NewsRadio TV Poster Image

NewsRadio

Fresh office humor worth tuning in to.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The group has mostly respectful working relationships despite very different personalities. Two out of three regular female characters are strong and ambitious and admired by their co-workers. The characters often play jokes on each other, almost always in good fun. Some characters (like Matthew) are consistently made fun of, and the characters can be petty at times -- all for laughs, of course.

Positive role models

Characters demonstrate teamwork.

Violence

Pratfalls and physical comedy, all in the name of humor.

Sex

Flirting and sexual innuendoes accompany workplace romances. Characters occasionally have sex (all off-screen) in the office. Beth consistently wears short, skimpy outfits; Joe likes to comment on them (and other things, including Catherine's figure -- he can be a bit of a lech).

Language

Words like "damn," "hell," and "sucks" are used intermittently.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking is alluded to but rarely shown (although characters have been drunk on screen in some episodes). One of the main characters smokes regularly, but rarely onscreen.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that NewsRadio's office setting provides the fodder for much of its mostly tasteful humor. Most storylines are harmless in nature, ranging from an anchorman's addiction to age-unknown sandwiches in the building's snack machine to a new complaint box that handles more than its share of employee gripes. Ongoing elements include office romances and sibling-like rivalry between co-workers. Overall, the show's ability to make interpersonal relationships so funny while sticking to largely non-controversial subject matter makes it a rare find.

What's the story?

NEWSRADIO is set in the office of New York's (fictional) second-rated news radio station, WNYX, where eccentric station owner Jimmy James (Stephen Root) is a constant presence in the office but does very little real work. It's level-headed Dave Nelson (Dave Foley) who manages the often-unruly group and shoulders their many complaints while grasping at sanity with stolen moments of serenity behind his office door. The rest of the WNYX staff is an unlikely group of colleagues whose interpersonal relations are the basis for the show's comedy. Ambitious, type-A overachiever Lisa Miller (Maura Tierney) is the station's supervising producer; Matthew Brock is a lovably dense news reporter portrayed in Andy Dick's typical awkward, slow-witted fashion; and Dave's assistant Beth (Vicki Lewis) isn't the brightest bulb, with her halfhearted attempts at work and off-the-wall additions to conversations. In the anchor chairs are sassy Catherine Duke (Khandi Alexander) and egomaniac Bill McNeal (Phil Hartman), who maintain a fiercely competitive relationship (probably spurred by a previous affair). And cool guy Joe Garrelli (Fear Factor's Joe Rogan) is the station's engineer -- who usually handles technical problems with a whack of the wrench.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This show benefits from thoughtful casting, an extremely talented cast, and sharp writing that plays to the actors' strengths and promotes the banter and sarcastic exchanges to keep the laughs coming. NewsRadio's humorous take on office politics will appeal to adults, and the mostly innocent topics make it a fine choice for families with older tweens and young teens to enjoy together. Some episodes border on the absurd thanks to locale changes (pretending the station is in space or aboard the Titanic, for example) or outlandish storylines (like Mr. James taking on a Ross Perot persona and running for president). But somehow it works with this group.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about forging relationships with someone very different from you, like those on NewsRadio. In what situations could you be forced to work side by side with someone who's entirely your opposite? How do you relate to someone with whom you have little in common?

  • Families can also discuss the specific episodes. How did the characters handle the problems in this episode? How might you have handled them differently?

  • How do the characters on NewsRadio demonstrate teamwork? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

Premiere date:March 21, 1995
Cast:Dave Foley, Maura Tierney, Phil Hartman
Networks:Nickelodeon, Syndicated
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
Character strengths:Teamwork
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of NewsRadio was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 September 3, 2012

newsradio

Families can talk about forging relationships with someone very different from you. In what situations could you be forced to work side by side with someone who's entirely your opposite? How do you relate to someone with whom you have little in common? Families can also discuss the specific episodes. How did the characters handle the problems in this episode? How might you have handled them differently?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byclj2 May 22, 2009

Great show, pre-teen OK!

I find "NewsRadio" to be a very clean sitcom, especially from the 1990s. The sexual innuendo is rare, but there is some slang/bad language here and there. Not bad though....very funny show! Off the wall, crazy humor and subject matter. Safe for a 10 year old, IMO.