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Back in 1952, producer Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston had a notion for a new kind of radio Western. They wrote a list of the things they planned not to do. No one, for instance, would be permitted to say "sidewinding varmint," no one would carry two guns slung low on the hip, no one would have a beloved horse named Trigger or Flicka. Instead the show, which would eventually be called Gunsmoke, would operate on the principle -- revolutionary at the time -- that the most hated man in town in the old West usually was the marshal. The two pitched the show to then-CBS-executive Harry Ackerman, who was not impressed. "Westerns are for children," he said flatly, and the idea was quashed. But a month later a radio slot opened up, and Gunsmoke was enlisted to fill it. The show was an instant hit; three years later Macdonnell and Meston brought Gunsmoke to television, where it once again proved to be a success.