Monday, August 8, 2011
BRONCO LAYNE TALKS!
(picture from a Swedish gum-card)
Ty Hardin interview conducted August 11th 2010
From the late 1950s through the mid 1960s, Warner Brothers Studios dominated much of prime-time American television with a string of hip detective shows – 77 SUNSET STRIP, HAWAIIAN EYE, SURFSIDE SIX, BOURBON STREET BEAT – and string of equally hip westerns – MAVERICK, LAWMAN, SUGARFOOT, CHEYENNE and BRONCO.
From 1958 through 1962, big, handsome, muscular Texan Ty Hardin starred as the title character, roaming cowboy Bronco Layne, in BRONCO, and in addition to playing him 68 times in his own series, played him twice on SUGARFOOT and once on MAVERICK. When I called Ty Hardin to arrange an interview, I asked if Wednesday or Thursday was good. “Make it Wednesday. Thursday’s my poker day.” I thought it was the perfect answer from Bronco Layne, and when I began my interview with this charming, easy-going and self-effacing man, an interview punctuated with a lot of laughter on both sides, I reminded him of his answer to my first question.
TY: (laughs) We’ve got to get our priorities right, don’t we?
H: So you have a regular group you play poker with?
TY: Oh yes. We play every Tuesday and Thursday.
H: Are any of them from the Western days?
TY: Well, yes they are: they’re old fans. So they invited me to play, and I enjoyed it, so I made friends with them all, and they’re just good people. I don’t really buddy with the people in the industry any more, even though I meet them all and talk to them when we go to film festivals and things. The actor has a hard time assimilating into society, because he’s put on a pedestal. It gets impregnated into their system, and suddenly their shit don’t stink. I’ve been too basic all my life – just a country boy that got lucky.
H: That’s a good thing.
TY: I think for me it has been, because I was able to just walk away from the industry with no remorse. I felt I’d served my purpose. The industry was changing drastically, the lines, the stories they were making were not anything that I wanted to be a part of. So I adjusted very easily to the private world. I’m eighty years old. Most of my buddies are dead. And I think a lot of it is stress. We put a lot of internal stress on ourselves; one of the stresses comes from disappointment, and emotional problems. So I don’t have any emotional problems – I don’t try to kid myself that my horse didn’t like me.
H: On your IMDB page, the first thing I see is a great picture of you and Ann-Margaret on a beach.
TY: She was a sweetheart – she was just a wonderful person.
H: I was wondering what show that was from.
TY: You know what it was? We were at Paramount together, and they just wanted us to get paired up for publicity purposes. She was doing something else, and I was doing I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE (1958). I was the monster – don’t ask too many questions.
H: You were also Mac Brody.
TY: I was also Mac Brody – I played two roles in that.
H: So your film career began a lot like that of James Arness; he was The Thing in THE THING (1951) before he got GUNSMOKE.
TY: I didn’t know that. You’re full of information, aren’t you? (Looking back on) all those people, it’s kind of sad what we have today, in comparison to what we had. We used real stock back then. We had real people from all walks of life, and they had all different axes to grind, but I don’t think I met a bad guy in the whole group. I’m sure there were a few of them, but every actor I worked with were just delightful people. People like Jack Elam and Claude Akins. They were fine human beings, and they helped me a lot. I was just a young buck, didn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground, and they just stepped up and said, “Don’t do this, don’t do that,” and so on.
H: Speaking of Jack Elam, he worked with you on BRONCO, and I was just watching you two together in THE LAST REBEL (1971).
TY: Oh, he was such a help to me, he really was. I’ll never forget one time we were doing a close-up (on him), and I could never get one up on him. You know, you’re sitting by the side of the camera, and throw your lines out. Well, I walked way over to the right-hand side, he said, “What the Hell are you doing over there?” I said, “I’m working to the other eye.” He said, “I can’t see outa that eye – get over near the camera!”
H: I understand that you were born in New York City.
TY: I’m not sure exactly where I was born; I wasn’t too cognizant. My mother married a Yankee. He worked for the government for a period of time; I’m not exactly sure what he did. But I spent the first few years of my life in New York, and I remember a little bit about it, that there too many people in a small place. When my brother came along a year or so behind me, (my mother) just had a tough time. It was during the Depression, and it was so much easier for her to just (take us) home to Texas, where our family lived on a farm. We had everything; we raised our own food. And the whole thing (the marriage) fell apart. So much for my Yankee days. Well, I grew up on my grandparents’ farm. My mother had to work. She worked in Huston, and we lived in Austin, and my grandparents virtually raised Dewey and I when we were real young. My mother lived in a little-bitty apartment, we’d go up and visit her on the weekends when she had off, but things were tough during that period, and she was lucky to find a job and have a job and keep a job. My grandparents were not well off, but everything they owned, they owned. They didn’t owe anything. They owned their land, they had twelve or so acres right there on Lake Austin. I worked out in the cornfield, and we grew 90% of our food. It made things pretty easy. That was a very formative period of my life.
