Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Movie and DVD Reviews: The best and not-so-best movies available on DVD, and whatever else catches my eye.

WKRP DVD cuts music, scenes

Jerry Stratton, May 13, 2007

I was down at Target this afternoon looking for some movies to watch next weekend and I noticed, to my surprise, the first season of WKRP on the new DVDs rack. “That can’t be good,” I thought, and sure enough, “some musical scenes have been modified”. Obviously I didn’t buy it without doing some research, but I didn’t realize how mangled it was until I came home and looked it up.

They’re calling it “The Complete First Season”, but not only are much of the original songs replaced with bland ones that don’t make sense, but they’ve also cut complete scenes out. This is apparently the syndication cut of the shows, not the originals. Apparently even some scenes left in the syndication cut are chopped out of this release?

Jaime J. Weinman calls it WKRP in Cincinnati: Extended Highlights from the First Season.

Classic scenes such as Tiny Dancer are either gone or redubbed with lesser music. Les Nesman singing Heartbreak Hotel has been cut. That needed to go? Even Jennifer’s doorbell is changed? Fox even cut out music that came from their own movies!

When callers reference the music, they redub the callers. And when they couldn’t separate the music from the dialogue, they just chopped the scene. At some point you have to wonder if the studio understands that it’s the plot, dialogue, and music that make WKRP the well-loved series it is, or if they just think people are buying it to display it on their DVD shelf. What’s the point of watching something like this?

In response to (Un)happy birthday, WKRP in Cincinnati!: Under a reasonable copyright law, the rules of the game would not have been changed after play began. If we need longer copyright terms for future works, that’s one thing, but don’t break the contract with the public by extending copyright terms we’ve already paid for.