chapter  10
17 Pages

Portia Faces the World: Re-Writing and Re-Voicing American Radio for an International Market

WithDavid Goodman, Susan Smulyan

Radio soap operas and other serial dramatic programs arose in the United States as a form of national programming, providing a common denominator of lucrative commercial entertainment for radio networks and large corporations. Their national popularity represented a signifi cant achievement in a large and diverse nation, one that attested to the skills of the writers and producers of these new kinds of radio shows. Legendary U.S. soap producer Frank Hummert claimed that “our stories are about the everyday doings of plain, everyday people-stories that can be understood and appreciated on Park Avenue and on the prairie.”2 That broad appeal across class, ethnic, and even gender lines was the basis of the spectacular success of radio soaps at home.