List of WKRP in Cincinnati episodes

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WKRP in Cincinnati is an American situation comedy television series that features the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The series was created by Hugh Wilson and originally aired on the CBS network from September 1978 to April 1982.

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes First airdate Last airdate DVD set
release date
1 22 September 18, 1978 June 4, 1979 April 24, 2007
2 24 September 17, 1979 March 31, 1980 October 28, 2014[1]
3 22 November 1, 1980 April 12, 1981 October 28, 2014
4 22 October 7, 1981 April 21, 1982 October 28, 2014


Season 1: 1978–79[edit]

  • Producer: Hugh Wilson
  • Story editors: Tom Chehak, Bill Dial, Blake Hunter
Ep Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 1 "Pilot" Jay Sandrich Hugh Wilson September 18, 1978 (1978-09-18)
Andy Travis takes over as program director at WKRP, a Cincinnati easy listening station, and his first act is to change the format to rock music. Trivia: Sylvia Sidney played Mama Carlson, owner of the station, in this episode only. The part would hereafter be played by Carol Bruce.
2 2 "Pilot, Part 2" Michael Zinberg Hugh Wilson September 25, 1978 (1978-09-25)
While Andy tries to come up with a publicity stunt to advertise the format change, a group of elderly listeners invade the station protesting the removal of their favorite music.
3 3 "Les on a Ledge" Asaad Kelada Hugh Wilson October 2, 1978 (1978-10-02)
When an athlete accuses him of being gay, Les climbs out on the ledge of WKRP's building and threatens to jump.
4 4 "Hoodlum Rock" Michael Zinberg Hugh Wilson October 9, 1978 (1978-10-09)
WKRP sponsors its first rock concert, by the British "hoodlum" group ("we're... several cuts below punk") Scum of the Earth, whose members (Michael Des Barres, Peter Eibling, and Jim Henderson) are extremely well-dressed, highly articulate, and quite violent. Trivia: Des Barres and his real band, Detective, perform the Scum of the Earth music on the episode.
5 5 "Hold-Up" Asaad Kelada Tom Chehak October 16, 1978 (1978-10-16)
Johnny does a live remote from a stereo shop owned by huckster Del Murdoch (Hamilton Camp), but an out-of-work DJ (Garry Goodrow) shows up with a gun and hijacks the broadcast. Trivia: Loni Anderson, Tim Reid, and Jan Smithers do not appear in this episode. It is the only episode of the series in which Anderson did not appear. Bill Dial, a producer, writer, and story editor on the series, makes the first of two on-screen appearances in this episode as WKRP's engineer Bucky Dornster (he would also appear in the season 2 episode "Baseball"). Series creator Hugh Wilson appears as a police officer.
6 6 "Bailey's Show" Asaad Kelada Joyce Armor & Judie Neer October 23, 1978 (1978-10-23)
Shy, unassertive Bailey finally gets her chance to produce when WKRP does a public service interview show, but her first guest (Woodrow Parfrey), purportedly a child psychologist, turns out on the air to be nothing of the sort.
7 7 "Turkeys Away" Michael Zinberg Bill Dial October 30, 1978 (1978-10-30)
Mr. Carlson decides to take a more hands-on managerial approach by doing the greatest Thanksgiving promotion in radio history - dropping live turkeys from a helicopter. Trivia: In 1997 TV Guide ranked this episode at number 40 on its '100 Greatest Episodes of All Time' list.[2] In 2009, it moved to #65.[3] It is based on a real event that happened at WQXI, the station many of the WKRP characters were based on.[4]
8 8 "Love Returns" Asaad Kelada Bill Dial November 6, 1978 (1978-11-06)
Andy has to choose between love and work when his ex-girlfriend, country singing star Linda Taylor (Barrie Youngfellow), offers him the chance to go on the road with her. NOTE: The show was placed on hiatus for two months after this episode aired.
9 9 "Mama's Review" Asaad Kelada Hugh Wilson January 15, 1979 (1979-01-15)
In a clip show, Andy and Mr. Carlson recount to Mama Carlson what has been happening at the station since it switched to a rock format. This episode was designed to reintroduce audiences to the show after the two-month hiatus.
10 10 "A Date with Jennifer" Asaad Kelada Richard Sanders & Michael Fairman January 22, 1979 (1979-01-22)
When Les wins the coveted Silver Sow Award, he asks Jennifer to be his date for the banquet, and she says yes. A jealous Herb tries to get Mr. Carlson to institute a policy against employee dating.
