4 March 2011 | rcj5365
One great Western series that lasted on season,but with some distinctive features from the people who brought you The Rifleman
The 1959-1960 season may have been the year in television in which more than one-half of the prime time schedule was taken up by Westerns. Most of the Westerns that premiered on the schedule were your average standard fare,which the exception of "Wagon Train",and "Gunsmoke" being in the top ten of the Nielsens. The only exception that in which most of the Westerns were in classic black and white,only one newcomer to the bunch that came out of gate for the 1959-1960 series when "Bonanza" premiered that year as one of the first Westerns to be presented in color.
One of the new shows for the 1959-1960 season was totally different from the rest of the pack. One it have a gimmick that was the sales pitch for the series. "Law Of The Plainsman" was one of the new TV-Westerns that was distinctive from the rest. It was one of the few television programs,and the first to featured a Native American as the lead character who was the Deputy Marshal who maintained law and order in the Old West. The series starred Michael Ansara(who was of Syriana descent playing an Native American character) as Sam Buckhart. Ansara had earlier appeared in the series "Broken Arrow" having portrayed the Apache chief. Ansara before this series was introduced in two episodes that were shown in season one of the ABC-TV series "The Rifleman",which was hugely popular in the Nielsens top ten. Ansara portrayed U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart in Season 1,Episode 27 of "The Indian"(February 17,1959). Another appearance as a renegade Apache who kidnaps Lucas McCain's son Mark and holds him hostage in hills was in Season 1,episode 37 of "The Raid"(June 9,1959). "Law of the Plainsman" was one of the few spinoffs that came from "The Rifleman" TV-series that was suppose to be a new series for ABC. However,ABC rejected it and from there ended up on NBC's prime-time schedule for the 1959-1960 season.
"Law Of The Plainsman" stars Michael Ansara as Sam Buckhart,who was an Apache Indian who saves the life of a U.S. Cavalry officer after an Indian ambush. When the officer died,he left Sam money that was to be used for an education at a private school,so Sam applied took his money and applied himself for a education at Harvard University,from which is graduated with honors. After graduation from Harvard,he returned to the badlands of New Mexico where he became a Deputy working for Marshal Andy Morrison(Dayton Lummis),and later on worked his way up to the title of U.S. Marshal. Living in a boarding house run by Martha Commager(Nora Marlowe),and was under the supervision of an 8-year old orphan girl Tess Logan(Gina Gillespie). Each week Buckhart maintain the law in the Old West taken on the baddies and lowlifes who were the enemies of Buckhart who upheld the badge of justice and maintain the security of the town.
"Law Of The Plainsman" was produced by the same people who were behind the television series "The Rifleman",and was under the executive producers of Arthur Gardner,Arnold Laven and Jules V. Levy along with associate producer Arthur H. Nadel,along with stunning musical composition by Leonard Rosenman. In fact,"Law Of The Plainsman" lasted a full season,producing 30 episodes all in classic black and white that ran on NBC-TV from October 1, 1959 until May 5, 1960. The series was produced by Four Star Television,the same company that produced "The Rifleman",and countless other TV-westerns from "Black Saddle",and "Wanted:Dead or Alive",to "Johnny Ringo",and later on the company's first-ever color western "The Big Valley". The series lasted one season on NBC. Repeated episodes ran on ABC from 1960-1962.