Spend Your Sundays Under The Big Sky With Classic Westerns On getTV
Westerns and television have gone together for as long as TV has existed. From the all-ages horse operas of the 1950s, to the more complex dramas and tongue-in-cheek action comedies of the 1960s, to the neo-Westerns of the 1970s and beyond, the genre evolved with the medium. And it continues to today.
At getTV, we love our Westerns from all eras, and we know you do, too! That’s why we created Sundays Under the Big Sky — a day-long lineup that provides a cross section of Westerns from TV’s first five decades. Beginning at 6a ET every Sunday, we present nine different Western shows from the 1950s through the 1990s that are guaranteed to appeal to all tastes and age groups.
From the thirty-minute “historical noir” series Yancy Derringer at 6a ET, to the feature-length epic How The West Was Won at 12:30p ET, to the late 1980s family drama Guns of Paradise at 4p and 5p ET, getTV is the place to be for Western fans every Sunday!
Here’s a guide to our schedule, with airtimes so you don’t miss a minute.
1. Yancy Derringer (1958-59) — 6a ET
More than two dozen Western shows saddled up in primetime during the 1958-59 TV season. Yancy Derringer provided an inventive alternative to the traditional, horseback-riding hero: an undercover agent in post-Civil War New Orleans!
Jock Mahoney stars as Yancy, a notorious rogue secretly deputized by Reconstruction administrator John Colton (Kevin Hagen). With the help of his Pawnee Indian companion Pahoo (X Brands), the former Confederate Army captain does what the cops can’t: he controls crime using a criminal’s methods.
Mahoney was a stuntman, and his go-for-broke physicality gives the series an unpredictable sense of adventure that entertained both kids and adults. Look for familiar faces like Charles Bronson, Claude Akins, Lee Van Cleef, Jack Albertson, and Louise Fletcher.
More on Yancy Derringer here.
2. Laredo (1965–67) — 6:30a ET
By the mid-1960s, the Western boom was beginning to bust, and new shows sought creative ways to lasso new audiences. Laredo’s jokey tone and light-hearted style pre-dated comedic action shows like The A-Team by 15 years — and it gives the series a remarkably contemporary vibe.
This spinoff of The Virginian tells the story of three (later four) Texas Rangers stationed in the Lone Star State in the 1870s. Movie tough guy Neville Brand stars as Reese Bennett, the oldest (and grumpiest) Ranger. Peter Brown and William Smith are Chad Cooper and Joe Riley, handsome, frequently shirtless young rogues. Dutch actor Robert Wolders joins the team for season two as clotheshorse Erik Hunter. And Western icon Philip Carey plays their hot-tempered captain.
Look for familiar faces like Bruce Dern, DeForest Kelly, Lee Van Cleef, Peter Graves, Ellen Corby, and Burgess Meredith.
More on Laredo here.
3. The Outcasts (1968–69) — 7:45a ET
A former slave and a former slave owner team up as bounty hunters in this groundbreaking action drama. Oscar nominee Don Murray stars as Earl Corey, a former Confederate soldier from a once-wealthy Virginia family. And, as the newly free Jemal David, Otis Young made history as the first African-American star of a TV Western.
Creators Ben Brady and Leon Tokatyan used the casual racism of the post-Civil War years to comment on the racial inequities of the 1960s, with thought-provoking results. Look for familiar faces like Slim Pickens, Dub Taylor, Jack Elam, Fritz Weaver, and Dick Sargent.
More on The Outcasts here.
4. The Life And Times Of Grizzly Adams (1977-78) — 9a ET
Former animal trainer and stuntman Dan Haggerty stars as the legendary mountain man in this adaptation of the blockbuster 1974 film (which also starred Haggerty). Denver Pyle (The Dukes of Hazard) narrates the action as crusty old trapper Mad Jack. Don Shanks is Nakoma, Adams’ Native American blood brother. And a slew of animals play supporting roles, most notably 600-lb Bozo the Bear as Ben.
With its message of respect for the land and all its creatures, Grizzly Addams remains timely today — and beloved by fans. Look for familiar faces like Keenan Wynn, Russ Tamblyn, Ronny Cox, Norman Fell, and Ken Berry.
5. Shane (1966) — 10a ET
Before we knew what reboots were, this short-lived 1966 series was both a reboot AND a sequel to the Oscar-nominated 1953 film.
