WKRP in Cincinatti was on the air for 4 seasons. It starred Howard Hessman as Johnny Fever, one of the DJs at WKRP. The show contained an array of interesting characters, including buxom Loni Anderson as Jennifer Marlowe the secretary every boy would love to have, Richard Sanders as odd-ball newsman ("The ones that survived when they hit the ground turned on us. It was almost as if they were ... organized.") Les Nesman, and Tim Reid as another DJ named Venus Flytrap.

In the words of DJ Johnny "Dr. Fever" Caravella, WKRP in Cincinnati is "rock bottom." Playing music that is twenty years out of date, the station is losing $100,000 a year and foundering in the Cincinnati market. Run by the somewhat scatter-brained fishing fanatic Arthur Carlson, the station is owned by Carlson's mother, a heartless, domineering woman who loves money and hates rock and roll.

Enter Andy Travis, the new program director, who promises that his proposed rock format will allow the station to break even in the first year and make $800,000 the next. Carlson reluctantly gives Travis a free hand. Although Momma is initially upset, Andy convinces her to give it a try. The one seemingly normal person in this whole mess is Baily, the stations other female cast member. A witty intelectual looking brunette she often played counterpoint to Jenifers voluptious sexiness.

Thus began 4 seasons of decent american sitcom zannyness.

The thing I remember most about the show is when the kids got trampled at the Who concert in Cincinnati. The show did a good job of tying the events of reality into the events of the fictional radio station. I still remember the look on Andy Travis' face when they broke into the middle of a song to relay the news. It was one of those odd moments when the actor wasn't acting, but he was really conveying emotion that was real. Oddly enough, if we had not moved from Cincinnati, my sister would have gone to that concert.

For a very brief time, VH1 brought WKRP back as a new series. I never did catch any of the episodes, but I think Loni Aderson and Howard Hessman from the original cast were on the new show.

WKRP gave rise to the term "WKRP Syndrome". A show that suffers from WKRP syndrome is a short-lived TV show with critical acclaim and an avid viewership that gets canceled because of low ratings. The network can't seem to find a permanent place for it in the schedule grid, it jumps around a lot, and viewers never know when to catch it. So called because of the demise of WKRP In Cincinnati (1978-1982).

In its 4 season run, CBS changed the show's time slot 11 times. After the show was cancelled in June 1982, CBS let the reruns play over summer in a stable slot. Curiously, when the show had a stable slot it drew consistent ratings that placed it in the Top Ten highest rated shows every week.
In addition to the issues with schedule-hopping, WKRP in Cincinatti has become in recent times a poster child for copyright reform. The reason for this is that because of the critical acclaim and strong fandom, a re-release of WKRP on DVD would be a strong seller, if not for one issue - being that the show centered around a radio station playing modern songs, there's a LOT of licenced music that is still under copyright used in the series. The result is that as things stand, a WKRP DVD release will probably never happen, as negotiating the rights for ALL the songs used in it would be too costly to justify.

C'est la vie, I guess.

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