FOX: WKRP In 2003?

Jaime_Weinman

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One last post from me on this subject. At the chat, when I asked if there was any chance of WKRP In Cincinnati coming out on DVD, Peter Staddon replied "It would be a great release, if only we could afford the music clearance rights!" That's fair enough (the music rights for a show with so much music would be hideously expensive, and there's no point in releasing the show with the same fake music heard in reruns), but I would still like to put in a plug for WKRP, especially since it has a 25th anniversary coming up in 2003 (the show premiered in 1978).
If there is no way to get the complete series out on DVD (and I'm still holding out hope that the M*A*S*H series will be successful enough in that format to justify the expense of putting out other classic '70s series like 'KRP), then perhaps FOX could consider putting out selected episodes to mark WKRP's 25th anniversary -- episodes like "Turkeys Away" (the favorite), "The Americanization of Ivan" (the show that suffers the worst music changes in reruns), "Daydreams" (the episode most brutally butchered in syndication), "Real Families," and so on. Like most TV fans, I dislike so-called "best of" collections, but there's so little uncut, original-music WKRP on home video in any format that I'd reluctantly accept selected episodes if music-rights issues could not be cleared for the entire series.
Anyway, since Fox is rightly planning to mark the 30th anniversary of the M*A*S*H series with a DVD release, I hope Fox will do something with WKRP for its 25th anniversary in 2003.
 

Craig S

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Good idea, Jaime - any "WKRP" is better than none. Heck, I'd pay for "Turkeys Away" all by itself - I don't think I've ever laughed as hard in my life as I did when I saw this one over 20 years ago.
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Mike Gariepy

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They can't release any episodes of WKRP on any video format anymore, the phone cops confiscated all the tapes.

Count me in as an "any episodes are better than none" supporter.
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MatthewA

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I would buy a "best-of" set, but only reluctantly. I'd much much rather buy the entire series in season-by-season sets, uncut, with the original music.
News Corporation just made several billion dollars from the sale of Fox Family Channel and the Saban library to Disney. I'm sure they can afford the music rights. How much do the rights holders want?
I will be encouraging the webmaster of sitcomsonline.com to promote the M*A*S*H DVD set heavily to spur the sales of vintage TV on DVD.
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Jaime_Weinman

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Okay, here's a rather long and exhausting post, and I sure hope Peter Staddon or somebody reads this -- I've tried to catalogue the number of songs per episode in the original WKRP series (before the music was changed for reruns, I mean), to give an idea of what Fox might be looking at in terms of licensing if they released WKRP episodes on DVD. It could also indicate which episodes would be releatively easy in terms of licensing, but again I'll say that I'm campaiging for selected episodes ONLY if it's ABSOLUTELY impossible to do a full-scale every-episode collection. I just like this show a lot (as you've no doubt guessed), and I'd like to get it some kind of respectful home-video treatment for its upcoming anniversary.
If you want to know which episodes are which, here's an episode guide: http://www.epguides.com/WKRPinCincinnati/guide.shtml
Also, I'll put an asterisk beside some episodes that are a) Particularly good in my opinion and b) Contains relatively few songs [usually 2 or fewer] that would have to be licensed. [I've overlooked some good ones, of course] But just a warning that no WKRP collection of any kind could be acceptable without "Turkeys Away."
I'll split this into 2 parts for safety's sake...
PART 1
Pilot, part one - 2 rock recordings (one of them by Ted Nugent), and 2 covers of old songs ("You're Having My Baby" is one of them).
Pilot, part two - 3 recordings
Les on a Ledge - 1 recording
*Hoodlum Rock - 3 recordings, all by the same group ("Detective")
Hold-Up - 3 recordings
Bailey's Show - 4 recordings
* Turkeys Away - 3 recordings (one from Pink Floyd's "Animals")
Love Returns - 2 or 3 recordings, a bunch of other country songs that are probably fake -- this is a rather weak episode, anyway...
Mama's Review - 2 recordings, reprised from other episodes [clip show]
* A Date With Jennifer - 1 recording ("Hot Blooded" by Foreigner)
* Tornado - 1 recording
Goodbye, Johnny - 2 recordings (including "Surfin' U.S.A." by the Beach Boys), 1 other song sung by Johnny ("It's a Lovely Day Today")
Johnny Comes Back - 4 recordings
* Never Leave Me, Lucille - 1 recording
I Want To Keep My Baby - 8 recordings
* A Commercial Break - 2 recordings ("Heart of Glass" by Blondie and "Young Bloods" by the Coasters - plus, of course, the famous "Hey, you're young and swingin'" jingle, but that's not a real song and therefore wouldn't have to be licensed)
Who is Gordon Sims - 2 recordings
I Do, I Do, For Now - 2 songs (both sung "live" in the studio by Hoyt Axton)
Young Master Carlson - 2 recordings, plus quotations from the theme music to "Patton" (but that shouldn't be a problem since "Patton" is a Fox movie)
Fish Story - 5 or 6 recordings (2 by the Doors), plus one song sung in the studio ("If I Didn't Care")
Preacher - 2 recordings
*For Love Or Money - Only 2 recordings in a 2-hour episode ("Bad Case of Lovin' You" and "After the Love is Gone").
Baseball - No recordings, but there's some recurring bluegrass music that sounds like it may be borrowed from somewhere. Other note: This episode is notorious for getting cut -- I've seen two different versions, each with material that the other lacks. Someone at Fox should really be restoring the *complete* versions of these classic shows, even if it's not for DVD release)
Bad Risk - 2 recordings
*Jennifer Falls In Love - No music
*Carlson For President - 2 recordings, but one of them is the theme from Fox's "Star Wars"
Mike Fright - 5 recordings, plus someone sings the theme from "Rocky."
Patter of Little Feet - 2 recordings (one of which, "Thank Heaven For Little Girls" by Maurice Chevalier, hasn't been heard in this episode since the original CBS run)
Baby, If You've Ever Wondered - 3 recordings
Bailey's Big Break - 2 recordings
Jennifer's Home For Christmas - 3 or 4 recordings, plus Christmas songs
Sparky - 2 recordings
*God Talks To Johnny - 2 recordings
A Family Affair - 4 or 5 recordings
Herb's Dad - 2 or 3 recordings
*Put Up Or Shut Up - no recordings, three songs sung in the studio by Herb
*The Americanization of Ivan - 2 recordings (one of which is "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John, and its removal was the worst music substitution in the whole series...)
Les's Groupie - 2 recordings
In Concert - 3 recordings
The Doctor's Daughter - 4 recordings
Filthy Pictures - 1 recording
*Most Improved Station - 1 recording
[Edited last by Jaime_Weinman on August 15, 2001 at 07:50 PM]
 

