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WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Review

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Video:   7/10
Audio:   7/10
Extras:   4/10

A Set for the Fans
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)

WKRP in Cincinnati has always been one of the most talked-about shows when it comes to a DVD release. Everyone was surprised in 2007 when 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the first season of the show on DVD. That surprise was quickly followed by disappointment when fans realized that all the music used in the show was stripped out of the season, sometimes resulting in missing segments from the episodes. The fans weren't disappointed, they were outraged, and any hope of seeing more seasons from Fox vanished.

Now, seven years later, Shout! Factory, the saviours of shows with clearance nightmares, have come to the rescue, releasing the complete series in one set. The 13-disc set includes all the episodes of the show, as well as a bonus disc with some interesting interviews.

Season 1, Disc 1 (3:19:55)
Pilot (24:56)
Pilot, Part 2 (25:14)
Les on a Ledge (25:14)
Hoodlum Rock (24:57)
Hold-Up (24:20)
Bailey's Show (25:07)
Turkeys Away (24:58)
Love Returns (25:09)

Season 1, Disc 2 (2:54:34)
Mama's Review (25:10)
A Date with Jennifer (25:09)
The Contest Nobody Could Win (25:10)
Tornado (25:10)
Goodbye, Johnny (24:01)
Johnny Comes Back (24:57)
Never Leave Me, Lucille (24:57)

Season 1, Disc 3 (2:52:48)
I Want to Keep My Baby (24:47)
A Commercial Break (24:47)
Who is Gordon Sims (24:57)
I Do, I Do... For Now (24:51)
Young Master Carlson (24:57)
Fish Story (23:59)
Preacher (24:30)

Season 2, Disc 1 (3:19:37)
For Love or Money, Part 1 (24:56)
For Love or Money, Part 2 (24:55)
Baseball (25:01)
Bad Risk (25:02)
Jennifer Falls in Love (24:58)
Carlson for President (25:00)
Mike Fright (24:47)
Patter of Little Feet (24:58)

Season 2, Disc 2 (3:17:38)
Baby, if You've Ever Wondered (24:37)
Bailey's Big Break (25:00)
Jennifer's Home for Christmas (24:58)
Sparky (24:27)
God Talks to Johnny (24:56)
A Family Affair (24:03)
Herb's Dad (24:52)
Put up or Shut up (24:45)

Season 2, Disc 3 (3:18:34)
The Americanization of Ivan (24:58)
Les' Groupie (24:58)
In Concert (24:59)
The Doctor's Daughter (24:38)
Filthy Pictures (48:57)
Venus Rising (25:04)
Most Improved Station (25:00)

Season 3, Disc 1 (3:16:15)
The Airplane Show (24:14)
Jennifer Moves (24:54)
Real Families (24:53)
The Baby (23:54)
Hotel Oceanview (24:16)
A Mile in my Shoes (24:59)
Bah, Humbug (24:06)
Baby, It's Cold Inside (24:59)

Season 3, Disc 2 (2:52:25)
The Painting (24:58)
Daydreams (24:58)
Frog Story (24:59)
Venus and the Man (24:55)
Dr. Fever and Mr. Tide (47:38)
Ask Jennifer (24:57)

Season 3, Disc 3 (2:54:32)
I am Woman (25:01)
Secrets of Dayton Heights (25:03)
Out to Lunch (24:59)
A Simple Little Wedding (24:39)
Nothing to Fear but... (24:57)
'Till Debt us to Part (24:56)
Clean up Radio Everywhere (24:57)

Season 4, Disc 1 (3:12:36)
An Explosive Affair, Part 1 (24:07)
An Explosive Affair, Part 2 (24:07)
The Union (23:47)
Rumors (24:07)
Straight from the Heart (24:07)
Who's on First? (24:08)
Three Days of the Condo (24:07)
Jennifer and the Will (24:06)

Season 4, Disc 2 (2:50:58)
The Consultant (24:06)
Love, Exciting and New (23:46)
You Can't go out of Town Again (24:07)
Pills (24:06)
Changes (24:58)
Jennifer and Johnny's Charity (24:56)
I'll Take Romance (24:59)

Season 4, Disc 3 (2:54:07)
Circumstantial Evidence (25:00)
Fire (24:47)
Dead Liar (24:57)
The Creation of Venus (24:57)
The Impossible Dream (24:27)
To Err is Human (25:00)
Up and Down the Dial (24:59)


WKRP was shot and edited on tape, and the quality shows at times. It looks slightly soft, and you'll notice some tape dropouts, little blips here and there, in the episodes. Some of the episodes are a bit poorer than the rest (I'd drop those ones down to a 6/10), but overall I'm fairly happy with a show taken from 32+ year old tapes looking this good. The biggest flaw is in the stock footage shots of the city, but there isn't too much of that used in the show. You can see from the list of the episode times above that everything looks good; these aren't hacked syndication tapes that were used.


Ah, the "controversy section" of the review! Let me start by saying that there was never a hope in getting the entire show intact with all the music. It just wasn't going to happen. What Shout! Factory has done is great; they've gone out and licensed almost all the music used in the show and included it in this release. Yes, you'll read forum posts about how _____ song is missing, or they couldn't get the rights to _______. They're probably right. The big song that you'll see mentioned over and over is the Pink Floyd song "Dogs," which is used in "Turkeys Away." No, that song isn't in there because Pink Floyd is notorious for not licensing their stuff these days (you'll find their name comes up as a problem with other shows out on DVD). I don't know the particulars about why they don't license their stuff; maybe it's that they want too much money, or maybe they're just hard to deal with, I don't know. Instead of cutting the scene from the DVDs, Shout! Factory came up with a good solution to the problem that leaves the joke intact on the DVD.

The audio itself sounds good; voices were clear, and easy to understand. The episodes are closed captioned, but you'll likely come across a few spelling errors if you watch them for very long.

Extras - How we rate extras

Baby, if You've ever Wondered: A WKRP in Cincinnati Reunion (44:15)
Most of the cast reunited for an evening at the Paley Center for Media for a fun night spent talking about the show.

A Look Back at WKRP in Cincinnati with Gary Sandy (25:06)
Gary Sandy (Andy Travis), reminisces about his time on the show. This is a really great interview, and meshes nicely with the Paley event.

"Do My Eyes Say Yes" Featurette (6:28)
Frank Bonner, Tim Reid, Hugh Wilson, and Loni Anderson discuss the "Jennifer Marlowe" character.

"A Fish Story" Featurette (3:43)
The story behind the season 1 episode, "Fish Story."


I remember watching this with my dad years ago, and while I was too young to understand much of the show, I knew my dad really enjoyed it. Watching it now, I'm amazed by how well the show holds up. The show is over 30 years old, but the jokes still work really, really well, and I often found myself laughing or snickering at what was said. It's quite obvious why so many people loved this show, and were so disappointed with the first season when Fox released it.

Shout! Factory has put together a wonderful set for the series. While there will be the vocal minority that pick it apart, I'm fairly certain that the vast majority of the fans will love the set. Shout! definitely put a lot of love into it, so put this on your holiday list if you have a WKRP fan in your life.

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