Television is a vast wasteland, according to Newton Minow.

I wasn't going to buy it anyway, but...

Posted: 10 April 2007 | posted by David J. Loehr |

According to

Warner Bros has notified us that "Low Rider," the theme song for The George Lopez Show has been changed for the April 17 DVD release. Warner has told us the new theme song was created with the participation of the producers, and George Lopez came into the studio to record the replacement song.

This is an outrage. Let's protest by not buying the DVDs. That'll show 'em.

Instead, I'm going to pick up a copy of WKRP in Cincinnati despite its musical replacements. Sure, I won't see Les Nessman put on a toupee to the tune of Hot Blooded, but for the most part, the music was atmosphere. Good atmosphere, yes. Boycotting the DVD just because they've replaced incidental music with generic songs is ridiculous. I'm sure the writers and actors would be thrilled to know that the music was the reason people watched and loved the show.

Northern Exposure, a show that I loved, lost me on DVD with its music replacements. (That and the ridiculous original pricing, which apparently covered the down jackets the sets came in.) But in almost every case, the music was integral to the stories. To see the show without Etta James singing "At Last" actively distorts the scene in question.

As for WKRP, as long as I can see Gordon Jump swearing on his belief in turkeys' ability to fly, I'm a happy man.


  1. Jaime J. Weinman said...
  2. As the guy who wrote the list of music replacements, I think you're misremembering things a bit -- some of the music was just incidental, but a lot of it was every bit as important to the show as the music on Northern Exposure. There were many specifically music-related jokes, and it was probably the first show to use popular music recordings of the time to comment on or create emotion in a scene ("Hot Blooded," "After the Love Has Gone").

    If Fox had just cut the "incidental" music, nobody would have complained except purists. Instead they've cut out not only songs, but jokes, dialogue exchanges and entire scenes. You don't have to be a purist to be upset at some of the best jokes being gone, or over half the episodes sustaining cut footage. It's much worse, really, than anything Universal did to Northern Exposure.

    Whew. Sorry for the rant.

  3. David J. Loehr said...
  4. I do understand what's been done to WKRP, but what I see as the difference between that and Northern Exposure is that the removal of a song or even portions of a scene haven't significantly altered the stories or mood or meaning of the episodes. Every song in Northern Exposure was there for a reason, not just for a joke, and all of them are gone.

    I've been watching the DVD set, and it's been all right. Sure, I'd love for it to have been left alone, or at least to have kept moments like "Hot Blooded" et al. (And I agree, it's been done much more clumsily than Exposure's replacements.) I'm remembering things that are missing as I watch, but it hasn't gotten in the way of enjoying what's there yet.

    If people buy this because they've been curious, then read up about the music replacements, maybe then Fox might decide it's worth the money and trouble to do it right. For my part, I'd rather have this than nothing, while I'm happy to keep my old VHS tapes of Exposure to see the real stories.

    And don't worry about the rant. More people should know, and should let Fox know, if anyone ever wants to see the real thing complete and uncut again. I'm still waiting on the rest of Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart myself.