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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

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
Tuesday
April 22
11:38am
The Lost
Kitty Russell, injured and isolated by a stagecoach accident, must rely on a strange, wild child for survival. Mercedes McCambridge guest-stars.
TV-G
12:49pm
New Doctor in Town
A new doctor faces the suspicion and mistrust of many of the townspeople when he fills in for the absent Doc Adams.
TV-G
2:00pm
The Legend
Against great odds, the mother of two infamous outlaw sons tries to steer her youngest boy into an honest life. Jan-Michael Vincent guest-stars.
TV-G
Wednesday
April 23
11:38am
The Bullet Part 1
Matt Dillon, bushwhacked, will either die or become paralyzed unless a bullet is removed from an area near his spine.
TV-G
12:49pm
The Bullet Part 2
Festus and Newly overpower outlaws transferring stolen gold from a train to a wagon and head off with the wagon and the gold.
TV-G
2:00pm
The Bullet Part 3
Doc Adams faces a critical decision as to whether he should personally operate on the gravely wounded Marshal Dillon.
TV-G

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