Jaime_Weinman

Supporting Actor
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PART 2 [* denotes a very good episode with only 2 songs or fewer]

The Airplane Show - 3 recordings (including "Had Enough" by the Who)

Jennifer Moves - No music

Real Families - at least 8 songs, mostly in the background; but damn it, it's my favorite episode and to me as essential as "Turkeys Away"

*Hotel Oceanview - 2 recordings, one song sung by Herb (theme from "Love American Style")

The Baby - 2 recordings

A Mile In My Shoes - 2 recordings

Bah, Humbug - 3 recordings

Baby, It's Cold Inside - 3 recordings, also features a character singing a Gershwin song

*The Painting - 1 recording

*Daydreams - 1 recording ("As Time Goes By") [badly butchered in syndication, losing an entire dream sequence and parts of other scenes]

*Frog Story - 2 recordings (a great episode, also badly butchered in syndication)

Venus and the Man - 3 recordings (incl. Candi Stayton and Della Reese)

Dr. Fever and Mr. Tide - 7 or 8 recordings

Ask Jennifer - No music, but various other weird licensing issues that I won't go into here

I Am Woman - 3 recordings

Secrets of Dayton Heights - 3 or 4 recordings

Out To Lunch - 3 or 4 recordings

A Simple Little Wedding - 3 recordings

Nothing To Fear But... - 3 recordings

Till Debt Do Us Part - 2 recordings

*Clean Up Radio Everywhere - No recordings, 2 songs quoted ("Take Me Out To the Ballgame" and John Lennon's "Imagine")

The Union - 2 recordings, 1 song sung in the studio

An Explosive Affair - A lot of recordings in this two-parter (at least 8) but I'd be remiss in not mentioning that on my website it's been one of the most-demanded episodes by fans...

*Rumors - 2 recordings (one by the Ian Thomas Band, and one by "The Go-Gos")

*Straight From the Heart - 2 recordings

*Who's On First? - 1 recording

Three Days of the Condo - 1 recording, also theme from GONE WITH THE WIND used throughout

Jennifer and the Will - 2 or 3 recordings

*The Consultant - 1 recording

*Love, Exciting and New - No music

You Can't Go Out of Town Again - 4 recordings

Pills - 4 recordings

*Changes - 2 recordings

Jennifer and Johnny's Charity - 3 recordings

I'll Take Romance - 2 recordings, one song quote

*Fire - 1 recording, 1 song sung

Dear Liar - 1 recording

Circumstantial Evidence - 3 recordings

The Creation of Venus - 3 recordings

Impossible Dream - 2 recordings

To Err is Human - 2 recordings

Up and Down the Dial - 3 recordings

Like I said, I hope Peter reads this list, but let me repeat once more that it might not be such a terrible investment to bring out the whole series - IF Fox did it and made a big deal of the restoration of the original music. Like for instance, an ad comparing the real music with the generic substitutes heard in syndication. It could happen ... but if not, fans like myself would at least press for a well-chosen "best of" collection (as someone who knows way too much about this series, I would gladly volunteer - the key word being "volunteer" - to come up with a representative selection...)

Okay, sorry for the length. We all have things we know way too much about; this is one of mine. I promise, no more marathon posts on this topic.
 

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