27 May 2017 | raysond
Remembering Jim Hardie and the classic Western series "Tales of Wells Fargo" on it's 60th anniversary
The western-adventure series "Tales of Wells Fargo" premiered on NBC's Prime Time schedule as a mid-season replacement on March 18,1957 where it became one of the network's biggest hits that started in a era filled with television Westerns. Out of the 200 episodes that this series produced only actor Dale Robertson(who played special agent Jim Hardie for Wells Fargo) was with the series throughout it's entire six season run in all 200 episodes. Out of the 200 episodes only Seasons 1 through 5 produced only 166 black and white episodes that ran 30 minutes in length(with commercials)airing from March 18,1957 until July 10,1961. Only the first five seasons aired on Monday nights in prime time at the 8:30 eastern/7:30 central time slot where it produced 166 black and white episodes. In the sixth and final season of the series saw a change in production when NBC moved "Tales of Wells Fargo" from Monday nights to Saturday nights to an earlier time slot where the show expanded to a full hour and was what NBC would say "The Following Program Is Brought To You In Living Color" and this time new cast members were added. The sixth and final season which moved to Saturday nights at the 7:30 eastern/6:30 central time slot where 34 color episodes were produced airing from September 30,1961 to June 2,1962.
"Tales of Wells Fargo" was the brainchild of creators Frank Gruber and Gene Reynolds where Nat Holt served as executive producer of the series and was produced by Earle Lyon and Al C. Ward which produced a total of 200 episodes airing from March 18,1957 until June 2,1962. Actor William Demarest(later of "My Three Sons" fame)joined the cast in the final season of the series. "Tales of Wells Fargo" as a series was a well written satisfying western that followed the exploits of special agent Jim Hardie, agent for Wells Fargo who served during the first five seasons as narrator/agent and later on became a rancher while still protecting the law and order for Wells Fargo.
Big name directors from Earl Bellamy, Sidney Salkow, R.G. Springsteen, to William Witney, Christian Nyby, William F. Claxton, to George Waggner, Boris Segal and Gene Nelson contribute to some of the great episodes. Writers were Samuel A. Peeples, James Brooks, Gene Reynolds, Dwight Newton, D.D. Beauchamp, Ken Pettus, Barney Slater, Jack Turley, Sam Peckinpah, Frank Price, to Louis L'Amour and A.I. Bezzerides. "Tales of Wells Fargo" was produced by Revue Studios(the same studio that brought you "Wagon Train" and "The Virginian") for NBC Television.
The guest star roster consisted of Chuck Connors, Michael Landon, Hugh Beaumont, Robert Vaughn, Dan Blocker, James Coburn, Claude Akins, Denver Pyle, Jack Elam, Edgar Buchanan(who appeared in six episodes). Other guest stars were Nick Adams, Charles Bronson, Eddie Albert, John Dehner, Royal Dano, Martin Landau, Simon Oakland, Jan Merlin, Celia Kaye, to Jack Nicholson, Paul Fix(who appeared in six episodes), Buddy Ebsen, to Ray Teal, Lee Van Cleef among others.