Imagination Theatre has ended its run

JazzGuyy
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JazzGuyy
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Joined: 11:26 AM - Jun 01, 2006

4:48 PM - Apr 11, 2017 #1

Imagination Theatre, the last regularly scheduled radio drama program in the U.S. (at least to my knowledge), has ended its run after 20 years due to the age and health of its producer/owner Jim French. I don't know how many Balconeers may have been a listener to this show, but I have listened to many episodes over the years. Its most lasting contribution to my mind was the Harry Nile character. Nile was a world-weary but straight arrow P.I. first in L.A. and then in Seattle who was historically placed over the time of around 1939 into the early '60s. Imagination Theatre did dramas, comedies, mystery show, scifi, fantasy and just about any other genre you can imagine. They also featured new Sherlock Holmes dramatizations that had the blessing of the Conan Doyle estate. There are still a few IT episodes floating around on YouTube and the Jim French Productions website offers a lot of CDs of show episodes. The website will probably end soon too.

You guys north of the border and in the UK are lucky that you still have some radio drama or comedy shows.
TANSTAAFL!
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The Batman
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The Batman
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Joined: 5:34 PM - Sep 04, 2005

5:58 PM - Apr 11, 2017 #2


We have radio drama or comedy shows on the radio up here? Call me "embarrassed". What station? What shows? When?

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JazzGuyy
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JazzGuyy
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6:23 PM - Apr 11, 2017 #3

Maybe I was misinformed, Bats, but I thought I had read that the CBC still does radio dramas.
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The Batman
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The Batman
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6:30 PM - Apr 11, 2017 #4


It may, but I don't know anyone that still listens to CBC radio.


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Frank Hale
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Frank Hale
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Joined: 2:02 AM - Oct 07, 2005

8:30 PM - Apr 11, 2017 #5

I listened to the CBC a fair amount when I could get it (it had to be a good reception day) but the station (Victoria, I think) seemed to disappear at some point. The Canadian take on the news was interesting, and I always made a point of listening to the Queen's Christmas message because it was so wonderfully retro.

Jim French was an announcer on the local Seattle ABC station a million years ago, and the Harry Niles shows were broadcast late on Saturday nights, IIRC. I figured they were strictly local and didn’t know he had acquired a national following.

I only heard a few of them, primarily because I am not a night owl, but also because they never really clicked with me, in the same way that CBS Mystery Theatre never clicked.

It was good to know that someone was still out there trying, but something was just missing.

BTW, and OT, this site seems to have all the Mystery Theatre programs available for download, if anyone is a fan:

http://www.cbsrmt.com/
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JazzGuyy
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JazzGuyy
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8:46 PM - Apr 11, 2017 #6

Imagination Theatre had a network of mostly AM and mostly smaller town radio stations around the U.S. that carried the show. I believe that Sirius/XM satellite radio also carried it. Like CBSRMT, Imagination Theatre was very uneven in its shows but mostly they were at least interesting and a change of pace from the usual radio fare.
TANSTAAFL!
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Sgt Saturn
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Sgt Saturn
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Joined: 7:12 PM - Sep 03, 2005

9:01 PM - Apr 11, 2017 #7

JazzGuyy wrote:Its most lasting contribution to my mind was the Harry Nile character.
Harry was that rarity, a likeable PI. (Would you really like to just hang out with Spade or Marlowe or even Richard Castle?)

You could once find IT episodes on the old OTR Unix newsgroup. I haven't heard an episode in years, but I am still saddened to hear of its demise. As somelse has already pointed out it was very uneven, but the best was rather good and you could always turn off the stinkers.
The Ol' Sarge
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