What Are the Best Western Television Series?

by on August 24th, 2013
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There have been well over 200 western television series made over the years. While it is true that few new westerns are made today, at any time, you can turn on cable and watch a classic western on TV. Below is a list of the top 6 western series ever made.

6: “The Young Riders” (1989 – 1992). One of the last western series to be made, this show tells the story of a Pony Express outpost. Its riders travel the west delivering mail to remote towns. This series tells stories of the many adventures the riders had as they travel the west.

5: “The High Chaparral” (1967 – 1971). John Cannon, played by Leif Erickson, starts a ranch in Arizona. Cannon along with his brother Buck, son Blue, brother in law Manolito and wife Victoria, struggle against all odds to keep a successful ranch. They must not only battle the elements, but also the nearby Apache Indians.

4: “Rawhide” (1959 – 1965). This series tells the story of a group of cowboys on a series of cattle drives. Over its six year run, the cowboys battled bank robbers, cattle rustlers, renegade Indians, and various other dangers. They cleaned many towns of the local bad guy. Clint Eastwood played Rowdy Yates, the second in command and ramrod of the cattle drive.

3: “The Virginian” (1962 – 1971). Originally titled “The Virginian”, it changed its name to “The Men of Shiloh” halfway into its 9 year run. It tells the story of an unnamed ranch foreman, who only goes by the name “the Virginian”. He runs a large ranch owned by retired judge Garth.

2: “Gunsmoke” (1955 – 1975). The longest running western television series of all time, Gunsmoke starred James Arness as the marshal Matthew Dillon of Dodge City. He and his deputies Thad, Festus and Newly along with Doc Adams and Miss Kitty keep the peace in this violent border town. A series of bad guys and gangs ride through town and Dillon must protect the town and its residents from these bad elements.

1: “Bonanza” (1959 – 1973). Rancher and three time widower Ben Cartwright along with his three sons Adam, Hoss and Little Joe must run the largest ranch in Nevada. The story focuses on running the ranch, silver mining and lumber harvesting in the Nevada west. Along the way, the Cartwright family fights poachers, local bad guys and have a series of adventures.

Many other great western series have been made over the years. Many of those would be on someone’s top western list. Other quality western series include “Maverick”, “The Big Valley”, “The Lone Ranger”, “The Rifleman”, “Kung Fu” and “Wagon Train”.

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