WKRP was a low rated radion station that was taken over by Andy Travis, who changed the stations format from elevator music to rock and roll. The shows deals with the wacky antics of the eccentric staffers
WkRP was the brainchild of Hugh Wilson, who cut his teeth as a writer for Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart. Then MTM let him do what is essentially a rock and roll version of The Mary Tyler Moore show. Whereas, Mary sho featured actors who had cut their teeth in 60s sitcoms, almost all the regulars were strictly children of the 70s(Only Gordon Jumps TV resume dates back to the 60s with appearances on shows like Get Smart). It had a younger, hipper sesnsibility. But it always seemed like none of the execs at CBS ever really got the show. They would take it off the for hiatus, move it around the schedule unannounced, effectively killing any chance it had at developing any kind of following. Yet, it is one of the very best sitcoms from any era that could be considered the golden age of American sitcoms. It dealt with real issues that affected its characters in real and profound ways. Many of the characters showed much growth during the series run. The thing Ill always remember was that it was very funny, yet maintained a sense of humanity few shows can duplicate. And the issues were not all issues that were typically done in sitcoms. One of the very best episodes dealt with the very real issue of censorship on the radio, which was a big deal at the time. Jerry Falwell was conducting a campaign to clean up radio and on WKRP, a Falwell-like minister was trying to do the same thing to the title radio station . Another episode, broadcast in the wake of a real life tragedy that actually took place in Cinncinati, relived the events with WKRP being a station that sold tickets to the concert were people were trampled top death. The first half was very funny, while the second half was very serious, dealing with the tragedy. Some people criticized that, because they felt it was trivializing a serious tragedy, but still they had the guts to portray the event at all when they could have just ignored it. They also dealt with drug use, drinking, death, God and even schizophrenia in a memorable episode where Johnny Fever gets a TV gig and the persona he develops for it begins to take over his life. And there were the usual episodes dealing with relationships. Indeed, WKRP deserves to be mentioned in the same hushed tones reserved for accepted iconic shows like All in The Family, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Taxi and Barney Miller. This show should get its due. About the only thing that puts a damper on this show is the fact that the DVDs had to change the songs that appeared in the original episode, because of the rights. I know this is a complicated issue, but it still sucks not being able to hear Hot Blooded in that episode where Les is preparing to go out with Jennifer and he puts on a wig while that song is playing. Now we just get some generic song. That changes the whole scene. Any true fan of WKRP should be willing to pay more if they could see the original scene intact. Its just a thought. But even so, you still have to love this series.
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