Up 321 this week

WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)

TV Series  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 4,571 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 22 critic

The staff of a struggling radio station have a chance at success after the new programming director changes the format to rock music


0Check in

Watch Now

Free at IMDb





4   3   2   1  
1982   1981   1980   1979   1978  
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Night Court (1984–1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An eccentric fun-loving judge presides over an urban night court and all the silliness going on there.

Stars: Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll
Taxi (1978–1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The staff of a New York City taxicab company go about their job while they dream of greater things.

Stars: Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito
The Bob Newhart Show (1972–1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The professional and personal misadventures of a psychologist and his family, patients, friends and colleagues.

Stars: Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Bill Daily
Welcome Back, Kotter (1975–1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A compassionate teacher returns to his inner city high school of his youth to teach a new generation of trouble making kids.

Stars: Gabe Kaplan, Ron Palillo, John Travolta
Newhart (1982–1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Dick Loudon and his wife Joanna decide to leave life in New York City and buy a little inn in Vermont. Dick is a how-to book writer, who eventually becomes a local TV celebrity as host of "... See full summary »

Stars: Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston
The Odd Couple (1970–1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two men, a neat freak and a slob separated from their wives, have to live together despite their differences.

Stars: Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, Al Molinaro
Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The lives and trials of a young single woman and her friends, both at work and at home.

Stars: Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod
The Jeffersons (1975–1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A nouveau riche, African-American family who move into a luxury apartment building develop close, if occasionally fractious, relationships with other tenants.

Stars: Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs
Sanford and Son (1972–1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The misadventures of a cantankerous junk dealer and his frustrated son.

Stars: Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page
All in the Family (1971–1979)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A working class bigot constantly squabbles with his family over the important issues of the day.

Stars: Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner
Alice (1976–1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A greasy-spoon diner in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for this long-running series. The title character, Alice Hyatt, is an aspiring singer who arrives in Phoenix with her teenaged son, ... See full summary »

Stars: Linda Lavin, Beth Howland, Vic Tayback
Three's Company (1977–1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The misadventures of two women and one man living in one apartment and their neighbors.

Stars: John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers


Complete series cast summary:
 Andy Travis (90 episodes, 1978-1982)
 Arthur 'Big Guy' Carlson / ... (90 episodes, 1978-1982)
 Dr. Johnny Fever (90 episodes, 1978-1982)
 Jennifer Elizabeth Marlowe / ... (89 episodes, 1978-1982)
 Les Nessman / ... (89 episodes, 1978-1982)
 Herb Tarlek (89 episodes, 1978-1982)
 Venus Flytrap (87 episodes, 1978-1982)
 Bailey Quarters (86 episodes, 1978-1982)


Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson tries to run a failing Cincinnati radio station owned by his "tough as nails" mother. His own incompetence is overshadowed by the strange employees that work at the station. From wild Disc Jockeys: Dr. Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap to the geeky news director, Les Nessman and obnoxious advertising sales manager, Herb Tarlek. With the help of saner employees such as Bailey Quarters; the rather shy journalism major; Jennifer Marlowe, the beautiful receptionist who is the very opposite of a stereotypical "Dumb Blonde" and Andy Travis; the studly program director, Carlson tries gimmick after crazy gimmick to bring money into the station and make it a success. Written by Kate Tripper

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 September 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Halløj i æteren  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(90 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lyrics for the opening theme: "Baby, if you've ever wondered, wondered whatever became of me, I'm living on the air in Cincinnati. Cincinnati, WKRP. Got kind of tired of packin' and unpackin', town to town up and down the dial. Maybe you and me were never meant to be, just maybe think of me once in a while. I'm at WKRP in Cincinnati." See more »


Les Nessman: [repeated sign-off line] This is Les Nessman saying good day, and may the good news be yours.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The lyrics for the closing credits consist of gibberish words. See more »


Referenced in TV in Black: The First Fifty Years (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Humor with Intelligence without "Jokes"
26 April 2007 | by (Oakland, CA) – See all my reviews

There are few jokes in the best TV sitcoms and films. The funniest moments happen when well-defined characters are in unusual situations in which they react as themselves. One of the funniest scenes in "The Graduate" is Benjamin Braddock trying to avoid drawing attention to himself when he wants to check into a hotel because he's having an affair. Or when muggers accosting Jack Benny say "You're gonna give us $10,000, or we're gonna break both your legs" to which Benny replies, "Does it have to be both?" (Benny's character in both his radio and TV shows was that he was stingy and would do anything to avoid giving or paying money.)

WKRP was lucky to have the kind of writers who also understood the power of character to create comedy. The characters of WKRP rarely make self-conscious wise-cracks. Herb Tarlek would sometimes try to be witty but often with catastrophic results. The chemistry that made WKRP work was the writers' understanding of their characters which in turn manifested dialog that appeared spontaneous yet funny. The humor evolved from the characters simply being themselves without the writers having to force jokes into the script. This is the most effective kind of comedy writing in the narrative style but it depends on interesting and quirky characters.

A few quick examples: when Les Nesman is asked what he thinks about radio stations in Cincinatti playing mostly "rock 'n' roll" music he replies that "it must be some sort of conspiratorial plot." When a visitor asks to see Mr Carlson (in front of Mr Carlson), Carlson (trying to avoid people in general) replies "He's dead." And when Jennifer the receptionist is asked to do some note-taking and filing she says "I don't do typing. I don't do filing. Anything else?"

This was an outstanding comedy that may have been a bit overlooked at that time since it was broadcast at the tale-end of a 20-year run of great television comedy that began with shows like the Dick Van Dyke Show, I Dream of Jeanie, MASH, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Mork and Mindy. The only two sitcoms that were truly great after that were Cheers and Seinfeld. MASH relied more on the wise-cracks but that was an attribute of Hawkeye's character. (I have never felt the writing in "Friends" was that strong relying almost exclusively on wise-cracks rather than situations although it is very popular.) WKRP is one of the few shows that still seems fresh and lively despite having been first broadcast almost 30 years ago. The writers had the uncommon ability to give the cast interesting lines that were funny, unexpected and yet totally believable and within character. And unlike most current TV comedy writing, wise-cracks and jokes were a rarity.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
WKRP in Cincinnati Best theme song ever! santosreyesgar-sr
Missing from the lineup crazyivanova
Memorable lines - there were many cole-jim
Was there a censored Johnny fever line in syndication? roximunro
Only two DJs? greenbird-1
Question about DVDs Ikillthreads
Discuss WKRP in Cincinnati (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page