NewsRadio (TV Series 1995–1999) Poster

(1995–1999)

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Brilliant!
coase16 February 2002
Newsradio was a fish out of water. In a time of oversexed young white sitcoms, Newsradio relied on brilliant writing, expert character development, and excellent plots to drive it along. No gimmicks needed. Each character had a role to fill, and they filled it well. All of the cast members are excellent, with no misfires. Everyone has classic episodes they like to talk about.

Still, as excellent as this is, there are a few minor flaws. For one, Khandi Alexander never got as much screen time as she deserved, and this is no doubt why she left the show. She tried to be a Bill McNeal foil, but Dave served that function already. She seemed like an excellent actress, and her character seemed to be geniune, but nothing ever seemed to happen--in fact, I cannot readily recall any episode where the plot line was based on her save for her departure and maybe some of the Joe-Catherine romance episodes.

I like Jon Lovitz, and, unlike others, I found him to be just as capable as Phil Hartman to be in Newsradio. I believe that his performance did, in fact, grow as the last seasoned progressed (watch his hire date vs. some of the later shows--his character certainly changes). He did serve better playing off of other characters, such as Beth and (surprisingly) Lisa, and the few shows that center on him are indeed subpar. Still, some of the best episodes (in my opinion) are in the last season (the apartment hunt, Matthew's 30th birthday, Joe Jitzu), so Lovitz's appearance couldn't have changed the show that much.

Some shows just didn't work. Some of the very early ones are heavy on the Dave/Lisa romance, and did use just as many sex-related jokes as other sitcoms of the time. Some shows try to cram three plot lines in one episode, and Newsradio needs time to develop. Some rely way too heavily on Andy Dick's slapstick or Jimmy's over-the-top schemes. And some just don't make sense (the Dilbert episode did little for me).

All this, however, is little detriment to the show at large. I would much rather watch reruns of Newsradio than any new sitcoms out there right now. I can't say I blame NBC for cancelling it--pure business reasons; the show wasn't making money for them--but creatively, they blew it.

Newcomers may want to watch a few episodes before they cast judgement. It took me a few episodes to really enjoy it. It requires that you know the characters before it becomes interesting and funny.
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"Good times, good times"
soonerhokie26 February 2002
I have to say, I really didn't get into this show until A&E started showing it in reruns. I really miss the fact that there are no new shows that will ever come because NBC didn't have the foresight to place it on its Thursday night lineup. In that time slot it would have easily outpaced such dogs as Veronica's closet even without Phil Hartman (I raise my glass to you sir).

While Phil Hartman was truly the glue to the show, it did start to make a recovery after the writers and Lovitz started to make some sense of what to do with his character (I think it might have been good to use him as his original role as a mental patient).

I think Steven Root's character was possibly the greatest TV boss in history. He was nuts! If you think that his character was little unrealistic for a multi billionaire, just look at the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban. I was glad to see him again in the movies in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"