H: Did you go to the movies much?
TY: You know, it was kind of a big deal to go to a movie when I was a kid, particularly on Saturday. Johnny Mack Brown and Bob Steele were our big heroes growing up. Then along came Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy. I think everybody in those days kind of identified with westerns. I know I did. That’s our heritage, that’s who we were as people, and the other stuff was kind of boring. But I enjoyed watching horses, and seeing the Indians get shot and killed. (laughs) I grew up with a western background.
H: You graduated from high school in 1949. You attended Blinn Junior College on a football scholarship, and did semester at Dallas Bible School before joining the Army. Tell me, what was your military experience?
TY: Well, I went through O.C.S. (Officer Candidate School), became an officer, and I got stationed in Europe. I was in the Signal Corps, and I had top secret clearance – I don’t know what it was for; I didn’t know any secrets. And I was going to be a career officer. Then my C.O. (commanding officer) called me in. He said, ‘Ty, I notice you’ve got quite a bit of college credits. We’ve got a directive, we can send you back, and support you in finishing college. He told me I should get out of the Army – it was a temporary release – and finish my college. So I did. I was playing football for the Army at the time, for Ramstad in Germany. I had that qualification, so I got that football scholarship at the University of Houston, and played football. I was ineligible the first year, so all I did was run what they called suicide squad, which is everybody’s plays but ours. We’d scrimmage the main team twice a week. Got our butts kicked around, doing a good job for Clyde Lee, who was our coach.
H: And you were studying what kind of engineering?
TY: I started with physical education, and that’s boring. I had to challenge myself; it’s just part of my nature. So I (switched to) engineering, and I got work right out of college (as an) acoustical research engineer. I had two courses (to finish), English, and I forget what the other course was. I’d finished all of my engineering courses, and passed with flying colors. Douglas Aircraft came down, they were hiring people right out of college, so I got hired; I left school a week before my finals, and went to work. (laughs) There’s some dumb things I’ve done.
H: I understand that your big break had to do with a Halloween party.
TY: That was funny. (Douglas Aircraft) had a Halloween party, and I decided I’d come as a cowboy, because I’m sitting in California, and nobody knows anything about cowboys. So I went to Western Costume to borrow a costume -- Western Costume was right in front of Paramount Studios -- and a little talent scout came up to me and said, ‘Have you ever considered being an actor?’ (Laughs) ‘Hardly,’ I said. ‘I’ve just got out of college.’ And so he had me walk over to Paramount and talk to Bill Michaeljohn, who was the head of the talent department. And out of a clear blue sky they asked me to sit down and wait a second, went into another office to talk, came back and offered me a seven year contract.
TY: On a piece of paper they printed out my salary. And for the first six months I was making something like $500 a week. And next it went up a couple of hundred – that was the first year. I was making about $150 as an engineer after five years of college.
H: So you weren’t looking to be an actor when this happened.
TY: Oh no, I had no more interest in being an actor than I do now.
H: How did you like being under contract to Paramount?
TY: I enjoyed it. You know what was good about Paramount, for my schooling and education, was they had a very good program for their young actors, and I filled in in every film they made. I made four or five films at Paramount, I didn’t even get billing, but I was playing bit parts. I was the monster in I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE, made TOO YOUNG FOR LOVE. I made three or four movies there. It was very good experience.
H: You also did your first western at Paramount, LAST TRAIN FROM GUN HILL. I was just watching it –
TY: We’re you? (laughs) Did you miss me?
H: Were you one of the three cowboys on the porch that picks the fight with Kirk Douglas?
TY: That was it! Got my butt kicked all over the place! Kirk Douglas knocks me down and everything – that little shrimp!
H: It’s funny, I was just talking to Earl Holliman, who’s also in the picture, and he was saying that he liked Kirk Douglas, but Kirk would do his fight scenes and never pull his punches. So he got kind of smacked around working with him.
TY: You know what it was? He would just get so enthusiastic about it. You could tell he was being carried away, and he had a little grudge on his shoulder anyway, being a little short guy.
