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The old-time radio era, sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of Radio, was an era of radio programming in the United States during which radio was the dominant electronic home entertainment medium. It began with the birth of commercial radio broadcasting in the early 1920s and lasted through the 1940s, when television gradually superseded radio as the medium of choice for scripted programming, variety and dramatic shows. There were few U.S. network attempts at major scripted radio dramas after the end of several long-running dramatic series in 1962, including Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.
Radio was the first broadcast medium, and people regularly tuned-in to their favorite radio programs, and families gathered to listen to the home radio in the evening. According to a 1947 C. E. Hooper survey, 82 out of 100 Americans were found to be radio listeners. A variety of new entertainment formats and genres were created for the new medium, many of which later migrated to television: radio plays, mystery serials, soap operas, quiz shows, talent shows, daytime and evening variety hours, situation comedies, play-by-play sports, children's shows, cooking shows, and more.
Since this golden era, American commercial radio programming has shifted to more narrow formats of news, talk, sports and music. Religious broadcasters, listener-supported public radio and college stations provide other own distinctive formats.
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