The writing was always fresh. The actors were all perfect for the role's they played (I am NOT an Andy Dick fan, but he even worked in this show). The humor was sometimes understated, sometimes slapstick, but always funny.
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One of the greatest TV shows the 90's has ever seen...
Juliet-822 January 1999
NewsRadio has to be one of the most wittiest television sitcoms the 90's has to offer. Every character is wonderfully written and hilariously portrayed by a cast of excellent actors. Dave Foley, from Kids in the Hall, is great at playing the dead pan and sarcastic new boss "Dave." And of course Phil Hartman and Andy Dick steal the show as a great combination of stand up and slapstick. This show is one of the funniest ever!
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At this point "Newsradio" is one of the top three shows on tv
sting-1329 October 1998
"Newsradio" is possibly the freshest comedy left on television in 1998. The chemistry between the cast members remains at a high level, even after the unfortunate passing of Phil Hartman. To this point of the fifth season Jon Lovits has stepped in and done a great job as Max. I salute NBC for not giving up on this fine show just because it's not in the top twenty each week. Someone at the network obviously still feels there should be SOME quality programing on television.
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One of the greatest and most underrated shows ever
TeamECK25 September 2002
A true classic, one of the funniest shows in the history of television. It's a shame that Phil Hartman passed away, which basically was the beginning of the end. I can understand why they tried a fifth season, but it wasn't the same. Newsradio was smart, funny and had an amazing cast from top to bottom. A&E airs reruns daily from 8-9 am, and 2-3 pm. Definitely worth a look, you'll not be disappointed.
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NBC cancelled this?
Op_Prime15 June 2000
NewsRadio was an excellent and clever show, yet it was cancelled while shows like Suddenly Susan (which when you really think about it rips off NewsRadio) got to continue. What's with that? Granted, the series never recovered from the loss of Phil Hartman, but NewsRadio was still good and way better than other shows on NBC or any other networks. The cast was great, especially Phil Hartman. Jon Lovitz was not as good as Phil Hartman, but he was a good replacement and funny. My favorite episode would be the one where Bill gets a piano and sings hilarious songs about the government and Dave keeps trying to stop him. Hilarious. NBC, cancelling this series makes you the dumbest network in the world without a doubt. And with a network like Fox around, that saying something.
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Very funny, great comedy!!
mj-1617 October 1998
News Radio is a brilliant 90's television show. It's a great comedy, great actors, and is flexible (has many different forms of comedy) Never boring or dull. Once I started watching, I couldn't stop. I never miss it! Get it on your TV screen NOW!
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The Tastiest Sitcom Ever?
Mr Mauve29 January 2001
Lets look at this as a recipe... (please forgive the gimmick)

Start with a premise: A radio show. OK, so it's been done. But this isn't WKRP. This is WNYX, an all-news station. So, it's far from original; an amalgam of different sitcoms which take place in media outlets. This is our main protein source, where we get our main plotlines.

Here's where it gets interesting. Add a former member of one of the most popular Sketch comedy shows in the world, The Kids In The Hall: Dave Foley. A gifted comedian and a very good actor as well. Probably the most versatile player out of the 5 "Kids", Foley is the base flavor that keeps the show balanced, like a carefully prepared stock.

Add another former Sketch player from the award winning Ben Stiller Show: Andy Dick. Dick plays probably the most ridiculous character to ever be employed in any capacity. Picture a 30 year old man with the mind of a 15 year old girl. A great physical comedian, Andy Dick is an acquired taste akin to cilantro- strong, sometimes overpowering, but improves almost anything to which its added.

What?! Another gifted comedian straight from a great sketch comedy show? Of course I refer to Phil Hartman, without question the most consistent and versatile actor ever to be featured on the uneven series Saturday Night Live. Mr. Hartman, who left the show abruptly due to his untimely demise, was the potato in this dish- so consistent you sometimes forget how amazing he could be.

Maura Tierney and Khandi Alexander were given what were probably the most "straight" roles, usually only involved in storylines which involved sex or relationships with the men on the show. Both are very talented actresses but neither contributed nearly as many laughs as the three men above. Their roles were essentially sauces, breaking up the flavor and adding different sweet, rich notes.

Vicky Lewis, on the other hand, was quite like the female version of Andy Dick. Instead of cilantro, however, she was the hot pepper- and not just because of her red hair. She was a foil for every character, taking no one seriously while doing as little work as possible. Again, not a favorite character for most because of her caustic screen presence. Hmmm... this tastes pretty good so far, but it needs something more... Perhaps some vegetables... well, kids don't like their vegetables and immature adults don't like to be told what to do. So Stephen Root, the hilarious Billionaire/Owner of WNYX, is the bitter vegetable- unyielding and necessary for good health.

OK, we have our meat, our potatoes, our vegetables and our sauce as well as the important herbs and spices. But... this doesn't taste good. It tastes flat. We need something which improves every flavor it comes in contact with. Salt!

Joe Rogan, the station electrician/conspiracy theorist, is the icing on the cake- a theoretically irrelevant yet logically important character who just happens to be funny every time he appears on screen. Possibly my favorite character.

