Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Tuesday 8:30 PM Mar 21, 1995 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
358 votes
  • An interesting start to a great sitcom...

    The pilot starts out a little different than most of the episodes that come to follow: with an on-location shot of Dave Nelson, the new News Director of WNYX arriving at the wrong building on his first day at work. The show that followed was largely shot on a sound-stage. But this teaser does set up the first exchange between the station manger, Jimmy, and the now-tardy Dave.

    A couple of the series regulars weren't cast in the pilot: Catherine Duke was played by Ella Joyce and Joe Rogan's character, Joe Garelli, didn't exist. Instead another character, Rick (Greg Lee), appeared and served a similar roll in the pilot as Rogan's character would in the series . Greg wasn't listed in the opening credits, but Ella was. The "new" sports guys, Jeff (played by Wallace Langham) appears in the tag scene - but the character isn't carried over to the already large ensemble cast once the series was picked up.

    Still, for a pilot, it is amazing how on-target so many of the characters already were: Dave, Maura, Phil, Vicki and Stephen already had a good handle on how to play their roles. Andy Dick's Matthew, however, was far less neurotic than the character he would become.

    A fair amount of time is spent on the obviously doomed Ed character, played by Kurt Fuller. Ed is the News Director Dave is replacing - although Ed doesn't know his tenure is over. But the chemistry in the group scenes of the soon-to-be-regulars is already obvious.

    If there is one flaw, it is that character of Catherine is given little to do in the pilot, a problem that will continue throughout the series. It's interesting that Ella Joyce's name appears in the opening credits, and Greg Lee, whose character Rick has 5 times the dialog, doesn't.
  • An Excellent Pilot Which Introduces Dave, Lisa, Bill, Matthew, Jimmy and Beth to TV Land.

    I watched the pilot episode when it first aired on NBC back in 1995. I was in the 7th grade. My sister taped the whole first season (7 episodes). I watched that tape over and over again.

    The Pilot was special. Most pilots, to me, are boring. Some of my favorite shows have lousy pilots. But not \"NewsRadio\". Although the complete eight aren\'t there (Khandi Alexander and Joe Rogan begin their roles in the second episode)seeing Dave Nelson first meet and interact with Jimmy James, Lisa Miller, Bill McNeal, Matthew Brock and Beth is great and hilarious. A great start to a great sitcom.
  • A brilliant sitcom deserves a brilliant pilot.

    Paul Simms is a comedic genius. That goes without saying. James Burrows is an institution in comedy directing. That also goes without saying as his credentials speak for themselves. The pilot episode brings these two great talents together to produce the first episode of NewsRadio, the funniest sitcom since The Larry Sanders Show.

    The pilot is not perfect. Jimmy isn't as over-the-top as in later episodes. Beth has some hair issues to deal with. Matthew is, well semi-normal. Catherine is underutilized and one wonders what Ella Joyce could have done with the part. As for Rick, well thank God for Joe Garelli.

    Yet the basic characteristics are all there. The chemistry is evident, Dave and Bill are at odds. Beth is the reluctant secretary. Lisa is the hard working woman trying to make it up the latter. Dave is in way over his head. It all adds up to one thing: good, interesting, well-written comedy.

    Above all, NewsRadio was funny. In one of the pilot's highlights Jimmy explains to Dave why he hired him saying, "I considered 30, 35 people for this job but you wanna know what made you so special to me?" His cellphone rings, and Jimmy answers it saying, "Make it fast, I'm in the middle of telling a guy why he's so special to me." A pause. "No, it's work related." That is classic comedy with great timing.
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