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NewsRadio
NewsRadio.jpg
GenreSitcom
Slapstick
Created byPaul Simms
Starring
Theme music composerMike Post
ComposerIan Dye
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes97 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Kell Cahoon
  • Tom Saunders
  • Barbara Dorio
  • Mark Grossan
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production companies
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseMarch 21, 1995 (1995-03-21) –
May 4, 1999 (1999-05-04)

NewsRadio is an American sitcom television series that aired on NBC from March 21, 1995 to May 4, 1999, focusing on the work lives of the staff of a New York City AM news radio station. It had an ensemble cast featuring Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Maura Tierney, Vicki Lewis, Joe Rogan, Khandi Alexander, Jon Lovitz, and Phil Hartman in his final regular role before his death in 1998.

The series was created by executive producer Paul Simms and was filmed in front of a studio audience at CBS Studio Center and Sunset Gower Studios. The theme song was composed by Mike Post, who also scored the pilot.

Overview

The series is set at WNYX, a fictional AM broadcasting all-news radio station in New York City, populated by an eccentric station owner and staff. The show begins with the arrival of a new news director, the everyman Dave Nelson (Dave Foley). While Dave turns out to be more experienced than his youthful appearance suggests, he never fully gains control of his co-workers.

The fast-paced scripts and ensemble cast combined physical humor and visual gags with quick-witted dialogue and farcical storylines. Plots often involved satirical takes on historical events, news stories, and pop culture references. The third and fourth season finales took the surrealism to the extreme, setting the characters in outer space and aboard the Titanic.

There are a total of 97 episodes. Reruns continued in syndication for several years before disappearing in most markets, but the show has aired on A&E, Nick at Nite, and TBS network in the United States, and DTour and the Comedy Network in Canada. In the United States, the show occasionally airs as a filler on WGN America and runs regularly on Reelz and Antenna TV. For several years starting in July 2007, the program was syndicated through The Program Exchange.[1]

Episodes

Main article: List of NewsRadio episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
17March 21, 1995 (March 21, 1995)May 9, 1995 (May 9, 1995)
221September 19, 1995 (September 19, 1995)April 28, 1996 (April 28, 1996)
325September 18, 1996 (September 18, 1996)June 5, 1997 (June 5, 1997)
422September 23, 1997 (September 23, 1997)May 13, 1998 (May 13, 1998)
522September 23, 1998 (September 23, 1998)May 4, 1999 (May 4, 1999)

Characters

Main

The cast of NewsRadio, Seasons 1 to 4
The cast of NewsRadio, Seasons 1 to 4

Recurring

The only recurring character to appear in more than one production season is that of Jimmy's lawyer, Roger, played initially by Norm Macdonald, and later by NewsRadio writer Drake Sather, who did a vocal impersonation of Norm Macdonald.

Several other actors appeared in multiple seasons playing different characters, notably Lovitz, David Cross, Toby Huss, Brian Posehn, David Anthony Higgins, Dave Allen, Wallace Langham, and Bob Odenkirk.

Tone Lōc and Toby Huss played security guards Lorenzo and Junior in two episodes in season 2. The characters were based on the security guards at the studio where NewsRadio was shot.[8] During the last season, Patrick Warburton had a recurring role as Johnny Johnson, Jimmy's nemesis and Lisa's love interest (and eventual husband).

Lauren Graham had a four-episode run as Andrea, a manipulative efficiency expert who shakes up the office (firing Matthew, demoting Dave, and promoting Lisa). She is sometimes referred to as "Planbee" after Matthew misunderstands her being Jimmy's "Plan B" for the office. In a season 4 episode commentary track, Tierney gives the hiring of Graham as a possible explanation for Alexander's departure, which contradicts the idea that Alexander intended to leave before Graham appeared on the show (In Dave Foley's appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, they talked about Alexander leaving because she was not given enough lines). All of the changes introduced during Graham's time on the show would be restored by mid-season to the way things were before her arrival.

Brad Rowe had a four-episode run as Walt the intern, Jimmy's nephew who has a crush on Lisa, which causes more worry for Dave. He was originally intended as a regular for season five, but the character made no appearances after "Sinking Ship".

Syndication

The show entered off-network syndication three months after the 4th-season finale. In October 2000, A&E picked up the rights to the show and eventually moved to The Biography Channel in 2003. In 2006, the show began airing on Nick at Nite and TBS for a short period of time. In July 2010, the show began airing on the Reelz cable network. In July 2011, Antenna TV picked up the rights to the show to begin airing in October 2011.[9] In August 2019, it was announced that NewsRadio would return to Antenna TV in January 2020.[10] After an all-day New Year's marathon, NewsRadio aired six nights a week beginning January 2.[11] The majority of NewsRadio episodes were available to users in the United States via the video on demand site Hulu but as of March 2012 they are no longer available. A number of episodes from the first four seasons are currently available on the free video on demand site Crackle.

