Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17, 1935: 'Lights Out' first nationwide broadcast on NBC

April 17, 1935: The ultimate horror show, Lights Out, was aired for the first time on this day, attracting many listeners.

Preceding other mystery series such as Suspense and Inner Sanctum was the radio program Lights Out, which aired on NBC from 1934 to 1947 before it finally received TV adaptation.

The idea for the show actually came from the American writer-producer Willis Cooper, who realized that doing a mystery show instead of airing music during late night would catch the interest of listeners at those times. Instead of broadcasting it as a series, the network made it a crime and mystery anthology. It began as a 15 minute show every Wednesday on a local network of NBC, but it was eventually expanded to a 30 minute session due to its success. When the show was discontinued in January 1935, the network received many requests to bring it back. Three months later, in April, the show aired again and was broadcast nationwide.

Cooper served as the show's writer until 1936, before Arch Oboler replaced him.

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