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WKRP In Cincinnati

A TV show that aired on CBS from 1978-1982.

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"Mind if I come in? Mind if I have my music back?"

  • May 1, 2010
Strange as it sounds, this is a show I remember from my earliest childhood days when I was 4 years old.  Coming on right after Pink Panther was this show about a radio station and either I was too little to change the channel or I was too entertained by the goings on-regardless of my understanding of the material.

A late 70's sitcom/"workcom" follows an 8 person team as they run the goings on at a radio station at the bottom of the ratings in Cincinnati Ohio.  Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson is the ineffectual and child like manager who kowtows to his mother who owns the station and she is pleased with the "beautiful music" IE muzak and dirges that the station plays.  When the new program director-a young cowboy of sorts named Andy Travis comes aboard he plans on turning the station upsidedown by switching to Top 40 Rock and having new ideas for concerts, promotions and other ideas-and it immediately rattles a few cages.  Money slowly comes in as well as headaches from contests that go aray and several dead turkeys in one of the most infamously funny moments in TV comedy.

The other station members have Jennifer the sexy bombshell who manages to make the highest salary for doing the least amount of work, Les Nessman a narotic newsman and one of the greatest characters TV ever gave us, Venus Flytrap the suave night shift DJ, Bailey Quarters a pretty but shy gopher type and who grows into a news position role and gives Les a run for his money, Herb Tarlek the polyester and plaid clad slimy salesman and finally Dr. Johnny Fever, the too cool morning man DJ.  All the characters aren't lame caricatures or act like children to each other like they would a lesser show.  For instance, Jennifer isn't a slut who will sleep her way to success, she just likes to date rich men who lavish her with gifts since they're so happy to be around her.  Johnny Fever may act like a goof whos brain is half burned out and runs on coffee, but he's a sharp enough veteran of the business to know whats going on around him.  Venus may be the only black member of the station but his head is definetely in the game and has enough of a personality that he isn't a mere "token".  The closest member of the show who falls into stereotype land is Herb, but he is so over the top with his smarmyness, sexual harassment of Jennifer, you may not even notice what with a coat of poor business dress on top of all that.

While not PUSHING the envelope back in the day, it definetely had a good nudge to get noticed with it's counter culture touches and liberal use of rock music played on the show by real acts.  Nudging the envelope and only touching on some topical issues like the disasterous Who concert helped it stay ahead of the pack and not be completely discarded like other "cutting" shows that no one cares to look back at again now that they're time has come and gone.  SADLY it's dated and forgotten about for another reason, the rock music played on the show has now been replaced with inferior soundalikes due to expired copyrights and even has had some scenes cut altogether.  In essance, a big picture couldn't be reached, the show got butchered and it's now looked back on as that show we may never have again as public outcry about the treatment of the show has caused DVD sets to stall out with only a single release on the market of the first season.  It's the show that you keep those old VHS copies around for, for a reason.

If you know a way to see this show, be it a friend or family member who kept reruns on tape and still has a VCR, you owe it to yourself to give the show a peek.  Don't forget to thank them when you do see it, and don't forget, turkey's can't fly.

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More WKRP in Cincinnati reviews
Quick Tip by . September 25, 2010
posted in Awesomeness
Classic TV show that oozed awesome with great characters and story lines. Johnny is great, Bailey is cute and Les just plain ruled as a clueless newscaster.
Quick Tip by . May 01, 2010
One of the best network TV shows from that era. Would love to see this show again!
Quick Tip by . May 01, 2010
Goings on at a radio station that changes format and gains listeners. Great cast and episodes, but time and copyrights reared their head.
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this tv show


WKRP in Cincinnati is an American situation comedy that featured the misadventures of the staff of a struggling radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show was created by Hugh Wilson and was based upon his experiences working in advertising as a client of a classic album-oriented rock radio station. The ensemble cast consisted of Gary Sandy, Howard Hesseman, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Tim Reid, Jan Smithers, Richard Sanders and Frank Bonner.

As was typical of most MTM productions, the humor came more from running gags based on the known predilections and quirks of each character, rather than from outlandish plots or racy situations since the show has a realistic setting. The characters also developed somewhat over the course of the series.

The series won a Humanitas Prize and received 10 Emmy Award nominations, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series. Andy Ackerman won an Emmy Award for Videotape Editing in season 3.

WKRP premiered September 18, 1978 on the CBS television network and aired for four seasons and 90 episodes through September 20, 1982. During the third and fourth seasons, CBS repeatedly moved the show around its schedule, contributing to its eventual cancellation.

When WKRP went into syndication, it became an unexpected blockbuster. For the next decade, it was one of the most popular sitcoms in syndication, outperforming many much bigger prime time hits, including all the other MTM sitcoms.
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