Western Series


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

Westerns describe series featuring recurring characters usually situated in the early American frontier.

Highlights
James Garner on starring on the series Maverick
James Arness on the concept of Gunsmoke as the first TV Western geared more to adults than children, and on the process of filming an episode 
Barbara Eden on one of her first TV jobs on Gunsmoke
Fred Silverman on how CBS Chair William S. Paley insisted on keeping his favorite show, Gunsmoke, on the air
Thomas W. Sarnoff on NBC's development of Bonanza 
Meta Rosenberg on developing Daniel Boone
Who talked about this genre

Howard Anderson, Jr.

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Howard Anderson Jr. on creating the opening titles for Daniel Boone
Howard Anderson Jr. on creating the opening titles for Little House on the Prairie  and working on Bonanza

John Aniston

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John Aniston on guest-starring on The Virginian

James Arness

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James Arness on the concept of Gunsmoke as the first TV Western geared more to adults than children, and on the process of filming an episode 
James Arness on the amount of violence on Gunsmoke
James Arness on actor Milburn Stone, who played "Doc" on Gunsmoke, who was very important in setting the tone of the show, as he had grown up in a western town; on the character of Matt Dillon

John Astin

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John Astin on appearing on Maverick

Richard Bare

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Richard L. Bare on working with producer Roy Huggins on the TV show, Cheyenne
Richard L. Bare on directing Clint Walker in Cheyenne
Richard L. Bare on working with Bill Orr on the show Cheyenne
Richard L. Bare on directing Maverick
Richard L. Bare on his working style with Roy Huggins on The Virginian

William Blinn

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William Blinn on the elements and formula of Westerns on television, the "horse-operas"

Haskell Boggs

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Haskell Boggs on acting as director of photography for Bonanza
Haskell Boggs on acting as director of photography on Bonanza
Haskell Boggs on acting as director of photography on Bonanza
Haskell Boggs on acting as director or photography on The High Chaparral
Haskell Boggs on acting as director of photography for Bonanza and on working with Michael Landon on Highway to Heaven

Harvey Bullock

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Harvey Bullock on writing for The Real McCoys with  Walter Brennan 

David Canary

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David Canary on his recurring role as "Candy Canaday" on Bonanza
David Canary on acting in Western roles

Phil Carey

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Phil Carey on the challenges of acting in a western

Leo Chaloukian

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Leo Chaloukian on the challenges of doing sound for Gunsmoke

Robert Conrad

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Robert Conrad on auditioning for The Wild, Wild West
Robert Conrad on his character "James T. West" on The Wild, Wild West
Robert Conrad on The Wild, Wild West stunts
Robert Conrad on the violence on The Wild, Wild West
Robert Conrad on the legacy of The Wild, Wild West

John Conte

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John Conte on guest-starring on Bonanza

Richard Coogan

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Richard Coogan on playing "Matthew Wayne" in The Californians

Hal Cooper

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Hal Cooper on directing Death Valley Days

Jeanne Cooper

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Jeanne Cooper on working on Western series television

Richard Crenna

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Richard Crenna on playing "Luke McCoy" on The Real McCoys
Richard Crenna on playing "Luke McCoy" on The Real McCoys

Robert Culp

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Robert Culp on the Western genre
Robert Culp on writing for the Western genre

John Debney

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John Debney on composing for The Young Riders

Richard Donner

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Richard Donner on directing Wanted: Dead or Alive
Richard Donner on directing the series Wagon Train
Richard Donner on directing Have Gun, Will Travel

David Dortort

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David Dortort on writing and producing The Restless Gun  
David Dortort on creating and writing Bonanza
David Dortort on creating and writing for Bonanza
David Dortort on creating and writing for Bonanza
David Dortort on creating The High Chaparral
David Dortort on creating the Bonanza prequel Ponderosa 

Charles Dubin

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Charles S. Dubin on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Virginian, The Meanest Man in the West, Tarzan, and The Big Valley

Peter Ellenshaw

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Peter Ellenshaw on working as a matte artist on Davy Crockett
Harrison Ellenshaw on his father working on Davy Crockett

Jeannie Epper

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Jeannie Epper on being Linda Evans' stunt double on The Big Valley and still maintaining a home life

Rod Erickson

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Rod Erickson on working on Hopalong Cassidy

Chuck Fries

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Chuck Fries on Ziv Television producing The Cisco Kid

Arthur Gardner

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Arthur Gardner on the genre of Westerns in the late 50's
Arthur Gardner on the number of episodes and production schedule of The Big Valley
Arthur Gardner on his involvement in the TV show The Rifleman

