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America's Favorite Radio Station: WKRP in Cincinnati Paperback – June 15, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Popular Press 1; 1 edition (June 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879725850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879725853
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,289,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Ellis on November 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Like a lot of people, I first truly discovered one of the best sitcoms in television history a year or two after it was cancelled. Every night, at 6:30 pm, I'd turn the TV over to channel 21 and catch reruns of WKRP in Cincinatti and I'd find myself enthralled by everything from the sleaziness of Herb Tarlek, the well-meaning insanity of Les Nessman, the drug-addled flashbacks of Johnny Fever, and the likeable foolishness of Art Carlson. (And even though Loni Anderson's Jennifer may have been the officially recognized sex symbol, my crush was reserved for the much more quiet Bailey Quarters who proved that intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac.) As a child, I often wished that I could be a character on that show and even today, I often find myself thinking how much more fun I'd have at work if I'd moved up to Ohio and gotten a job at that low-rated radio station. Much like the later Newsradio, WKRP In Cincinnati was distinguished by a mixture of character-driven plots and surreal humor. And much like Newsradio, WKRP was treated like a redheaded stepchild by its parent network and ended up getting canned without a proper chance to build up an audience. Even today, WKRP is overshadowed by other, increasingly dated '70s sitcoms (basically anything produced by Norman Lear). With all that in mind, I was delighted when, recently, I came across a copy of Mike Kassel's entertaining behind-the-scenes history of WKRP in Cincanniti. Along with the prerequisite episode guide (which was very nicely detailed without getting overly obtuse as seems to happen with so many fan guides), Kassel provides some wonderful anecdotes and gives some nice insights into the cast. It was strangely heartwarming to discover that, behind-the-scenes, the show was apparently as enjoyable to work on as to watch.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"America's Favorite Radio Station" by Michael B. Kassel is an account of the creation, making, rise, and fall of the wonderful television comedy "WKRP in Cincinnati". The book is relatively short, but is printed in very small font, so it takes a bit longer to read that you might at first suspect. Kassel spends a lot of time discussing the origins of "WKRP" which requires a lot of time spent with Hugh Wilson, the executive producer of this gem. The background information with Wilson is insightful and justifies reading the book by itself.

Kassel also discusses all of the characters in depth, and interviewed many of the actors that had major roles in the show. Another useful feature is the listing and description of all ninety shows in the series. Less useful, however, is Kassel's attempts at cultural justification for the rise and fall of the show. A theme that Kassel approaches from several different directions is that the rise of Reagan conservatism was indirectly to blame for the demise of the show, while simultaneously arguing that it was the multiple time slot changes that did the show in. The latter seems more logical since the evidence Kassel has assembled seems to support it; the former seems like a method of working a personal political statement into a book where it otherwise didn't fit.

The book also suffers from an overall lack of attention to detail. On page iii, in the list of "WKRP Creative Alumni," Kassel leaves Jan Smithers off the list, despite talking about the importance of the eight key cast members throughout the book. I found that to be a fairly glaring oversight of proofreading, and it didn't set the tone well for the remainder of the book. Typographical and spelling errors also are common in the book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a book that all WKRP fans will enjoy. It is about the show with the program's actors and writers contributing most of the material which Mr. Kassel has woven together in a thoughtful history. For that is exactly what books like this should be - entertaining along with historical value. Kassel never indulges in yellow journalism as Marc Elliott did in writing "To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles (1998)which ended up being a rehash of ancient newspaper articles and photographs along with a great deal of unsubstantiated information. Kassel provides a first-hand account and look at WKRP that does not trash-or-hurt anyone. And...that is what make the book so refreshing and engaging. In reading the book I was able to actually visualize particular episodes and to revisit the quirky, quaint, and remarkable personalities that inhabited WKRP. Every week I waited with anticipation to see where Les's new bandage would appear or to enjoy Bailey's shyness and intelligence and Jennifer's profound common sense and beauty, and Johnny's outrageousness and confusion, and Venus's quiet manners and humor, and Herb's tackiness...can anyone ever forget that white belt and the muddled antics of the wackiest station manager in the world..Mr. Carlson. There are other characters: Herb's much put-upon wife, Carlson's wife and mother and Johnny's ex-wife who all were strong and memorable characters. What a cast...what a program...what a book!!!!! I have a feeling that nobody will ever write a book about the radio program that NBC just cancelled because it could never achieve the warmth and lovliness of its predecessor and I thank Mr. Kassel for providing a book to accompany all the other memories of WKRP in Cincinnati.
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