11 11 "The Contest Nobody Could Win" Asaad Kelada Casey Piotrowski January 29, 1979 (1979-01-29)
Thanks to an on-air slip-of-the-lip by Johnny Fever, WKRP is forced to offer a $5,000 contest prize instead of just the intended $50.00, but Andy and Venus hatch a plan to make the contest unwinnable.There are two versions of this episode with different characters and a different endings. [5]
12 12 "Tornado" Will Mackenzie Blake Hunter February 5, 1979 (1979-02-05)
A tornado hits Cincinnati. When Andy gets injured by a breaking window, Johnny Fever becomes too emotional, and Les' disaster readiness plan turns out to have more to do with communists than natural disasters, Mr. Carlson has to go on the air and take charge.
13 13 "Goodbye, Johnny" Asaad Kelada Blake Hunter February 19, 1979 (1979-02-19)
Johnny is offered a better-paying job in Los Angeles, and his co-workers at WKRP try to manipulate him into staying in Cincinnati. Trivia: This episode marks the first of three appearances by Edie McClurg as Herb Tarlek's wife Lucille.
14 14 "Johnny Comes Back" Asaad Kelada Blake Hunter February 26, 1979 (1979-02-26)
Johnny leaves for the job in L.A. but is soon fired. He returns to WKRP, where the new morning man (Philip Charles Mackenzie) seems like a nice guy but turns out to have a dirty secret. Trivia: Sam Anderson makes the first of four appearances on the series in this episode as Mason Nobel, a DJ applying for a job. He would appear in one episode in each season, all in different roles (although his character Rex Erhardt in the season 4 episode "Rumors" is very similar to this one). Comedian Jeff Altman appears as a record company representative.
15 15 "Never Leave Me, Lucille" Asaad Kelada Bill Dial March 5, 1979 (1979-03-05)
Herb breaks up with his wife Lucille (Edie McClurg) and moves in with Johnny. Jennifer tries to get Herb and Lucille back together again so she won't have to put up with Herb's advances.
16 16 "I Want to Keep My Baby" Asaad Kelada Hugh Wilson March 19, 1979 (1979-03-19)
A woman who listens to Johnny's show leaves her baby at the station. Johnny refuses to turn the baby over to child services until he has contacted the mother.
17 17 "A Commercial Break" Rod Daniel Richard Sanders & Michael Fairman March 26, 1979 (1979-03-26)
Herb lines up the biggest sales contract in the station's history—over $200,000 per year to record and run a commercial jingle for the owner of a funeral home chain (Fred Stuthman), who wants to sell plots to a younger demographic.
18 18 "Who Is Gordon Sims?" Rod Daniel Tom Chehak April 2, 1979 (1979-04-02)
Venus has to reveal that he is wanted as a deserter from the United States Army because he went AWOL just days before returning Stateside at the end of his Vietnam service, eight years before joining WKRP.
19 19 "I Do, I Do... For Now" Will Mackenzie Tom Chehak April 23, 1979 (1979-04-23)
Jennifer pretends Johnny is her husband to ward off a childhood friend from West Virginia (Hoyt Axton) who shows up in Cincinnati expecting her to go through on their teenage agreement to get married. Trivia: Buzz Sapien, a stage manager and associate director on the series, appears in this episode as Man in Elevator.
20 20 "Young Master Carlson" Will Mackenzie Hugh Wilson April 30, 1979 (1979-04-30)
Mr. Carlson's obnoxious son (Sparky Marcus) runs away from military school, and Mama Carlson decides that he should be given a short-term job at the station.
21 21 "Fish Story" Asaad Kelada Raoul Plager May 28, 1979 (1979-05-28)
Herb dresses up as the WKRP mascot, a carp, and gets into a fight with the WPIG pig (played by Lee Bergere); meanwhile, Johnny and Venus take an on-air alcohol test with a police officer (Jerry Hardin), with Johnny's reflexes strangely improving with each drink. Trivia: The script for this episode is credited to 'Raoul Plager,' who does not exist. Series creator Hugh Wilson actually wrote the episode under duress from the network to infuse the show with more physical comedy, and used the alias to signal his frustration with their demands.
22 22 "Preacher" Michael Zinberg Bill Dial June 4, 1979 (1979-06-04)
Andy tries to fire the Reverend Little Ed Pembrook (Michael Keenan), who sells John the Baptist shower curtains and The World Is Coming to an End lawn furniture on his show. Trivia: The only episode in the series in which the character of Herb Tarlek does not appear.

