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Original Manhunt header art

The Manhunt Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Manhunt


Frederick W Ziv was one of Radio's most prolific and successful programming syndicators


Billboard announcement of Ziv's Manhunt feature from November 20 1943

Ziv broadside in 1944 trade annual promoting Manhunt
Ziv broadside in 1944 trade annual promoting Manhunt

July 3 1945 Spot ad for Manhunt over WHIZ


Radio and Television veteran Roger de Koven appeared as Detective Sergeant Bill Morton in Manhunt
Radio and Television veteran Roger de Koven appeared as Detective Sergeant Bill Morton in Manhunt

Background

Frederick W. Ziv was a syndicated programming genius. Throughout The Golden Age of Radio, Ziv produced some of the most star-studded, popular, transcribed syndication programming to ever air. Innovative programming such as:

  • Easy Aces (1935) with Goodman and Jane Ace
  • One for The Book (1938)
  • Forbidden Diary (1938)
  • Dearest Mother (1938)
  • Lightning Jim (1939)
  • The Career of Alice Blair (1940)
  • Korn Kobblers (1941)
  • Manhunt (1943)
  • The Weird Circle (1943)
  • Sincerely, Kenny Baker (1944)
  • Boston Blackie (1944) with Richard Kollmar
  • Philo Vance (1945) initially with Jackson Beck
  • The Cisco Kid (1942)
  • Pleasure Parade (1945)
  • The Barry Wood Show (1946)
  • Favorite Story (1946) with Ronald Colman
  • The Guy Lombardo Show (1948)
  • Meet The Menjous (1949) with Adolph Menjou and Verree Teasdale
  • Bold Venture (1951) with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
  • Freedom U.S.A. (1951) with Tyrone Power
  • I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. (1952)
  • Bright Star (1952) with Fred MacMurray and Irene Dunne
  • Showtime From Hollywood
  • Mr. District Attorney (1952)

Working with Frederick W. Ziv was usually a very profitable decision for all parties associated with Ziv. Guy Lombardo made a reported $3,000,000 with Ziv over the years of their association. The Bogarts (Bold Venture) made an estimated $600,000 for their son's trust fund with Ziv. The Menjous earned a reported $750,000 with Ziv. Ronald Colman was also reported to earn $750,000 for Ziv's award-winning Favorite Story.

Frederick Ziv had a formula--and the formula was a successful one. He developed appealing programming, backed it with the best writers of the era, obtained the perfect talent for each project and generally hyped them and almost always rolled them out with all the attendant splash, promotional hype, and star-power associated with the elaborate promotions.

All of this is by way of explaining Frederick W. Ziv's programming, marketing, and promotion genius, as much as to underline the huge business that syndicated, transcribed Radio had become by the late 1940s. It didn't hurt in the least that Ziv's transcribed syndications were invariably of the highest quality and production values. Ziv financed his programming out of pocket, in the expectation of generating a growing number of subscribers for his programs. With a combination of excellent business sense, a prior legal background, a proven track record of success and glowing testimonials from the famous artists he'd already promoted, Ziv had every good reason to bet the farm on most of his new productions. Since he bankrolled his own productions, he routinely employed Hollywood's finest, most versatile and most reliable talent for supporting roles and production.

Ziv rolls out Manhunt in November 1943

Billboard magazine announcement of Ziv's forthcoming Manhunt program here described as 'open-ended' from October 9 1943
Billboard magazine announcement of Ziv's forthcoming Manhunt program here described as 'open-ended' from October 9 1943

While most of Ziv's 30-minute, name-star features were customarily introduced to great fanfare, an equal number of his features over the years were simply calculated to generate a larger canon of available programming. Indeed, many of Ziv's 15-minute programs were created precisely to fill a perceived niche. Radio programming during the mid to late 1940s was still a patchwork quilt of programs of varying length. Spot programs of two to 5 minutes and fifteen minute features were routinely employed to balance a network or local affiliate's programming schedule.