James Garner

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James Garner on starring on the series Maverick
James Garner on acting on the series Maverick
James Garner on acting on the series Nichols
James Garner on almost being cast in the title role of Cheyenne

Betty Garrett

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Betty Garrett on guest-starring on Harts of the West with Beau Bridges

Herschel Burke Gilbert

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Herschel Burke Gilbert on composing for The Rifleman
Herschel Burke Gilbert on composing for features produced by Levy-Gardner-Laven, and on them going into television with The Rifleman
Herschel Burke Gilbert on supervising the music for Black Saddles
Herschel Burke Gilbert on supervising the music for The Westerner, directed by Sam Peckinpah
Herschel Burke Gilbert on supervising the music for Dick Powell's Zane Gray Theatre, and for various other Four Star shows
Herschel Burke Gilbert on supervising music for The Wild Wild West and Rawhide

Leonard H. Goldenson

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Leonard Goldenson on ABC's success with Westerns

Jerry Goldsmith

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Jerry Goldsmith on being under contract for FOX and composing music for The Loner

Earl Hamner, Jr.

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Earl Hamner on developing the show The Young Pioneers

Jeffrey Hayden

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Jeffrey Hayden on his affinity for the western genre, having directed for such series as The Men from Shiloh and Alias Smith and Jones
Jeffrey Hayden on the difficulty in location shooting on Alias Smith and Jones

Arthur Hiller

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Arthur Hiller on directing Gunsmoke
Arthur Hiller on directing The Rifleman
Arthur Hiller on directing The Rifleman
Arthur Hiller on directing Gunsmoke starring James Arness

Roy Huggins

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Roy Huggins on writing and producing Cheyenne
Roy Huggins on writing Cheyenne
Roy Huggins on creating Maverick
Roy Huggins on creating Maverick (Part 2)
Roy Huggins on leaving Maverick
Roy Huggins on creating The Fugitive 
Roy Huggins on writing and producing The Virginian 

Kim Hunter

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Kim Hunter on working with Clint Eastwood on Rawhide

Frank Inn

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Frank Inn on acting as animal trainer for The Roy Rogers Show

Seaman Jacobs

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Seaman Jacobs on writing for The Real McCoys

Alan Jaggs

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Alan Jaggs on editing The Wild, Wild West

Joseph Jennings

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Joseph Jennings on acting as art director for The Wild, Wild West starring Robert Conrad
Joseph Jennings on acting as art director for The Wild, Wild West
Joseph Jennings on being art director for Gunsmoke

Geri Jewell

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Geri Jewell on how she came to be cast on Deadwood
Geri Jewell on her character on Deadwood, "Jewel," and the fact that she wrote "Jewel's" backstory
On working with her castmates on Deadwood and a particularly challenging scene where she had to dance
Geri Jewell on the Deadwood episode "Jewel's Boot Is Made for Walking"
Geri Jewell on how she learned that Deadwood had been cancelled and her career following the cancellation

Russell Johnson

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Russell Johnson on appearing in early television Westerns as the "heavy"

Lamont Johnson

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Lamont Johnson on directing several episodes of Have Gun - Will Travel and Naked City
Lamont Johnson on directing various western series and features

Rita Lakin

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Rita Lakin on writing the Daniel Boone episode "The Reunion"

Richard Lewis

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Richard Lewis on producing Schlitz Playhouse of the Stars and Tales of Wells Fargo
Richard Lewis on producing Wagon Train
Richard Lewis on producing Wagon Train
Richard Lewis on producing Laramie, Riverboat and various other shows
Richard Lewis on testifying to Congress about violence in television Westerns

A.C. Lyles

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A.C. Lyles on associate producing Rawhide
A.C. Lyles on why he liked working in the Western genre, and on working with John Wayne and John Ford
A.C. Lyles on Michael Landon doubling DeForest Kelley on Rawhide

Leslie H. Martinson

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Leslie H. Martinson on directing The Roy Rogers Show
Leslie H. Martinson on directing The Roy Rogers Show (Part 2)
Leslie H. Martinson on directing Maverick  and winning an Emmy
Leslie H. Martinson on directing Cheyenne
Leslie H. Martinson on directing Tales of Wells Fargo
Leslie H. Martinson on directing Colt .45
Leslie H. Martinson on directing Bronco and The Lawman

Kent McCray

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Kent McCray on being production manager for Bonanza
Kent McCray on associate producing The High Chaparral
Kent McCray on the decline of the western as a television genre, and on the end of Bonanza
Kent McCray on working on Bonanza and The High Chaparral
Kent McCray on working on Little House on the Prairie, Father Murphy, and Highway to Heaven