Season 2: 1979–80[edit]

  • Executive producer: Hugh Wilson
  • Producers: Bill Dial, Rod Daniel
  • Executive story consultant: Blake Hunter
  • Story editors: Dan Guntzelman, Steve Marshall, Steven Kampmann, Peter Torokvei
Ep Title Directed by Written by Original air date
23 1 "For Love or Money: Part 1" Will Mackenzie Mary Maguire September 17, 1979 (1979-09-17)
Johnny makes a date with Bailey for a movie, then stands her up when he gets a call from Buffy (Julie Payne), his demented ex-girlfriend who is suing him for palimony.
24 2 "For Love or Money: Part 2" Will Mackenzie Mary Maguire September 24, 1979 (1979-09-24)
Johnny's friends rush over to help him deal with Buffy's threat of a lawsuit.
25 3 "Baseball" Hugh Wilson Hugh Wilson October 15, 1979 (1979-10-15)
Les accepts a challenge for WKRP to play a softball game against the number one station in town, WPIG.
26 4 "Bad Risk" Will Mackenzie Tom Joachim & Gene Fournier October 22, 1979 (1979-10-22)
Herb moonlights as an insurance salesman and sells a comprehensive policy to a depressed Les, who promptly has a bizarre accident with his motor scooter.
27 5 "Jennifer Falls in Love" Will Mackenzie Paul Robinson Hunter October 29, 1979 (1979-10-29)
Jennifer falls in love for the first time in her life, with a man named Steel (Thomas Callaway) who is almost her male equivalent; blonde, beautiful, and a gold-digger.
28 6 "Carlson for President" Will Mackenzie Jim Paddock November 5, 1979 (1979-11-05)
While running for City Council, Mr. Carlson blurts out a damaging piece of information about the incumbent (Howard Witt) during a televised debate. Feeling guilty, he tries to throw the election.
29 7 "Mike Fright" Will Mackenzie Dan Guntzelman November 12, 1979 (1979-11-12)
During a garbage strike, Johnny jokingly tells his listeners to dump their trash on the steps of City Hall. When hundreds of people actually do so, Johnny becomes so self-conscious about his influence that he finds himself unable to talk on the air.
30 8 "Patter of Little Feet" Will Mackenzie Blake Hunter November 26, 1979 (1979-11-26)
Mr. Carlson's wife Carmen (Allyn Ann McLerie) reveals that she's pregnant. Mr. Carlson's initial joy turns to worry as he starts to think she is having the baby only to please him, while his mother recommends an abortion.
31 9 "Baby, If You've Ever Wondered" Rod Daniel Bill Dial December 3, 1979 (1979-12-03)
In the latest ratings, WKRP goes from #16 to #14 in the Cincinnati market. Everyone considers this a cause for celebration except Andy, who feels like a failure because the climb in ratings isn't greater.
32 10 "Bailey's Big Break" Will Mackenzie Steve Marshall December 10, 1979 (1979-12-10)
Bailey gets the job of assistant newscaster, but a jealous Les tries to keep her from getting a regular spot on the air.
33 11 "Jennifer's Home for Christmas" Rod Daniel Dan Guntzelman & Steve Marshall December 17, 1979 (1979-12-17)
Jennifer's friends think she is going to be alone for Christmas, so each of them arrives at her apartment with a tree.
34 12 "Sparky" Rod Daniel Steven Kampmann & Peter Torokvei December 24, 1979 (1979-12-24)
Mr. Carlson hires former Reds manager Sparky Anderson as the host of a sports interview show "The Bullpen", which turns out to be such a disaster that Carlson has no choice but to fire his hero.
35 13 "God Talks to Johnny" Will Mackenzie Hugh Wilson December 31, 1979 (1979-12-31)
Johnny is convinced he's heard God talking to him, saying "John, I love you, I want you to seek knowledge, and I want you to be a golf pro."
36 14 "A Family Affair" Rod Daniel Tim Reid January 7, 1980 (1980-01-07)