H: You had a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures. How did you end up at Warner Brothers?
TY: I was over there, looking for a part in RIO BRAVO, and I run into John Wayne. And the Duke simply got on the phone, called over to the casting department and said, ‘We’ve got a kid over here that you need to look at.’ But Ricky Nelson had already got the part on the picture, so there was no need of me. But I went over to see Bill Orr, who was VP of Warner Brothers. And I was traded for Tab Hunter. They wanted me, Paramount said to Warners, ‘You can have Ty if you give us Tab Hunter.’ I don’t tell many people that.
H: Personally I think Warner Brothers came out ahead on the deal.
TY: Well at that time they did because they were having trouble with the CHEYENNE show and (its star) Clint Walker. He’d worked two or three years on that show, and now he wanted to make some pictures. And I don’t blame him. (Note: Ty Hardin was hired to play Bronco Layne on BRONCO, as a successor to Clint Walker’s CHEYENNE, should Walker actually ‘walk,’ but no one but Clint Walker ever played the character Cheyenne Bodie.) He’ll always be CHEYENNE, and it’s very difficult to go in and try and replace him: it’s just not gonna happen. He’d developed a tremendous following, and still he has it today. We go to these film festivals, and he’s got crowds going out the back door. Amazing. Of course he did it for seven or eight years and he’s just a very personable fellah. And when they think of Cheyenne, they think of him – they don’t think of Bronco Layne, of Ty Hardin, the replacement. You should see some of the letters I used to get! ‘Where’d they find that guy?’ ‘What makes you think you can replace Cheyenne Bodie?’ (laughs) Kind of humbling. Clint and I, we’re good friends. He’d come by and I’d say, ‘Would you answer these for me?’ But that was a good career, I had a good start. I ran that show for four years.
H: So is that where your name was changed to Ty Hardin?
TY: Right. I was Orison Whipple Hungerford until then. I had already been called Ty, which was short for typhoon. It was something I just sort of inherited as a little kid. My grandparents gave it to me – they had to put everything out of sight because I’d come running through the house and everything would be in a scramble. So my grandparents named me Ty when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. But Hardin was (Bill Orr’s) idea; they named me after John Wesley Hardin. So they said, ‘We’ll make it Ty Hardin,’ and I’ve been Ty Hardin ever since.
H: It suits you. At the time that you moved over to Warners to play Bronco Layne, they were doing a whole bunch of westerns – MAVERICK and SUGARFOOT in addition to CHEYENNE.
(Wayde Preston, Ty Hardin, Jack Kelly, John Russell, James Garner, Peter Brown, Will Hutchins)
TY: They had six or seven of them going. They had the LAWMAN series going, too, with Peter Brown. It was so funny, we’d get a good actor/stunt man like Jack Elam, he’d go from one show to the next – he’d do two or three shows in a row, while he was out here. And I’ll never forget, one time we’re sitting there talking, and Jack walked in. And he was all dressed up, all ready to go. And the director came and asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ He said, ‘Isn’t this MAVERICK?’ But he was a neat actor to work with.
H: So, the regular guys like James Garner, Jack Kelly, Will Hutchins – what were they like off-camera?
TY: I think actors have a hard time with each other, you know? There’s so much ego floating around. I never felt the need to impress people. I’ve always drawn enough attention, being a good-looking man, you just almost accept it for granted that you’re going to be acceptable. Now, Will Hutchins was never like that. But Peter Brown was, he was a snob. And I don’t mean that facetiously, you know what I mean? Because he’s a good friend of mine today, and he’s mellowed out a lot (laughs). I came from good stock out of Texas, and we just thought differently, you know? We didn’t judge people by their looks or who they were. People are people. I never got to ‘know’ Clint (Walker) in all the years I’ve known him. I never sat down and talked about anything, and he’s kind of a mystery to me. But you can’t make a person be your friend. And he doesn’t have any; he’s a loner. That’s part of his nature. He’s what he is; Clint’s a nice guy, but he’s not friendly. That’s the difference between him and a Texan.
H: That’s why he’s Cheyenne, and not Bronco.
TY: (laughs) That’s it.
H: Warner’s turned out so many good western series, and theirs looked and felt so different from the other good stuff being done, like GUNSMOKE and WAGON TRAIN. What made the Warner Brothers westerns distinctive? Was it the acting, the production, the writing…?
