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TV Review: Radio Free Roscoe

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Radio Free Roscoe is . . . the most unappreciated show on the planet. I can say this honestly because it’s entirely true. I blame the network. Radio Free Roscoe used to appear every night in Prime Time on The-N. Then it got canceled. Now it appears on The-N at one-thirty in the morning. It’s clear that Radio Free Roscoe was replaced by shows that are a hundred times worse — South of Nowhere and Instant Star. Once again, the networks screwed up and I’ll tell you why.

First of all, many people are probably wondering what in fact Radio Free Roscoe is. It’s about four kids who started an underground radio station due to being shut up by the administration at their school. The basic message of the show is finding your voice. Ray, Lily, Travis, and Robbie use the station to express their feelings. They can say anything they want on the station and be heard. How? They use the alter egos of Pronto, Question Mark, Shady Lane, and Smog. It’s about not going insane and being yourself. Instead, it kills stereotypes. And best of all, the principal can’t do a thing about it.

I truly believe this show helped me find my voice. I felt I could relate to the characters. I know, I know, I don’t have an underground radio station. But I could still relate to the fact that I was just a stupid little freshman who was trying to find my voice. I did. I started writing. Fan fictions, reviews of things, songs…that’s how I express myself.

The Radio Free Roscoe kids were not rebels. Well, I guess they sort of were. But they were also great students. Robbie, for example, is the leader of RFR and was named as an honor student in the episode, “Bad Boy.” Lily started her own band and had a single. That doesn’t promote underachiever to me. Ray was the funny guy and he gets a job as M/C at the local coffee hang out place. Travis is a man of mystery and is always quoting Buddha. I’m sorry, but I’ve never met a Bad Boy quoting Buddha. So this is also a good message.

The actors and actresses on the show are solid. All of them. There is not a single complaint to make about any of them. When I watched Radio Free Roscoe, I felt that it was real. I cannot recall a single moment that any of the actors and actresses messed up or wasn’t believable.

On the radio station, the gang plays Indy music — you know, the music that is great, but not yet discovered. The music is from real bands. Many bands would even make a guest appearance on the show. I use to think Indy music was lame. Now, I really enjoy it. Whoever was in charge of the music had a huge task and they succeeded completely.

Also, it’s original. How many other shows are about four kids with an underground radio station. I will applaud you if you can tell me one. I’m tired of seeing the same thing other and other. RFR was different. RFR was unique. RFR was great.

So why was it taken off???

My theory is that Radio Free Roscoe followed Degrassi, which is what The-N is best known for. Compared to that, Radio Free Roscoe didn’t have the ratings. It was replaced by really horrible shows: Moesha (which didn’t do well either), Instant Star, and South of Nowhere. I gave all three shows a fair shot. And they were awful. None of them could come close to RFR. Even if I wasn’t just mad they took off Radio Free Roscoe, I still wouldn’t watch them. They was boring, unrealistic, and stupid.

I remember the day I heard RFR was being canceled. I was crushed. I wasn’t the only one. All the fans were upset. Too bad there was nothing we could do about it. Radio Free Roscoe was canceled and moved to the time slots of 1 and 1:30.

I knew where this was going. A while back this happened to another show called 24Seven on The-N. It was shown less and less and given bad time slots. Eventually, the show was taken off the air completely. Radio Free Roscoe has followed the same path. Originally given later times and less air time. Then moved to just 1 AM and 1:30 AM. Currently, the show is only shown at 1:30 AM on Mondays-Thursdays. But seriously, who is going to be able to watch that?

I knew that Radio Free Roscoe was doomed. But what could I do?

First, I tried a petition. I suggested a fair compromise: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air gets the 3-4 PM time slots. I suggested that Radio Free Roscoe gets the 3:30 time slot. No such luck.

Next, I signed another petition which had over a thousand signatures . . . The-N refused to listen to them either.

I know The-N. They did this same thing to other shows I liked. It’s like deja vu. I decided that there was no way I could stop them. No one else could do it either. So, I brought the Radio Free Roscoe DVD of the best of Season 1. I had to buy it off E-Bay because it was only sold in Canada. It rocked, but it only had 6 episodes.