After getting angry at Venus for going out with his sister Carol (Allison Argo), Andy overcompensates to prove he is not a racist.
37 15 "Herb's Dad" Rod Daniel Steven Kampmann & Peter Torokvei January 14, 1980 (1980-01-14)
Herb's father, the salesman Herb Tarlek Sr. (Bert Parks), runs away from the Shady Rest nursing home and asks his son to lend him money so he can go to California on yet another scheme. Trivia: Guest star Bert Parks worked extensively in radio in real life, during the 40's, 50's, and 60's.
38 16 "Put Up or Shut Up" Will Mackenzie Blake Hunter, Steve Marshall, Steven Kampmann January 21, 1980 (1980-01-21)
Jennifer is tired of Herb making passes at her. At Bailey's suggestion, she tries to call Herb's bluff by actually accepting a date with him.
39 17 "The Americanization of Ivan" Hugh Wilson Hugh Wilson (story)
Dan Guntzelman & Steve Marshall (teleplay)
January 28, 1980 (1980-01-28)
A visiting Soviet hog expert (Michael Pataki) asks Bailey to help him defect to the United States. Trivia: Michael Pataki also appeared in the season 4 episode "Circumstantial Evidence."
40 18 "Les's Groupie" Rod Daniel Paul Robinson Hunter (story)
Steve Marshall (teleplay)
February 4, 1980 (1980-02-04)
Les goes out on a date with a woman (Kristina Callahan) who listens to his show, and after they spend one night together, she moves into his house.
41 19 "In Concert" Linda Day Steven Kampmann February 11, 1980 (1980-02-11)
Everyone at WKRP is overcome with feelings of guilt after a major concert they've helped to promote ends up resulting in the death of 11 people. Trivia: This episode was based on a real-life tragedy at a Who concert that took place at Riverfront Coliseum on December 3, 1979.
This episode was highly controversial, and the manager of the local Cincinnati affiliate threatened to preempt the broadcast, considering it to be exploitative of the Who tragedy, until he previewed it and realized the important statement it was making about the lack of political will to make progress in banning "festival (non-seat assigned tickets) seating" admission to rock concerts, which was largely responsible for the Who concert disaster. This episode was considered one of several truly ground breaking ones that WKRP aired, adding to the program's reputation for high quality and a willingness to tackle difficult issues. [6]
42 20 "The Doctor's Daughter" Frank Bonner Lissa Levin February 18, 1980 (1980-02-18)
Johnny has to figure out how to act like a father when his college-aged daughter Laurie (Patrie Allen) comes to visit with her obnoxious boyfriend (Derrel Maury).
43/44 21/22 "Filthy Pictures" Rod Daniel Hugh Wilson (story)
Dan Guntzelman & Steve Marshall (teleplay)
March 3, 1980 (1980-03-03)
A sleazy photographer (George Wyner) takes nude pictures of an unsuspecting Jennifer while she's in a changing room, and her friends try to find a way to steal the photos before he sells them to a magazine. (This one-hour episode aired in two parts for syndication.)
45 23 "Venus Rising" Nicholas Stamos Dan Guntzelman & Steve Marshall March 10, 1980 (1980-03-10)
Venus is tempted by a job offer from WREQ, but learns it's an automated station that only wants him as an affirmative action hire. Meanwhile, Herb makes a bogus claim of another job offer, hoping for a raise, but it backfires. Venus negotiates a deal with Andy that settles all issues.
46 24 "Most Improved Station" Rod Daniel Richard Sanders & Michael Fairman March 31, 1980 (1980-03-31)
After WKRP loses a "Most Improved Station" broadcasting award while Johnny wins one for "Best Radio Personality," in-fighting starts among the WKRP staffers, and a special meeting is called so they can work out their problems.

