America’s Favorite Radio Station: WKRP in Cincinnati by Michael B. Kassel

By Michael B. Kassel

Although it grew to become probably the most profitable courses in syndicated tv heritage, WKRP in Cincinnati confronted an uphill fight attempting to receive prime-time luck. Kassel chronicles the choices and difficulties that affected WKRP's primetime luck, and explores the explanations why it went directly to turn into a classic.

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Hughes and The Ghost of Flight 401 (parish, Thrrance 151). Hesseman was working on Soap when he heard about WKRP. Jay Sandrich, a seasoned director who had done a great deal of work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was directing Soap at the time. Having been selected by MTM to direct the WKRP pilot, Sandrich suggested that Hesseman audition for Hugh Wilson. In the meantime, Sandrich told Wilson to take a look at Hesseman-Jay was sure that Hesseman had a lot to offer the series. During a lunch break from Soap, Hesseman left the ABC studios and drove over to the valley to MTMICBS.

Convincing the people of the community of his benign role, however, was not always easy. "One of my students told me once what a great teacher I was," recalled Sanders in a 1981 TV Guide interview. "Then he pulled out a pistol, put it on the table and said, 'But if the revolution comes, you'll be the first to go' " (Esterly, "Being ... " 47). Sanders found his Peace Corps experience to be as valuable as his four years at Carnegie Tech (Esterly, "Being ... " 47). C. He also performed on Broadway as the only white actor in the otherwise black cast of "Raisin," a musical version of "A Raisin in the Sun" (Sanders).

He also appeared with fellow WKRP actor Richard Sanders in the TV movie Ruby and Oswald. In 1977, Jump captured a recurring role on Soap. " As had happened with Hesseman, director Jay Sandrich proved instrumental in getting Jump a meeting with Wilson. Jump first got wind of the WKRP pilot from actor Eugene Roche, whose episodic work included playing Frank Flynn in the short-lived 1973 ABC comedy The Comer Bar. Roche had recently auditioned for the Carlson character. "I think they're interested in me, but I'm not sure that they want to pay my kind of money," Roche told Jump.

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