6 February 2013 | raysond
The short-lived series "The Wide Country"
Premiering on September 20,1962 the short-lived series "The Wide Country" was in fact NBC's answer to "Stoney Burke"(which was on a rival network) that lasted one season and produced 28 episodes,all in classic black-and-white. At the time "The Wide Country" aired,almost half of the programming that dominated prime-time were television westerns with "Gunsmoke", "Wagon Train",and "Bonanza' being the top three programs that dominated the Nielsens. "The Wide Country" was similar to "Stoney Burke" that featured modern day rodeo competitors who perform for top prizes. Also to point out that when this series premiered for the 1962-1963 season,almost half of the programming at NBC was in color with "Bonanza","The Joey Bishop Show", "The Wonderful World of Disney",and "The Virginian" just to name a few.
Produced by Revue Studios(the same company that also produced "Wagon Train" and "The Virginian")the series starred Earl Holliman and Andrew Prine as brothers Mitch and Andy Guthrie who are traveling rodeo competitors. Older brother Mitch is a champion bronco rider in the rodeo who tries to keep his younger brother Andy from getting into something while having various kinds of adventures along the way due to the life of a rodeo cowboy was like since they basically work the circuit of big shows,many of which were large urban centers. The aspect of this made for some great human interest stories in which the somehow over protected brother who convincingly keeps his kid brother out of trouble as well as keeping from doing something or teaching him the value of being a rodeo cowboy as well as teaching his kid brother the meaning of responsibility. Out of the 28 episodes that this series produced,it managed to bring on some very interesting guest stars ranging from Patty Duke, Roberta Shore, Slim Pickens, Jay Novello, to Barbara Parkins, Edgar Buchanan, Alan Hale,Jr., Anne Helm, Adam West, to Roger Mobley, Barbara Stuart to Yvonne Craig and I. Stanford Jolley.
The series aired on Thursday nights where it faced tough competition from "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet", "The Donna Reed Show", and the children's series "Mister Ed",and the second half of "Perry Mason" which clobbered it in the ratings. "The Wide Country" ended with the final episode of the series on April 25,1963. On September 19,1963 the show that replaced "The Wide Country" was another short-lived modern day "western" titled "Temple Houston" starring Jeffrey Hunter that was also produced under Revue Studios.