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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

Wednesday
July 30
11:19am
Ring Of Darkness
A pretty blind girl influences deputy Newly O'Brien's efforts to arrest a horse thief.
TV-G
12:30pm
Jake MacGraw
People suspect ex-gunfighter Jake MacGraw has ulterior motives when he gets a job as piano player in the Longbranch Saloon. J.D. Cannon guest-stars.
TV-G
Thursday
July 31
11:19am
Roots Of Fear
A run on the Dodge City bank forces three desperate farmers to resort to robbery. Jodie Foster guest-stars.
TV-G
12:30pm
The Sisters
A contemptible father pretends to have a change of heart when three nuns confront him with the care and custody of his two children.
TV-G
Friday
August 1
11:19am
The Cage
When a young outlaw becomes the victim of his own gang, he decides to help Marshal Matt Dillon bring them in.
TV-G
12:30pm
The War Priest
Kitty, en route from Owl Flats to Dodge City by buckboard, is kidnapped by Apache war priest Gregorio, an escaped cavalry prisoner.
TV-G

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