Bill, aka the Crazy Clock Guy, aka Hey You (tallguy) wrote,
Bill, aka the Crazy Clock Guy, aka Hey You

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A TV Travesty

I picked up the first season DVD set of WKRP in Cincinnati from the library. I remember watching it the first time it was TV, and loving it.

Well, I'm not loving it so much right now. They changed the music!

Apparently, they had put the original songs by the original artists in the show, figuring they would only have to pay royalties on the music once (maybe twice or three times with the summer repeats). However, once cable TV (VH-1, Nick at Nite, TV Land) started playing it, those royalties got to be pretty hefty. The producers were actually starting to lose money every time an episode played. As a result, they had no choice but to overdub the original rock songs with completely different music recorded by studio musicians (some sort of rock instrumental with no lyrics, so no singers to pay).

When you're doing a TV show about a rock music station, you kinda need the rock music to make it work. The songs were part of the success, and sometimes part of the plot. Now its just filler, background muzak for the characters to talk over. It really changes the show. I used to poke fun at the old Knight Rider TV show, because they did cover versions of popular songs while WKRP had the real deal. I really miss that; it's almost as bad as Lucas and Speilberg's "enhanced" version of the Star Wars and ET movies.

It's too bad. I don't buy many DVDs, and almost never buy box sets of TV shows. I certainly won't buy this one with the redubbed music. However, if they released it with the original music, I would happily pay a premium for that.
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