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WKRP in Cincinnati 

TV-PG | | Comedy | TV Series (1978–1982)
The misadventures of the staff of a struggling Top 40 rock radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Creator:

Hugh Wilson
Reviews
Popularity
922 ( 44)

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



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

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Gary Sandy ...  Andy Travis 90 episodes, 1978-1982
Gordon Jump ...  Arthur Carlson / ... 90 episodes, 1978-1982
Loni Anderson ...  Jennifer Marlowe / ... 89 episodes, 1978-1982
Howard Hesseman ...  Dr. Johnny Fever / ... 90 episodes, 1978-1982
Richard Sanders ...  Les Nessman / ... 89 episodes, 1978-1982
Frank Bonner ...  Herb Tarlek 89 episodes, 1978-1982
Tim Reid ...  Venus Flytrap / ... 87 episodes, 1978-1982
Jan Smithers ...  Bailey Quarters 86 episodes, 1978-1982
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Storyline

A hip, young program director pumps new life into a failing AM radio station, WKRP of Cincinatti, by changing format from Big Band to Hard Rock/Punk and bringing in two hot disc jockeys, over the protest of the owner... and some of the employees. Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Halløj i æteren See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(90 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hugh Wilson, a huge fan of The Beatles, wanted to include as many of their songs in the show as possible. However, even with an ASCAP licensing discount, The Beatles were the most expensive artist to license a song from. As a result, only three Beatles songs were used in the entire show: "I'm Down" (WKRP in Cincinnati: Preacher (1979), "Here Comes The Sun" (WKRP in Cincinnati: Out to Lunch (1981)), and "Come Together" (WKRP in Cincinnati: Jennifer and Johnny's Charity (1982)). The second most expensive artist to license a song from was The Rolling Stones. See more »

Quotes

Herb Tarlek: It's bad luck to take advice from a crazy person.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

MTM Productions' license to use some of the songs for this show expired in the mid-1990s. Syndicated and home video versions since then, including that on the Nick-at-Nite cable network, have replaced some of those songs with stock music. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Svengoolie: Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Humor with Intelligence without "Jokes"
26 April 2007 | by classicalsteveSee 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.


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