Radio: Very Attractive Couple

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Eric Hodgins' bestselling Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House was a quietly hilarious account of a man's troubles with a new house. Though Blandings was short on sex appeal, it sold more than 300,000 copies and was bought by the movies. Then Hollywood, which thinks sex is so important that it created a Production Code to keep sex out, added a triangle to the plot. The Cary Grant-Myrna Loy movie was advertised with leering posters: "Does Gary suspect the wolf at the door is his best friend?"

Last week, sponsored by Trans World Airlines, Mr. and Mrs. Blandings (Sun. 5:30 p.m., NBC) reached radio, which is even more frightened and fascinated by sex than the movies are. Listeners were asked to visualize a firelit room, shaded lamps, a deep-cushioned sofa and a shakerful of Martinis. Against a background of Tchaikovsky, they eavesdropped on Cary Grant and Actress Betsy Drake (his wife both in radio and life), reminiscing about their courtship and honeymoon. Producer-Writer Nat Wolff (who is getting "dialogue assists" from Actress Drake) wants to picture "a very attractive couple in the $25,000-a-year class...the kind of people we'd like most to be." The show will contain "no platforms, no politics, no message." Nothing, in fact, but a little spicy innuendo and a succession of comic crises based on domestic misunderstandings.

At week's end, Blandings was being bombarded from all sides. Because of critical blasting of his first program, Grant had turned down five scripts, finally accepted and recorded one written entirely by his wife. Movie Producer David O. Selznick was demanding a reported $1,000 a week from the network because Betsy Drake was violating her contract by appearing on the show without his permission. Said Grant dazedly: "From what I now know of radio, I am amazed that some shows are as good as they are."