Picks and Pans Review: Newsradio

updated 03/27/1995 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/27/1995 01:00AM

NBC (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET)

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Spring is busting out all over. And so are new series on the networks' prime-time schedules. The funniest of the lot is this sitcom, which stars daffy Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall) as the flustered, just-hired overseer of a Manhattan all-news radio station.

Saturday Night Live alumnus Phil Hartman plays a smarmy if sonorous newsreader. Stephen Root is the station's loopy, acquisition-mad millionaire owner. Andy Dick (Get Smart) plays an extravagantly sensitive reporter. Maura Tierney is an ambitious announcer, and Vicki Lewis is Foley's candid but cracked secretary.

The sensational pilot took off like a toboggan, gathering comic momentum until it ran out of hill. A second episode wasn't nearly as breathtaking, but the sitcom promises to go far, thanks to a marvelous ensemble and a lunatic sense of humor. NewsRadio is a nervier, more sophisticated version of WKRP in Cincinnati, updated to a time when people are much less secure about their jobs and far more wary about each other.

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