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            Norman MacDonnell


            With writer John Meston, producer Norman Macdonnell created "Gunsmoke," the preeminent (and first) adult western on both radio and television. His contribution cannot be overestimated - his genius was in his ability as a producer to assemble a cohesive and highly creative team of writers, actors, and production personnel, a hallmark of both the radio and television versions of "Gunsmoke."

            Macdonnell served in the military during World War II and took part in the D- Day landings at Normandy. He started work for CBS Radio as an assistant director in 1946, worked on several radio series, and eventually became director of the critically acclaimed radio series "Escape" before launching "Gunsmoke" on CBS Radio in 1952.

            Initially passed over as producer of the television version of "Gunsmoke" in 1955 in favor of Charles Marquis Warren, Macdonnell took over as producer in 1956, guiding the series to four straight seasons (1957- 1961) as the number one rated program in network television, before being replaced in 1964 when the ratings started to slip. Macdonnell later went on to a successful run heading up "The Virginian" television series.

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