Manhunt was a 15-minute crime drama anthology. The scripts ran twelve and a half minutes, so as to allow stations to insert their own commercial messages and announcements in the remaining two and a half minutes. Starring Larry Haines and featuring Florence Robinson, the series was introduced and narrated by Maurice Tarplin. Tarplin's portentious opener for each episode went something like this:

"No crime has been committed . . . . . yet.
No murder has been done . . . . . yet.
No manhunt has begun . . . . . yet. "

Having instilled a sense of foreboding in the listener, the script would launch into the dramatic exposition necessary to frame the ensuing plot. Each episode posed a crime puzzle of one kind or another--usually a murder under impossible conditions. Larry Haines portrays Andrew 'Drew' Stevens, a police lab forensic detective and Frances Robinson portrays his secretary--and love interest--Patricia 'Pat' O'Connor. Homicide Detective Sergeant Bill Morton is Stevens' local police contact.

The format is tight by mystery standards of the era. The introductory exposition usually provides enough intrigue to involve the listener. Generally twelve minutes in length, the scripts necessarily contained enough exposition to explain or advance the plot. "Manhunt" was probably an unfortunate title for the series' premise. The series of plots didn't involve manhunts as much as crime puzzlers, such as the classic 'sealed room' murders so much the fashion in detective fiction. The real twist of this series is the forensic angle. Drew Stevens, as the Head of the Police Laboratory, is a forensics expert. And indeed, the circulating exemplars contain an entertaining collection of interesting forensic puzzles.

The announced titles of the overwhelming number of circulating exemplars are "The Clue of the . . . " something or other. And indeed, therein lies the clue to understanding this series. The scripts, in their limited format, go to great lengths to juxtapose homicide detective Morton and his 'traditional' detection methods and Drew Stevens' forensic detection methods.

An east coast production, most of the production details have yet to surface. Jackson Beck is heard in one role or another in the majority of circulating episodes.

Series Derivatives:

None
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Crime Dramas
Network(s): NBC, ABC, CBS, and several independent affiliates while in syndication.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 43-11-27 01 Title Unknown
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 43-11-27 to ?; Various networks and stations; At least twenty-six, 12-minute programs; Various dates and times.
Syndication: Frederick W. Ziv Radio Productions
Sponsors: Roberts Jewelers
Director(s): Unknown
Principal Actors: Larry Haines, Florence Robinson, Maurice Tarplin, Jackson Beck, Roger de Koven, Tony Barrett,
Recurring Character(s): Police Forensic Detective, Andrew 'Drew' Stevens [Larry Haines]; Patricia 'Pat' O'Connor, Drew Stevens' secretary [Florence Robinson]; Homicide Detective Sgt. Bill Morton [Roger de Koven];
Protagonist(s): Drew Stevens and his secretary, Pat
Author(s): None
Writer(s) Unknown
Music Direction: Unknown
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Maurice Tarplin
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
At least twenty-eight
Episodes in Circulation: 20
Total Episodes in Collection: 20
Provenances:

Contributor Doug Hopkinson.

Notes on Provenances:


The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc



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[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







The Manhunt Program [Ziv Transcription] Log

Date Trans # Title Avail. Notes
43-11-27
1
The Accusing Violin
Y
[ Premiere]

43-11-27 San Mateo Times
SUNDAY
7:30 p.m. -- KGO--Manhunt
43-12-04
2
The Crystal Clue
Y
43-12-04 San Mateo Times
SUNDAY
7:30 p.m. -- KGO--Manhunt
43-12-11
3
The Voice
N
43-12-12 Wisconsin State Journal
10:30 p.m.--Manhunt (WBBM): premiere of new mystery thriller, starring Roger deKoven and Florence Robinson in "
The Voice."

43-12-11 San Mateo Times
SUNDAY
7:30 p.m. -- KGO--Manhunt
43-12-18
4
Title Unknown
N
43-12-25
5
Title Unknown
N
44-01-01
6
Title Unknown
N
44-01-08
7
The Clue of The Red Thread
Y
Features Tony Barrett as Duke
44-01-15
8
The Clue of The Solitary Cell
Y
Features Tony Barrett as Joe Peters
44-01-22
9
Title Unknown
N
44-01-29
10
Title Unknown
N
44-02-05
11
The Clue of The Masked Murderer
Y
Features Jackson Beck
44-02-12
12
The Clue of The Conflicting Confessions
The Contradictory Confessions
Y
44-02-19
13
The Clue of The Magazine Murder
Magazine Murder
Y
Features Tony Barrett as George Winston Kirk
44-02-26
14
The Clue of The Movie Murder
Y
[Clipped open and close ]