In Canada, the show aired on CTV Comedy Channel from 2011 to 2013. In October 2013, the show began airing on the Canadian TV channel M3. In the UK, the show aired on Comedy Central in the late 1990s, and has aired on Sony TV since April 2011.

In Australia, NewsRadio was broadcast on Network 10 since 1997. From 2011, 7mate has been showing reruns of the series. It was also shown in New Zealand on TVNZ.

Home media

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released all 5 seasons of NewsRadio on DVD in Region 1 between 2005 and 2007. Each set includes multiple audio commentaries with creator Paul Simms, the writers and actors. The DVD sets also include special features such as gag reels and other featurettes. As of 2014, these releases have been discontinued and are out of print.

On August 27, 2013, it was announced that Mill Creek Entertainment had acquired the rights to various television series from the Sony Pictures library including Newsradio.[12] They subsequently re-released the first two seasons on DVD on April 1, 2014.[13]

On May 19, 2015, Mill Creek Entertainment re-released NewsRadio - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[14]

DVD Name Ep# Release Date
The Complete First and Second Seasons 28 May 24, 2005
April 1, 2014 (re-release)
The Complete Third Season 25 February 28, 2006
The Complete Fourth Season 22 June 20, 2006
The Complete Fifth Season 22 March 20, 2007
The Complete Series 97 October 28, 2008
May 19, 2015 (re-release)

Nielsen ratings

Though the series received critical acclaim, ratings were inconsistent, and the show never placed higher than 26th.[citation needed] During its run, NewsRadio's time slot changed 11 times.[15]

On its first two broadcasts the show received a 20 share, improving on its lead-in (Wings) by a percentage point, and beating its competitors (Under One Roof and Thunder Alley) in its share of the 18- to 49-year-old audience.[3]

Season ratings

Season TV Season Time Slot (ET) Ratings Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 1994–1995 Tuesday at 8:30 pm #39[citation needed] 11.4[citation needed]
2 1995–1996 Tuesday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 1-10)
Sunday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 11-21)
#39[citation needed] 10.6[citation needed]
3 1996–1997 Wednesday at 9:00 pm (Episodes 1-10, 12-17)
Thursday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 11, 25)
Wednesday at 8:00 pm (Episodes 18–21, 23 & 24)
Wednesday at 8:30 pm (Episode 22)
#92[citation needed] 7.0[citation needed]
4 1997–1998 Tuesday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 1–8, 10–15, 22)
Thursday at 8:30 pm (Episode 9)
Wednesday at 8:00 pm (Episodes 16-21)
#62[16] 8.0[16]
5 1998–1999 Wednesday at 9:30 pm (Episodes 1–7, 9)
Tuesday at 8:30 pm (Episodes 8, 10-22)
#77[17] 9.6[17]

References

  1. ^ NewsRadio Archived July 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine from The Program Exchange. As of January 1, 2020, the show is airing on Antenna TV.
  2. ^ "Advertisement". Variety. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  3. ^ a b A Precocious Sitcom Freshman, an April 9, 1995 article from The New York Times
  4. ^ a b "NewsRadio (an Episode Guide)".
  5. ^ Heller, Karen (November 9, 1998). "Suddenly, The Fast Lane Life Was Very Leisurely For Ray Romano. He Pumped Gas; He Delivered Futons - And Liked It. Then He Got A Sitcom With A Sappy Name, And Things Went Kaflooey". entertainment. Philly.com. Bank Teller. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  6. ^ "An Everyman With a New York Accent : 'Everybody Loves Raymond' Draws on Ray Romano's Family Life for Laughs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "It's official: Jon Lovitz to join 'NewsRadio' cast". CNN. July 6, 1998. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
  8. ^ Commentary track for episode "Friends"
  9. ^ Pavan -- SitcomsOnline.com (July 25, 2011). "Antenna TV Fall 2011 Schedule; OWN and TLC Acquires Undercover Boss Repeats for Fall 2012 - SitcomsOnline.com News Blog". Blog.sitcomsonline.com. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  10. ^ "Tribune Media | Antenna TV Adds 5 Programs To 2020 Lineup".
  11. ^ SitcomsOnline.com, Pavan--. "Antenna TV January 2020 Schedule with 6 New Sitcoms; Netflix Gets Special with Comedy - SitcomsOnline.com News Blog". blog.sitcomsonline.com.
  12. ^ "Mill Creek Entertainment Signs Deals With Sony Pictures Home Entertainment To Expand Their Distribution Partnership". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  13. ^ "'Seasons 1 & 2' DVD Re-Release is Scheduled by Mill Creek". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  14. ^ "DVD Calendar Feature Articles - Metacritic". Metacritic. Archived from the original on March 26, 2015.
  15. ^ Hill, Libby (March 23, 2015). "10 episodes of perfect imperfection from the great NewsRadio". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Final Ratings for '97-'98 TV Season". The San Francisco Chronicle. May 25, 1998.
  17. ^ a b "Final ratings for the 1998-1999 TV season". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on October 29, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2013.