David Carradine (Kung-Fu) stars as the gunslinger Shane, now reformed and working at the Wyoming homestead he helped save in the movie. Jill Ireland is Marian, his newly widowed boss. Christopher Shea plays her son Joey, the character who famously yells “Shane…come back” at the end of the movie. Tom Tully is Marian’s father-in-law and Bert Freed is Rufe Ryker, an evil cattle baron who was killed in the film’s climatic gunfight (but comes back to live for this show).
Carradine and Ireland were both 30 — younger than their predecessors in these roles by a wide margin – and their electric chemistry is a primary selling point. Look for familiar faces like Robert Duvall, Warren Oates, Diane Ladd, James Whitmore, and Wayne Rogers.
More on Shane here.
6. Hondo (1967) — 11:15a ET
Fourteen years after John Wayne’s Hondo Lane rode off into the sunset with his bride-to-be (Geraldine Page), those characters returned for an ABC TV spin-off starring Ralph Taeger and Kathie Browne.
Hondo isn’t a sequel to the classic film, but rather a re-imagining of the story with certain key plot changes. Our hero is now a former Confederate officer, “the best scout and spy on either side” with an inherent, counterculture-infused distrust in authority figures.
He’s also a wanted man. And, in return for a pardon, he’s tasked with making peace with a war-like Apache chief (Michael Pate, reprising his film role) who happens to be his former father-in-law. Look for Annette Funicello, Ricky Nelson, John Carradine, Denver Pyle and Robert Reed.
More on Hondo here.
7. How The West Was Won (1976–79) — 12:30p ET
By the mid-1970s, TV Westerns had largely ridden off into the sunset. The next stage of their primetime lifecycle would be as TV movies and epic miniseries — and this adaptation of the 1962 film helped kick that off.
Gunsmoke icon James Arness stars as Zeb Machan, a mountain man who returns home to Virginia to save his brother Tim (Richard Kiley), sister-in-law Kate (Eva Marie Saint) and nephews and nieces (Bruce Boxleitner, William Kirby Cullen, Kathryn Holcomb, Vicki Schreck) from the war’s path. Kate’s sister Molly Culhane (Fionnula Flanagan) joins the brood as they journey across country and eventually settle in Wyoming, encountering obstacles both natural and human along the way.
How The West Was Won brought feature film production values to primetime, with a cinematic look, length and pacing. Look for Lloyd Bridges, Christopher Lee, William Shatner, Brian Keith, and Anthony Zerbe.
More on How The West Was Won here.
8. Bret Maverick (1981–82) — 3p ET
TV icon James Garner returns to the role that made him famous in this comedic sequel series.
Now in his fifties, Maverick’s days as a trouble-maker are behind him (mostly). He’s settled down (sort of) in Sweetwater as co-owner of the Red Ox Saloon with the town’s former sheriff Tom Guthrie (Country singer Ed Bruce). Does he still get into trouble? Of course he does, or his name wouldn’t be Maverick!
Look for Jameson Parker, Dixie Carter, Keye Luke, Dub Taylor, Marj Dusay and Garner’s Rockford Files co-star Stuart Margolin, who appears in 8 episodes as con artist Philo Sandeen
More on Bret Maverick here.
9. Guns Of Paradise (1988–90) — 4p and 5p ET
This late 1980s neo-Western series takes the familiar stock character of the handsome, mysterious gunman — and turns him into a loveable father figure!
Hunky gunfighter Ethan Allen Cord (Lee Horsley) is forced to make a career change when he adopts when he adopts the four children of his dying sister (Kathryn Leigh Scott): 13-year-old Claire (Jenny Beck), 11-year-old Joseph (Matthew Newmark), and youngins Ben (Brian Lando) and George (Michael Patrick Carter). He rents a farm from prickly banker Amelia Lawson (Sigrid Thornton) and seeks to hang up his gun belt, but the bad guys have other ideas.
Look for Western icons Hugh O’Brien, Gene Barry, Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford
More on Guns Of Paradise here.
Our Sundays Under The Big Sky lineup starts every Sunday at 6a ET! And don’t miss Yancy Derringer, Laredo, The Quest with Kurt Russell and Tim Matheson, and Grizzly Adams every Saturday morning starting at 6a ET, too! For more, visit the getTV schedule.