Why radio works: ‘TV’s off-Broadway’ June 18, 2007Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Out Basket, >> Radio Drama.
Contained within the pages of Gerald Nachman’s intelligent “Raised on Radio” (1998; Pantheon Books; New York) are nuggets of insight on radio’s passage from entertainment prominence to eclipsed by television.
Nachman coins a line which describes how Fred Allen’s biting wit and satire thrived on radio but never quite made a transition into television:
Radio was, and remains even now, TV’s off-Broadway.”
Perhaps Nachman sees a future in which radio returns to a vibrancy and eclecticity not possible with television.
Perhaps radio might become a business development tool with lower production costs, quicker turnaround times, and broader distribution than other performance means.
Perhaps radio can extend the financial life of entertainment offerings or bridge the time between offerings. Imagine audio prequels of the superheroes killed off in the back story of The Incredibles.
Perhaps radio can fully illuminate acting brilliance as a skill separate and distinct from physical appearance.
Perhaps radio might capitalize on the excitement of live theatre and generate quality, contemporary storytelling.
Radio works. Beyond perhaps, it definitely works.
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