America’s Favorite Radio Station: WKRP in Cincinnati by Michael B. Kassel

By Michael B. Kassel

Although it turned probably the most profitable courses in syndicated tv heritage, WKRP in Cincinnati confronted an uphill fight attempting to receive prime-time luck. Kassel chronicles the selections and difficulties that affected WKRP's primetime luck, and explores the explanations why it went directly to develop into a classic.

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We went toward the clothes. And, of course, as you can tell, it really went overboard in some instances, butit worked. People loved it. It worked.. instead of doing 7 out of 13, I wound up doing 20 out of the 22 we did the first season. So, I said, 'Okay. I found it. I'm home' " (Bonner). The Pilot 39 "The Stranger as Guide" With Jennifer and Herb established, the pilot turned toward explaining the premise of the series. Again being economical with dialogue, Wilson was able to do this with the introduction of Andy Travis, the new program director fresh from Sante Fe, New Mexico.

I recall that Grant TInker was there for the pilot and he was getting very pale when we left .. "So we came rushing back to the studio and I really wanted to get on with shooting the show. I thought we could just put a bandage on it or just put on make-up, but, it turns out that with make-up it would have gotten infected. 40 America's Favorite Radio Station "So they decided to put a big bandage on for the beginning and then a smaller bandage on with the passage of time in the show. 1bey were going to put a line in to explain it-they did put a line in to explain itbut later they just took it out.

As he finds out, the audience finds out. He becomes the audience, in a way. We are his eyes and ears. We learn as he learns. It's a good way of doing exposition without being clumsy" (Wilson). In that first scene, Andy quickly realized that he may have made a mistake in coming to WKRP. Herb, upset that he had been passed over for the job of program director, quickly gave Travis the brush. Les Nessman gleefully warned Andy that station manager Arthur Carlson"The Big Guy"-bad a habit of quickly firing new Program Directors.

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