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Zero Hour

HOLLYWOOD RADIO THEATRE ("The Zero Hour") compiled by Dick Judge First show: Sep 3 1973      Number of shows: 130      Last show: Jul 26 1974 Host: Rod Serling This ambitious series of shows, said to be a year in the making, premiered on Sep 3, 1973. The Mutual Broadcasting System offered the shows to their member stations on a syndicated basis, allowing the programs to be aired during a time period that was convenient, and at a date that was suitable.
For this reason in some areas the series did not begin until late Fall or early Winter of 1973. However, this was not true for the second 13 week of programs. All stations began airing the show on Apr 29, 1974 with the final
program broadcasted on Jul 26, 1974. At the beginning the shows ran for 30 minutes but on the 14th week they ran 25 minutes a day until the end. Zero Hour was hosted by the famed Rod Serling who offered comments before
and after each show. He wrote some of the scripts but for the most part they were done by a group of young Hollywood writers. Since the CBS Radio Mystery Theater began its run on Jan 6, 1974, some comparison should be
made between the two offerings. Zero Hour used Hollywood film stars who appeared for a week at a time; the stories were exciting and action-packed. The prime mover behind the Zero Hour was Mutual. The CBS Radio Mystery Theater, on the hand, had the capable E. G. Marshall, as host. The casts consisted of experienced old-time radio actors and actresses, with an
occasional TV or film star. The writing of the Mystery Theater more closely resembled the Suspense and Inner Sanctum plots of old; the script writers being people who wrote in the style of old-time radio. In both the series
most of the stories were original in nature but the Mystery Theater did adapt suspense and mystery tales from Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, Sir Conan Doyle and other well known authors.
There were two distinct 13 week series. During the first of these there was one story line that was broadcast in 5 daily episodes featuring the same cast of characters. The second 13 week series featured one star in five different stories and a different supporting cast each night.


Show # of Shows Cost  
Zero Hour 1 93 $7
Zero Hour 2 41 $7


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