The Story Behind On Stage With Cathy and Elliott Lewis


Manage episode 224354140 series 1286771
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While by the 1952-53 season, radio audiences were leaving in droves, the networks were still willing to invest resources in the medium. Radio was also being left to the radio people, which allowed for creative growth. On Thursday January 1st, 1953, at 8:30PM, Cathy and Elliott Lewis, known as “Mr. and Mrs. Radio,” debuted a new dramatic anthology program over CBS airwaves called On Stage. On Stage came during radio’s last hurrah. The big money was quickly leaving, but agencies and producers still had radio budgets because radio still had an audience. For example, Jack Benny, who’d made his TV debut on CBS in 1949, was still in 5 million radio homes each Sunday evening in 1953. To get the show off the ground, the Lewis’ tabbed some of the best writers in radio, like Morton Fine, David Friedkin, and E Jack Neuman. Stories would be rooted in powerful male-female situations, with two characters of equal strength being a main goal. They used a mix of classic and original tales, cutting across all dramatic disciplines with mysteries, adventures, melodramas, satires, and comedy. The goal was to make each character as close to life as possible. This debut episode was a comedy thriller called “The String Bowtie.”

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