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Gunsmoke

Weekdays
11am/10c

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Gunsmoke Theme Song

(00:25)

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
April 24
2:00pm
The Fourth Victim
A series of seemingly random killings have the citizens of Dodge City in near panic, but Dillon believes they are part of a pattern in which Doc is slated to be the next target.
TV-G
Monday
April 27
12:38pm
The Tarnished Badge
Victor French guest-stars as Sheriff Bo Harker, a town tamer who keeps his citizens in line with fear and brutality.
TV-G
1:49pm
In Performance of Duty
Dillon is frustrated by Judge Kendall's insistence that the letter of the law be maintained and that Emmett Kaysinger and his gang, all known outlaws, be set free unless there is solid evidence to hold them.
TV-G
Tuesday
April 28
12:38pm
Island in the Desert Part 1
Strother Martin guest-stars as Ben Snow, a half-crazed desert hermit who saves Festus's life--only to force him to become a human pack animal.
TV-G
1:49pm
Island in the Desert Part 2
In the conclusion of a two-part episode, Ben Snow tries to get his long-hidden gold back to civilization to use in fighting an old enemy.
TV-G

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