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Gunsmoke

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

Thursday
April 17
11:38am
Jaekel
A released convict comes to claim as his own a married woman who for years had been corresponding with him purely out of kindness.
TV-G
12:49pm
Murdoch
An aging marshal sets out to trap a band of outlaws.
TV-G
2:00pm
Cleavus
A childhood friend of Festus's kills a prospector and then loses his mind when he finds that the apparently rich mine contains only fool's gold.
TV-G
Friday
April 18
11:38am
Lavery
A young cowhand saves Matt Dillon from an ambush, and it isn't long before the Marshal has an opportunity to return the favor.
TV-G
12:49pm
Dirty Sally (part 1)
A young outlaw is reformed by the kindness and help of an elderly female junk collector.
TV-G
2:00pm
Dirty Sally (part 2)
A young outlaw is reformed by the kindness and help of an elderly female junk collector.
TV-G
Monday
April 21
11:38am
Phoenix
A young convict makes a contract, upon release from prison, to kill a man he has never met.
TV-G
12:49pm
Waste Part 1
Matt Dillon delays his pursuit of an outlaw in order to help a young boy search for his mother. Ellen Burstyn guest-stars.
TV-G
2:00pm
Waste Part 2
Marshal Dillon confronts the outlaw whose pursuit he had delayed to help a small boy find his mother. Ellen Burstyn guest-stars.
TV-G

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