There... delicious! A heady mix of flavors which would conflict without the sturdy base it's built upon. I love Newsradio and although I do like Jon Lovitz, the show was never the same after Hartman's departure. Watch for reruns, as the show has been canceled, whenever possible.
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8/10
The last of the Smart TV Comedies of the 1990s
tvnutboy5 July 2006
I originally watched "Newsradio" for one reason only, (1 1/2 if you count Andy Dick) because I've been a fan of Phil Hartman when he was previously on SNL. That was all I watched the show for. Then when he died, I tried to give the Jon Lovitz Episodes a chance, but by then it just turned into just another "sitcom" (Though it could be argued that it was leaning in that direction regardless of whether it was with or without Phil.) Having rediscovered this show on DVD years later, I realize that this is a perfect ensemble show that gets a little goofy on purpose. What "Arrested Development" was for this Decade, "Newsradio" was for the 90s and the quality holds up to this day.
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"Adequate?" Don't be sagacious...
dregerino20 January 2004
NEWSRADIO is a truly unique television sitcom, probably the smartest sitcom in years! I'll take their three seasons over SEINFELD & FRIENDS any day. This series has the sense of humor of a Marx Brothers film! The jokes tend to be conceptual, and like all great conceptual humor, the plots are merely springboards for weirdness! The episode with James Caan coming to the studio to observe Bill is hilarious! When he begins observing Matthew (and Matthew's bizarre behavior)...that's classic stuff! Just like the NBC years of Letterman's talkshow, the writers on NEWSRADIO take something merely weird and turn it into hilarity by creating a set of circumstances that require the viewer to "get it". A lot of people don't...which makes NEWSRADIO a marginally popular UNIQUE gem in a television industry of repetitive crap.
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If you don't laugh with this show, you'll never laugh.
Boon23 April 1999
I have been watching this show about 7 months now and by far It is my absolute favorite show on TV. I originally hated "NewsRadio" and would be disappointed when it came on, but after I gave it a chance by watching the old episodes with the late Phil Hartman, I never miss it. I have seen my own mother in tears over this show laughing out loud. I myself don't believe a show has ever made me laugh this hard. So if any of the cast and crew is reading this, keep it up, we love it!
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ROTTEN DEAL!
thisisaj-214 March 2001
NewsRadio, as many others have said, is one of the best shows ever to be on tv. The ensemble works well, however I have one quibble: why was Matthew given so much screen time and Catherine not? Matthew is fine in small doses but when you put too much of him in an episode it kinda ruins it. Anyway, curse NBC!
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The Cult Classic TV Show of The 90s
NY98 DJ9 October 1999
In today's entertainment business, it can sometimes be hard to have a show last a couple of weeks. Maybe some of the best shows didn't last, but Newsradio was lucky enough, and I was happy. I didn't like the show, till I saw my first episode (The Titanic Season Finale). Well, since I was hooked. I watched every re-run, and I have seen every episode. The show was great, every single cast member made it work. Everyone from Jimmy James to Bill McNeal. A critic said "When Phil Hartman died, the show died with him." I will never forget that. Newsradio was a great show, with many bad things going on behind the scenes after Phil's death. This show is great, and NBC was wrong for cancelling it. Many fans know this is the "Cult Classic" of the 90s.
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NBC sucks
Hallie-425 September 1999
I'll add my voice to the crowd - "NBC sucks!" for cancelling NewsRadio, a creative and innovative and wonderfully daring show that wasn't afraid to grow, to change, and to push the edges. I just read about Paul's vision for next season, and I am eager to see it, but sadly, there won't be a next season, so there's nothing to see. I am bitter. This show needed more episodes, if for other reason than that the show will live on in syndication.

Well, I didn't even discover NewsRadio until after it was cancelled and became syndicated. Why didn't I know about it? Now it's the best standing date I have with the TV to watch the reruns that by now I have seen so many times. The writing was innovative and quirky, and the rapport among the charismatic characters is addictive. I would have watched it every week if I'd just known of its existence! I can't get enough of it. I love those nuts at WNYX. So much that I even registered here on this thing to commemorate them officially. I do hope somehow, someday, the show will be revived, if there's any way that could ever be possible.

