WIOU was a 60 minute drama series on CBS about news director Hank Zaret's attempts to build the ratings of a failing TV station's news department. Its multitude of zany characters were appropriate to its "soap opera" atmosphere.
John Shea .... Hank Zaret
Helen Shaver .... Kelby Robinson
Harris Yulin .... Neal Frazier
Phil Morris .... Eddie Brock
Joe Grifasi .... Tony Pro
Robin Gammell .... Kevin Doherty
Jayne Brook .... Ann Hudson
Wallace Langham .... Willis Teitlebaum
Dick Van Patten .... Floyd Graham
Kate McNeil .... Taylor Young
Mariette Hartley .... Liz McVay
Liane Alexandra Curtis .... Trudy
Scott Harlan .... Ralph
There was one episode of WIOU that was produced but was not broadcast. Its title was, "One Flew over the Anchor Desk".
The call letters of the TV station was actually WNDY. The people who worked there had nicknamed it WIOU because it was in severe financial trouble.
There was never any reference to the city where WIOU took place. The call letters "WNDY" suggest it may have been Chicago, which is nicknamed the "WiNDY" city. Also, the series' creators Kathryn Pratt and John Eisendrath developed the idea for WIOU from their own experiences working at WBBM TV in Chicago.
Critics were kind to WIOU. They generally felt that the characters were unusually believable. Helen Shaver actually followed a Los Angeles news anchor, "Tritia Toyota", studying her work experiences in preparation for her role.
Even though the WIOU TV show got good reviews from critics and fans really loved the show, it never gained enough of an audience to get acceptable ratings. In fact, WIOU's ratings were even worse than the ficticious rating for WNDY's news ratings! The very popular TV series, "Hunter" was in competition with WIOU in its 10:00 to 11:00PM time slot on Wednesday evenings. That may have contributed to WIOU's demise!
Many Canadians were a bit upset because WIOU was very similar to a Canadian TV series titled, "E.N.G." which was also about the staff at a TV newsroom.
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
WIOU - The First and Only Season
- Pilot Episode (10/24/1990)
- Appearances (10/31/1990)
- The Inquisition (11/7/1990)
- Do the Wrong Thing (11/14/1990)
- One Point, No Light (12/5/1990)
- They Shoot Sources, Don't They? (12/12/1990)
- Diamond Dogs (12/19/1990)
- Mother Nature's Son (12/26/1990)
- Ode to Sizzling Sal (1/2/1991)
- Labored Relations (1/9/1991)
- Bleeds, It Leads (Aka: "Without Prejudice") (3/4/1991)
- Pair o' Guys Lost (3/13/1991)
- Three Women and a Baby (3/20/1991)
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