NHK remasters Columbo, Bewitched in 4K

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Japanese public broadcaster NHK is remastering some of its ‘classic’ entertainment library in readiness for its 4K service, which launches on December 1st.

NHK says it has around 3500 episodes of old 16mm shows in its archive, and many hundreds of 35mm shows. It is focusing on two classic series: detective series Columbo which starred the late Peter Falk, and the light-comedy, fantasy Bewitched.

Columbo, produced from 1968-1978 on NBC (and fresh episodes on ABC 1989-2003) by Universal Television (and now owned by NBC-Universal) ran for 69 episodes which ranged from 73-98 minutes in length. Steven Spielberg directed a 1971 episode.

Universal’s 69 episodes were produced in 35mm and they can be digitally cleaned and remastered in 4K. NHK will screen all 69 episodes in celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary.

Emmy award-winning Bewitched was a perennial ‘family favourite’ and starred Elizabeth Montgomery, Agnes Moorehead, Dick York (for the 1964-1969 period) and Dick Sargent (1969-1972). Screen Gems made a massive 254 episodes with the first two years in monochrome and the rest in colour. Sony Pictures Television now owns the rights.


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