When Elliott Lewis Revived The Adult Western On The Sears Radio Theater


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This is a snippet from Breaking Walls EP91: The Hollywood Radio Western Renaissance (1954 - 1980) ____ In 1979 Elliott Lewis teamed up with fellow radio veteran Fletcher Markle for a unique method towards reviving dramatic radio. The buying network would air a new one-hour anthology each weeknight. Each day would have a different theme. Ingrid Carlson—at that time, a Sears' TV commercials supervisor—persuaded Sears Vice President John Beebe to underwrite 130 episodes. Production cost $1.2 Million, over 4 million today. CBS bought the show. The Sears Radio Theater debuted on Monday, February 5th, 1979 with a western, entitled “Retribution.” It was hosted by Bonanza’s Lorne Greene. Along with The CBS Radio Mystery Theater, the network now aired two dramatic shows. Between February 5th, 1979 and February 28th, 1980 CBS offered two weeknight hours of revival drama to its affiliates. Writers were paid $350 per script. Actors were paid a union scale wage of $80 per hour.

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