Now, I am stuck with TiVoing Radio Free Roscoe. Sadly, my sister (the one who got ME addicted) refuses to let me watch it most of the time. But I know other RFR fans don’t have the privilege I do…and it’s not fair.

The-N has serious issues. The only show I watch now is Degrassi because they’ve replaced all the classics with crap. Daria, originally on MTV, is stuck at the 1 AM time slot. 24Seven was taken off completely. Out There suffered the same fate as 24Seven. And what do I have now?

South of Nowhere and Instant Star. Oh, boy. Note the sarcasm.

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About Maddy

  • Yes, I suppose all these shows have been good for you.

  • Raine

    i LOVE radio free roscoe and i cant beleive it is cancelled…all i want to know is a list of the bands they had on that show…i really liked the one band petit project but i cant seem to find any songs by them…email me back if it isnt too much trouble.

  • Congrats! Your article has been placed on Advance.net

  • Maddy

    Raine: If your have ITunes, there is a free podcast with samples of RFR band music. Search Radio Free Roscoe and you should find it.

  • FWIW, 24Seven was only produced in England for one season. From what I can tell, had there been another season or two produced, The N would have picked it up.

    As far as “Out There”, there was a second season made, but The N didn’t pick it up. As much promotion as they gave the first season, and as many overnight reruns as it was allotted, I was surprised that The N didn’t pick up season 2. I can only guess that it didn’t get the ratings or audience response they wanted.

    My personal frustration with The N:
    For a network that claims to “go there” and does in fact show many series that do, I don’t get why they haven’t completely uncensored their Daria library. It’s still cut to shreds in places.

    I find that RFR has also grown on me, oddly, since the reruns began, moreso than during its original run. It really is a good concept for a show, even if offbeat, and I love the fact that one of the main characters seems to always be espousing Zen / Buddhist philosophy.

    As for other shows I’d like The N to carry, see my blog – I’m going to post there next.

  • I agree with the reviewer’s sentiments. The show was worth keeping on the air. It has a sense of realism that other shows catering to the same age group did not. I have to wonder how other subpar shows stay on the air while this one gets the shaft.

    Bring it back! It’s not too late.

  • Mark

    I completely agree with this article. Radio Free Roscoe was about exercising the right to speak freely. I wish the show would come back on.

  • okay , this is the saddest thing i`ve ever heard.
    Radio Free Roscoe was the best show ever created.
    I seriously need to know what happens , after the summer.
    Canceling a show like this , is the worst thing the network could do.
    i don`t think they relize what this show could have done for their ratings.
    I think almost every teen can relate to this show , somehow.
    RFR was amazing , and always will be.

  • m3lis

    well i was just watching the show now. i dunno bout you, but where i am they still play RFR at 9pm on the family ch. it really is good, although i really wish the band “the petit project” WAS a real band..so far ive liked their music and same with lily;s band “nomans land”…rock on guys!

  • M3lis: Petit Project is a real band.

  • Rav

    wow, i totaly agree, i think that it is stupid. I love rfr!
    I wish they would bring it back

  • Dear writer, i could not have written a better article myself. I myself was devistated when the RFR series had come to an end. The way i found out was through the episode when Travis tells everyone he is leaving, Ray is working full time at Mickey’s, and Lilly is doing a Mall Tour with No Man’s Land. I was truly crushed. RFR has had an amazing impact on myself. As cheesy as I sound, it is a fact, like Maddy said. It was a real show and the actors played the characters flawlessly. I was moved by the show, and i will always remember how it made that little, no. BIG difference in my life. So thank you Stephen, Stephen, Kate, Ali. You 4 alone helped me in a way no one else could at a time in my life. Peace out RFR. And thank you Maddy for writing this amazing blog for me to respond to and express my feelings toward.


    If anyone has any info on how to locate Posters, CD’s or any of the seasons, please email. [Personal contact info deleted]

    Thank you.


