In his encyclopedia of old-time radio, On the Air, historian John Dunning credits John Meston for the success of the Gunsmoke TV series, saying: "That radio fans considered the TV show a sham and its players impostors should surprise no one. That the TV show was not a sham is due in no small part to the continued strength of Meston's scripts."
John Meston was nominated for a 1958 Emmy Award for Best Teleplay Writing - Half Hour or Less for Gunsmoke.
More than any other writer, John Meston shaped Gunsmoke in both its radio and TV incarnations. Meston wrote 183 of the 413 radio episodes and 196 of the 635 TV episodes.
John Meston: Our attempt to create as realistic and entertaining a program as possible is not, of course, the only one of its kind. But we did precede and were on the air, trying, before the release of such pictures as High Noon and Shane.
John Meston: (on "Gunsmoke") If I had known it would last this long, I would never have created the darn thing.