The Big Story (radio and TV series)

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The Big Story is an American radio and television crime drama which dramatized the true stories of real-life newspaper reporters. The only continuing character was the narrator, Bob Sloane.


Sponsored by Pall Mall cigarettes, the program began on NBC Radio on April 2, 1947. With Lucky Strike cigarettes sponsoring the last two years, it was broadcast until March 23, 1955. The radio series was top rated, rivaling Bing Crosby's Philco Radio Time. Produced by Barnard J. Prockter, the shows were scripted by Gail Ingram, Arnold Pearl and Max Ehrlich. Tom Victor and Harry Ingram directed the series. The theme was taken from Ein Heldenleben ("A Hero's Life"), a tone poem by Richard Strauss.


The Big Story
Genre Anthology
Created by Paul H Hedrick
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
David Lowell Rich
Presented by Burgess Meredith
Norman Rose
Ben Grauer
Starring James Dean
Steve McQueen
Walter Matthau
Jack Klugman
Diane Ladd
Lee Marvin
Jack Warden
Anthony Perkins
Martin Landau
Leslie Nielsen
Sam Jaffe
Joyce Van Patten
Jerry Stiller
Warren Oates
Mark Rydell
Lois Nettleton
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 9
Producer(s) Bernard J. Prockter
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 24–25 minutes
Original channel NBC (1949–1957)
Syndication (1957–1958)
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run September 16, 1949 (1949-09-16) – 1958

The radio series was adapted for television where it debuted on NBC on September 16, 1949. The series continued to air on NBC until June 28, 1957, after which it appeared in syndication until 1958. The half-hour program was hosted by Robert Sloane, Norman Rose, Ben Grauer, and, finally, Burgess Meredith.[1]

Among the episodes is "Harold Faller of the Huntington Advertiser of West Virginia" (January 19, 1951), starring Francis De Sales in his first screen appearance as newspaperman Harold Faller of Huntington, West Virginia.[2]

The theme music was two of the main themes from the tone poem Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) by the German composer Richard Strauss. The series was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 1953.


  • Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507678-8
  • Sies, Luther F. Encyclopedia of American Radio 1920-1960. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2000. ISBN 0-7864-0452-3
  • Terrace, Vincent (1981). The Radio's Golden Years: Encyclopedia of Radio Programs, 1930-1960. A. S. Barnes.

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Listen to[edit]


  1. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 96
  2. ^ "Francis De Sale". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 15, 2009. 

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