WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)
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Up and Down the Dial 

Mama Carlson announces plans to change WKRP's format.


George Gaynes


Hugh Wilson (created by), Dan Guntzelman | 1 more credit »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Gary Sandy ... Andy Travis
Gordon Jump ... Arthur Carlson
Loni Anderson ... Jennifer Marlowe
Richard Sanders ... Les Nessman
Frank Bonner ... Herb Tarlek
Jan Smithers ... Bailey Quarters
Tim Reid ... Venus Flytrap
Howard Hesseman ... Dr. Johnny Fever
Carol Bruce ... Lillian Carlson
Ian Wolfe ... Hirsch
Nicholas Hormann ... Charles Von Sanker


With a serious demeanor, Andy calls a staff meeting, which everybody believes is him either with bad news or to chew them out for something. Instead, with the ratings out a week earlier than expected, he gives them the good news that they have moved up to #6 in the market, with Venus #1 in his time slot - #3 overall - and Johnny #1 overall, although the news isn't quite as good for Les' newscasts, which Andy tries to deflect. And the station is finally in the black financially. Regardless, Andy is surprised when a Charles Von Sanker arrives at the station purportedly hired by Mother Carlson as the new news director to start in two weeks time. Andy eventually learns directly from the horse's mouth that Mother Carlson hired Mr. Von Sanker not to replace Les but rather to replace Andy himself in implementing a radio programming consultant's report, about which she told no one at the station, to change the format from rock 'n' roll to all news in her push to become #1 in the market. In ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

21 April 1982 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Last show of the series until it was revived in the 1990's. See more »


In the beginning of the series, Mama Carlson was all over Arthur's back to start pulling profits on the station, and now it was set up all along that the station was never supposed to make money. See more »


Dr. Johnny Fever: [excitedly, pointing in the ratings book] Wow, look what I'm doing with teenage boys!
See more »


References The Gong Show (1976) See more »


Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
Written by Curly Williams (as David Williams) and Sunny David
Performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
[The song playing when Johnny and Venus kick Herb out of the control booth]
See more »

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User Reviews

Unplanned Swan Song
30 March 2019 | by jpop59See all my reviews

Apparently when this episode was made, it was not known that the show would soon be cancelled. But because the story does concern a major turning point, and because it was the final first-run episode aired it serves as an unofficial finale. Its a smart script that once again has Mama Carlson ( the always effective Carol Bruce) pulling strings and manipulating the employees at WKRP. This is also one of four episodes that feature Mama's butler Hirsch who is played to hilarious perfection by Ian Wolfe. However, it is the penultimate scene with Dr. Johnny Fever and Mama that is the most memorable. Fever, whom she usually dismisses as a burned out stoner, quickly figures out what is really going on with her latest gyrations, and calls her out on it. A great scene well played, and even though things are unresolved, it ends up being an adequate stopping point.

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