Edward G. Robinson starred as crusading newspaper editor Steve Wilson from October 19, 1937 through July 2, 1942. The Hollywood great was glad to play an idealistic role in contrast to his many film gangster portrayals and insisted that there "would be ample opportunity for me to deal with pressing social matters." Big Town at its peak was radioís highest-rated drama and was only eclipsed by The Jack Benny Program in the radio ratings. Claire Trevor co-starred as society editor Lorelei Kilbourne during the initial seasons but quit in 1940 after her breakthrough film role in John Fordís Stagecoach, complaining that her role had gradually dwindled and was no longer challenging. She was replaced by Ona Munson. The series was canceled when Edward G. Robinson quit in 1942 but was resurrected the following year with Edward Pawley (and later Walter Greaza) as Wilson and Fran Carlon as Lorelei. The revived Big Town aired from October 5, 1943 through June 25, 1952.
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