Forecast was an adventure in radio future bringing you fourteen first night performances, seven from New York and seven from Hollywood, each performance the first of a projected series. Forecast was an adventure in novelty, offering Columbia's answer to the ever present American demand for something new in radio.
It aired its first two productions on Monday the 15th July, 1940 and two further shows each Monday up to and including Monday the 26th August 1940. It brought an adventure for listeners presenting a star spangled summer full of entertainment each broadcast marked for future reference, each of them meant to illustrate for your approval a different radio idea.
Danny Kaye came up with the idea for the new comedy type show entitled When You Were Twenty-One. The idea was that the listening public would choose the year when they were 21 and the show would be a flashback of important things that happened that year, how much things cost, who was the man of the year and what was popular at the time set in words and music.
Another series idea called Angel was a story of the American Red Cross and a dramatic chronicle of a great woman and a great cause. The woman, Helen Carter played by Lorretta Young; the cause, the cause of service to all who need it wherever they may be found, the American Red Cross.
If you liked what you heard you were invited to write to CBS and tell them why you'd like to hear it as a regular program. The public's interest was what would help bring the show to the air as a weekly feature, a regular commercially sponsored series.
I really enjoyed Angel and thought it would have made a great soap opera.
I really enjoyed the featured episode of When You Were Twenty-One covering the year 1919, chosen because it was twenty one years before this sample show, but this is the only one you will hear as it too didn't make the grade. Alas, nothing I could do about it as I wasn't yet born in 1940!
The two main success stories from the Forecast series were Suspense, which began in 1942 and ran for twenty years and comedy series Duffy's Tavern, which ran from March 1941 through January 1952.
Forecast went on to showcase another thirteen auditions for potential new radio series during the summer months of 1941. From that years offerings only Hopalong Cassidy went on to success but it was however not until many years later in 1950 when William Boyd, who played the character in the original 1930 silent movies, brought the radio version to life.