Cheyenne (1955 TV series)

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Cheyenne
Cheyenne Title Screen.JPG
Title screen
Also known asWarner Brothers Presents ... Cheyenne
and
Cheyenne: Bronco
and
The Cheyenne Show: Bronco[1][2]
GenreWestern
Developed byRoy Huggins
Directed byIrving J. Moore
StarringClint Walker
Theme music composerWilliam Lava
Stanley D. Jones[3]
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons7
including the first season on WBP
No. of episodes108 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)William T. Orr
Producer(s)Roy Huggins
Arthur W. Silver
Sidney Biddel
Burt Dunne
William L. Stuart
Location(s)California
Running time48 mins.
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original runSeptember 20, 1955 (1955-09-20) – April 30, 1963 (1963-04-30)
Chronology
Preceded byWarner Brothers Presents
Followed byThe Dakotas
Related showsBronco
Maverick
Sugarfoot
 
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Cheyenne
Cheyenne Title Screen.JPG
Title screen
Also known asWarner Brothers Presents ... Cheyenne
and
Cheyenne: Bronco
and
The Cheyenne Show: Bronco[1][2]
GenreWestern
Developed byRoy Huggins
Directed byIrving J. Moore
StarringClint Walker
Theme music composerWilliam Lava
Stanley D. Jones[3]
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons7
including the first season on WBP
No. of episodes108 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)William T. Orr
Producer(s)Roy Huggins
Arthur W. Silver
Sidney Biddel
Burt Dunne
William L. Stuart
Location(s)California
Running time48 mins.
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original runSeptember 20, 1955 (1955-09-20) – April 30, 1963 (1963-04-30)
Chronology
Preceded byWarner Brothers Presents
Followed byThe Dakotas
Related showsBronco
Maverick
Sugarfoot

Cheyenne is an American western television series of 108 black-and-white episodes broadcast on ABC (American Broadcasting Company) from 1955 to 1963. The show was the first hour-long western, and in fact the first hour-long dramatic series of any kind, with continuing characters, to last more than one season. It was also the first series to be made by a major Hollywood film studio which did not derive from its established film properties,[4] and the first of a long chain of Warner Brothers original series produced by William T. Orr.

Series history[edit]

The series began as a part of Warner Brothers Presents, a program that alternated three different series in rotation. In its first year, Cheyenne traded broadcast weeks with Casablanca and King's Row.[5] Thereafter, Cheyenne was overhauled by new producer Roy Huggins and left the umbrella of WBP. The show starred Clint Walker, a native of Illinois, as Cheyenne Bodie, a physically large cowboy wandering the American West. The first episode, about robbers pretending to be Good Samaritans, is titled "Mountain Fortress" and features James Garner as a guest star. The episode reveals that Bodie's parents were massacred by Cheyenne Indians, who then reared him. Bodie maintained a positive and understanding attitude toward the Native Americans.

Cheyenne ran from 1955 to 1963, except for a hiatus when Walker went on strike for better terms (1958–1959); among other demands, the actor wanted increased residuals, a reduction of the 50-percent cut of personal appearance payments that had to be turned over to Warner, and a release from the restriction of recording music only for the company's own label.[6] The interim saw the introduction of a virtual Bodie-clone called Bronco Layne, played by Ty Hardin, a native of Texas. Hardin was featured as the quasi main character during Bodie's absence. When Warners renegotiated Walker's contract and the actor returned to the show in 1959, Bronco was spun off as a show in its own right and became independently successful.

The two series alternated in the same time slot from 1958 to 1962, with Bronco as the junior partner (only a snippet of his theme song was heard in the opening credits, as a kind of aural footnote to Cheyenne's). Occasionally both Cheyenne and Bronco appeared together in the same episode, both deadly serious as they worked together. Even after returning to the program — having been prohibited from seeking other work during the long contract negotiation — Walker was unhappy continuing to play a role he felt he had exhausted, complaining to reporters that he felt like "a caged animal."[6]

Though Cheyenne aired for seven years, the series had only 108 episodes because it was in repeated alternation with other programs and was out of production during Clint Walker's contract dispute with Warner Brothers.

At the conclusion of the sixth season, a special episode was aired. Called "A Man Named Ragan", it was a pilot for a program called The Dakotas, starring Larry Ward, Chad Everett, Jack Elam,and Michael Greene, and that would replace Cheyenne in the middle of the next season. However, because Cheyenne Bodie never appeared in "Ragan", the two programs are only tenuously linked.[2]

Walker reprised the Cheyenne Bodie character in 1991 for the TV-movie The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw and also played Cheyenne in an episode of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues in 1995.

L. Q. Jones (Smitty) and Clint Walker (Cheyenne)

Episodes[edit]

Guest stars[edit]

Broadcast history[edit]

ABC televised the show from 1955 to 1962: September 1955-September 1959 Tuesday 7:30-8:30 P.M.; September 1959-December 1962, Monday 7:30-8:30 P.M.; April 1963-September 1963, Friday 7:30-8:30 P.M. In its last season, Cheyenne still drew good ratings that forced the cancellation of the new comedy/drama It's a Man's World on NBC, co-starring Glenn Corbett, Michael Burns, Ted Bessell, and Randy Boone. In the spring of 1960, Cheyenne outdistanced singer Kate Smith's return to television on CBS's The Kate Smith Show, which was canceled after some six months on the air.

Cheyenne is now[when?] shown twice every weekday on the Encore western channels.

DVD releases[edit]

Warner Home Video has released the first season on DVD in Region 1. Seasons 2-7 have been released via their Warner Archive Collection. These are manufacture-on-demand (MOD) releases on DVD-R discs. The seventh and final season was released on November 12, 2013.[7]

DVD NameEp #Release Date
The Complete First Season15June 6, 2006
The Complete Second Season20July 5, 2011
The Complete Third Season20January 10, 2012
The Complete Fourth Season13October 16, 2012
The Complete Fifth Season13March 5, 2013
The Complete Sixth Season14July 30, 2013
The Complete Seventh Season13November 12, 2013

Awards[edit]

Cheyenne was a co-winner of the 1957 Golden Globe Award for Television Achievement.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CTVA entry for Bronco
  2. ^ a b CTVA entry for Cheyenne
  3. ^ ClassicThemes.com, Season 1 featured the Warner Brothers Presents opening theme and a closing theme by Jerry Livingston and Mack David. However, once the show came out of the WBP "umbrella", the Lava/Jones theme, "Bodie", was exclusively employed.
  4. ^ Trivia about Cheyenne at IMDB
  5. ^ Ronald Jackson and Doug Abbott. "Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker," 50 Years of the Television Western, AuthorHouse, 2008, page 76. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  6. ^ a b Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh. "Cheyenne (Western)," The complete directory to prime time network and cable TV shows, 1946-Present, Random House, 2007, page 246. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  7. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Cheyenne-Season-7/19161
  8. ^ Cheyenne at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

External links[edit]