Father Murphy

Next Airing: Saturday, July 2

Upcoming Airings of Father Murphy

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Saturday, Jul 2
Blood Right
Season 2
Episode 210
Sunday, Jul 3
Sweet Sixteen
Season 2
Episode 211
Saturday, Jul 9
The Rockets' Red Glare
Season 2
Episode 212
Sunday, Jul 10
The Matchmakers
Season 2
Episode 213
Father Murphy

About Father Murphy

(1981-1983, NBC)

Television icon Michael Landon created this family Western drama set in the Dakota Territory in the 1870s.

When a greedy businessman dynamites a prospecting camp, he leaves two dozen children parentless. Before they can can be shipped off to the territorial workhouse by heartless officials, survivors John Michael Murphy (Merlin Olsen) and Moses Gage (Moses Gunn) and school teacher Mae Woodward (Katherine Cannon) concoct a plan. Murphy poses as a priest, and together, the three will educate and raise the children in the abandoned saloons and gambling halls of the former Gold Hill mining camp.

 

Retired NFL star Olsen is perfectly cast as gentle giant Murphy, himself orphaned as a young boy. Tony-nominated stage actor Gunn is excellent as Moses, a free African American in the years immediately following the Civil War. In a cast featuring many child actors, Timothy Gibbs is a standout as the reformed street hustler Will.

Creator and executive producer Landon played a hands-on role in the series, writing and directing many episodes (though he does not appear). The premise shifts in season two, when Murphy and Mae marry after his identity is revealed, but the stories are still just as heartwarming.  

Notable guest stars: James Cromwell, Jack Elam, Dub Taylor, Mykelti Williamson, Pat Buttram, Corey Feldman, John Fiedler, Tracey Gold, Shannen Doherty, Kellie Martin, Christina Applegate, Wilfred Hyde-White, Tina Yothers

Created by Michael Landon. Music by David Rose (Emmy nominee). 

Cast

Merlin Olsen, Katherine Cannon, Timothy Gibbs, Scott Mellini, Lisa Trusel, Kirk Brennan, Bryon Thames, Chez Lister, Richard Bergman, Charles Tyner, Ivy Bethune, Burr DeBenning, Ted Markland

Directors

William Claxton
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