Short film[edit]

Ep Title Directed by Written by Original release date
N/A N/A "A Sure Thing" Rod Daniel Hugh Wilson, Steve Marshall 1980 (1980)

The gang (except Jennifer, who is away) listen to Mr. Carlson's pitch for U.S. Savings Bonds.

NOTE: This 11-minute short film, a production of the U.S. Treasury Department, uses an abbreviated version of the opening credits of the series (crediting only Gary Sandy and Gordon Jump) but is not a full episode of the series, nor was it televised. It contains no laugh track and is part of a long-running series from the Treasury in which sitcoms were adapted into commercials for Savings Bonds. For reasons unknown, Universal City Studios claimed copyright on the film despite no involvement with the series (and, as a work for hire for the U.S. government, its copyright eligibility is questionable in and of itself).

Season 3: 1980–81[edit]

  • Executive producer: Hugh Wilson
  • Supervising producer: Rod Daniel
  • Producers: Blake Hunter, Steven Kampmann, Peter Torokvei
  • Story consultants: Dan Guntzelman, Steve Marshall
  • Story editor: Lissa Levin
Ep Title Directed by Written by Original air date
47 1 "The Airplane Show" Rod Daniel Richard Sanders & Michael Fairman November 1, 1980 (1980-11-01)
To compete with WPIG's traffic helicopter, Les starts reporting the news from a World War I biplane piloted by a deranged veteran (Michael Fairman) on Veterans Day. Trivia: This is the fourth of five episodes in which the script is co-credited to Richard Sanders (Les Nessman) and actor/writer Michael Fairman, who previously appeared as the shoe store owner who complains that Les is blocking his doorway in the season 1 episode "Turkeys Away." Flying stunts were performed by Harold Johnson, an accomplished aviator and then-serving mayor of Moraine, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati, and childhood hometown of series star Gary Sandy.[7]
48 2 "Jennifer Moves" Linda Day Hugh Wilson November 8, 1980 (1980-11-08)
Jennifer buys a house in the suburbs. As the staff helps her move, the neighbors prove to be cheating husbands, jealous wives, corrupt phone servicemen, and worse; meanwhile, Les hears voices on the upper floor and Herb can't successfully negotiate the piano into the house.
49 3 "Real Families" Rod Daniel Peter Torokvei November 15, 1980 (1980-11-15)
The reality show "Real Families" does an episode about Herb and Lucille (Edie McClurg) and their kids, where the hosts (Peter Marshall and Daphne Maxwell, pre-Reid) seem eager to disprove the unconvincing claim by Herb's colleagues that he's a "hard worker, loyal husband, and all-around fine person."
50 4 "The Baby" Rod Daniel Blake Hunter November 22, 1980 (1980-11-22)
Mr. Carlson's wife goes into labor. The whole gang goes to the hospital to be there when she gives birth, but Mr. Carlson has second thoughts about being in the delivery room with her.
51 5 "Hotel Oceanview" Rod Daniel Steven Kampmann November 29, 1980 (1980-11-29)
To land the coveted Vicky Von Vickey jeans account, Andy, Mr. Carlson, and Herb travel to a hotel in Dayton to make a presentation to the company president (guest star Dr. Joyce Brothers). While there, Andy deals with projector issues, Herb makes time with Ms. Vickey's sexy assistant (Linda Carlson), who is now a woman but was once a guy Herb went to school with, and everyone is afraid of becoming the next victim of the Dayton Poisoner.
52 6 "A Mile in My Shoes" Rod Daniel Dan Guntzelman December 6, 1980 (1980-12-06)
When Herb has jury duty, Andy takes over sales and Venus takes over programming.
53 7 "Bah, Humbug" Rod Daniel Lissa Levin December 20, 1980 (1980-12-20)
In a dream brought on by eating one of Johnny's brownies, Mr. Carlson encounters three ghosts who show him why he's making a mistake by not giving generous Christmas bonuses.
54 8 "Baby, It's Cold Inside" Rod Daniel Blake Hunter January 3, 1981 (1981-01-03)
On a day when the heat is not working at the station, Mama Carlson comes to visit, gets drunk on liquor confiscated from Johnny Fever, and starts reminiscing about her late husband.
