Suspense went through several major phases, characterized by different hosts, sponsors, and director/producers. Formula plot devices were followed for all but a handful of episodes: the protagonist was usually a normal person suddenly dropped into a threatening or bizarre situation; solutions were "withheld until the last possible second"; and evildoers were usually punished in the end.
The Black Museum was based on real-life cases from the files of Scotland Yard's Black Museum. The program was transcribed in 1951 and was broadcast in the United States January 1-December 31, 1952, on Mutual. More than 500 of the network's stations carried it. Ira Marion was the scriptwriter, and music for the series was composed and conducted by Sidney Torch.
The Mercury Theatre on the Air (first known as First Person Singular) is a radio series of live radio dramas created by Orson Welles. The weekly hour-long show presented classic literary works performed by Welles's celebrated Mercury Theatre repertory company, with music composed or arranged by Bernard Herrmann. After the front-page headlines generated by the "The War of the Worlds" (October 30, 1938) — one of the most famous broadcasts in the history of radio due to the mass panic it accidentally caused — Campbell Soup signed on as sponsor.