From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Radio drama achieved widespread popularity within a decade of its initial development in the 1920s. By the 1940s, it was a leading international popular entertainment. With the advent of television in the 1950s, however, radio drama lost some of its popularity, and in some countries, has never regained large audiences. However, recordings of OTR (old-time radio) survive today in the audio archives of collectors and museums.
The single best-known episode of radio drama is probably the Orson Welles-directed adaptation of The War of the Worlds (1938), which some listeners believed to be real news broadcast about an invasion from Mars.
As of 2006, radio drama has a minimal presence in the United States. Much of American radio drama is restricted to rebroadcasts or podcasts of programs from previous decades. However, other nations still have thriving traditions of radio drama. The BBC produces and broadcasts hundreds of new radio dramas per year on Radio 4, BBC 7 and Radio 3, - On Radio 4 as afternoon plays, Friday evenings, woman's hour daily short dramas, Saturday plays, Sunday classic serials and on Radio 3 Sunday evening drama on 3 and the once-monthly experimental wire slot. BBC7 output tends to be comedy, sci-fi, 7th dimension - and predominantly archive programmes podcasting has also offered a means to create new radio dramas in addition to the distribution of vintage programs.
The terms "audio drama" or "audio theatre" are sometimes used synonymously with "radio drama" with one notable distinction -- audio drama or audio theatre is not intended specifically for broadcast on radio. Audio drama --whether newly produced or OTR classics -- can be found on CDs, cassette tapes, podcasts, webcasts and conventional broadcast radio.
- Amateur voice acting
- Books on the radio
- BBC Radio 4
- BBC 7
- List of radio soaps
- Old-time radio
- Radio comedy
- Radio programming