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Summer Replacement Old Time Radio Shows

Summer Replacements

During the Golden Age Of Radio, the networks did not broadcast recorded material, so there were no reruns. However, the stars of the popular, money making series demanded, and got, long summer breaks as part of their contracts. If the star is out of town, it is a fair bet that the rest of the cast is not working, either.

The networks and the sponsors knew that there would be less people listening during the summer months, but they still could not afford for there to be dead air, especially during the lucrative prime time hours. The solution was to find Summer Replacement Series.

Because anticipated audience levels were going to be low, the networks usually did not put a great deal of effort into the replacement series. Often the sponsors would "drop" the replacement, but if the regularly scheduled program was successful enough, they would continue to sponsor the time slot so their stars would have a place to come home. The Johnson Wax Company seems to have been particularly committed to Fibber McGee and Molly's Tuesday night spot. Some of the replacements for the Johnson's Wax Program over the years included Victor Borge, The Passing Parade, Words at War, Presenting Charles Boyer, The Meredith Wilson Musical Revue, and Cousin Willie. Interestingly, while the Jordans, Jim and Marian, the stars of Fibber McGee and Molly', would spend the summers with the kids, spokesman Harlow Wilcox more often than not stuck around to handle the Wax Company's promotions.

The networks were less than fully committed to the summer replacement shows, but the cast and producers often recognized that a summer time slot could be the stepping stone to lasting work. A few shows, like Dangerous Assignment, Escape, December Bride, Archie Andrews, The Aldrich Family, Boston Blackie, and A Date With Judy, grew beyond their summer replacement, temporary status and became long time hits.

Below is an informational chart created by OTRCAT.com listing the Summer Replacement series, the show they were replacing, and the year. For example "A Date with Judy" replaced "The Bob Hope Show" in 1944.

Summer Quick Reference Guide

Summer Series Replaced this Series Year
A Date with Judy Bob Hope 1944
Adventures of Raffles   1942
Adventures of Topper Dinah Shore 1945
Alan Young Show   1944
Aldrich Family Jack Benny 1938
American Portraits Cavalcade of America 1951
Archie Andrews Great Gildersleeve 1949
Author Playhouse Truth of Consequences 1944
Baker Theater of Stars Hollywood Theater of Stars 1953
Beat The Band Red Skelton Show 1940
Best Plays Theater Guild 1952
Boston Blackie Amos and Andy 1944
Cabin B13 Talent Scouts 1948
Call The Police Amos and Andy 1947
Casbook of Gregory Hood Sherlock Holmes 1946
Chamber Music Society Judy Canova 1950
Charlotte Greenwood Show Bob Hope 1944
Chase and Sanborn Hour Charlie McCarthy Show 1945
Cobbs (The Cobbs) Hallmark Radio Playhouse 1954
Cousin Willie Fibber McGee & Molly 1953
Crime Classics Suspense 1953
Dangerous Assignment Man Called X 1949
December Bride Jack Benny 1952
Doctor Fights Best Plays 1945
Doris Day Show Amos and Andy 1952
Encore Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players 1946
Escape Lux Radio Theater 1947
Fabulous Mr Tweedy Jack Benny 1946
Hap Hazard Fibber McGee and Molly 1941
Four Star Playhouse   1949
Frances Langford Show Burns And Allen 1947
Frank Fontaine Charlie McCarthy Show 1952
Front & Center Fred Allen 1947
General Electric Theater Bing Crosby Program  
Granbys Green Acres Lux Radio Theater 1950
Grand Marquee Amos and Andy 1946
Green Lama   1949
Hawk Durango Adventures of Maisie 1946
Hour of Mystery Theater Guild on the Air 1946
It's Higgins Sir Bob Hope 1951
Jack Paar Jack Benny 1947
Johnny Mercer Bob Hope 1944
Kingsmen Fibber McGee & Molly 1949
Lineup FBI In Peace & War 1950
Man Called X Lux Radio Theater 1944
Mario Lanza Show Charlie McCarthy Show 1951
Martin & lewis Bob Hope 1949
Men At Sea Great Gildersleeve 1943
Mercury Theater Lux Radio Theater 1938
Meredith Willson Musical Revue Fibber McGee 1940
Mildred Bailey Show Jack Carson 1944
Mr Aladdin Broadway is My Beat 1951
Murder Clinic First Nighter 1942
Mystery in the Air   1947
New Theater Phil Harris & Texas Rangers 1951
Now Hear This Mr And Mrs Blandings 1951
Our Miss Brooks Partial summer replacement for Lux Radio 1948
Passing Parade Fibber McGee and Molly 1943
Paul Whiteman Bergen and McCarthy 1943
Pete Kelly's Blues Halls of Ivy 1951
Phil Silvers Show Philco Radio Time 1947
Philip Marlowe Bob Hope 1947
Philo Vance Bob Burns Show 1945
Presenting Charles Boyer Fibber McGee & Molly 1950
Pursuit Gene Autry Show 1950
Quick and the Dead Aldrich Family 1950
Quiz Kids Alec Templeton Time 1940
Radio City Playhouse   1948
Ray Bolger Show Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore 1945
Rogues Gallery Fitch Bandwagon 1945
Romance Life with Luigi 1950
Sad Sack Frank Sinatra 1946
Saint Jack Carson 1945
Sam Spade Woody Herman Show 1946
Scarlet Pimpernel Cavalcade of America 1952
Silver Theater Ozzie & Harriet 1945
Somebody Knows Suspense 1950
Stoopnagle and Bud Fred Allen 1935
T Man Lineup 1949
Tales of the Foreign Service World's Greatest Novel 1946
Treasury Hour Fred Allen  
Victor Borge Fibber McGee & Molly 1945
Vox Pop Joe Penner 1945
Victory Theater Lux Radio Theater 1942
Which is Which   1944
Words at War Fibber McGee and Molly 1944
You Are There Lux Radio Theater 1947
Young Love Talent Scouts  


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Any radio show is a good radio show!!! Summer replacement or not. Television today is a complete failure compared to the talent and back-breaking exact work it took to appear in and produce a radio show. During summer months, it's so much better to just turn on an CD or MP3 of OTRCAT and sit on the back desk and listen.


Elizabeth is absolutely correct!


I agree; Elizabeth, you are so on-point. Could not have said it better. My wife and I listen to he CDs when we are on the road traveling. Sure makes the road miles go by quickly.


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