To review, Newsradio and all the cast and writers and creative team members were great. NBC sucks.
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A classic TV show cancelled
Jester-5531 August 1999
The NBC executives have made one of the worst choices ever for their station and that is cancelling Newsradio. Newsradio is a funny, offbeat television show that has an excellent cast, clever writing, and strong directing. I began watching this show when it was in syndication and loved it. NBC should seriously reconsider what shows to cancel and how can lame shows like Suddenly Susan and Jesse stay on the air and not Newsradio
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One of the funniest ever
omalley-215 August 1999
While the last season was a bit off track, most notably because of the absence of Phil Hartman, it still produced 3 classic episodes that may have been the funniest 3-parter ever made in television. The entire Johnny Johnson thing was brilliant. At its prime, (the third season) Newsradio, was funnier than everything on television. Seinfeld and Friends were great that year, but no one could touch Newsradio. The writing was hysterical and subtle, and everything was clicking. I've got so many of those episodes on tape and they never get old. Thank God for syndication, there is no other show I'd rather watch reruns of than Newsradio.
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10/10
By Far The Most Imaginative TV Show Of All Time!
LeonardOsborneKael26 March 2009
Both in writing and in acting, NEWSRADIO is second to none. And it sailed so far beyond the normal TV sitcom boundaries so many times that, very often, you could barely believe what you were seeing! Remember the episode where, inexplicably, the radio newsroom had become -- gasp -- THE TITANIC! Yes; instead of broadcasting the news, the cast were traversing the North Atlantic -- complete with portholes and sea spray! For pure bravado, nothing can touch this unforgettable series. Sadly, not a lot of people saw the wonderful freewheeling work. The writer/producers were very young, even by Hollywood standards, and the art of seducing the network brass was unknown to them. As a result, the show was not well-supported by NBC and they changed its time slot countless times -- a sure fire way to shrink ratings and kill off a show. What a shame! This dazzling show had many miles to run. Never has there been such pure creative brilliance behind a television program and, given today's obsession with "reality" programming, it is unlikely to ever happen again. Hey -- if you really wanted to get ALL the jokes, you had better be an expert on the stock market -- a fan of early radio comedy -- and probably a Rhodes scholar to boot! The writers really set the bar in the stratosphere with this one -- scaling the heights in every possible way -- with a cast that had the wit and style to bring it off time after time. One of the few times that pure genius was allowed on TV! My numero uno "complete series on DVD" purchase.
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10/10
Impeccable ensemble
Scott-10122 December 2008
Newsradio was the best of the Manhattan-based nondescript workplace comedies that came out in the late 90's (Working, Caroline in the City, the Naked Truth, etc. are more examples). The show had an impeccable ensemble that just came out as more than the sum of their parts. Each of the characters was malleable enough to be able to be thrown into any comic situation and make the plot go along. Highlights included: Phil Hartman as a radio personality who while appearing congenial on the surface is plagued with an incredibly large ego and an incredibly low emotional I.Q; Andy Dick as a spastic reporter who is absolutely useless but is aloud to keep his job for mostly sentimental reason; Joe Rogan is a blue-collar idiot savant; and Vikki Lewis as a ditsy secretary who's loyal to her boss but unapologetic about her dress or any of her other faults. Dave Foley, as the office boss, and Maura Tierny, as the smartest and most ambitious member of the staff, who has a secret office romance with him, ignite a screwball comedy for the ages (not to mention the hilarious sexual tension that arose out of that single sort-of-date between Joe Rogan and Khandi Alexander's characters). Throw in Stephen Root is the least sensible boss in TV history, yet somehow the most successful, and you've got quite a show.
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8/10
One of the better sitcoms!
Syl27 August 2007
I really miss Newsradio because it was a great cast of eccentric characters and writers who knew how to write. The cast included Phil Hartman who was better known for his roles on Saturday Night Live during this tenure. He was a comic genius and sorely missed by his fans. The other cast members included Canada's Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall, Vicki Lewis as the useless secretary, Maura Tierney as the serious, intelligent and love interest of Dave's character. The cast also featured Stephen Root, an underrated actor, Joe Rogan, Andy Dick, Khandi Alexander, etc. The show's eccentric characters worked well together. When Phil's real life tragic death occurred, the cast and crew worked to remember him fondly and brought in fellow Saturday Night Live alum and close friend of Phil's, Jon Lovitz to replace the void. Of course, the show lasted a year. Much like another NBC sitcom, the show never truly recovered emotionally and maybe the audience couldn't get past it. We did accept and love Jon not as Phil's replacement.
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The funniest show on television
HartfordHammer2 January 2004
This show was the ultimate sitcom. A fantastic ensemble cast that ran the gamut from subtle sarcasm to broad physical comedy. Plus, it had the ultimate character actor, Phil Hartman

These characters were amazing, and the writing was excellent. From the Super Karate Monkey Death Car to Throwdini, this show kept me intensely amused.

