About The Outcasts
“In the decade following the Civil War, people of all creeds and colors were part of the West. The following is a story about two of those people.” Thus began the opening narration of The Outcasts, a groundbreaking, single-season series that aired on ABC during the 1968-69 season.
As freed slave Jemal David, Otis Young became the first African-American lead on a TV Western. Don Murray was his reluctant partner Earl Corey, a former Confederate soldier from a once-wealthy Virginia family. Together, the two men navigated the West – and the complicated inequities of their own relationship – as bounty hunters.
“Everything about civil rights then (1870) is as contemporary as today,” Murray told Variety in May of 1968. “It gives us a chance to actually be current.”
Young (age 36) was an unknown when he was cast, and went on to become a minister. Murray was already an industry veteran at age 39, with an Oscar nomination for Bus Stop (1956) opposite Marilyn Monroe. He continues to work today, notably in the revival of Twin Peaks.
With its Spaghetti Western vibe and frank depiction of the unapologetic racism of the era, The Outcasts was a TV series way ahead of its time.
Notable guest stars: John Dehner, James Gregory, Slim Pickens, Arthur Hunnicutt, Ida Lupino, A Martinez, Brock Peters, Dick Sargent, William Windom, John Beck, Larry Gates, Dub Taylor, Bo Svenson, Charles McGraw, Diana Muldaur, Michael Conrad, Hayden Rorke, Kenneth Tobey, Fritz Weaver, Hank Worden, Roscoe Lee Browne, Harry Carey Jr, Jack Elam, Tammy Grimes
Created by Ben Brady and Leon Tokatyan. Music by Hugo Montenegro (Emmy nominee).