Death Valley Days was a Western genre TV series which was adapted from a very popular radio program of the same name. The original radio program first aired in 1930 and continued through 1945; the program returned as a television series in 1952 and continued through 1970. The show is considered one of the longest running Western genre TV programs in history, especially if the radio program is considered part of the show’s run.
Death Valley Days was not just long running—it was very popular. It is often cited as being one of the most popular live action Western programs of all time, including film, television and radio media. But what was it about Death Valley Days that kept viewers tuning in week after week for all those years? Let’s take a closer look at why Death Valley days was such a hit.
The episodes were based on actual stories
The storylines used for Death Valley Days were actually based on real stories. For example, the plot for ‘Death Valley Scotty’ was based on the real life passenger train Scott Special, which broke a record for passenger trains in 1905. Another episode was based on L. Frank Baum, the author of the popular The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book.
The fact that the episodes were based on real stories made them more relatable and, for the most part, more grounded than a lot of similar Western programs which often created unrealistic storylines to keep viewers entertained.
It allowed people to transition from radio to television
Because Death Valley Days was originally a radio program, it already had a loyal fan base—who was more than willing to make the transition from listening on the radio to watching on the television. The show bridged the gap for many people, allowing them to make the big leap from audio to visual entertainment.
Almost every episode of Death Valley Days had guest stars. These guest stars played a large part in keeping the show fresh, and keeping viewers tuning in to see who would be joining the show the next week. Some of the more notable guest stars included actors such as Dennis Cross, who appeared in three episodes; Jim Davis, who appeared in two episodes; Yvonne DeCarlo; Brad Johnson, who appeared a total of five times; Tyler McVey, who appeared in four different episodes; and John Vivyan, who appeared in two episodes. Hop over to this entertainment website for other great entertainment choices.