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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The High-Sierra adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their ranch while helping the surrounding community.
Riverboat is a 44-episode western television series starring Darren McGavin and Burt Reynolds broadcast on the NBC television network from September 13, 1959 until January 2, 1961. It was produced by Revue Studios.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Young Riders
The Young Riders was an American Western television series created by Ed Spielman that presents a fictionalized account of a group of young Pony Express riders based at the Sweetwater Station in the Nebraska Territory during the years leading up to the American Civil War. The series premiered on ABC on September 20, 1989 and ran for three seasons until the final episode aired on July 23, 1992.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The lives of two childhood best friends, Bill and Epstein, in the late 1890s as they flock to the gold rush capital in the untamed Yukon Territory. This man-versus-nature tale places our heroes in a land full of undiscovered wealth, but ravaged by harsh conditions, unpredictable weather and desperate, dangerous characters including greedy businessmen, seductive courtesans and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their people and land by opportunistic entrepreneurs.
Comanche Moon is a television miniseries that is an adaptation of the novel of the same name. It aired on CBS beginning Sunday, January 13, and continuing Tuesday, January 15, and Wednesday, January 16, 2008. It is a prequel to the original Lonesome Dove miniseries.
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.