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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Zero Hour, The

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The Zero Hour (aka Hollywood Radio Theater) was a 1973-74 radio drama anthology series hosted by Rod Serling. With tales of mystery, adventure and suspense, the program aired in stereo for two seasons. Some of the scripts were written by Serling.[2]
Syndicated by the Mutual Broadcasting System, the series debuted September 3, 1973. The original format featured five-part dramas broadcast Monday through Friday with the story coming to a conclusion on Friday. Including commercials, each part was approximately 30 minutes long. Since Mutual affiliates could broadcast the programs at convenient timeslots on any suitable dates, the series did not begin in certain areas until late fall or early winter of 1973.
In 1974, still airing five days a week, the program changed to a full story in a single 30-minute installment with the same actor starring throughout the week in all five programs. That format was employed from late April 1974 to the end of the series on July 26, 1974.
Producer J.M. Kholos was a Los Angeles advertising man who acquired the rights to suspense novels, including Tony Hillerman's The Blessing Way, for radio adaptations. In some cases, the titles were changed. For example, the five-part "Desperate Witness" was an adaptation of The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing. To create a strong package, Kholos followed through by lining up top actors, including John Astin, Edgar Bergen, Joseph Campanella, Richard Crenna, John Dehner, Howard Duff, Patty Duke, Nina Foch, George Maharis, Susan Oliver, Brock Peters and Lurene Tuttle.
The opening theme music was by Ferrante & Teicher. Don Hill produced the series for StudioHouse, which also produced the Salvation Army's Heartbeat Theatre. Counting each five-part show as five episodes, there were a total of 130 episodes. It failed to find a large audience due to the initial weekly serial format and the lack of promotion. According to director Elliott Lewis, "They wanted as much name value as possible to help with sales. They forgot they had to sell it. Everybody sat in the office and waited for someone to call them up and buy the show." (Wikipedia)



Single Shows

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6 comments:

  1. WOW! This stuff is great! I just love this stuff. THX Again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How can i download this amazing stuff or get it in some way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just right click on episode and select "save as" or "save target" depending on your browser.

      Delete
  3. "A Die in The Country" isn't complete. Parts 2 and 3 are the same, the labeled Part 4 is Part 3, and the labeled Part 5 is Part 4.

    "Someone's Death" is totally out of order. It should be listened to as 4-5-1-2-3.

    "There's a Man in 211" and "Why is Ted Marcosi Driving Aunt Sally Insane?" are reversed.

    "The Blessing Way" is also out of order. I can't be sure yet, but I think the correct order is 3-4-1-2-5.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Does anyone know what has happened to episode #3 of the series "A Die in the Country"? Episode #2 and #3 on this list are duplicates of the actual Episode #2.

    ReplyDelete

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References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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