Norman Macdonnell

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Norman Macdonnell (November 8, 1916, in Pasadena, California – November 28, 1979, in Burbank, California)[1] was an American radio and television producer best known for co-creating (along with John Meston) and producing the Western radio and television series, Gunsmoke. He was also a long-time executive producer for the television series The Virginian.


Macdonnell was active during the days of old-time radio. Programs for which he was producer, director, or both included The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, Escape, Fort Laramie, Gunsmoke, Have Gun, Will Travel, The Harold Peary Show, Suspense,[2] The Green Lama [3] and Rogers of the Gazette.[4]


The website described Macdonnell as being "immortalized with his creation of the longest-running prime-time drama series in TV history" (Gunsmoke). The site went on to say:

Through its intelligent scripts, strong performances and innovative sound effects, Gunsmoke captivated audiences. With the boom of television, Gunsmoke came to the airwaves in 1955 for the start of a 20 year run. Macdonnell came on board the TV series in 1956. As a producer, he led Gunsmoke to four straight years as TV's number one program.[5]

Macdonnell produced two other television programs, The Virginian and The Road West.[6]


Macdonnell was married to the former Judith Murray. They had one child [1] (a daughter[6]), 2 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.


  1. ^ a b "Norman Macdonnell Biography". Internet Move Database. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Dunning, John. (1976). Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, 1925-1976. Prentice-Hall, Inc. ISBN 0-13-932616-2. Pp. 12, 185, 215, 259-60, 268, 518, 584.
  3. ^ "CBS Mystery Series". Broadcasting-Telecasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. June 13, 1949. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Rogers of the Gazette" (PDF). Old-Time Radio. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Norman Macdonnell". Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Norman Macdonnell, 'Gunsmoke' Creator". The Hour. December 1, 1979. Retrieved 2 June 2014.