55 9 "The Painting" Rod Daniel Steven Kampmann January 10, 1981 (1981-01-10)
Bailey is enamored of a painting Herb bought at Mr. Carlson's church auction, while Herb only cares about finding a way to make some money on it.
56 10 "Daydreams" Rod Daniel Peter Torokvei January 17, 1981 (1981-01-17)
While Mr. Carlson rehearses a boring speech about radio history that he's written for an upcoming conference/banquet, his employees drift off into a series of personal daydreams.
57 11 "Frog Story" Rod Daniel Bob Dolman January 24, 1981 (1981-01-24)
After Herb accidentally sprays pink paint over his daughter's pet frog, Greenpeace, he brings it to the station looking for a way to save it.
58 12 "Venus and the Man" Rod Daniel Hugh Wilson January 31, 1981 (1981-01-31)
Trying to talk a gang leader (Keny Long) out of quitting school, Venus bets the young man that he can teach him about the structure of the atom in only two minutes. Trivia: The original broadcast of this episode featured a pre-credits sequence in which Loni Anderson, surrounded by the entire cast and crew, speaks directly to the viewing audience, breaking the Fourth Wall, to welcome home those who had just returned from the Iran Hostage Crisis.
59 13 "Dr. Fever and Mr. Tide: Part 1" Rod Daniel Steve Marshall February 7, 1981 (1981-02-07)
Forced to host a disco dance show on TV, Johnny comes up with a new alter ego; the phony, smarmy "Rip Tide." Guest star: Mary Frann.
60 14 "Dr. Fever and Mr. Tide: Part 2" Rod Daniel Steve Marshall February 7, 1981 (1981-02-07)
Johnny's "Rip Tide" alter ego starts to take over his whole life. Conclusion of two-part episode. Guest star: Mary Frann.
61 15 "Ask Jennifer" Linda Day Joyce Armor & Judie Neer February 14, 1981 (1981-02-14)
Jennifer steps in as the voice of an advice talk show titled "Ask Arlene" when the planned host turns out to be a pill-popper. Jennifer quickly finds success, but wants out once a piece of advice goes wrong.
62 16 "I Am Woman" Linda Day Lissa Levin February 21, 1981 (1981-02-21)
Bailey leads a campaign to save the home of WKRP, the Flimm Building, from being torn down. Mr. Carlson withdraws his support after Mama Carlson offers to finance a new home for the station, leading to a confrontation.
63 17 "Secrets of Dayton Heights" Frank Bonner Jon Smet February 28, 1981 (1981-02-28)
Les learns that the man who raised him was not his biological father, and that his real father (Bill McLean) was once a Communist and is now a barber in a nearby town.
64 18 "Out to Lunch" Dolores Ferraro Ben Elisco (story)
Peter Torokvei (teleplay)
March 14, 1981 (1981-03-14)
Co-workers suggest to Herb that his three-martini lunches with clients are turning him into an alcoholic. Guest star: Craig T. Nelson.
65 19 "A Simple Little Wedding" Nicholas Stamos Blake Hunter March 21, 1981 (1981-03-21)
Mr. Carlson and his wife decide to renew their marriage vows. Just as she did with the planned first wedding, Mama Carlson tries to take over the event, while Herb throws a predictably tacky bachelor party for Mr. Carlson. Trivia: Longtime character actor Ian Wolfe, whose film and TV career lasted more than 55 years, makes his first appearance in this episode as Mama Carlson's less than efficient and not particularly deferential butler Hirsch. He would reprise the part three more times, including in the final episode "Up and Down the Dial."
66 20 "Nothing to Fear But..." Asaad Kelada Tim Reid (story)
Dan Guntzelman (teleplay)
March 28, 1981 (1981-03-28)
Everyone becomes paranoid after the station is robbed.
67 21 "Till Debt Do Us Part" Frank Bonner Howard Hesseman & Steven Kampmann April 5, 1981 (1981-04-05)
When his first ex-wife gets engaged, Johnny is overjoyed about paying less alimony, but worries that his ex's fiancé (Hamilton Camp) is a womanizing creep. Trivia: Hamilton Camp also played stereo store owner Del Murdoch in the season 1 episode "Hold Up."
68 22 "Clean Up Radio Everywhere" Linda Day Hugh Wilson and Max Tash April 12, 1981 (1981-04-12)
Evangelist Dr. Bob Halyers (Richard Paul), a take-off on Jerry Falwell, threatens WKRP with a boycott unless they stop playing songs with "obscene" lyrics.

