I suspect most people my age--over 40 and let's leave it at that, ok?--have fond memories of the radio station WKRP. Sure, it never really existed. It was just a tv show. But the characters were so easy to like and the 70s aspect lends itself well to camp these days.

The backstory of the show was quite funny though it took a while to build since it was relayed via a number of flashback episodes during the show's run. I'm sure much of this history wasn't "known" when the pilot was made but was written up in later seasons. It was a good technique to add depth to the characters and to the radio station itself.

The reason I mention the show is that the first season is finally available this week on DVD--nearly 30 years after it was originally broadcast. But, and it's a bigass BUT, the shows aren't intact. Dammit. Apparently 20th Century FOX, which owns the rights to the show, didn't want to or couldn't get the music rights to many songs that aired on WKRP so some songs were substituted and with others the entire scene using a song was just deleted.

I'd really like to buy the DVDs of WKRP but I'm going to wait and see if they're ever released without being hacked up. There's plenty of other stuff out there to watch so I can wait on this--but how can you ignore the music part of a show when the setting is a Rock 'n Roll radio station?? The music was quite integral.

The show launched Loni Anderson into fame, fortune, and the dubious benefit of being married to Burt Reynolds. But for me it was Jan Smithers that was the real highlight of the show. She was just as cute as could be. The picture below was of her about 12 years before she appeared on WKRP.

Here's some commentary from Amazon.com about the release:

One of DVD's most requested titles, WKRP in Cincinnati is a blast from the past and an absolutely golden oldie. But this first-season set is bound to cause static with fans who have eagerly anticipated its release. Because of pesky music rights, the songs don't remain the same. "Hot Blooded" is not playing when mild-mannered newsman Les Nessman (Richard Sanders) puts on a toupee in anticipation of an awards-dinner date with bombshell station receptionist Jennifer (Loni Anderson). It's "Beautiful Dreamer" and not "Fly Me to the Moon" that chimes when Jennifer's doorbell is sounded. Any number of generic songs have replaced the contemporary and classic rock so vital to WKRP, which is, after all, set at a radio station, albeit one that is best known for its farm reports.


carli said…
As god is my witness, Utenzi, I thought turkeys could fly.
Pearl said…
lol, Carli.

I remember loving that show.
Cravey said…
I like that show too!
What's not to love about Less Nessman..the original conspiracy theorist.

Diane Mandy said…
Yeah, I'm showing my age. LOVED WKRP!!!! Only problem was that I worked for a TV station that carried reruns. Whenever the episode about the bomb threat at the transmitter aired, we also got a bomb threat. Well, at least it was a good half a day off work.
used*to*be*me* said…
My favorite episode was the one when the Dr. Fever told all the people to put their trash on the capitol steps and then he got stage fright because they did it. Love that show!

And I at the ripe ol' age of 10, thought Travis was just dreamy!
kenju said…
I loved that show. I will probably rent the dvds. Hate to hear that the music was tampered with.
Anonymous said…
Sadly I never saw this show (I guess 26 yrs old is too young to be one of the "in kids" on this post, lol) but I do hope you are able to get the original show on DVD soon!

Ari (Baking and Books)
Deana said…
Aren't those music rights things ridiculous?

I watched that show... I liked the guy that is holding Loni in that shot. He was funny. Sadly all I liked her then but began to not think so much of her after the Burt fiasco.
Great show.
Matthew Didier said…
For me it was Herb and Mrs. Tarlek! I loved it when she visited the station, was introduced to Jennifer and simply said, "Stay away from my husband!"

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly...
srp said…
Oh yes! I remember the Thanksgiving show where live turkeys were dropped out of helicopters over the town.... too funny!
Well, isn't that a kick in the head! The DVD, I mean. I must say, I know from some other personal experiences that getting the rights to music for certain things can be HELL! Either the publishers won't release them, OR they are asking so much money for EACH song that it makes it prohibitve..I'm not saying that THAT is okay...just stating the problem.
And as a bit of trivia: The Lead gentleman lives down the hill from me...or he did.

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