TY: I think there’s a combination here. Warners had been involved in westerns since day one. Warners had stock footage that no one else had. I mean, if you needed four hundred Indians, they’ve got ‘em on film. That added a quality and a production value to the films that was unsurpassed in the industry. And the writers were very familiar with all the movies we stole the stock footage from. People who were working at Universal Pictures would have it to a degree, but not to the magnitude that Warner Brothers had it.
H: How long would it take to shoot an episode?
TY: Well, that would depend. If we’re shooting a lot of Indians and killing a lot of Indians, well, that footage has already been shot. Most of the time it was four to five days shooting to make a show. And then we’d have another day of dubbing, where we’d do all the crossovers and backgrounds and so forth.
H: Now you were not planning to be an actor. Did you have trouble memorizing your lines?
TY: Oh no, that was the easiest part. I fell into it because I was kind of a ham anyway. After having a college degree, you built up certain abilities. So I had no trouble memorizing twelve pages of dialogue. I could read it over once and that was it. So that was a great advantage of having a mind that had been taught to be programmed.
H: Did you only do one episode at a time, or would they do extra scenes from other shows out of order?
TY: Well, that would depend on availabilities. For instance, a lot of times we’d shoot a show, pretty well all of it. But then they wouldn’t have the back-lot available and I’d have to go out in the middle of another show to shoot action shots from the previous show. That was pretty easy to handle. Say, you’ve got six shows going on at one time. They’d shoot and kill the Indians over on MAVERICK, then send ‘em over to me and I’d shoot and kill ‘em -- he’d use the same Indians on three shows at a time. (Laughs) Jack Warner was probably the most ingenious person, and certainly he was frugal, and consequently he was able to put those shows out for almost nothing.
H: A producer who worked out here at the time told me they used to brag at Warners that their shows were so inexpensive to make that they were in profit after the first airing.
TY: And you can see why, because it utilizes their abilities and their ingenuity as well as production value. And as I say they used tons and tons and tons of stock footage. Look up and suddenly that’s Johnny Mack Brown riding along!
H: Was everything shot on the stages and the back lot? Did you ever go out on location?
TY: Oh yeah, quite often. We may be shooting for two or three shows at the same time on a location.
H: I just saw four episodes in a row, and I was wondering, did you take off your shirt in every single episode?
TY: I don’t know, did I? They were big on cheesecake. I didn’t realize that. That didn’t bother me, but you’re right.
H: It sure didn’t bother the ladies watching.
TY: No, I had a ton of them. That was one fun thing I had, I really enjoyed doing my mail, and I’d get a big ego trip, then I’d have to go down to real life. During that period I was married for a while, but marriages are hard to keep. Poor old Andra Martin (his 2nd wife), she was a real sweetheart of a gal. I just never really got to know her. I was married to Miss Universe at one time. (Helen Schmidt, wife #3 was 1961 Miss Universe) I was making PT 109. I was one of the judges for the Miss Universe contest. And of course I voted for her. She was a sweet gal. Looking back I think what an idiot I was. The industry just is so demanding, and I followed it so relentlessly, and I was so damned dedicated to it that I just got my values screwed up, my priorities all messed up. Marriage has always meant something to me. Unfortunately I’ve been good at doing it, but not at keeping it.
H: On BRONCO, some of the episodes were comic, like where you outsmart crooked cattle dealers. Others are more like mysteries, little film noir westerns, and pretty dark. What kind of shows did you enjoy playing the most?
TY: I think the lighter kind of story-line. You know, I’m not big on killing. I really don’t think brutality sells pictures too much. I think people want to identify, they want to see they’re real people. And when everyone is a madman killer, they just say ‘hurrah’ when you shoot and kill the ‘mutha’. I think one of the reasons those shows were so successful at Warners was because they did have (people like) the Shirley Joneses, real nice people that viewers liked, and you got involved with them and their problems. And we were basically more on problems than on crime.
H: That’s interesting. I hadn’t thought of it that way.
TY: We would deal with people’s problems, their inner problems, how they adjusted to a broken family or something like that. It was more of a human interest story, and less on violence.
H: Speaking of Shirley Jones and people like her, you had beautiful gals in every episode. Who were your favorites.
TY: Well, I had quite a few. I liked Shirley. There were some real good actresses I learned a lot from, that did a lot of good work. Names escape me, but a lot of them really catered to that running around with a gun and a horse -- I got a big kick out of some of them! They were in there just as big and tall as you could imagine.
