1 9 9 1 – 1 9 9 3 (USA)
47 x 30 minute episodes
This revised version of the popular 1978 – 1982 sitcom returned us to radio station WKRP (1530 on the AM dial), a 5,000-watt rock station in Ohio that made its premiere broadcast on 7 December 1941 with the news story “The Japanese have just attacked Pearl Harbor.”
The station was still located on the 14th floor of the Flimm Building and was still very low-rated. Its slogan was “The Mighty 1530 AM.”
Only three of the original cast – Gordon Jump as Arthur Carlson, Frank Bonner as Herb Tarlek and Richard Sanders as Les Nessman – returned for the syndicated revival.
Arthur Carlson – whose late father founded WKRP – managed the station for his mother, Lillian (“Mama”) Carlson (Carol Bruce).
Arthur had high hopes that one day the station would crack the top ten, though he rarely listened to WKRP and spent most of his time daydreaming about fishing, reading magazines (Ohio Fisherman for example) and playing with various toys (from yo-yos to computer games).
Arthur’s wife, Carmen (Allyn Ann McLerie), ran a business called Carmen’s Crystal Critter Corner in the Pinedale Mall.
Les Nessman was WKRP’s news director, having been with the station for more than 20 years and winning the Buckeye Hawk News Award nine times. He still wore a bandage (to remind him of an injury he received in 1978 on the original series) and still had “invisible walls” surrounding his desk in the bullpen office.
Les had a bird named Hilda and called himself “The News Beacon of the Ohio Valley.” He left for work every day at 6:32 AM.
Herb Tarlek was still the station’s salesman. He was still married to Lucille (Edie McClurg) – and he still hit on every beautiful girl he saw. He continued to call Arthur “Big Guy.”
Mona Loveland (Tawny Kitaen) was the late-night DJ (her character replaced Venus Flytrap from the original series) whose sexy voice made her a hot item at the station. Her show, Mona Till Midnight, began at 9:00 P.M. with the words, “This is Mona Loveland, I’ll be your guide to dreamland. It’s just you and me and music till midnight.”
Mona – who loved to wear blouses accentuating her well-developed bosom – was a compulsive gambler who resolved her problem through professional counselling. She lived in a former firehouse.
Dana Burns (Kathleen Garrett) and Jack Allen (Michael Des Barres) were divorced DJs who hosted a music and talk program called The Burns and Allen Show.
Radical DJ Razor D (French Stewart) replaced Burns and Allen in second-season episodes. Dee worked as “The Razor Man” and had been a monks’ barber for two years in the Order of Our Lady of the Forgetful. He woke up Cincinnati by commenting after a record, “What was that crap? Give me a break!”
Ronnie Lee (Wendy Davis) was the first receptionist (Jennifer Marlowe’s replacement). Ronnie was not as glamorous or buxom as Jennifer and was dropped (she was said to be attending night school to get her master’s degree) and replaced by Nancy Brinkwink (Marla Jeanette Rubinoff), a busty blonde who had the hots for Herb Tarlek.
Nancy had a BA in communications from Dennison College and was a former buyer for Studor and James in Cincinnati (she left the job because all the men she worked with were either married or gay).
Claire Hartline (Hope Alexander-Willis) was the traffic manager who arranged commercial time (her character replaced Bailey Quarters).
Donovan Aderhold (Mykelti Williamson) was the new program director (his character replaced Andy Travis). New to the concept was Arthur’s son, Arthur Carlson, Jr. (Lightfield Lewis), the obnoxious junior salesman (Herb called him “Little Big Guy”).
Several regulars from the original show appeared: Jennifer Marlowe (Loni Anderson) was first a wealthy widow (“My husband, Cesare, died on our honeymoon; he was smiling at the time”); she later announced her engagement to Reynaldo Roberto Ricky Ricardo Goulegant III (Robert Goulet), the prince of a small European country called Rosario
Venus Flytrap (Tim Reid) now lived in Washington DC. After leaving WKRP, he acquired a job with BET (Black Entertainment TV), first in marketing, then as the CEO.
Dr Johnny Fever (Howard Hesseman) was living in New York’s Greenwich Village and writing a book about rock and roll music. He returned to the station in the second season as the new overnight DJ on the midnight to 6:00 A.M. shift, replacing the unseen Moss Steiger (voiced by Chuck Blore).
Moss had gone up to the roof to smoke a cigarette. He fell off and landed on the theatre marquee on the Fourth Street side of the building. An air conditioner came loose, fell on the marquee and tossed Moss into the street, where he was hit by a bus.
Michael Des Barres
Marla Jeanette Rubinoff
Arthur Carlson Jr.
Dr Johnny Fever
Allyn Ann McLerie
Lilian “Mama” Carlson
Moss Steiger (voice)