Sunday, April 01, 2007

WKRP on DVD...Finally

UPDATED - Apr.1st (Not an April Fools Joke to the best of my knowledge.)

Something Old, Something New reports on the music changes made to the WKRP First Season Box set...and it ain't pretty, folks. Assuming the report is correct, it pretty much negates the rest of this entry (which was written several months ago), and I doubt I'll be picking up the set as a result.

Yes, ladies and gents, the moment is right around the corner. Check out the official press release at TVShows on "The Complete First Season" set has been on the drawing boards since early December, but I didn't want to write an entry until it was officially confirmed by Fox.

My love for all things WKRP in Cincinnati has been evident for quite some time (well...maybe not all things). Last year I ranted and raved and pleaded to the unnamed powers that be to sort out the problems surrounding a theoretical DVD release -- namely the music licensing issues.

Certainly any WKRP DVD set has got to better than no WKRP DVD set, and yet I'm forced to reserve total judgment and/or utter excitement until sitting down and view it on April 24th. The one issue conspicuously absent from the press release is any mention of the dreaded music licensing issues. Even the usually meticulous Gord Lacey of TVShowsonDVD has only addressed the issue once, and that was back on 12/11, when the site reported: "...there will be music substitutions...the studio has spent a lot of time with a music supervisor to ensure that the replaced songs fit the show. [WKRP creator] Hugh Wilson...thought Fox did a good job."

Additionally, the Wikipedia entry on WKRP gives the situation a considerably more positive spin: "While the DVD set will include the original music that the current syndicated version lacked, there will be some musical substitutions, but Fox has tried hard to keep the music within the spirit of the original song used in the scenes where music must be replaced."

I haven't been able to find any more information on the issue, and I'm starting to believe fans won't know anything for sure until April 24th. If any reader finds something more detailed, please post a link in the comments section of this article or e-mail me at lynchnut at gmail dot com.

Regardless, I'm more than willing to give this set a chance and will be the first in line to buy a copy, as it's something I'd pretty much given up on ever happening. At least Fox isn't just trotting out the atrociously edited syndicated versions. If you are a WKRP fan, I urge you to support this release so the other three seasons can also see the light of day. If you've never seen WKRP, buy it anyway. You're in for a treat. What other series features dialogue like this?:

(after an elderly couple has broken into the DJ booth)

Dr. Johnny Fever: "All right you two - up against the wall! I don't know what you want here but I think you should know I've killed a lot of old people in my time...and I'm not above doing it again."