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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.
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.
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.
The High-Sierra adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their ranch while helping the surrounding community.
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.
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 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.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
Dr. Michaela Quinn journeys to Colorado Springs to be the town's physician after her father's death in 1868.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When the Los Angeles County’s Sheriff dies, an arcane rule forged back in the Wild West thrusts the most unlikely man into the job: a fifth-generation lawman, more comfortable taking down bad guys than navigating a sea of politics, who won’t rest until justice is served.
Daniel Boone is an American action-adventure television series starring Fess Parker as Daniel Boone that aired from September 24, 1964 to September 10, 1970 on NBC for 165 episodes, and was made by 20th Century Fox Television. Ed Ames co-starred as Mingo, Boone's Cherokee friend, for the first four seasons of the series. Albert Salmi portrayed Boone's companion Yadkin in season one only. Dallas McKennon portrayed innkeeper Cincinnatus. Country Western singer-actor Jimmy Dean was a featured actor as Josh Clements during the 1968–1970 seasons. Actor and former NFL football player Rosey Grier made regular appearances as Gabe Cooper in the 1969 to 1970 season. The show was broadcast "in living color" beginning in fall 1965, the second season, and was shot entirely in California and Kanab, Utah.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lawman is an American western television series originally telecast on ABC from 1958 to 1962 starring John Russell as Marshal Dan Troop and featuring Peter Brown as Deputy Marshal Johnny McKay. The series was set in Laramie, Wyoming during 1879 and the 1880s. Warner Bros. already had several western series on the air at the time, having launched Cheyenne with Clint Walker as early as 1955. The studio continued the trend in 1957 with the additions of Maverick with James Garner and Jack Kelly, Colt .45 with Wayde Preston, and Sugarfoot with Will Hutchins. One year later, Warner Bros. added Lawman and Bronco with Ty Hardin. Prior to the beginning of production, Russell and Brown and producer Jules Schermer made a pact to maintain the quality of the series so that it would not be seen as "just another western." At the start of season two, Russell and Brown were joined by Peggie Castle as Lily Merrill, the owner of the Birdcage Saloon, and a love interest for Dan.
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.
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.
Seth Davenport is masquerading as a small town Iowa preacher in the hopes of starting a full-blown insurrection against the status quo, unaware that an industrialist tycoon has hired a professional strikebreaker to stop the uprising by any means necessary. An epic saga of the secret history of the 1930’s American heartland, chronicling the mythic conflict and bloody struggle between big money and the downtrodden, God and greed, charlatans, and prophets.
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.
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.
Zorro, which is Spanish for "fox", is the story of a masked rider who battles the unjust rulers of the pueblo of Los Angeles during the days of Spanish rule. His real identity is that of Don Diego de la Vega, the son of a wealthy landowner. Diego returns from his studies in Spain and discovers that Los Angeles is under the command of Capitan Monastario, a cruel man who relishes in the misuse of his power for personal gain. Knowing that he cannot hope to single-handedly defeat Monastario and his troops, Diego resorts to subterfuge. He adopts the secret identity of Zorro, a sinister figure dressed in black, and rides to fight Monastario's injustice.
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.
How the West Was Won
The Macahans, a family from Virginia headed by Zeb Macahan, travel across the country to pioneer a new land and a new home in the American West.
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.
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.
The Man from Snowy River
The Man from Snowy River is an Australian television series based on Banjo Paterson's poem "The Man from Snowy River". Released in Australia as Banjo Paterson's The Man from Snowy River, the series was subsequently released in both the United States and the United Kingdom as Snowy River: The McGregor Saga. The television series has no relationship to the 1982 film The Man from Snowy River or the 1988 sequel The Man from Snowy River II. Instead, the series follows the adventures of Matt McGregor, a successful squatter, and his family. Matt is the hero immortalized in Banjo Paterson's poem "The Man from Snowy River", and the series is set 25 years after his famous ride. The first season was very much a soap opera with several story arcs, but the primary one concerns the arrival of Matt's American nephew, who's bent on revenge, certain Matt cheated his father out of the station Matt now owns. In subsequent seasons, there were shorter story-arcs, often featuring guest stars over a few episodes, and some episodes stood entirely on their own. Stars and guest stars of the series included notables and future notables Andrew Clarke, Guy Pearce, Josh Lucas, Victoria Tennant, Olivia Newton John, Tracy Nelson, Lee Horsley, Dean Stockwell, Chad Lowe, Jane Badler, Wendy Hughes, Hugh Jackman, and Frances O'Connor.
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.
Road to Avonlea
Road to Avonlea is a television series which was first broadcast in Canada and the United States between 1990 and 1996. It was created by Kevin Sullivan and produced by Sullivan Films in association with CBC and the Disney Channel, with additional funding from Telefilm Canada. It was adapted from the following books by L.M. Montgomery: The Story Girl, The Golden Road, Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea. Some episodes of the show were turned into the independent books by different authors. There have been around 30 titles released. In the United States, its title was shortened to simply Avonlea, and a number of episodes were re-titled and re-ordered. When the series was released on VHS and DVD in the United States, the title changed from Road to Avonlea to Tales from Avonlea. The series is set in the fictional small town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, in the early 20th century. There, 10-year-old Montreal heiress Sara Stanley is sent by her wealthy father to live with her two maiden aunts, Hetty and Olivia King, to be near her late mother's side of the family. The show's focus shifted over the years from Sara's interactions with her new-found relatives, to stories about the King family. Later seasons of the show focused more on residents of Avonlea who were connected to the King family. Sarah Polley left the show in 1994, returning for one guest appearance in the 6th season and one in 7th season.
The Doris Day Show
The Doris Day Show is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS network from September 1968 until March 1973, remaining on the air for five seasons and 128 episodes. In addition to showcasing Doris Day, the show is remembered for its many abrupt format changes over the course of its five-year run. It is also remembered for Day's statement, in her autobiography Doris Day: Her Own Story, that her husband Martin Melcher had signed her to do the TV series without her knowledge, a fact she only discovered when Melcher died of heart disease on April 20, 1968. The TV show premiered on Tuesday, September 24, 1968.