H: And there were also a lot of interesting guys in the show. Some that had been around a long time, like Don ‘Red’ Barry, Denver Pyle and Gerald Mohr –
TY: Oh man, yes, like Gerald Mohr, and Lee Van Cleef – God knows how many times I worked with him.
H: What was he like?
TY: He’s just a neat guy. He’s got a strong character, you don’t upstage him – you just stay out of his scene. But there were so many of them that just had good, good presence. And I learned so much from them, believe me. And they don’t want me to be a character actor – they want me to stay Bronco Layne. Like Jack Elam one time said to me, ‘You’re never gonna be a heavy, so quit playin’ at it.’
H: You also had some guys who were just starting out, like James Coburn, Troy Donahue, Chad Everett. Did they make any impression at that point?
TY: Well, you know what they were doing, they were using shows like mine to kind of break those guys in. Warner had quite a montage of people under contract, and of course a lot of them didn’t have much experience either. He was big on finding new talent. And the best way to break them in was to send them down to our shows, where we’d look after them. (laughs) In other words, if they couldn’t handle a line, we’d cut ‘em out. But it was good experience for them. It was not that I was that good an actor. It was that I knew my person, I knew my character, and they’re going to have to play off of my lines, and they’re going to have to go pretty hard to steal the scene from me.
H: Did you have any particular favorite episodes?
TY: You know, after doing sixty of those boogers, it’s hard to say. Not any particular favorites.
H: After 68 episodes of BRONCO, did you feel the show had reached the point where it jumped the shark, ran out of ideas?
TY: You know what my personal opinion is? I think they had gotten expensive, and they’re always looking to cut money.
Next week, TY HARDIN – THE POST-‘BRONCO’ YEARS. But to keep you in the mood while you wait, here's the BRONCO theme:
DISCOVERY ANNOUNCES ‘GUNSMOKE’ DOCUMENTARY SERIES
Starting in October, the Discovery Channel will present ‘Gunsmoke’, a reality series about one of the oldest gun shops west of the Mississippi, “…where a third generation family of dynamic gunsmiths crafts blocks of steel into beautiful but deadly works of art.” The lead is former police officer Rich Wyatt, a married man with kids. I’m more than a little put off by choosing a series title in an attempt to trick people into watching it by accident, but what the heck, I’ll give it a shot. Oops.
GUNSLINGER JOEY DILLON MAKES THE FRONT PAGE!
Today’s, Monday August 8th’s, Los Angeles Daily News, features a front-page story on the amazing pistol-tosser who’s been covered in the Round-up for his performances at the Republic 75th Anniversary Celebration, the Cowboy Festival at Melody Ranch, and most recently at the Day of the Cowboy celebration at the Autry (GO HERE: http://henryswesternroundup.blogspot.com/2011/07/shadow-hills-pilot-rolls-at-melody.html)
Read the Daily News article HERE.
JOHN FORD TO BE HONORED WITH STAMP NEXT YEAR!
On Friday, the U. S. Postal Service announced that next year director John Ford will be honored with a ‘forever’ stamp featuring an image of himself composited against the closing moments of THE SEARCHERS. Three other directors will likewise be recognized, but their names have not yet been announced. Whom do you suggest?
GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL SATURDAY AT THE AUTRY
Continuing their once-a-month “What is a Western?” series, on Saturday, August 13th, at 1:30 p.m., the Autry will screen John Sturges’ version of one of the most-filmed stories of western history, GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL, in 35 mm. Sturges, though currently neglected, was a master of intelligent, exuberant action films like THE GREAT ESCAPE and MAGNIFICENT 7, and overdue for reappraisal. Here he’s ably assisted by a Leon Uris script from a George Scullin article, with costumes by Edith Head, a score by Dimitri Tiomkin, and the stick-in-your-head theme sung by Frankie Laine. Burt Lancaster is Wyatt Earp, Kirk Douglas is Doc Holliday, and the rest of the cast is filled to the brim with great westerns actors: Rhonda Fleming, Earl Holliman, Dennis Hopper, Lee Van Cleef, John Ireland, Jack Elam… It’s required viewing, and Associate Curator Jeffrey Richardson will lead a discussion on both the film and the actual history. And coming soon, for comparison purposes, is TOMBSTONE!
