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Popular Western TV Shows
A dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin. Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, it explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.
The Virginian is an American Western television series starring James Drury and Doug McClure, which aired on NBC from 1962 to 1971 for a total of 249 episodes. It was a spin-off from a 1958 summer series called Decision. Filmed in color, The Virginian became television's first 90-minute western series. Immensely successful, it ran for nine seasons—television's third longest running western. It follows Bonanza at fourteen seasons and 430 episodes, and Gunsmoke at twenty seasons and 635 episodes.
Little House on the Prairie
Little House on the Prairie is an American Western drama television series, starring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, and Karen Grassle, about a family living on a farm in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, in the 1870s and 1880s.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
Dr. Michaela Quinn journeys to Colorado Springs to be the town's physician after her father's death in 1868.
The Big Valley
The Big Valley is an American western television series which ran on ABC from September 15, 1965, to May 19, 1969. The show stars Barbara Stanwyck, as the widow of a wealthy nineteenth century California rancher. It was created by A.I. Bezzerides and Louis F. Edelman, and produced by Levy-Gardner-Laven for Four Star Television.
Wyatt Earp's great granddaughter Wynonna battles demons and other creatures with her unique abilities and a posse of dysfunctional allies - the only thing that can bring the paranormal to justice.
Wanted: Dead or Alive
Wanted: Dead or Alive is an American Western television series starring Steve McQueen as the bounty hunter Josh Randall. It aired on CBS for three seasons from 1958–61. The black-and-white program was a spin-off of a March 1958 episode of Trackdown, a 1957–59 western series starring Robert Culp. Both series were produced by Four Star Television in association with CBS Television. The series launched McQueen into becoming the first television star to cross over into comparable status on the big screen.
Firefly is set in the year 2517, after the arrival of humans in a new star system and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The ensemble cast portrays the nine characters who live on Serenity.
The story of the early days of Deadwood, South Dakota; woven around actual historic events with most of the main characters based on real people. Deadwood starts as a gold mining camp and gradually turns from a lawless wild-west community into an organized wild-west civilized town. The story focuses on the real-life characters Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen.
Hell on Wheels
Hell on Wheels tells the epic story of post-Civil War America, focusing on Cullen Bohannon, a Confederate soldier who sets out to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who killed his wife. His journey takes him west to Hell on Wheels, a dangerous, raucous, lawless melting pot of a town that travels with and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, an engineering feat unprecedented for its time.
Have Gun – Will Travel
Have Gun – Will Travel is an American Western television series that aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963. It was rated number three or number four in the Nielsen ratings every year of its first four seasons. It was one of the few television shows to spawn a successful radio version. The radio series debuted November 23, 1958. The television show is presently shown on the Encore-Western channel. Have Gun – Will Travel was created by Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow and produced by Frank Pierson, Don Ingalls, Robert Sparks, and Julian Claman. There were 225 episodes of the TV series, 24 written by Gene Roddenberry. Other contributors included Bruce Geller, Harry Julian Fink, Don Brinkley and Irving Wallace. Andrew McLaglen directed 101 episodes and 19 were directed by series star Richard Boone.
Follow the violent world of the Dutton family, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. Led by their patriarch John Dutton, the family defends their property against constant attack by land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park.
A Wyoming sheriff rebuilds his life and career following the death of his wife. Based on the “Walt Longmire” series of mystery novels written by best-selling author Craig Johnson.
Maverick is an American Western television series with comedic overtones created by Roy Huggins. The show ran from September 22, 1957 to July 8, 1962 on ABC and stars James Garner as Bret Maverick, an adroitly articulate cardsharp. Eight episodes into the first season, he was joined by Jack Kelly as his brother Bart, and from that point on, Garner and Kelly alternated leads from week to week, sometimes teaming up for the occasional two-brother episode. The Mavericks were poker players from Texas who traveled all over the American Old West and on Mississippi riverboats, constantly getting into and out of life-threatening trouble of one sort or another, usually involving money, women, or both. They would typically find themselves weighing a financial windfall against a moral dilemma. More often than not, their consciences trumped their wallets since both Mavericks were intensely ethical. When Garner left the series after the third season due to a legal dispute, Roger Moore was added to the cast as their cousin Beau Maverick. Robert Colbert appeared later in the fourth season as a third Maverick brother, Brent Maverick. No more than two of the series leads ever appeared together in the same episode, and usually only one.
