases 30 for 30 DVD Gift Set Vol. 2, offering the second batch of 15 episodes from the sports documentary series. The six-DVD set is offered at $74.95, while a 30 for 30 Limited Edition Collector’s Set includes both volumes for $149.95.

• Following its excellent Transformers: 25th Anniversary Matrix of Leadership Edition boxed set from 2009, Shout! Factory has acquired the DVD rights to two additional “Transformers” animated series: “Beast Wars” and “Headmasters.” “Transformers: Beast Wars” was a 1990s CG-animated follow-up to the 1980s show, while “Transformers Takara Collection: Headmasters” is the Japanese continuation of the 1980s show. In America, the fourth season consisted of a brief miniseries that marked the end of the show. I also understand Shout! Factory will have a number of exciting announcements soon about more fan-favorite 1980s cartoons.

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