44-03-04
15
Title Unknown
N
44-03-11
16
Title Unknown
N
44-03-18
17
Title Unknown
N
44-03-25
18
Title Unknown
N
44-04-01
19
The Clue of The Surgery Slaying
Y
44-04-08
20
The Clue of The Crimson Corpse
Y
44-04-15
21
The Clue of The Murdered Maestro
Murder Maestro
Y
Features Jackson Beck as Eddie Blake and Anton Boulogne
44-04-22
22
The Clue of The Stairway Slaying
Y
44-04-29
23
The Clue of The Legal Loophole
Y
Features Tony Barrett as Ashley
44-05-06
24
The Clue of The Gloomy Room
Y
Features Jackson Beck as Frank Purdy
44-05-13
25
Title Unknown
N
44-05-20
26
Title Unknown
N
44-05-27
27
The Clue of the Curious 'Q'
Y
44-06-03
28
The Clue of the Honeymoon Homicide
Y





The Manhunt Program Log [Unidentifed episodes]

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
The Melody Murders
Y
The Clue of The Widowed Bride
Y
The Clue of The Tell-Tale Trigger
N
The Clue of The Accidental Drowning
N
The Clue of The Solitary Cell
N





The Manhunt Program Log [As Broadcast]

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
43-11-28
1
The Accusing Violin [ Premiere]

43-11-27 San Mateo Times
SUNDAY
7:30 p.m. -- KGO--Manhunt
43-12-05
2
The Crystal Clue 43-12-04 San Mateo Times
SUNDAY
7:30 p.m. -- KGO--Manhunt





43-12-12
3
The Voice
N
[ Wisconsin Premiere]

43-12-04 San Mateo Times
SUNDAY
7:30 p.m. -- KGO--Manhunt

43-12-12 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.

43-12-12 Wisconsin State Journal
10:30 p.m.--Manhunt (WBBM): premiere of new mystery thriller, starring Roger deKoven and Florence Robinson in "
The Voice."
43-12-19
4
Title Unknown
N
43-12-19 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
43-12-26
5
Title Unknown
N
43-12-26 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-01-02
6
Title Unknown
N
44-01-02 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-01-09
7
The Clue of The Red Thread
N
44-01-09 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-01-16
8
The Clue of The Solitary Cell
N
44-01-16 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-01-23
9
Title Unknown
N
44-01-23 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-01-30
10
Title Unknown
N
44-01-30 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-02-06
11
Title Unknown
N
44-02-06 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-02-13
12
Title Unknown
N
44-02-13 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-02-20
13
The Clue of The Masked Murderer
Y
44-02-20 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-02-27
14
The Clue of The Conflicting Confessions
Y
44-02-27 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-03-05
15
The Clue of The Magazine Murder
Y
44-03-05 Chicago Daily Tribune
10:30--WBBM--Manhunt, drama.
44-03-12
16
The Clue of The Movie Murder
Y
44-03-19
17
Title Unknown
N
44-03-26
18
Title Unknown
N
44-04-02
19
Title Unknown
N
44-04-09
20
Title Unknown
N
44-04-16
21
The Clue of The Surgery Slaying
Y
44-04-23
22
The Clue of The Crimson Corpse
Y
44-04-30
23
The Clue of The Murdered Maestro
Y
44-05-07
24
The Clue of The Stairway Slaying
Y
44-05-14
25
The Clue of The Legal Loophole
Y
44-05-21
26
Title Unknown
N
44-05-28
27
Title Unknown
N
44-06-04
28
The Clue of The Gloomy Room
Y





45-07-03
Title Unknown
N
[Tuesdays]
Title Unknown
N






The Manhunt Radio Program Biographies




Larry Haines [Larry Hecht]
(Andrew Stevens)

Stage, Radio, and Television
(1918-2008)

Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.A.

