Re: Perry Mason Episodes

Randy Watts

Daytime serials like "Perry Mason" have never enjoyed the same popularity among collectors as prime-time dramas and comedies, and so have never been circulated as widely. Back in tape-trading days, they were definitely a minority interest. So what serials are out there tend to be in fewer hands.

I also knew collectors who were only interested in daytime serials that were complete with music and commercials, and would pass on those that survived only as the body of the show, of which there are many.

In terms of survival, we'd have a lot less old-time radio in general if it hadn't been for all those shows the Armed Forces Radio Service recorded and circulated starting in the early days of World War II. But daytime serials are at a disadvantage there in that the AFRS chose not to bother with them. Maybe they thought that the Armed Forces being a traditionally male environment, that there would be little interest in the daytime serials. Or maybe they thought that the sheer number of discs that would have been required for them would be prohibitive.

"Didn't bother saving them" may be the best guess, though. They had no repeat value, and a year's worth of transcription discs of a series aired daily eats up a lot of storage space.


On Sunday, June 12, 2022, 08:04:16 PM CDT, Robert Yarbrough <rwyarbrough@...> wrote:

Why are so many of the early episodes of Perry Mason missing? From what I can tell, about 254 out of the 3000 total episodes have ever been found.
Lost in a fire?
Didn't bother saving them?
With 3000 episodes it must have been a good show...

Just curious. 

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