David Milch

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David Milch on creating and writing Deadwood   (Part 1) 
David Milch on co-creating and writing Deadwood (Part 2)

Ricardo Montalban

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Ricardo Montalban on his Emmy-winning performance as an American Indian in How the West was Won (1978)

Thomas W. Moore

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Thomas W. Moore on programming and developing The Real McCoys

Hal Needham

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Hal Needham on his early stunt work on Have Gun Will Travel
Hal Needham on doing stunts for Gunsmoke, The Wild, Wild West and Wells Fargo

Anne Nelson

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Anne Nelson on doing the deal for Gunsmoke

Hugh O'Brian

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Hugh O'Brian on getting the starring role in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
Hugh O'Brian on his co-stars on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp; on fan mail he received and why the show went off the air
Hugh O'Brian on his favorite episodes of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp; on the violence on the program and the show's legacy
Hugh O'Brian on reprising the role of Wyatt Earp in Paradise

Fess Parker

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Fess Parker on starring in Davy Crockett
Fess Parker on starring in Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone
Fess Parker on starring on Davy Crockett
Fess Parker on starring on Davy Crockett
Fess Parker on starring on Daniel Boone

Pam Polifroni

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Pam Polifroni on casting Gunsmoke

Frances Reid

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Frances Reid on appearing on several episodes of Wagon Train and on working on Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Del Reisman

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Del Reisman on Hotel De Paree
Del Reisman on working on Rawhide during its last years

John Rich

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John Rich on directing Gunsmoke
John Rich on directing Gunsmoke and James Arness

Rita Riggs

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Rita Riggs on saving the Universal costume stock, and on costuming for various westerns

Meta Rosenberg

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Meta Rosenberg on developing Daniel Boone
Meta Rosenberg on developing the series Nichols for James Garner
Meta Rosenberg on producing Nichols for James Garner

Barney Rosenzweig

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Barney Rosenzweig on taking over as producer of Daniel Boone in its fourth season
Barney Rosenzweig on why he's proud of his work on Daniel Boone
Barney Rosenzweig on how he transformed Daniel Boone in its fourth season (by "introverting" the show)

Marion Ross

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Marion Ross on her guest roles (and stunts) on Rawhide

Joseph Sargent

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Joseph Sargent on directing Gunsmoke
Joseph Sargent on directing Gunsmoke  (Part 2)

William Schallert

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William Schallert on working on TV Westerns

William Self

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William Self on developing The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Daniel Boone, and 12 O'Clock High

Ralph Senensky

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Ralph Senensky on directing The Wild, Wild West starring Robert Conrad

David Shaw

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David Shaw on writing for The Defenders and Shane

Sid Sheinberg

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Sid Sheinberg on shepherding various shows at Universal Television including The Virginian and Wagon Train

James Sheldon

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James Sheldon on learning how to direct a Western television show while directing Zane Grey Theater
James Sheldon on directing The Virginian

Herbert F. Solow

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Herbert F. Solow on how Bonanza was shot in color

Lynn Stalmaster

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Lynn Stalmaster on the challenges of casting Gunsmoke; the new Westerns

Richard Thomas

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Richard Thomas on appearing on Bonanza

Daniel J. Travanti

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Daniel J. Travanti on his guest appearances on Gunsmoke

Clint Walker

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Clint Walker on winning the starring role in Cheyenne; on the setting, premise, and theme song  
Clint Walker on his approach to playing "Cheyenne Bodie"; on the ins and outs of the character, and shooting the first episode of Cheyenne
Clint Walker on Cheyenne being one of the first successful Westerns; on Westerns as a format
Clint Walker on his ensemble, format, guest stars, and stunts on Cheyenne; on a typical production day
Clint Walker on the producers, directors, and showrunners on Cheyenne; on shooting on location and on the backlot; on how he stayed in shape
Clint Walker on Ty Hardin becoming the lead in Cheyenne when Walker had a contract dispute and Hardin spinning off in Bronco
Clint Walker on the popularity and subsequent demise of television Westerns
Clint Walker on favorite episodes, storylines, and fan reactions to Cheyenne

George Watters

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George Watters on working with Frank Pierson on Have Gun, Will Travel
George Watters on editing Rawhide
George Watters on his first job as an editor on Rawhide, starring Clint Eastwood and the challenges of editing a western
George Watters on editing The High Chapparal and Bonanza for producer David Dortort

Dennis Weaver

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Dennis Weaver on how the western genre will always be with us

Adam West

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Actor Adam West on his first TV appearance on Colt .45

Frederic Ziv

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Frederic Ziv on the premiere of Cisco Kid, his first original programming for television
Frederic Ziv on producing Bat Masterson starring Gene Barry