22 October 2008 | bkoganbing
It Should Have Been Given A Better Chance
Cade's County was one of two television series that Glenn Ford tried after his time as a big movie name was up and he knew it. The man was smart and transitioned gracefully into middle age. Westerns are a great medium for older stars to transition in. And Ford had appeared in some of the best westerns ever made.
The show was set in fictional Madrid County in Arizona. If Sam Cade and his deputies seem to cover a large bit of territory, take a good look at a map of Arizona with the county lines printed. There are about a dozen counties and some of them are larger than many of our New England states. The show had no big metropolitan areas like Phoenix, Tucson, or Yuma in it, it was strictly a rural affair.
The show lasted only one season despite good critical reception, not great and decent ratings. CBS pulled the plug on it because right at that time it was going on an anti-violence kick along with the other two networks.
I think one of the things that could have saved it was if they had developed more of the personal lives of the sheriff's office of Madrid County. The show had the potential to be like In The Heat Of The Night set in the Southwest. Ford and his deputies which included, Victor Mohica, Taylor Lacher, Edgar Buchanan, and his son Peter Ford were never really seen too much as three dimensional characters. We knew Ford's father had also served as Madrid County Sheriff and was killed in the line of duty and Edgar Buchanan had served with him. That's all I can remember.
Ford and Edgar Buchanan had a long standing friendship from their first film together, Texas back in 1941. It was only fitting that Ford find a place for Buchanan who had recently left the canceled Petticoat Junction when CBS went on an anti-rural kick. Ford and Buchanan were in about a dozen films together.
Cade's County should have been given a much better chance to succeed from CBS.