The Rifleman (1958) was scheduled for a sixth season in 1963, when Chuck Connors said he felt that five years in one series was enough. He was considered a hot property at the time, due to its success. "Eager for a change", he wanted to break out of the western mold. Connors signed a lucrative seven-year deal with Universal and Revue Studios that gave him profit participation, and allowed him to do at least one feature film a year. This show was the first project he committed to under his new contract. Originally slated to play Sergeant Anderson, Connors lobbied for, and received the part of, John Egan, a slick, top-flight criminal defense attorney. Ben Gazzara, on the other hand, had several impressive Broadway plays and Hollywood films to his credit, but had resisted doing a television series because, in those days, it could damage an actor's chances to appear on the big screen. However, Gazzara said that Broadway hadn't made him rich, and the film offers were not exactly rolling in. So, he signed on for this show for the financial security and exposure. Both actors were reportedly paid seventy-five hundred dollars a week, and Gazzara, like Connors, enjoyed profit participation.