Newsradio: The Complete First and Second Seasons
Set in New York’s WNYX radio station, where one could be stalked by Santa or attend a rat’s funeral, Newsradio the smart, silly sitcom with a supposed lack of heart was always an issue for NBC. But the network needn’t have worried: We all knew love was the only thing keeping this dysfunctional family — acerbic anchors Bill (Phil Hartman) and Catherine (Khandi Alexander), high-strung paramours Dave (Dave Foley) and Lisa (Maura Tierney), somewhat mentally challenged outcasts Matthew (Andy Dick) and Joe (Joe Rogan), and aloof eccentrics Jimmy (Stephen Root) and Beth (Vicki Lewis) — from killing one another.
EXTRAS The gag reel is fun, but nothing tops the dishy group commentaries on 20 of the 29 episodes. While cast and crew recall the late Hartman’s professionalism, Rogan and Dick’s love/hate relationship, and why the actors were collectively banned from an awards ceremony (Lewis blames their penchant for stealing wine from other tables and Dick’s asking Helen Hunt to autograph his penis), creator Paul Simms gets some much-needed therapy: He and his writing staff finally address the fallout from Simms’ overhearing the scribes’ ”bitch session” (inspiration for the ep of the same name), and then-NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield admits — finally! — that the network made a mistake shuffling the show’s time slot.