Education: London University

Military Service: Served with London Scottish during World War I; decorated Mons Medal

Radiography:
1942 Gang Busters
1943 Words At War
1943 Manhunt
1944 Treasury Salute
1944 Cavalcade Of America
1944 The SPortsmen's Club
1944 Columbia Presents Corwin
1945 Inner Sanctum
1946 Columbia WOrkshop
1946 Molle Mystery Theater
1946 The Shadow
1947 Radio Reader's Digest
1947 Crime Club
1948 Ford Theatre
1948 The Big Story
1948 Big Town
1949 Secret Missions
1949 Under Arrest
1949 Murder By Experts
1949 Philo Vance
1950 Cloak and Dagger
1950 Dimension X
1950 The FBI In Peace and War
1951 The Amazing Mr Malone
1951 Now Hear This
1952 Mysterious Traveler
1952 The Chase
1952 California Civil Defense
1953 That Hammer Guy
1953 Suspense
1953 Best Plays
1953 Wild Bill Hickok
1953 The Marriage
1954 21st Precinct
1954 Proudly We Hail
1954 Easy Money
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1956 X Minus One
1958 Exploring Tomorrow
1958 Treasury Agent
1960 The Right To Happiness
1961 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1974 CBS Radio Mystery Theatre
1975 To Have and To Hold
Counterspy
The Guiding Light
The Korn Kobblers Kornival
Ronald Colman circa 1917
Larry Haines circa 1970



From the July 24, 2008 edition of the Indiana Gazette:

Larry Haines 

     DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Larry Haines, who won two Daytime Emmys for his 35-year role on the soap opera “Search for Tomorrow,” has died.  He was 89.
     Haines, who also had a successful career on Broadway generally billed as A. Larry Haines, died July 17 at a hospital where he had been admitted a week earlier, his attorney and friend, Tom Dachelet, said Wednesday.
     The actor played Stu Bergman on “Search for Tomorrow” from 1951 to 1986, missing only the first two months of the
show’s run.
     Stu was the neighbor and best friend of Joanne Gardner Barron, later Joanne Tourneur, the character at the center of most of the show’s plot lines.
     The soap opera, which was first on CBS, later on NBC, was the longest-running daytime TV drama when its last episode
aired in December 1986.
     He won his Daytime Emmys in 1976 and 1981.
     In 1985, he was presented with a special recognition award for his longevity on the series.
     Haines was twice nominated for Tonys, for “Promises, Promises,” the 1968 musical version of the film “The Apartment,” and “Generation,” a 1965 play starring Henry Fonda.
     Early in his career, he was an actor on radio series, including the popular horror series “Inner Sanctum,” which famously
opened with the sound of a creaking door.



Maurice Tarplin
[a.k.a. Maurice Tarlin]
(Announcer)

(1911-1975)

Birthplace: Boston, MA

Radiography:
1939
Ideas That Came True
1940
The Columbia Workshop
1942
Murder Clinic
1943
Words At War
1944
The Mysterious Traveler
1944
We Came This Way
1944
The Strange Doctor Weird
1945
Famous Jury Trials
1946
Boston Blackie
1947
Echoes Of A Century
1948
Sherlock Holmes
1949
Secret Missions
1949
Nick Carter, Master Detective
1949
Murder By Experts
1950
Cloak and Dagger


and many, many more.

Maurice Tarplin, ca. 1945
Maurice Tarplin, ca. 1945
Maurice Tarlin [Tarplin] is one of those memorable personae etched forever into the collective memory of Golden Age Radio aficionados the world over. Although he's most often mistakenly identified as Raymond Edward Johnson, his two most memorable roles were as the host of The Mysterious Traveler and the host of The Strange Dr. Weird (as 'Dr. Weird').

His obvious pleasure in attempting to scare the bejeebers out of his anxious listeners, though at times over the top, was delivered in a consistently tongue-in-cheek manner, thus appealing equally well to juvenile listeners at bedtime [remember, this was the 1940s] as to dyed-in-the wool supernatural mystery fans.

And he always managed to deliver those two personae with predictable gusto. He's so deeply associated with Mysterious Traveler and Dr. Weird, that his fans are often unaware of the fact that he was a very busy, diverse actor for most of his career. His radio experience reads like a 'Who's Who' of superior radio dramas (witness his brief radiography in the sidebar at the left).

He didn't limit his considerable talent to Radio. He also enjoyed a repectable career on the stage and television as late as 1980 (kinda scary in itself since he's reported to have passed away in 1975--could the IMDB be wrong, or . . . .?).



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