The Wild Wild West
The Wild Wild West is an American television series Developed at a time when the television western was losing ground to the spy genre, this show was conceived by its creator, Michael Garrison, as "James Bond on horseback." Set during the administration of President Ulysses Grant, the series followed Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon as they solved crimes, protected the President, and foiled the plans of megalomaniacal villains to take over all or part of the United States. The show also featured a number of fantasy elements, such as the technologically advanced devices used by the agents and their adversaries. The combination of the Victorian era time-frame and the use of Verne-esque style technology have inspired some to give the show credit for the origins of the steam punk subculture.
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp is a western television series loosely based on the life of frontier marshal Wyatt Earp. The half-hour black-and-white program aired for 229 episodes on ABC from 1955 to 1961 and featured Hugh O'Brian in the title role.
Cheyenne is an American western television series of 108 black-and-white episodes broadcast on ABC from 1955 to 1963. The show was the first hour-long western, and in fact the first hour-long dramatic series of any kind, with continuing characters, to last more than one season. It was also the first series to be made by a major Hollywood film studio which did not derive from its established film properties, and the first of a long chain of Warner Brothers original series produced by William T. Orr.
Trigun takes place in the distant future on a deserted planet. Vash the Stampede is a gunfighter with a legend so ruthless he has a $60,000,000,000 bounty on his head. Entire towns evacuate at the rumor of his arrival. But the real Vash the Stampede, the enigmatic and conflicted lead character in Trigun, is more heroic, even though he usually acts like a complete idiot.
Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater
Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre, sometimes simply called Zane Grey Theatre, is an American Western anthology series which ran on CBS from 1956 to 1961.
The High-Sierra adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their ranch while helping the surrounding community.
Laramie is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from 1959 to 1963. A Revue Studios production, the program originally starred John Smith as Slim Sherman, Robert Fuller as Jess Harper, Hoagy Carmichael as Jonesy and Robert L. Crawford, Jr., as Andy Sherman.
The Rifleman is an American Western television program starring Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. It was set in the 1880s in the town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory. The show was filmed in black-and-white, half-hour episodes. "The Rifleman" aired on ABC from September 30, 1958 to April 8, 1963 as a production of Four Star Television. It was one of the first prime time series to have a widowed parent raise a child.
The economic and cultural growth of town of Centennial, Colorado, through the intertwining lives of the brave men and women inhabiting it. Spanning two centuries from the settling of the area in the 1700s, to the late 1970s.
Zorro is an American action-adventure drama series produced by Walt Disney Productions. Based on the well-known Zorro character, the series premiered on October 10, 1957 on ABC. The final network broadcast was July 2, 1959. Seventy-eight episodes were produced, and 4 hour-long specials were aired on the Walt Disney anthology series between October 30, 1960 and April 2, 1961.
Rawhide is an American Western series starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood that aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959 to September 3, 1965, before moving to Tuesday nights from September 14, 1965 until January 4, 1966, with a total of 217 black-and-white episodes. The series was produced and sometimes directed by Charles Marquis Warren, who also produced early episodes of Gunsmoke. Spanning seven and a half years, Rawhide was the fifth-longest-running American television Western, exceeded only by eight years of Wagon Train, nine years of The Virginian, fourteen years of Bonanza, and twenty years of Gunsmoke.
F Troop is a satirical American television sitcom that originally aired for two seasons on ABC-TV. It debuted in the United States on September 14, 1965 and concluded its run on April 6, 1967 with a total of 65 episodes. The first season of 34 episodes was filmed in black-and-white, but the show switched to color for its second season.
Laredo is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from September 16, 1965, to April 7, 1967. Laredo stars Neville Brand, William Smith, Peter Brown, and Philip Carey as Texas Rangers. It is set on the Mexican border about Laredo, Texas. The program was produced by Universal Television. The pilot episode of Laredo aired on NBC's The Virginian under the title, "We've Lost a Train". It was released theatrically in 1969 under the title Backtrack. Three episodes from the first season of the series were edited into the 1968 feature film Three Guns for Texas.
A ruthless outlaw terrorizes the West in search of a former member of his gang, who’s found a new life in a quiet town populated only by women.
Hatfields & McCoys
It’s the true American story of a legendary family feud—one that spanned decades and nearly launched a war between Kentucky and West Virginia. The Hatfield-McCoy saga begins with Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy.. Close friends and comrades until near the end of the Civil War, they return to their neighboring homes—Hatfield in West Virginia, McCoy just across the Tug River border in Kentucky—to increasing tensions, misunderstandings and resentments that soon explode into all-out warfare between their families. As hostilities grow, friends, neighbors and outside forces join the fight, bringing the two states to the brink of another civil war.