Season 4: 1981–82[edit]

  • Executive producer: Hugh Wilson
  • Producers: Blake Hunter, Peter Torokvei, Dan Guntzelman, Steve Marshall
  • Story consultant: Lissa Levin
Ep Title Directed by Written by Original air date
69 1 "An Explosive Affair: Part 1" Linda Day Steve Marshall October 7, 1981 (1981-10-07)
WKRP receives a bomb threat from the terrorist group "Black Monday," and Andy sends Johnny and Venus to broadcast from the transmitter while the station is being searched. Meanwhile, Mr. Carlson's former secretary (Rosemary Forsyth) visits, and he misreads her desire to meet for lunch.
70 2 "An Explosive Affair: Part 2" Linda Day Steve Marshall October 14, 1981 (1981-10-14)
Andy realizes the threatened bomb is actually at the transmitter where he's sent Johnny and Venus. He tries to contact them, but Johnny has smashed the phone out of frustration over a missed bet on a horse. Luckily, with help from the police, Johnny and Venus get out before the bomb exploded.
71 3 "The Union" Linda Day Blake Hunter October 21, 1981 (1981-10-21)
While the station's employees consider unionizing, Mr. Carlson deals with feelings of betrayal.
72 4 "Rumors" Linda Day Peter Torokvei October 28, 1981 (1981-10-28)
Johnny stays at Bailey's place while his apartment is being fumigated, leading to rumors that the two are sleeping together.
73 5 "Straight from the Heart" Dan Guntzelman Dan Guntzelman November 4, 1981 (1981-11-04)
Herb secretly checks into a hospital for heart tests, but then sneaks out and takes Les to a 3D pornographic movie.
74 6 "Who's on First?" Dan Guntzelman Dan Guntzelman November 11, 1981 (1981-11-11)
Mr. Carlson has to pretend to be Herb to make a sale while Herb is in the hospital, while Les pretends to be Mr. Carlson, and Johnny pretends to be Andy to avoid paying a gambling debt.
75 7 "Three Days of the Condo" Linda Day Lissa Levin November 18, 1981 (1981-11-18)
Johnny receives a $24,000 legal settlement ($64,600 today) from the L.A. station that fired him. To stop Johnny from wasting the windfall, Venus advises Fever to invest in a condo at Gone With the Wind Estates.
76 8 "Jennifer and the Will" Dolores Ferraro Blake Hunter December 2, 1981 (1981-12-02)
After Jennifer's elderly boyfriend Colonel Buchanan (Pat O'Brien) dies on a date with her, she discovers she has been named executrix of his will.
77 9 "The Consultant" Dolores Ferraro Hugh Wilson December 30, 1981 (1981-12-30)
Mama Carlson hires a professional radio consultant (David Clennon) to evaluate WKRP, and the consultant threatens Andy with a bad report unless the station subscribes to his programming services.
78 10 "Love, Exciting and New" Frank Bonner Lissa Levin January 6, 1982 (1982-01-06)
Andy spends time with Mama Carlson in order to talk her into replacing the station's transmitter, but he starts to think she might be sexually harassing him. Actress Colleen Camp plays herself on air for Les Nessman's "Show Beat" segment, talking about her (actual) appearance in the 1981 film They All Laughed.
79 11 "You Can't Go Out of Town Again" Howard Hesseman Dan Guntzelman January 13, 1982 (1982-01-13)
Mr. Carlson learns that his wife Carmen first went out with him in college only because her sorority dared her to date someone on the "dip list." Trivia: The Varsity Sweater that Mr. Carlson wears in this episode is similar to the Official Colors of Otterbein University, Gordon Jump's alma mater. There is also an Otterbein Pennant on the wall of Mr. Carlson's Office.
80 12 "Pills" Asaad Kelada Steve Marshall January 20, 1982 (1982-01-20)
WKRP has to do commercials for a client (Robert Ridgely) whose "diet pills" are actually a legalized form of speed.
