Sunday, April 08, 2007

WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete First Season - NOT!!!!

Let me start by ssaying that I don't usually comment on DVDs or TV shows being released on DVD since this is primarily a music blog. But, this one deserves an exception since I suspect many music fans are also fans of this show.

WKRP was one of my favorite shows in the lates 70s. What is purported to be the "complete" first season is finally being released on DVD. This is where the trouble starts. These discs do NOT contain complete shows from the first season. Instead, they contain the syndicated version of the shows shown years later on various cable channels. What this means is that scenes from various episodes have been cut. Another problem is that many of the songs in the original versions of the show have been cut. Fox claims that this is because it was "too expensive" to license the rights to the tracks. In some cases, what is being called "generic" (read elevator music) music has been inserted. In other cases, the entire scene was cut.

Here is a list of the music replacements and a few alterations (review copies of the set have shipped already).

Pilot - "Queen of the Forest" by Ted Nugent replaced with generic music.

Pilot Part 2 - "That Old Time Rock n' Roll" by Bob Seger replaced with generic music.

Les on a Ledge - Song at the beginning replaced.

Hoodlum Rock - The songs are intact, but the episode is a cut 22-minute syndication version.

Hold-Up - All songs replaced.

Bailey's Show - Two songs replaced. Some footage cut from one scene.

Turkeys Away - "Dogs" by Pink Floyd replaced. Much of the scene has been cut out entirely.

Love Returns - Rock songs replaced. Part of a scene has been cut.

Mama's Review - Clip show.

A Date With Jennifer - "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner replaced. 22-minute syndication version.

The Contest Nobody Could Win - All songs replaced.

Tornado - Elvis Costello song replaced.

Goodbye, Johnny - "Surfin' U.S.A." by the Beach Boys replaced.

Johnny Comes Back - All songs replaced with generic music.

Never Leave Me, Lucille - "Everybody Rock n' Roll the Place" by Eddie Money replaced. The episode originally started with Les singing "Heartbreak Hotel" - that footage has been cut.

I Want to Keep My Baby - All songs replaced except one Bob Marley song.

A Commercial Break - All rock songs replaced.

Who is Gordon Sims? - One song replaced.

I Do... I Do... For Now - Jennifer's doorbell, which played "Fly Me to the Moon" is replaced with a public-domain song.

Young Master Carlson - All songs replaced, even the theme from Patton, a Fox film.

Fish Story - All songs replaced.

Preacher - All songs replaced.

So what do we really have here? Well, it is definitely not the "complete" first season. Does all of this sound like false advertising? It sure does to me.

If you want to read more reviews of this dog, check out Amazon.

If you want this show on DVD with complete episodes and the music intact, my advice would be to seek out "grey market" DVDs of the show which contain the complete episodes.

You have been warned.

As always, comments are welcome.