    My URL is my piczo space, where if you look at the links, you will find a dedication to RFR.

  • Troy

    I got some Petit Project songs. About four I think. They are a real band. Thank God I live in Canada. We still get RFR on the Family Channel.

  • I really love RFR too. Geez… man. What a mess.

  • Lena

    I completely agree with you RFR used to be the show i count on to get me through the day i felt like i could relate to the characters and i could have a voice of my own my whole life i was quiet and i never got to say my opinions. RFR helped me it changed my attitude toward life. At least i’ll have the memories and if your interested if you go to youtube.com godmode has every single episode ever made just go to the search and type in radio free roscoe season 1 episode 1 and there you go you have all the episodes from season 1 -4 check it out if you really love rfr you will thank me tons SEEYA

  • Pete

    RFR is fantastic. I’m only just starting to watch it via episode downloads and youtube but I find it unbelievable it was cancelled.
    They wrote scripts for the the next season as well. They already wrote scripts! The least they could do is release these.

  • mano

    omg i know eh

    pisses me off
    i agreee
    damn channels
    ruined it

    i miss it soo much

  • Me

    🙁 its sad… its one show that truly teenagers can relate to, and it gives u a sense of comfort. Its a shame that even FAMILY channel didnt fund a season 3, atleast they still play it here in canada so i manage.

  • Kimmy

    dont judge instant star and south of nowhere when you’ve probably only seen a part of the show for 5 seconds.


  • richard

    shame on you “N” instant star and south of nowhere ….. lol please

  • I miss Radio Free Rosco… and it pisses me off so much cuz I didn’t even get to watch the last episode and it sucks cuz I still wonder! WTF! I wish they’d put it back on the air!

  • A.j

    man i have bin looking for a site liek this for long time i love Radio Free Rosco but i dont know y they canceled it i loved it then it got to the parts were they were making new episodes and she like hits cord and tells ray that she loves him i think i seen like 2 or 6 more episodes after that and they started replaying and then it was moved to liek 1:00 and i had to mus schoo lto watch it and o ya i did i love this show so much but ya i REALY HOPE THEY BRING IT BACK I WOULD PAY TRILIONS

  • Kiiriya

    If it wasn’t or our ability to record things I would have missed it competley. Ithought rfr was like permabanned from the n only to realise tha one day when I din’t go to school because my dad went to afghan i just happened to turn o th tv and it was going off. I could sware that i almost cried. RfR was and isstill my favorite show, i just have to record it now to catch it. >.<

  • So RFR,which I completely agree was an amazing show (or I wouldn’t have read the whole article), was canceled because of poor ratings. Wouldn’t the mass of people wanting clue them in that people are watching?

    Or were they just not watching enough in Canada for the Family Channel to support it?

    Too bad The-N didn’t go and fund it.
    I miss that show so much.
    thank god it’s back (sort of)

  • Brittny

    For Megan who commentede before me … WHAT DO YOU MEAN ITS BACK???? are there new episodes?? plzz answer!

  • Stevie

    My friends work in Hollywood and it’s hard for a show to maintain funding when the network drops your funding. It really sucks, you gotta move on and try to create another pilot for another show. Luckily the show has been syndicated so that means moolah for the actors and if you’re lucky enough you can find reruns in your country (if it’s been picked up by a network there). Given it’s syndicated (think of all the shows the author mentioned that were canceled and were not syndicated it goes to show that it was a great show), it goes the path of getting posthumously honored, all you can really do is watch the reruns. If you love the show support the creators and their other creations.

  • Mystique

    I agree, RFR made me find my voice, and made me live my days in High School, it helped me and related to me in so many different ways. I cannot believe they took it off the air…


    I love this show

  • rob

    if you want the names of all the great indy music played on this show, well here’s the link.

    this show introduces you to unbeleivably good bands and good music you would never hear on the radio like the pettite project and reverie sound revue. this show is wayy better than the new degrassi bs they came out with

  • tomtimmons

    Lmao totally agree, even though its 6 years later and im 24 now. Wtf was moesha doing on there??