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

Monday
August 29
1:00pm
The Schoolmarm
A widower tries to protect the reputation of his son's teacher, and faces a charge of murder because of it.
TV-G
2:00pm
A Trail of Bloodshed
Craig Stevens, Kurt Russell, and Tom Simcox are guest stars in the story of a farm youth's grim trackdown of the man who killed his father.
TV-G
3:00pm
To Ride a Yellow Horse
An ambitious mother doesn't consider Newly O'Brien or a neighboring farmer suitable suitors for her daughter, provoking them into a fight which almost leads to tragedy.
TV-G
4:00pm
The Disciple
The residents of Dodge City are stunned when Matt Dillon feels he can no longer keep law and order and turns in his Marshal's badge.
TV-G
Tuesday
August 30
1:00pm
Matt Dillon Must Die
Dillon finds himself in the revengeful hands of a half-crazed widower who plans, with the aid of his four surviving sons, to hunt Dillon down and kill him to revenge the death of his son, a wanted murderer.
TV-G
2:00pm
A Town in Chains
Dillon is captured and held for ransom by five bank robbers he has been pursuing when he rides into a small town to warn it about the outlaws--only to find out that they have taken over the place.
TV-G
3:00pm
The Guns of Cibola Blanca Part 1
Doc and pretty saloon owner Lyla Ross find themselves virtual slaves when they are kidnapped by a band of former Confederate officers-turned-outlaws.
TV-G
4:00pm
The Guns of Cibola Blanca Part 2
With Doc overdue and a stage coach with three passengers missing, Matt, Festus, and Newly set out to find their friend in the conclusion of the two-part episode.
TV-G
Wednesday
August 31
1:00pm
Thirty a Month and Found
A sequence of tragedies leads to the death of three cowboys, one of them an old friend of Matt's.
TV-G
2:00pm
The Wiving
Jed Hockett, a farmer, orders his three sons to go to town and not return without prospective brides.
TV-G
3:00pm
The Iron Men
Cameron Mitchell guest stars as Chauncey Demon, once a highly respected sheriff who has let himself degenerate into a saloon bum, and whose old friend Matt Dillon won't accept his condition as final.
TV-G
4:00pm
The Fourth Victim
A series of seemingly random killings have the citizens of Dodge in near panic, but Dillon believes they are part of a pattern in which Doc is slated to be the next target.
TV-G

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