The History of Adventures in Odyssey
It began as an experiment. In 1986 Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family wanted to produce a high-quality drama series for the radio. He hoped that it would appeal to Christians looking for alternatives to Saturday morning cartoons or simply families in search of wholesome entertainment. Steve Harris and Phil Lollar, the show’s creators, brainstormed what the series could be. They decided that it should be set in a small town (called Odyssey) somewhere in the Midwest and hearken to the golden age of radio without sounding dated.
In 1987, a 13-week test series was aired on the Focus on the Family broadcast. It was called Family Portraits and chronicled the lives and times of Odyssey residents – including John Whittaker and a special "soda shop and discovery emporium" called Whit's End.
Audience response was so favorable that Focus went one step further and created the weekly radio program that would eventually be called Adventures in Odyssey.