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Finally: WKRP on DVD

March 5th, 2007

Wkrp-S1For a long time, WKRP in Cincinnati was a notable exception to all the TV shows being put on DVD. You kind of had to wonder why that was, seeing as how so much money could be made off of it. The answer: the RIAA. Original episodes of KRP had popular music in them, often inseparably from the dialog as Johnny or Venus would introduce a song. The problem came when the music labels started asking exorbitant piles of money to approve their rebroadcast–and so they had the owners of WKRP by the cajones. No music, no show. Many of the original episodes were shown in syndication, with non-licensed music dubbed in place of the big hits.

Well, apparently they worked something out, because the first season of WKRP (click-through to Amazon) is finally coming out on DVD on April 24th. It will have 22 episodes, some extra features (commentaries on two episodes with Hugh Wilson, Loni Anderson, Frank Bonner, & Tim Reid, plus three featurettes), and will cost $26. From what’s been reported, the studio wasn’t able to work out everything with the music labels, and so there will be music substitutions that fit the episodes. But no problem there–the little 5-second snippets we heard in the original episodes are not what made the show really good, anyway.

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  1. March 6th, 2007 at 01:44 | #1

    I am so torn on buying this set. I didn’t go with Quantum Leap or Northern Exposure because of music changes, but in those cases there was no warning. They lured you in with complete first seasons, then pulled the rug out from under you on the following ones. At least with WKRP they are being very upfront about it and warning everyone.

    My guess is they paid for any song mentioned by name or any song that was just TOO important (Les putting on the wig to “Hot Blooded”). I think I will hold off until it’s out and I hear just how good, or bad, the set really is.

  2. Luis
    March 6th, 2007 at 01:47 | #2

    In all honesty, I’ll probably wait until it’s all out and go for a discounted package set. On too many other series I have bought all the sets as they come out and then saw them all go for half the original price as a dicount package.

    Nonetheless, it is tempting!

  3. K. Engels
    March 6th, 2007 at 05:07 | #3

    Luis, like you I’ve been burned a few times by buying individual discs or single season sets. I was an early adopter of the James Bond 007 DVDs. When I bought them they had only release about 8 of the movies as individual discs, then they released the sets. They put out 3 boxes that, when combined, contained all the Bond movies. The problem was that the 8 movies they released previously were spread out between all three boxes so there was no way to avoid double purchasing the movies! I was lucky though when I finally decided to buy the M*A*S*H DVDs, I bought the series set which was only available for about 4 months before they pulled it from shelves. I’m thinking that I’ll take a wait and see attitude for the WKRP DVD releases.

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