TV Westerns 3 of 5
Bonanza: The Cartwright's thousand-square-mile Ponderosa Ranch is located near Virginia City, Nevada, site of the Comstock Silver Lode. The name, Ponderosa, comes from the many ponderosa pines growing on the ranch. Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) was the quintessential father figure. Eldest son Adam (Pernell Roberts) was the smart one. Hoss (Dan Blocker) was the gentle giant. The youngest, Little Joe (Michael Landon) was the firebrand.
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Buffalo Bill Jr.: Bill was an orphan adopted by Judge Wiley, founder of Wileyville, Texas in the 1890s. Calamity was Bill's younger sister. He gets appointed marshal and maintains the law.
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Gunsmoke: Not only was Gunsmoke (1955-1975) TV's longest running Western, it was also television's longest running prime-time series with continuing characters. In total, 233 half-hour episodes and 400 hour episodes were filmed. Gunsmoke took the #1 rating in the 1957-1958 season - a slot it held thru four more years. Although it had some slump years, by the 1967-1968 season it regained space in the Nielson Top Ten which it held for another 6 years. Color broadcasts began in 1966. The story takes place in Dodge City.
Matt Dillon (James Arness) is the Marshal; Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake) runs the Longbranch Saloon where Sam (Glenn Strange) is the bartender; Chester Goode (Dennis Weaver) and Festus Hagen (Ken Curtis) were the deputies.
Gunsmoke began on radio in 1952 with William Conrad reading the part of Matt Dillon.
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Maverick: The Mavericks were TV's most reluctant heroes. They'd rather talk their way out of trouble. Buy the fellow a drink, offer a cigar, play a few hands of cards - anything but gunplay at which they weren't especially adept.
Too often, however, they found themselves having to rescue someone, hopefully a damsel in distress.
Gamblers by trade, the Mavericks traveled the West in search of good times and the easy way.
James Garner was to be the only Maverick but when production ran behind, brother Bart was added. Jack Kelly appeared in about a third of that first year's episodes and a separate production crew was used. By 1960 Garner and Kelly shared duties about 50/50 and sometimes appeared together. After the 1960-1961 season Garner left the show. Roger Moore appeared from 1960-1962 as cousin Beau who had been living in England and Robert Colbert in 1961-1962 as brother Brent for two episodes.
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Rawhide: Gil Favor (Eric Fleming) was the trail boss of the cattle drive from North Texas to Sedalia, Kansas. His ramrod was a young Clint Eastwood playing Rowdy Yates. When Fleming left the show in the last season, Rowdy became the boss.
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SugarFoot: Tom Brewster (Will Hutchins) was a naive, sarsaparilla drinking Easterner who came West seeking to become a lawyer via correspondence school.
At one point, Warner Bros., which produced the show, had the idea to add footage from some the Western movies they had already made. Supposedly, this would make the show look more expensive.
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Tales of Wells Fargo: In the mid-1800s, the Wells Fargo stage line was the primary connection between the East and West coasts of the U.S. Jim Hardie (Dale Robertson) was a troubleshooter for Wells Fargo who protected both people and cargo. In the final season, they expanded the show to an hour and rooted Hardie to a ranch near San Francisco. Additional cast members were added. Although Hardie still worked for Wells Fargo.
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Wagon Train first rolled on the air on September 18, 1957 to begin an eight year run which would eventually place the TV show in the number one spot in the Nielson ratings.
Unlike other shows in the Western genre, Wagon Train attracted big name guest stars whose stories were told across the panorama of the American western expansion in the post Civil War period. Each episode was titled around the story of a passenger on "the train." The cast was led by Western movie veteran Ward Bond playing Wagonmaster Major Seth Adams. Robert Horton played the dashing scout, Flint McCullough.
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Restless Gun: Vint Bonner (John Payne) was a basically quiet and serious guy who would have been just as happy finding peaceful resolutons to problems. A thing which rarely was possible. He roamed from place to place in the post-Civil War West.
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12. Laramie # 1223
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13a. Laramie # 1284
13b. Laramie # 01-418-207
14. Maverick # 892
15. Maverick # 930
16. Maverick # 945
17. Maverick # 962
18. Maverick # 980
19. Maverick # 07
20. Maverick # 08
21. Maverick # 09