2007_03_arts_newsradiodvd.jpgNews Radio: Season Five: It really is wonderful that this trend of releasing every last television series EVER to DVD has caught on. Some of the more obscure show available for purchase may seem a bit ridiculous but for serious TV junkies, the spotty consistency of syndication isn't enough for revisiting your favorite programs. News Radio, which ran from '95 to '99, is one of those shows that's well worth a repeat viewing, and their releasing its fifth and final season this week on DVD.

The program follows a rag tag bunch of misfits running the fictional news radio station WNYX in New York. Starring Dave Foley from the sketch comedy group The Kids In The Hall as the Midwestern-transplant news director, he banters with on air personalities Lisa (Maura Tierney), Bill (Phil Hartman), Matthew (Andy Dick) and station owner, Jimmy James (Stephen Root). One of the more notable aspects of this season of the show was that Hartman was tragically murdered by his wife just as season four wrapped. NBC wasn't sure if they would pick up the show for a fifth round, but the show's creator Paul Simms assured them that he could deliver and as a result the plot of the first episode in season five includes Hartman's character, Bill, dying of a heart attack. Sadly, the whole operation had less zing without Hartman around. The show subsequently brought on Jon Lovitz to play a replacement radio announcer, and Lovitz's performances are sort of hit or miss, brilliantly out of left field in some episodes and just stunningly bizarre in others.

While this last season may not have been as strong all the way through as some of the others, News Radio is a consistently laugh-out-loud show. Other DVDs hitting shelves this weekend include Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar-nominated thriller Blood Diamond, Humphrey Bogart classic The Cain Mutiny: Collector's Edition, Sylvester Stallone's sad attempt at a middle aged comeback Rocky Balboa and the Bible-licious The Nativity Story.