Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm Living on the Air in Cincinnati...

...Cincinnati WKRP.

For years, WKRP in Cincinnati has been one of the most requested shows to go to DVD. The holdup has been licensing of the music from the shows. If you watched any of the episodes in syndication, you remember that scenes were cut and lots of the music was replaced by what was effectively the same kind of elevator music that Travis showed up to change.

There's finally a DVD set for season 1. There are still licensing issues with lots of the music and a couple of the episodes are the cut syndicated ones (the originals were not available) but they ain't bad. I know the WKRP purists are totally unhappy and swear they'll refuse to buy the DVDs, but after much thought I decided I'm a fan, not a purist, and I've missed the damn show! So far we've watched the 2-part pilot (including Lex's favorite line from Johnny Fever after the station is invaded by aging protesters - "I think you should know that I've killed a lot of old people!"), Les on a Ledge and the Hoodlum Rock episodes. Flying Turkeys is coming up soon!

Somehow those same licensing problems apparently were overcome by whoever is putting out the Saturday Night Live DVDs because the 1st season in its entirety (including all music performances AND the Muppets, which I thought was another licensing problem) is now available. Haven't bought it yet but you know I will - I remember watching the original episode with George Carlin as it aired and I was never the same afterwards.



At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This release is evidence that we as a civilization have not completely lost our way.

(Also, for those who don't get the flying-turkey reference, a clip of that segment was on YouTube recently and may still be there. Go see it, and it doesn't make you want to run out and buy the DVDs, you have rotten tomatoes in the hole where your soul belongs.)

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO one in our generation can forget the flying turkeys...

I wonder if the SNL issue has to do with the fact that the artists are doing voluntary live performances on the show, whereas WKRP used existing recordings for which permissions probably had to be worked out during the original taping of the show.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Tony Plutonium said...

"With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

PC - my grasp of music rights is pretty dim so your guess is as good as mine. I was much more convinced that whoever owns Jim Henson's company now (his daughter maybe?) was blocking the SNL Muppet segments but they do seem to be intact. I looked at the episode list today for the first couple of seasons and I'm still not sure how Candy Bergen ended up hosting three times in the first season and a half. But her Christmas show that first season was unforgetable.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Cindy Lee said...

I have not seen that show in years but at the mere mention or flying turkeys I laughed. I can still see Carlson's face as he walked in the studio and explained what hapened. it was priceless.


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