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Archive for March 24th, 2018

wkrp

An essay by Brian E. Wilson

“Just maybe think of me every once in a while.”—Steve Carlisle, WKRP opening credits

For this blog essay about the terrific WKRP in Cincinnati, I have to rely on memory. I became an instant fan of this series the moment it premiered on CBS on September 18, 1978. I made sure to catch every single one of its 90 episodes until its rather abrupt cancellation (the final one aired on April 12, 1982 with an unresolved cliffhanger). CBS of course made this difficult thanks to many time slot moves and shifts. More on that later.

Although the show became a hit in syndication, allowing me to enjoy several of the episodes numerous times, I haven’t watched it in 30 years. When the series came out finally on DVD a few years ago, I learned that the song-heavy show about a radio station that changes its format from sleepy-eyed unhip programming to wide awake rock pop and soul couldn’t obtain the now expired rights to some of the music played on the show. Some scenes and episodes apparently have been altered. Reading about this, I suddenly became a purist. I want the real thing. The original.

Still, what’s telling about how much I enjoyed this show is how well I still remember it, how certain episodes and situations and lines have stayed with me over the years. I know most people reading this series of blog entries must be TV fans who have spent a significant amount of time in front of the ole telly. And as a teen from 1978 to 1982, I certainly did. I must be honest though. I barely remember some of the shows I watched during this time. And yet WKRP in Cincinnati…it struck a nerve with me, a kid fascinated with DJs, top 40 radio, well, all things radio, and TV shows that could be goofy one moment and then thoughtful and serious the next. (more…)

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