Sitcoms Blog

NewsRadio the ill-fated American sitcom

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Comedy Series

There were few comedy series that gave the opportunity to take a look what is going on behind the media that we know - television, radio, newspapers. NewsRadio was created by Paul Simms, who previously worked as author for Late Night with David Letterman, which gave him the insight into the media and sitcom The Larry Sanders Show (which was sort of parody of David Letterman).

On first glance NewsRadio was just another sitcom, but in fact it was in a way similar to British projects. No, not when it comes to kind of humour used, not in the characters (that were rather typical for American sitcoms), not for the jokes (that also were typical for American productions).

So what NewsRadio had in common with similar British shows? We have here group of employees that spend a lot of time together, sometimes they get for a drink after work and that’s about it. They are friends, they stick together, but we see absolutely nothing from their personal lives that would not influence their work. We never see their families (with one exception - Joe and his brothers), we don’t even know if they have families, we never meet their parents or friends. That is very similar to British sitcoms that took place in a workplace (f.e. Are You Being Served??, Is It Legal??, Drop the Dead Donkey, IT Crowd, etc).

The exceptionally well completed cast (brilliant Phil Hartman and Stephen Root) and great chemistry between the cast members created a show that was fun to watch and full of great gags. Of course with time the chemistry was running out, the tragic death of Phil Hartman and departure of Khandi Alexander began the end of the show. Surprisingly during the original run NewsRadio was less popular than after the cancellation. During re-runs in various TV stations the sitcom gained far more viewers that during the premier run.

read the full story - NewsRadio the ill-fated gem of comedy


  • While CBS was pushing the creators of the prime-time sitcoms broadcast by the network to keep the "will they - won’t they" relationships between main characters as the driving force for the chemistry inside group, Paul Simms decided to deal with the pressure in original way - Dave and Lisa have sex in first episode leaving no space for such further interference from network.
  • Ray Romano, who later created Everybody Loves Raymond, was originally cast as the station handyman, the part that finally was played by Joe Rogan.

NewsRadio the ill-fated American sitcom american sitcoms office radio station

Comedy Series Blog - we search all the interesting (and sometimes not that interesting) comedy series from around the world. Some of them might be slightly better than the others, but in comedy there are no strict rules - sometimes less funny series, but made with skillful touch could be a hit. On the other hand there are series that try too hard to be funny and lose on the plots and characters building.

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