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Where Are We? 

Mr Carlson is arrested after the actions of his old program director, who he then has to replace. Meanwhile, his Mother sells the station.




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Episode credited cast:
Arthur 'Big Guy' Carlson
Les Nessman
Herb Tarlek
Donovan Aderhold
Dana Burns
Jack Allen
Hope Alexander-Willis ...
Claire Hartline
Ronnie Lee
John Chappell ...
Buddy Dornster
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mama Carlson


Mr Carlson is arrested after the actions of his old program director, who he then has to replace. Meanwhile, his Mother sells the station.

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Release Date:

14 September 1991 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Carlson Is Arrested (part 1)

Over 4 years, WKRP became one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. It got better as it went, and never should have gone off the air when it did. Imagine my shock when it was revived 9 years later.

Following an "Anniversary Special" consisting of clips of the old show (which I prefer NOT to consider part of the official series), the new run begins in the aftermath of a scandal caused by the unseen program director & DJ Steve "The Savage" DeMarco having gone berserk on the air, said "something you can't say on the air", and then "run off" with not one but two female DJs! The incident was reported to the FCC (and apparently the police) by a woman named "Edna Grindbody", a member of the "Cincinatti League Of Decency" (C.L.O.D.), a militant, reactionary Republican group obsessed with "traditional family values". For some reason, Arthur Carlson gets arrested for DeMarco's actions, and the resulting scandal causes station owner Lillian Carlson to accept an offer from a Philadelphia firm to sell the station. (Personally, I'm the sort who cannot imagine ever selling a private-owned company to some faceless corporation. It's just "wrong".)

3 regulars from the old show returned-- Arthur Carlson (station manager), Herb Tarlek (sales manager) and Les Nessman (news director). This makes sense, as it was clear in all 90 previous episodes that these guys could never find another job anywhere else. Carol Bruce also returned as Lillian, her hair whiter, and slightly mellower, but still a ruthless shrew concerned more for money than people. I liked most of the new characters, including Donovan Aderhold (program director), who was smart, hip, and always slightly bemused by what was going on around him; Jack Allen & Dana Burns (the married DJs heading for a nasty divorce), who were manic, frantic, and bordering on nuts; and Claire Hartline (traffic & continuity) who was competent, warm-hearted but sometimes sarcastic when called for).

Perhaps it's the frenetic pace of the first episode, with so much being introduced in so little time, but I found this episode had me laughing almost non-stop from start to finish. So many good things, like Arthur meeting Donovan and getting awkward because he didn't know he was black; Herb meeting Donovan and mistaking him for the parking attendant; Donovan meeting Les and acting as though he's just met someone from another planet ("Walls! I need walls!" "Do, uh, do you work outdoors or something?").

One odd bit I just noticed (after seeing these episodes at least 6 times by now) is that Donovan tells Arthur "Me and the Misses thought Cincinnati would be a nice place to settle down and raise little black children! We workin' on our first one now." This is strange, as in all later episodes, Donovan is shown to be SINGLE. Did he get a divorce between stories, or can this be explained that he was pulling Arthur's leg, perhaps to gain sympathy since it was clear Arthur was a family man?

Things seem bleak when Arthur finds out his mother's plans, especially as it's clear everyone there would lose their jobs once new owners took over. But then he has a thought, and calls up an old friend for help... (to be continued)

Last night I watched the last 2 episodes of the original run back-to-back with the first 2 episodes of the revival. Call me crazy, but I was smiling MORE during the latter. It's a shame the old show ended too soon, and that there were so many changes when it was finally revived. But I've rarely ever seen any series revived like this, after so many years, where its heart was SO much in the right place.

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