Is It Too Late to Sign a NewsRadio Petition?

Filed Under Sitcom

A favorite of mine finally made it to DVD last week… Newsradio. The “Arrested Development” of its day, NewsRadio deserved from NBC the nurturing hands FOX gives “Arrested.”

What I admire the most about NewsRadio was that creator Paul Simms was exploring similar territory to “The Office”... trying to mine comedy from the workplace and real workplace issues. This focus probably came from Simms working on Larry Sanders, with it’s breakthrough focus on backstage showbiz (and sadly, repeated ad infinitum today - please stop navel gazing Hollywood).

NewsRadio was obviously a lot broader and bigger than
The Office, but it was very innovative in dealing with office politics, romances and relationships beyond the usual sitcom metaphor of coworkers as family. Concerns about downsizing, jockeying for titles and assignments and NSFW materials left in common areas were all were seeds for NewsRadio plots. For once, it felt like creators of a TV show had real jobs prior to becoming writers. (For a borderline obsessive/sweet homage to the show, check out Newsradio and the Comedic Art, which has nothing but superlatives for the show.)

In recent years, I’ve seen Simms work only occasionally in the New Yorker’s Shout and Murmurs page but not much on TV. Anyone who called NBC’s 90s-era Thursday Night Friends-Disposable Show-Seinfeld lineup a “shit sandwich” might have a hard time finding a network to love him, but Simms is a fantastic talent and if he’s still making pilots, someone should commit to a series and give him the kushy timespot denied him for so long.

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Comments

Posted by drew on 06/01  at  06:42 PM

Nuturing hands? They damn near cancelled a show that won the Emmy for best comedy in it’s first season! It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they cancel it halfway through next season and replace it with Hell’s Kitchen 2 or something.

Posted by Jon on 06/02  at  04:57 AM

Newsradio was brilliant. It would be my favorite sitcom of all time if not for the untimely death of Phil Hartman and the less the fufilling John Lovits replacement. The funniest joke in Newsradio? When Joe Rogan’s character “Joe” is asked to perform in a talent show, and his talents is punching a phone book, really really hard. Thats it. After this Dave Folley’s character “Dave” has to relearn the art of knife throwing. Brilliant.

Todd Jackson
Posted by Todd Jackson on 06/06  at  02:41 AM

Drew, They could have cancelled Arrested, but they didn’t. They gave it a great spot after the Simpsons and when it still didn’t perform, they renewed it again. Fox has been pretty lousy with lots of shows (Andy Richter comes to mind), but they’ve been supportive here perhaps because they finally recognize the gem they have. If they cancel it next season, it would suck. But they’ve tried. For an ad-supported network, I’m not sure what else I could ask of them. (Other than be human beings and be patrons of good work… but c’mon, these are NETWORK EXECUTIVES)

NewsRadio was the victim of constant time-slot switching, underpromotion and a network that didn’t know a good thing when they had it (which was strange, considering they had just learned to protect an underperformer like Seinfeld). NewsRadio was dicked over time and time again by NBC and it had better ratings than Arrested Development does now.

Jon, I loves me some Throwdini

Posted by Didi on 10/17  at  11:42 PM

Hi all,

Maybe you’ve heard about the following: The reason why I’m writing is because I have been a long time NewsRadio fan and I was quite excited to find that some cast members have been reunited with NewsRadio writer Joe Furey to do a special feature for his film called “Love and Support.” (http://www.loveandsupportmovie.com). They’re contributing to a special DVD supplement called “Working with Joe Furey”. As far as I can tell, it sounds like a humorous payoff on Joe’s contribution to NR. Hope this is useful info for you and/or your site and maybe this will do something to revive a cult sitcom… Best regards,

Didi

Posted by Leo on 01/08  at  03:43 AM

Guys,

I hear some of you were also into Andy Richter. At the time I saw it, I thought it was very promising. A kind of show Scrubs is now. I definitely felt the kind of absurdist vibe NewsRadio had throughout its run. Does anyone have any idea if Andy Richter DVDs came out at any point in time?

Keep rallying!

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