The High Chaparral
The High Chaparral is an American Western-themed television series starring Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell which aired on NBC from 1967 to 1971. The series, made by Xanadu Productions in association with NBC Productions, was created by David Dortort, who had previously created the hit Bonanza for the network. The theme song was also written and conducted by Bonanza scorer David Rose, who also scored the two-hour pilot.
A pair of longtime friends and former Texas Rangers crave one last adventure before hanging-up their spurs. After stealing over a thousand head of cattle from rustlers south of the border, they recruit an unlikely crew of hands to drive the herd 3,000 miles north to the grasslands of Montana.
The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
A tough-as-rawhide cowpoke, debonair ladies' man and Harvard-educated smarty-britches roams from Frisco to Jalisco in pursuit of outlaws who killed his father...and in search of a mysterious orb possessing out-of-this world powers. Hot lead and cool anachronisms await Brisco as he and his sidekicks - including Comet, the intellectual equine who doesn't know he's a horse - fight for justice in the way, way, way-out West.
Bat Masterson is an American Western television series which showed a fictionalized account of the life of real-life marshal/gambler/dandy Bat Masterson. The title character was played by Gene Barry and the half-hour black-and-white shows ran on NBC from 1958 to 1961. The series was produced by Ziv Television Productions, the company responsible for such hit series as Sea Hunt and Highway Patrol.
Trackdown is an American Western television series starring Robert Culp that aired on CBS between 1957 and 1959. More than seventy episodes of this series were produced by Dick Powell's Four Star Television and filmed at the Desilu-Culver Studio. The series was itself a spin-off of Powell's anthology series, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater.
Branded is an American Western series which aired on NBC from 1965 through 1966, sponsored by Procter & Gamble in its Sunday night 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time period, and starred Chuck Connors as Jason McCord, a United States Army Cavalry captain who had been drummed out of the service following an unjust accusation of cowardice.
Outlaws is an NBC Western television series, starring Barton MacLane as U.S. marshal Frank Caine, who operated in a lawless section of Oklahoma Territory about Stillwater. The program aired 50 one-hour episodes from September 29, 1960, to May 10, 1962. The first season was shot in black-and-white, the second in color. Co-starring with MacLane in the 1960–1961 season was Don Collier as deputy marshal Will Foreman. In the second season, MacLane left the program, and Collier was promoted to full marshal, with Bruce Yarnell joining the cast as deputy marshal Chalk Breeson. Jock Gaynor appeared in the first season as deputy Heck Martin, the on-screen nephew of Will Foreman. Slim Pickens appeared as "Slim" in the second season. Judy Lewis also appeared the second season as Connie Masters, an employee of the Wells Fargo office in Stillwater. The dog who appeared in Walt Disney's Old Yeller was also cast in The Outlaws. Others who appeared on the program on at least three occasions were Vic Morrow, Cliff Robertson, Pippa Scott, and Harry Townes. In addition, John Anderson, Edgar Buchanan, Jackie Coogan, Bruce Gordon, Robert Harland, Robert Lansing Cloris Leachman, Robert Karnes, Brian Keith, Larry Pennell, Chris Robinson, William Shatner, Ray Walston, Jack Warden, and David Wayne each appeared twice in the series.
A chronicle of the Texas Revolution, the uprising against the tyranny of Mexican dictator Santa Anna, from the battle of the Alamo to the battle of San Jacinto, and the rise of the Texas Rangers.
Alias Smith and Jones
Alias Smith and Jones is an American Western series that originally aired on ABC from 1971 to 1973. It stars Pete Duel as Hannibal Heyes and Ben Murphy as Jedediah "Kid" Curry, a pair of cousin outlaws trying to reform. The governor offers them a conditional amnesty, as he wants to keep the pact under wraps for political reasons. The condition is that they will still be wanted— until the governor can claim they have reformed and warrant clemency.
Cimarron Strip is an American Western television series that aired on CBS from September 1967 to March 1968. Starring Stuart Whitman as Marshal Jim Crown, the series was produced by the creators of Gunsmoke. Reruns of the original show were aired in the summer of 1971. Cimarron Strip was one of only three 90-minute weekly Western series that aired during the 1960s, and the only 90-minute series of any kind to be centered primarily around one lead character. Cimarron Strip was set in the Oklahoma Panhandle, which comprises, east to west, Beaver, Texas, and Cimarron counties in Oklahoma. The show is set in 1888, just as the continuous frontier of the West, which once ran from the Canadian to the Mexican border, was closing. In less than five years there would no longer be that "continuous frontier," only pockets of undeveloped land. This was the late "Wild West" that Marshall Jim Crown was called to defend.
Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West. The central character is lawman Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on radio and James Arness on television.