03/02/2005: For me, sad news...
Via Pete at A Perfectly Cromulent Blog, we learn that the likelihood of the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati getting a release on DVD is very low.
The reason? Because the show, set as it was in a Queen City radio station that had just changed its format to rock music, used a lot of that music in its soundtrack. Including snatches of tunes from artists like Elton John, The Eagles, Ted Nugent, and Foreigner. And as we know, the RIAA is trying to make you cough up licensing fees and royalties for merely thinking about songs; can you imagine what they're going to charge for royalties to put those songs on a DVD for commercial distribution?
By the time the RIAA got done extracting their several pounds of flesh, the DVDs would be cheaper if they were made of solid, 24 karat gold.
But this brings back some bittersweet memories; WKRP will always remain one of my favorite shows. Unfortunately for me, I didn't catch it much in its original TV run, which was 1978 to 1982; that period corresponded to my last year of college and all of my law school career, which was a period where not only was I not watching much TV (just like right now), I didn't have the time to watch it even had I wanted to, not to mention not having access to a TV during the law school years in that period ('79-'82). But by the time I'd gotten around to studying for the Missouri bar exam, WKRP was running in syndication in the late afternoon slot on KSD-TV in St. Louis, and part of my daily study ritual was to make damn sure that I took a break from 4:30 to 5:00 PM every weekday to get my WKRP fix.
It pretty much saved my life. And I'm suitably grateful; so much so that if they did release WKRP on DVD, I'd buy a complete collection. No matter how much it cost.
And, of course, let's not forget that WKRP was also the Gilligan's Island of the late '70's and early '80s in a very important sense. Just as Gilligan's Island posed (for many male viewers in that period) the earthshaking question: "Ginger or Mary Ann?", WKRP in its time posed the equally earthshaking question: "Jennifer Marlowe or Bailey Quarters?"
Give me Bailey. Anytime. No question.
I suspect this is related to the fact that I'd answer the Gilligan's Island question "Mary Ann". I wonder if anyone's done a research study of that? Looks to me like there's at least a master's thesis in there somewhere.
Len on 03.02.05 @ 08:37 AM CST