THURSDAY IS BEN JOHNSON DAY ON TCM
It’s become a tradition at TCM to devote each day in August to the work of a single actor, and Thursday, August 11th, the honor falls to the great Ben Johnson, Oscar winner for THE LAST PICTURE SHOW. And what a line-up! It starts at 3:00 a.m. Pacific Time with 3 GODFATHERS, and is followed by FORT DEFIANCE at 5, WILD STALLION at 6:30, WAR DRUMS at 8, CHEYENNE AUTUMN at 9:30, MAJOR DUNDEE at 12:30 p.m., JUNIOR BONNER at 3, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG at 5, WAGON MASTER at 6:45, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON at 8:15, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW at 10:15, and ends with THE WILD BUNCH at 12:30 a.m.
Also of interest on TCM this week, on Wednesday, Shirley MacLaine Day, at 5:00 a.m., see THE SHEEPMAN. On Saturday, James Stewart Day, there’s a double-bill of THE NAKED SPUR at 3:15 pm and THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE at five. And on Ralph Bellamy Sunday at 1:45 p.m. it’s THE PROFESSIONALS.
TCM FANATIC - WESTERN NOW ONLINE!
And speaking of TCM, have I mentioned that the segment I was interviewed for is now viewable here?
THE AUTRY NATIONAL CENTER
Built by cowboy actor, singer, baseball and TV entrepeneur Gene Autry, and designed by the Disney Imagineering team, the Autry is a world-class museum housing a fascinating collection of items related to the fact, fiction, film, history and art of the American West. In addition to their permenant galleries (to which new items are frequently added), they have temporary shows. The Autry has many special programs every week -- sometimes several in a day. To check their daily calendar, CLICK HERE. And they always have gold panning for kids every weekend. For directions, hours, admission prices, and all other information, CLICK HERE.
HOLLYWOOD HERITAGE MUSEUM
Across the street from the Hollywood Bowl, this building, once the headquarters of Lasky-Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures) was the original DeMille Barn, where Cecil B. DeMille made the first Hollywood western, The Squaw Man. They have a permanent display of movie props, documents and other items related to early, especially silent, film production. They also have occasional special programs. 2100 Highland Ave., L.A. CA 323-874-2276. Thursday – Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. $5 for adults, $3 for senior, $1 for children.
WELLS FARGO HISTORY MUSEUM
This small but entertaining museum gives a detailed history of Wells Fargo when the name suggested stage-coaches rather than ATMS. There’s a historically accurate reproduction of an agent’s office, an original Concord Coach, and other historical displays. Open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Admission is free. 213-253-7166. 333 S. Grand Street, L.A. CA.
FREE WESTERNS ON YOUR COMPUTER AT HULU
A staggering number of western TV episodes and movies are available, entirely free, for viewing on your computer at HULU. You do have to sit through the commercials, but that seems like a small price to pay. The series available -- often several entire seasons to choose from -- include THE RIFLEMAN, THE CISCO KID, THE LONE RANGER, BAT MASTERSON, THE BIG VALLEY, ALIAS SMITH AND JONES, and one I missed from 2003 called PEACEMAKERS starring Tom Berenger. Because they are linked up with the TV LAND website, you can also see BONANZA and GUNSMOKE episodes, but only the ones that are running on the network that week.
The features include a dozen Zane Grey adaptations, and many or most of the others are public domain features. To visit HULU on their western page, CLICK HERE.
TV LAND - BONANZA and GUNSMOKE
Every weekday, TV LAND airs a three-hour block of BONANZA episodes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They run a GUNSMOKE Monday through Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and on Friday they show two, from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.. They're not currently running either series on weekends, but that could change at any time.
NEED YOUR BLACK & WHITE TV FIX?
Check out your cable system for WHT, which stands for World Harvest Television. It's a religious network that runs a lot of good western programming. Your times may vary, depending on where you live, but weekdays in Los Angeles they run DANIEL BOONE at 1:00 p.m., and two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.. On Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. it's THE RIFLEMAN again, followed at 2:30 by BAT MASTERSON. And unlike many stations in the re-run business, they run the shows in the original airing order. There's an afternoon movie on weekdays at noon, often a western, and they show western films on the weekend, but the schedule is sporadic.
RFD-TV has begun airing THE ROY ROGERS SHOW on Sundays at 9:00 a.m., with repeats the following Thursday and Saturday.
Also, AMC has started showing two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN on Saturday mornings.
On Saturday mornings at 8:00 a.m. Pacific time, TCM is showing two chapters of ZORRO RIDES AGAIN, Republic’s fine western action serial, starring John Carroll, Duncan Renaldo, and featuring action directed by John English and William Whitney.
That's it for now!
All contents copyright August 2011 by Henry C. Parke - All Rights Reserved