4 February 2005 | raysond
The Warner Brothers Produced Westerns
In commerating the Golden 50th Anniversary of this program,the series "Cheyenne" was one of the first television series produced by a major film studio of the era,and one of five western-adventure shows from Warner Brothers,and a couple dozen of other shows they did for the studio,which not only made Warners a household name,but also was the pinnacle status of the success of the American Broadcasting Company(that MADE that network)from the mid 1950's to the early 1960's under the stewardship of Executive Producer William T. Orr and the creative genius of Roy Huggins,who were also later on the driving force behind the Warner Brothers detective shows(in which all were on the same network)during that same period.
"Cheyenne" was the first TV-western produced by the studio,and it is the most fondly remembered of TV's "Golden Age Of Westerns",and it was the driving force behind this show that Warners produced four more Westerns after the success of "Cheyenne". This show was a huge hit for ABC-TV at the time mostly because of its star,Clint Walker as the title character. It also brought out other westerns as well that followed including James Garner as "Maverick" which premiered in 1957,and continued through 1962,producing 124 episodes. Then that same year Will Hutchins star as "Sugarfoot"(1957-1961),which produced 61 episodes,then afterwards in 1958 came Ty Hardin as "Bronco"(1958-1962), which produced 68 episodes,not to mention the action-adventure short-lived series titled "The Alaskans" with Roger Moore,which ran from 1959 through 1960,producing 37 episodes. There were other Westerns as well that Warners produced during the mid-1960's as well especially with the Western satire spoof "F-Troop" which premiered in 1965 producing 37 episodes which ran until 1967,and the last of Warner Brothers Westerns came that same year in 1965 with Christopher Jones in "The Legend of Jesse James",which lasted one season. It is to note here that out of all the Warner Brothers produced Westerns that had the longest-running stanza out of all of them,"Cheyenne" remained on ABC-TV for eight seasons,producing 108 episodes running from its debut in 1955 to the final episode of the series in 1963. Only "Maverick" became the second longest-running Western for the studio,which debut in 1957 and ended in 1962,withstood a five-year run.
What set "Cheyenne" apart from other TV-westerns of their day? First off,there were different sets of elements that were found of other shows but this one was totally the opposite and above the competition in which lay the foundation for the casting of Clint Walker as Cheyenne Brodie. Clint Walker's character was a good-looking fellow with a 48-inch chest(which seems to get bared at least once in every episode)who didn't succeed just on his acting ability,which was passable.The only thing that was successful was the action scenes in which Cheyenne would be fighting ruthless outlaws,savage Indians,and even deadly gunslingers who may have there way with him,but Cheyenne didn't back down from any fight,and because of his massive size,he could tackle any man while still have the aura of a "gentle giant". Even with the "beefcake" scenes had an non-threatening quality about them since television and what was to be shown on television had to go through the censors was about as riveting as they could get,but lets face it,"Cheyenne" delivered the goods and then some with more Westerb action and adventure then it could handle thanks to the starring presence of Clint Walker especially with the unique qualities that he brought to this series.
"Cheyenne" also brought out some of the most special guest stars ever assembled and some of them,like per se James Garner,would go on to make a name for himself years later on his own WB-produced series, "Maverick". And not to mention others like Micheal Landon,Peter Graves, and others that were on the adventure set each week. In all a great series from TV's Golden Age.
Happy Golden 50th Anniversary CHEYENNE