It took many years, however, for a North American (Region 1) release of the two series. However, in 2010, The Six Million Dollar Man, along with the three reunion telefilms, was issued in an all-inclusive boxed set from Time-Life in November 2010, while Universal issued the first season of The Bionic Woman on October 19th, 2010.
Despite the later delay, home video releases of the two shows in North America actually date to their final year on television, 1978, with the release of several episodes on the DiscoVision format, later called LaserDisc (an analog predecessor to DVD) over the next year and a half.
This was followed by a one-shot VHS release of the original "The Bionic Woman" two-parter in the mid-1980s (although billed as The Bionic Woman, the episodes themselves retained their original SMDM opening credits).
Other than these releases, complex licensing issues related to the original novel Cyborg by Martin Caidin resulted in no further official North American VHS-format releases of either series or the telefilms, and, until the spring of 2010, DVD release was considered unlikely.
In the United Kingdom and elsewhere, where licensing differs, Universal released the first two seasons of each series on DVD; these were preceded by several "Anthology" releases as well as a wider VHS release before that. The reunion telefilms were also released to DVD in Region 2 in early 2010.
In March 2008, the 2007 Bionic Woman remake series was released in its entirety in North America (Region 1) and in Europe (Region 2) in May 2008. The Region 1 release was made possible by the fact the series avoided use of Caidin's characters (Steve Austin, Oscar Goldman and Rudy Wells).
MCA DiscoVision Releases
Both releases are in "movie form", joining the 2-parters into one.
- Cyborg: The Six Million Dollar Man (1973 pilot film, with the rarely seen Cyborg variant title)
- The Bionic Woman (original Six Million Dollar Man two-parter; reissued 1996)
DVD Region 1
Issues surrounding the rights to Martin Caidin's novels hindered a release of either show on home video in North America for many years, resulting in only a single VHS release and, unlike other series such as Star Trek, no attempt at a full-series release on tape was attempted. The DVD format made full-series releases more practical, and since the early 2000s fans of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman lobbied for DVD release of the shows, especially once such releases began to appear outside North America (see below). Circa 2004-2005 there were reports of both series being prepared for DVD release, in part due to plans, at the time, for a major Hollywood movie remake of Six Million Dollar Man and the possibility of a made-for-cable Bionic Woman reimagining. Neither production occurred. The failure of the 2007 Bionic Woman series to find success likewise hindered hopes for a release of at least the spin-off to DVD.
The legal impasse was apparently resolved some time ago, but strong indications of a North American DVD release for the shows did not begin circulating until April 2010, with formal announcements arriving in July 2010. It is of note that, despite the wait, Region 1 is the only area of the world to see the release of the complete Six Million Dollar Man in its original English-language form, and it appears likely the same will hold true for The Bionic Woman, as other regions have to date only seen either partial release of both series, or foreign-language editions.
The Bionic Woman
- The Bionic Woman: Season 1 was released on October 19th, 2010, becoming the first of the series to arrive in stores. All 12 episodes from the first season are included in the 4-DVD set, along with four episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man which feature Jaime Sommers: "The Bionic Woman," "The Bionic Woman (Part II)," "The Return of the Bionic Woman," "The Return of the Bionic Woman (Part II)" and the Six Million Dollar Man syndication version of "Welcome Home, Jaime" Part 1. These, therefore, were the first episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man to reach Region 1 DVD. Kenneth Johnson recorded audio commentaries for the original "Bionic Woman" two-parter and for his directorial debut, "The Ghosthunter", and cast and crew are interviewed in the featurette Bionic Beginnings. A brief gag reel is also included, though language is censored unlike the version circulating online.
- The Bionic Woman: Season 2 was released on May 17, 2011. Complaints by consumers about poor sound and picture quality on one of the episodes resulted in Universal Home Video making replacement discs available via mail.
- The Bionic Woman: Season 3 has been announced for release on October 4, 2011, at which point all episodes of the Bionic franchise will have now been released to home video in North America, some 33 years after their last broadcast.
The Six Million Dollar Man
- Time Life has issued a 40-disc set compiling all five seasons of The Six Million Dollar Man, as well as all six movies (both 1973 pilots and reunion films), the syndication versions of the 1973 TV movies, along with several disc's worth of bonus features, including interviews with all the major cast members and a documentary on real-life bionics. Kenneth Johnson's commentaries from the Bionic Woman DVD set are also included, as are the crossover Bionic Woman episodes. The packaging includes a box with a soundchip that plays a recording of the Richard Anderson's Season 1 opening monologue when the box is opened. The official release date for the set was Nov. 23, 2010, however Time Life began shipping sets on Nov. 8. Until the fall of 2011 the set will only be available via mail-order; a standard retail release of the five individual season sets has been announced for the fall of 2011, however it is has yet been indicated whether the complete box set, or the 5-disc bonus features set (which includes the reunion movies) will be likewise made available outside mail order. There is precedent, however, as Time Life's prior full-series sets (with their exclusive bonus discs) for Get Smart and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. were released to retail intact, although the bonus materials were not released individually.