As long as it is still in reruns, it will be the funniest show on television to me. It's too bad it couldn't survive on NBC after Phil passed away. Jon Lovitz valiantly tried to fill his shoes, but it just wasn't the same that last season. It lost the subtlety, and became too wacky...
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Fine TV show
rbverhoef10 November 2003
'NewsRadio' is a sitcom about the co-workers on a radio station named WNYX. Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Joe Rogan, Vicki Lewis are very funny. Andy Dick as Matthew adores Bill McNeal (Phil Hartman) and they have the funniest scenes. Lisa Miller (Maura Tierney) is very beautiful and of course very funny as well.

Unfortunately Phil Hartman was killed and the show had to run for one last season without him. Jon Lovitz joined but the show was not the same anymore. Still a great comedy!
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9/10
"NewsRadio" is Funny
I can't think of a better four seasons of comedy than from early 1995 to 1998 of NewsRadio. All of the actors were funny. Phil Hartman, Dave Foley, Maura Tierney, Joe Rogan, and so on. I personality hate ER for turning Maura into a dry soap opera star on their overrated, irritable program for shut-ins. When it comes down to it, I'm glad that "NewsRadio" did not become a repetitive tv program like ER. So therefore, it was a good thing that it was cancelled after 5 great seasons. The 5th one wasn't as good as the others but it ended the series. Brad Rowe, Jeanne Gorofalo, Mike MacDonald, and Lauren Graham all got their starts from this show. That's to name just a few. If it hadn't been for this show, those people would have nothing to their credit now. To summarize, "News Radio" rules and ER SUCKS!
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10/10
off the wall humour
Krishnan Seshadri27 August 2002
The great thing about this show was that it was not based off a long plot line - each show was almost stand alone.. there were no continious plot lines and were just fun. I certainly enjoyed the sometimes far-reaching plot lines for a good 22 minutes of non serious off the wall entertainment.

The characters were all very unique and added their own element to the show, from the bumbling Andy Dick to the seemingly straight edged Dave Foley. However, after the demise of Phil Hartmen there really was no plausible replacement for his eccentric character. Even though I give credit to Jon Lovitz for trying, he just did not fill the void, especially since he lacked the strong presence that Hartman commanded.
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One of the best TV show ever!
dreamergrl889 July 2002
I must say that NewsRadio is one of the best TV shows ever. It is smart, funny, and has one of the best ensemble casts ever. Better than "Friends". The first three seasons were the shows best and the only things that went wrong were the absence of Catherine, the absence of Bill, and the breakup of Dave & Lisa. I know the show couldn't have controlled Catherine or Bill, but why the hell did they break up Dave and Lisa? I mean, they should have ended up together. And if they didn't end up together she sure as hell shouldn't have gotten together with Johnny Johnson! That relationship was doomed before it even started! Other than those three things, I must say I greatly enjoy the show and would recommend it to ANYONE.
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The greatest sitcom of the 90's!!!
otter7719 April 1999
"Newsradio" is by far, the funniest show on T.V. It's fresh,inventive, and hilarious. The cast is top-notch; each of the characters are irresistibly likable and funny.The actors have a wonderful chemistry together. Today, the show is still great, but it isn't as funny as it was with the late-great Phil Hartman. The man was a pure comic genius. Everything he said or did was undeniably hilarious. Although Jon Lovitz is doing a great job as a substitute, you simply can't replace Phil. Unfortunately, "Newsradio" never got the ratings it deserved. But NBC showed that it has quality programming by keeping it on the air. I would have never started watching it but my friend made me watch an episode and I've been hooked ever since. Well, anyway, "Newsradio" is a comedic masterpiece of a show, and I hope I will be enjoying it for many seasons to come.
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