WKRP in Cincinnati was an American sitcom that featured the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show was created by Hugh Wilson and was based upon his experiences working in advertising sales at Top 40 radio station WQXI in Atlanta. Many of the characters and even some of the stories (including season 1 episode 7, "Turkeys Away") are based on people and events at WQXI.
The ensemble cast consists of Gary Sandy, Howard Hesseman, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Tim Reid, Jan Smithers, Richard Sanders and Frank Bonner.
Like many other MTM productions, the humor came more from running gags based on the known predilections and quirks of each character, rather than from outlandish plots or racy situations, since the show has a realistic setting. The characters also developed somewhat over the course of the series.
The series won a Humanitas Prize and received 10 Emmy Award nominations, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series. Andy Ackerman won an Emmy Award for Videotape Editing in season 3.
WKRP premiered September 18, 1978 on the CBS television network, and aired for four seasons and 88 episodes through April 21, 1982. Starting in the middle of the second season, CBS repeatedly moved the show around its schedule, contributing to lower ratings and its eventual cancellation.
When WKRP went into syndication, it became an unexpected success. For the next decade, it was one of the most popular sitcoms in syndication, outperforming many programs which had been more successful in prime time, including all the other MTM Enterprises sitcoms.
Jump, Sanders, and Bonner reprised their roles, appearing as regular characters in a spin-off/sequel series, The New WKRP in Cincinnati, which ran from 1991 to 1993 in syndication. Hesseman, Reid and Anderson also reprised their roles on this show as guest stars.