Friday, August 7, 2009

Death week: NewsRadio

This one still bothers me when I think about it. I believe that NewsRadio was one of the finest shows of the decade, consistantly funny with a terrific ensemble. One of the bright points being Phil Hartman's tour de force as Bill McNeil, pompous and slightly crazy news man for the station.

When Phil Hartman met a tragic end in the summer of 1998, I was not completely surprised to hear that the series would return, it was a strong show. I purposely didn't watch the opening episode, where they dealt with Bill's death (he had a heart attack on the series) as a long time fan of Hartman, it was just too real.

The resulting season just kind of fell apart but it wasn't the fault of Hartman's replacement (and friend) Jon Lovitz, who played his Max Lewis character as a kind of sad weirdo.

Something seemed to go wrong with NewsRadio's once crisp writing this year and it just wasn't itself. There seemed to be an over proliferation of big gags and plot twists including the season ending where Jimmy James retires.

Season 6 was going to switch locations for the series to a small New Hampshire AM station but NewsRadio was cancelled.

1 comment:

Wings said...

This one was a big shock (his death), but you are right, the showed seemed strong enough to go on. It's too bad it all fell apart.