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On The Air

1 9 9 2 (USA)
7 x 30 minute episodes

On The Air was an unsuccessful ABC mid-season replacement in 1992. Created by David Lynch (of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet fame), only two episodes of the recorded seven were broadcast before the show was pulled.

The year is 1957 and television is still a relatively new phenomenon. New York-based network, the Zoblotnick Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), decides that the best way to attract viewers (and save their network) is to give movie idols their own TV shows.

They begin by hiring Lester Guy (Ian Buchanan), a fading matinee idol who is hoping to make a comeback via The Lester Guy Show, a music, comedy and variety show sponsored by Wembley Snaps dog food.

Lester was a contract player at Amalgamated Studios and got his start with a bit part in the film The White Cliffs of Dover. Betty Hudson (Marla Rubinoff) is Lester’s co-star. She is from Westport, Connecticut, and the sister of movie star Sylvia Hudson. Betty, however, has no acting experience and is a bit dim-witted. To make Guy look good, Betty was chosen to be his co-star.

Lester despises Betty for unknowingly becoming more popular than him and schemes to destroy her career.

Buddy Budwaller (Miguel Ferrer) is the tyrannical head of the network and the “yes man” for the never-seen Mr Zoblotnick.

Vladja Gochtch (David L. Lander) is the inexperienced, impossible to understand foreign director who directs Guy’s show, assisted by Ruth Trueworthy (Nancye Ferguson), who translates his thick German accent into English for the crew.

Dwight McGonigle (Marvin Kaplan) is the often distressed producer of the show. The sound effects man Blinky Watts (Tracey Walter) appears to be blind but suffers from “Bozman Symplex”.

Lester Guy
Ian Buchanan
Betty Hudson
Marla Rubinoff
Sylvia Hudson
Anne Bloom
Buddy Budwaller
Miguel Ferrer
Vladja Gochtch
David L. Lander
Ruth Trueworthy
Nancye Ferguson
Dwight McGonigle
Marvin Kaplan
Blinky Watts
Tracey Walter
Everett Greenbaum