81 13 "Changes" Will Mackenzie Peter Torokvei January 27, 1982 (1982-01-27)
Venus tries to act and dress more stereotypically "black" to prepare for an interview with a militant magazine, whose writer (Tom Dreesen) turns out to be white; meanwhile, Herb adopts a classier image with Jennifer's help.
82 14 "Jennifer and Johnny's Charity" Will Mackenzie Blake Hunter February 3, 1982 (1982-02-03)
Class conflict is in the air when Johnny's friends from the fire-damaged Vine Street Mission meet Jennifer's wealthy friends who are preparing to donate money to rebuild it.
83 15 "I'll Take Romance" Asaad Kelada Lissa Levin February 17, 1982 (1982-02-17)
Les goes out with a woman (Livia Ginise) he met through a computer dating service, not realizing the service is a front for prostitution.
84 16 "Circumstantial Evidence" Frank Bonner Tim Reid & Peter Torokvei February 24, 1982 (1982-02-24)
A woman (Daphne Maxwell Reid) frames Venus as her accomplice in an armed robbery. Trivia: Daphne Maxwell Reid also appeared in the season 3 episode "Real Families." She is credited both times as Daphne Maxwell. She and Tim Reid, aka Venus Flytrap, married the same year this episode aired.
85 17 "Fire" Will Mackenzie Dan Guntzelman March 17, 1982 (1982-03-17)
Herb and Jennifer are stuck in an elevator together when a fire shuts down the Flimm Building.
86 18 "Dear Liar" Frank Bonner Steve Marshall March 24, 1982 (1982-03-24)
In a take-off on the Janet Cooke scandal, Bailey drafts a fictional character to serve as the focus of a news story on a children's hospital, only to have Les read it on-air when she leaves for lunch.
87 19 "The Creation of Venus" Gordon Jump Blake Hunter March 31, 1982 (1982-03-31)
Venus and Andy tell Mama Carlson the real story of how Venus came to work at WKRP.
88 20 "The Impossible Dream" Nicholas Stamos Richard Sanders & Michael Fairman April 7, 1982 (1982-04-07)
Egged on by his mother, Les announces that he is going to fulfil his lifelong dream by going to New York to audition for the CBS Evening News.
89 21 "To Err Is Human" Linda Day Lissa Levin April 14, 1982 (1982-04-14)
Herb screws up yet again and Mr. Carlson is finally ready to fire him, but Jennifer tries to find a way to save Herb's job by talking to the businessman (Tom Sullivan) Herb offended.
90 22 "Up and Down the Dial" George Gaynes Dan Guntzelman April 21, 1982 (1982-04-21)
The new ratings arrive, and WKRP has finally become a successful station, rising to #6 in the Cincinnati market with Johnny Fever as the #1 DJ. But when a new news director (Nicholas Hormann) shows up and says he was hired by Mama Carlson, Andy soon finds out that she plans to change the station to a 24-hour news format. Trivia: This was the final episode, but at the time the show was expected to be renewed, leaving no opportunity for a specific series "finale."


  1. ^ Seasons 2-4 released as part of a complete set.
  2. ^ TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. p. 185. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9. 
  3. ^ "TV Guide's Top 100 Episodes". Rev/Views. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Turkeys Away: An Oral History". 
  5. ^ "WKRP in Cincinnati Season 1 Episode 11: The Contest Nobody Could Win". TV Guide.
  6. ^ How ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ Broke the Rules to Cover the Who’s Concert Tragedy By Dw Dunphy December 3, 2014 12:07 PM
  7. ^ Kristin McAllister (2011-01-13). "Harold Johnson, Moraine's flying mayor, dies in Florida". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 

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