Drama

This page is a rough draft. Stay tuned for more content, or follow links below to individual-series pages.

Serious dramatic films, melodramas and romance dramas were all among the movies adapted to radio, and original-for-radio series had similar sub-genres, with journalists appearing as sympathetic or less-than-sympathetic characters in all of them.

Night Beat and Shorty Bell were among the series that placed a newspaper reporter at the center of dramatic episodes that ranged from mystery to human-portraits, from comedy to tragedy.

Anthology series like “Screen Guild Theater,” “CBS Theater of Romance” and  “Lux Presents Hollywood” specialized in adapting Hollywood films for radio. Original radio anthologies, from “Suspense” to “NBC University Theater” incorporated newspaper-related plots, such as Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men, although the radio abridgement sometimes left the journalist characters on the cutting room floor, especially in longer works like Henry James’ The Portrait Of A Lady.

Editor and reporter characters appeared in suspenseful dramas, often with top Hollywood stars. “Big Town,” for example, moved into the crime category only after a more high-minded beginning. “Rogers of the Gazette” tended more toward gentle situation comedy plots involving a small-town editor.

International intrigue was featured in a number of series about foreign correspondents, although none were major hits — and such series were not always aimed at a domestic American audience. The series “Douglas of The World” was produced by Armed Forces Radio,  possibly to educate and/or propagandize its listeners during the Cold War.

Europe Confidential” was about an American reporter in Paris, but was produced in England primarily for syndication to Europe, Canada and Australia. During World War II, the United Press wire service created its own radio drama series based on stories by its reporters, under the heading “Soldiers of the Press.”

Other wartime and post-war series with an international focus included “O’Hara,” “Foreign Assignment” and “Foreign Correspondent.” A few episodes of each turn up in “singles and doubles” collections at the Internet Archive, suggesting they were short-run series whose transcription disks were not preserved.

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