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Frontier (1955 TV series)

Frontier is an American Western anthology series that aired on NBC from September 1955 to September 1956.[1] The series de-emphasizes gunplay and focuses on the hazards of the settlement of the American West. It was only the second anthology Western series in television history, having been preceded by Death Valley Days.[2]

James Best Frontier Return of Jubal Dolan.JPG
Guest star James Best
GenreWestern anthology series
Created byMorton S. Fine
David Friedkin
Directed byWorthington Miner
Sidney Lumet
Don Siegel
Narrated byWalter Coy
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes31
Producer(s)Worthington Miner
Matthew Rapf
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25 mins.
Production company(s)California National Productions
Tomoda Productions
Hal Roach Studios
DistributorNBC Television Films
Original networkNBC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 25, 1955 (1955-09-25) –
September 9, 1956 (1956-09-09)

Frontier aired premiered on September 25, 1955, and ran sporadically in its last five months. Walter Coy narrated the series and starred in occasional episodes, which are dramatizations based on actual events. The program was produced by Worthington Miner.[2]


Coy begins each Frontier episode with the line: "This is the way it happened ... movin' west", and he closed with the refrain: "It happened that way ... movin' west." Frontier is similar in scope to its predecessor and longer-lasting syndicated series Death Valley Days, which went through a series of hosts, including Stanley Andrews (known on the program as The Old Ranger), Ronald W. Reagan, Robert Taylor, and Dale Robertson.[3]

Frontier ran only a single season but was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. Jack Kelly, who in 1957 launched the role of Bart Maverick in the ABC/Warner Brothers western series Maverick, appeared three times on Frontier in the episodes entitled "The Hunted", "The Return of Jubal Dolan" (as lead character), and "The Hostage". Robert Vaughn was Kelly's co-star in "The Return of Jubal Dolan."

Guest starsEdit

Production notesEdit

The series was produced by California National Productions, which also released three syndicated western series, Boots and Saddles, Union Pacific (1958–59) and Pony Express (1959–60).[4]

Frontier aired at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Sundays following the sitcom It's a Great Life. Its principal competition was on CBS: the alternating comedy programs, The Jack Benny Show and Private Secretary with Ann Sothern. Frontier was replaced on NBC in the 1956–57 season by Circus Boy.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tim Brooks; Earle Marsh (2003). "Frontier (Western Anthology)". The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present (Eighth ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 441. ISBN 978-0-345-45542-0.
  2. ^ a b Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 307
  3. ^ "Frontier (1955-1956)". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
  4. ^ "Boots and Saddles". Classic TV Archives. Retrieved September 12, 2009.
  5. ^ McNeil, Total Television, appendix

External linksEdit