Bionic Woman (2007)
- The 2007 Bionic Woman series was released in its entirety in on DVD in March 2008. Universal optimistically labeled the set "Volume One" as at the time it was compiled, it was not yet clear whether NBC intended to cancel the series. The two-disc set includes all eight broadcast episodes (but omits the untransmitted version of the pilot) along with producer commentary on the pilot and a featurette on the making of the pilot episode's car crash.
Anthologies (United Kingdom - Region 2)
- The Six Million Dollar Man Volume 1
- The Six Million Dollar Man Volume 2
- The Six Million Dollar Man Volume 3
- The Six Million Dollar Man Volume 4
- The Bionic Woman Volume 1
- The Bionic Woman Volume 2
- The Bionic Woman Volume 3
Boxed Season Sets (United Kingdom - Region 2)
- The Six Million Dollar Man - The Complete Season One
Contains all thirteen episodes of season one, plus all three syndicated edits of the pilot telefilms. (however, Operation Firefly is missing the boat-whittling scene)
- The Six Million Dollar Man - The Complete Season Two
- The Bionic Woman - The Complete Season One
Contains all thirteen episodes of season one, plus Welcome Home, Jaime (originally part of The Six Million Dollar Man's 3rd Season).
- The Bionic Woman - The Complete Season Two
Contains 21 of the 22 episodes from the second season, plus Kill Oscar (Part II). Missing is the premiere, The Return of Bigfoot (Part II), syndicated for years as part of The Six Million Dollar Man's fourth season (where Kill Oscar (Part II) originated).
Reunion movies (United Kingdom - Region 2)
- The three reunion movies were issued separately on DVD in early 2010.
Germany - Region 2
The German release of The Bionic Woman currently covers Season Three, the only release to do so. Further, its quality is unquestionably the best attention that either series has been paid on Home Video to date, with high quality transfers and packaging that includes a welcome insert with many pictures.
Italy - Region 2
The Italian release of The Six Million Dollar Man was the first to cover Season Three. It contains an English soundtrack, and unedited episodes, yet it does not include The Secret of Bigfoot (either part). It maintains the syndicated practice of omitting Welcome Home, Jaime, as well.
France - Region 2
In France all of the five Six Seasons have been released as boxes, while the individual "single" releases have covered The Six Million Dollar Man entirely on DVD, the only market so far to do so prior to the Region 1 box set. Additionally, all three Reunion Movies have been issued as a continuation of the "singles." However, these releases do not include the original English soundtrack, with the exceptions of three movie events, The Bionic Boy, The Thunderbird Connection and The Lost Island, each of which includes the original audio (the edits are the two-part versions), as well as the final Reunion movie, Bionic Ever After?.
Most of these releases have tracked with the syndicated release format, with notable exceptions: Wine, Women and War is in its TV Movie form, and Welcome Home, Jaime, is included in the Six single series. Finally, the Season Four boxed set, the first box anywhere of this season, includes Kill Oscar (Part II), albeit with the credits from The Bionic Woman.
Mexico - Region 4
The Mexican release of The Six Million Dollar Man is unique both in its NTSC presentation, without the 4% speedup of PAL releases, and its inclusion of all three Pilot Telefilms in their original edits. In the case of The Solid Gold Kidnapping, this marked the first appearance of the original version on Home Video anywhere. While interlaced, the transfers are color corrected and unedited (with a minor exception in Wine, Women and War as Steve rides in Findletter's trunk), marred only by an occasional "glitch." The release is not region restricted, and can be played in US DVD players without modification. The Bionic Woman, on the other hand, has been edited for its Mexican release. Only the first Seasons of the two shows have been released in the Mexican market.
Australia - Region 4
Australia mirrors the UK releases of Six and Woman for the Season sets. Additionally, Australia has released the first Reunion movie, Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, the first with an English soundtrack.
- As noted above, DVD release of seasons 2 and 3 of The Bionic Woman in Region 1 is expected in 2011, but has not been announced as of December 2010. Sales of Season 1 will likely determine further releases. It should be noted that there is precedent for series releases to sometimes stop after the first year if there is insufficient demand, an example being Universal Home Video's aborted release of Kojak episodes after issuing only its first season to DVD. However, Kenneth Johnson has indicated the remaining two seasons will likely see release in 2011.
NBC/Universal's Hulu online video delivery service has released the first Season of The Bionic Woman, albeit in edited form. This marked the first availability of the show in any form in the US since it left syndication. (Note: due to licensing restrictions, most Hulu progamming is only available from IP addresses located within the United States.)