Any sitcom lives and dies with the interplay of its primary characters, and NewsRadio was blessed with not one, not two, not three . . . but four brilliant and compatible comic actors in Phil Hartman, Dave Foley, Andy Dick, and Stephen Root (and I'm probably not giving enough credit to Maura Tierney and Vicki Lewis, both of whom were excellent). Like most sitcoms, NewsRadio didn't truly hit its stride until the second or third season, but the first season is well worth watching, because of course that's when everything began coming together.
I've seen every episode of NewsRadio at least five times -- well, except for the last season, when things just weren't the same without Phil Hartman -- and I really can't recommend the show highly enough, except to say that it's probably the greatest combination of slapstick, absurdity, and comic sophistication ever committed to the small screen.
(A little background on the DVD release: Columbia, which owns NewsRadio, was going to release a bare-bones version months ago. But when Paul Simms, the show's creator, found out about Columbia's plans, he raised such a stink that they agreed to delay the release until Simms could pull together a bunch of extra features. The wait's driving me crazy, but I'm comforted by the knowledge that it won't be forever. Now, if somebody would just let us see Dabney Coleman's Buffalo Bill on DVD, I could die a contented man...)
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