Lights Out (1934-1947)
Fantasy / Mystery
Cast: Wyllis Cooper and Arch Oboler
"A midnight mystery serial to catch the attention of the listeners at the witching hour."
Lights Out was one of America 's oldest and most popular radio shows dedicated to horror and the supernatural. Many critics looking back make the comparison that Lights Out was to radio what The Twilight Zone was to television. The comparison is not without merit as both shows were popular, controversial and pioneered many storytelling techniques. In fact, Rod Sterling cited Lights Out creator and writer Wyllis Cooper and his replacement, Arch Oboler, as inspirations to the Twilight Zone.
Lights Out was one of the first shows dedicated to a late night audience. While most other radio stations were broadcasting music, Wyllis Cooper suggested a show specifically targeted at people who were listening at the witching hour. Lights Out started as a 15 minute show on WENR on the NBC network at midnight on Wednesdays. Soon the show grew to a full half hour. In spite of its ratings, Lights Out was briefly cancelled when NBC wanted Wyllis Cooper to focus his writing on the many other shows he was working on. The outcry of the fans at this decision forced NBC to bring the show back, and it remained on the air until 1947 when it made an unsuccessful transition to television.