Gunsmoke

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Gunsmoke Theme Song

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About Gunsmoke

Premiering on CBS in September 1955 and completing its network run September 1975, Gunsmoke is the longest-running dramatic series in the history of TV. Two of its stars, James Arness and Milburn Stone, remained all 20 seasons, with Amanda Blake a close second, departing after 19 years.

The series started out as a half-hour show, and expanded to an hour in its seventh season. Prior to Gunsmoke (and The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, which premiered the same week), Western shows generally focused on fantasy characters such as the Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy, holdovers from movie and radio serials. Gunsmoke was one of the earliest "adult Westerns," centering around the exploits of Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) in the frontier town of Dodge City, Kan. in 1873. His kindly companion was Doc Adams (Milburn Stone), the town physician who spent many hours chugging beers at the Long Branch Saloon, owned and operated by the shapely Kitty Russell. Over the years there were several changes in the supporting cast, most notably the replacement of Matt's loyal deputy, Chester Goode (Dennis Weaver), with hillbilly deputy Festus Haggen (Ken Curtis).

Gunsmoke started a longtime trend for TV westerns. At one point there were 30 of them on the air at the same time. But Gunsmoke outlasted the others and at the time of its cancelation in 1975, it was the only show of its kind still on the air.

Gunsmoke TV Schedule

Friday
July 29
1:00pm
The Gun
A young man kills a notorious gunfighter in self-defense and becomes the victim of an unscrupulous reporter's publicity buildup.
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2:00pm
Noon Day Devil
Pursued by Marshal Matt Dillon, a Mexican bandit seeks sanctuary with a priest, his twin brother.
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3:00pm
The Witness
A family is held hostage by the relatives of a killer to prevent them from testifying at his trial.
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4:00pm
The Scavengers
A black man, to save his own life, must falsely accuse a band of Indians of wiping out a wagon train.
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Monday
August 1
1:00pm
McCabe
An outlaw grabs a hostage while Marshal Dillon is trying to arrest him and forces the marshal to work out a deal.
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2:00pm
Sergeant Holly
An Army sergeant is accused of desertion and the theft of an Army payroll.
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3:00pm
Jenny
Newly runs afoul of the law when he releases a dangerous outlaw to visit his nine-year-old daughter.
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4:00pm
Captain Sligo
A middle-aged sea captain gives up the sea and decides to settle near Dodge City.
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Tuesday
August 2
1:00pm
Mirage
Deputy Festus Haggen is lost in the desert and stumbles into a ghost town where he is attacked by a killer.
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2:00pm
Tycoon
Festus tries to go into the freight business and it nearly results in matrimony.
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3:00pm
Jaekel
A released convict comes to claim as his own a married woman who for years had been corresponding to him purely out of kindness.
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4:00pm
Murdoch
An aging marshal sets out to trap a band of outlaws.
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