A unique half-hour comedy series
On the Air

Pictures Images from OTA

LA Times article
on OTA

The pilot script

Lyrics to the Mr. Peanut song
Lyrics to the Mr. Peanut song

episode guide
Episode Guide
for the series

Sound samples from OTA

The main cast

The year is 1957. A new program entitled "The Lester Guy Show" is debuting on the Zoblotnick Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). Most of the cast is nuts, the crew is incompetent and everything that could go wrong always does. Of course, this makes the show a hit.

While mixing the sound for an episode of the second season of Twin Peaks, Lynch was hit with a sudden inspiration. "It just came into my head, the idea of people trying to do something successful and having it all go wrong."1 Following the initial success of Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost were hot properties in Television. When they approached ABC with the idea for "On the Air," the network was eager to take them up on the offer. The show itself was a half-hour absurdist comedy featuring many of the cast and crew from Twin Peaks. The pilot tested very well, and six more episodes were ordered. However, by the time it came to scheduling the On the Air, things with Twin Peaks had already fallen apart, and the network was no longer eager to work with Lynch. "During that time everything was going belly up with Twin Peaks, and there wasn't any support from ABC for this show at all. They really hated it."2 The series' broadcast was delayed and finally run during the summer, a time when most networks know people are away from their television sets, thus they dump undesirable shows then. Lynch knew the timeslot meant certain death for the show at the hands of the network. "I've heard that summertime is pretty much the worst time you can be on, but we're going on in summer. I've heard that Saturday night is the worst night of the week to be on, and we're going on Saturday night."3 As expected, the show received poor ratings, and only three of the seven episodes were aired by ABC before they gave it the axe (all seven episodes were aired overseas however).

1. Daniel Cerone, "Television of the Absurd `Twin Peaks' Co-Creators Try Again With `On the Air'", Los Angeles Times, June 18, 1992
2. Chris Rodley (editor), p.135 "Lynch on Lynch," Faber and Faber, 1997
3. Daniel Cerone, "Television of the Absurd `Twin Peaks' Co-Creators Try Again With `On the Air'", Los Angeles Times, June 18, 1992

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