War of The Worlds

Welles's "War of the Worlds" broadcast has become famous for convincing some of its listeners that a Martian invasion was actually taking place due to the "breaking news" style of storytelling employed in the first half of the show. The illusion of realism was supported by the Mercury Theatre on the Air's lack of commercial interruptions, which meant that the first break in the drama came after all of the alarming "news" reports had taken place. Popular legend holds that some of the radio audience may have been listening to The Chase and Sanborn Hour with Edgar Bergen and tuned in to "The War of the Worlds" during a musical interlude, thereby missing the clear introduction indicating that the show was a work of science fiction. Contemporary research suggests that this happened only in rare instances..

In the days after the adaptation, widespread outrage was expressed in the media. The program's news-bulletin format was described as deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the broadcasters and calls for regulation by the FCC officials declined to take any punitive action.