The Ultimate Guide to Season One of NewsRadio
NewsRadio is a sitcom dealing with daily life at New York radio station WNYX. The show was created by Paul Simms and stars Dave Foley (as news director Dave Nelson), Stephen Root (eccentric station owner Jimmy James), Phil Hartman (pompous anchor Bill McNeal), Maura Tierney (overachiever Lisa Miller), Andy Dick (inept reporter Matthew Brock), Khandi Alexander (anchor/Bill’s rival Catherine Duke), Vicki Lewis (Dave’s confidante and secretary Beth), and Joe Rogan (electrician Joe Garrelli). Here is a guide to NewsRadio’s wonderful first season, which included seven episodes and began airing in March of 1995.
“Pilot”: When Dave moves from Wisconsin to be the news director at WNYX in New York, he is surprised to learn that his first task will be firing his predecessor, Ed Harlow (Kurt Fuller). Lisa is even more surprised since she was sure that the news director job was hers. Jimmy tells everyone that Dave is the new sports guy, then leaves to buy a chain of sporting goods stores. Bill is annoyed that Ed assigned Catherine an interview with Al Gore. Dave is delighted when Ed quits his job, only to find out that Ed quits a few times a week. Matthew is overjoyed to find out that Dave will be replacing Ed as news director.
Memorable quote: “I guess officially I work for you now, so would you like me to fire Ed?”-Beth
“Inappropriate”: Matthew mispronounces “Buttafuoco” on the air, and Dave and Lisa argue over how to handle the fallout. Dave and Lisa discuss the Buttafuoco problem over dinner and end up making out. Catherine complains about Bill staring at her all the time. Bill throws a surprise party for Catherine during a commercial break. Dave thinks that what happened with Lisa was inappropriate, but Lisa wants to continue the relationship and keep it a secret. Matthew worries that he’ll be fired because of the Buttafuoco situation. Bill reveals that he and Catherine once tried to have a secret office romance.
Memorable quote: “Is it just me, or does this party suck?”-Jimmy
“Smoking”: WNYX becomes a nonsmoking office, but Bill tries to smoke in the office anyway. Lisa thinks that Joe is acting strange towards her because he saw her with Dave at the movies, but he is actually acting strange because he was the movies with a gay friend and doesn’t want Lisa to think he’s gay. Dave agrees to give up coffee if Bill will give up cigarettes. Dave gives Bill some nicotine patches, and Bill has a bad reaction because he used too many at once.
Memorable quote: “You should have to give up something of equal difficulty…like going to the bathroom.”-Bill
“The Crisis”: Dave tries to get tunnel access for Matthew, so WNYX can get an exclusive eyewitness report during a subway crisis. The staff is jealous when Matthew gets a new desk. Jimmy orders new desks for the rest of the staff and tells them that Dave ordered them. Matthew thinks the staff resents him because they think he is Dave’s favorite, so he wants to stage a fake fight to convince everyone that Dave doesn’t like him more than he likes the others.
Memorable quote: “Dinner and a desk? What’s next, you gonna get him a pony?”-Bill
“Big Day”: On the “big day” (the day the annual bonuses are announced), Mr. James makes Dave decide which employee will get the big bonus and which one will get nothing, but Dave wants to give everyone an equal bonus. Bill is perplexed when food that doesn’t belong to him keeps ending up on his desk. Matthew hopes that he doesn’t get “the shaft” because he’s already gotten it three times. Bill reveals to Dave that he has gotten the big bonus almost every year, while Lisa is sure that she will get the big bonus this time.
Memorable quote: “That’s where you’re wrong. That is not my cup of coffee, nor is this my whatever the hell this is.”-Bill
“Luncheon at the Waldorf”: Bill invites Beth to the Annual Broadcasters Luncheon, and Lisa worries that Bill has an ulterior motive. Dave tries to figure out why the station is six thousand dollars over budget. Beth is embarrassed after she kisses Bill in the limo after the luncheon. Dave finds out that Matthew has been making long-distance calls at work, and Catherine has been charging salon visits to the station.
Memorable quote: “What is this, an episode of Blossom?”-Beth
“Sweeps Week”: Dave is jealous when Lisa keeps talking to her ex-boyfriend on the phone. Lisa encourages Dave to get in touch with his ex-girlfriend Nancy (Janeane Garofalo) from Wisconsin, who immediately decides to come visit Dave and thinks that they are still a couple. Nancy tells Lisa and Beth that if they go after Dave, she will kill them. When Dave tells Nancy that he has a new girlfriend, she reveals Dave and Lisa’s secret relationship to the staff.
Memorable quote: “How could a girl that sweet be capable of cold-blooded murder?”-Matthew