Thursday, October 26, 2006

Livin' on the Air in Cincinnati

Chances are pretty good that if you're reading this blog, you probably watched WKRP in Cincinnati. The show premiered in September 1978, the same fall I went off to college to major in radio and TV (we'll talk more about that tomorrow), and ran for four seasons on CBS. I haven't seen it in years, but a reader sent me some links to a bunch of YouTube videos from the show, and just watching the one of the show's opening theme brings back lots of memories.

Although WKRP wasn't a massive hit in its day, it was much beloved amongst its fans, and if it ever came out on DVD, it would probably do pretty well. Except it may never see the light of DVD day. If you'll recall, the show used a great deal of real popular music, and it's extremely difficult to get clearances to use that music now. The handful of episodes that were released on VHS, and even the syndicated episodes that appeared on Nick at Nite in the 1990s, substituted other, generic music, or edited out altogether the scenes involving music. Because one of the reasons people buy DVDs is to have the original, unedited episodes, Fox Home Entertainment is reluctant to release the truncated versions. As of last year, Fox wasn't willing to say WKRP would never come out on DVD. Other shows with music clearance problems at first, such as Moonlighting, have eventually been released. But nobody should be too optimistic.

(A German company released the series on DVD a few years ago, but the video is reportedly unwatchable. It was essentially a bootleg, and a poor one at that.)

You can access more WKRP clips at the link above, at least until they get pulled--now that Google owns YouTube, they're cracking down on clips that violate copyright. For tons of interesting trivia on WKRP, visit the show's Wikipedia entry.


At 9:36 PM, Anonymous BarBarA (aka Layla) said...

LOVED THAT SHOW!!! I can't wait to go watch the video clips. I can't even decide who my favorite character on the show was,I liked Venus, Johnny and Bailey the best but the whole cast was great. Thanks for a fun memory.


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