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Tales of Wells Fargo is an American Western television series starring Dale Robertson that ran from 1957 to 1962 on NBC. Produced by Revue Productions, the series aired in a half-hour format until its final season when it expanded to an hour and switched from black and white to color.

Tales of Wells Fargo
Tales of Wells Fargo Dale Robertson 1958.jpg
Dale Robertson as Jim Hardie, 1958.
Genre Western
Created by James Brooks
Frank Gruber
Gene Reynolds
Directed by Earl Bellamy
William F. Claxton
Lewis R. Foster
Jerry Hopper
Leslie H. Martinson
Gene Reynolds
Sidney Salkow
R. G. Springsteen
George Waggner
William Witney
Starring Dale Robertson
William Demarest
Virginia Christine
Jack Ging
Theme music composer Mort Greene
Harry Warren
Stanley Wilson
Composer(s) Paul Dunlap
Michael Greene
Melvyn Lenard
Morton Stevens
Harry Sukman
John Williams
Country of origin  United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 200
Production
Producer(s) Nat Holt
Earle Lyon
Running time 30 mins, (1957-1961)
60 mins. (1961-1962)
Production company(s) Overland Productions
Revue Studios
Distributor MCA TV
(1964-1966)
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original network NBC
Picture format Black and white (1957-61)
Color (1961-62)
Audio format Monaural
Original release March 18, 1957 (1957-03-18) – June 2, 1962 (1962-06-02)

Contents

SynopsisEdit

Set in the 1870s and 1880s, the series starred the Oklahoma native Dale Robertson as special agent Jim Hardie, noted at the time as "the left-handed gun". The series development was influenced by the biography of Wells Fargo detective Fred J. Dodge. The concept of Tales of Wells Fargo, a company troubleshooter in the American West, was also adapted by the syndicated series Pony Express, co-starring Grant Sullivan as detective Brett Clark, which aired in the 1959-1960 season, nearly coinciding with the centennial of the Pony Express. Even earlier, from 1954 to 1955, Jim Davis had starred as a railroad investigator, Matt Clark, in the syndicated Stories of the Century. Davis and Robertson, both of whom had unusual but similar-sounding speaking voices, each did the narration for their respective series. (And each actor later landed roles in 1980's primetime soaps: Davis on Dallas and Robertson on Dynasty.)

In the 1957 Christmas episode entitled "Laredo", Jim Hardie must track gunrunners across the United States/Mexican border in Laredo, Texas, a quest which keeps him from spending the holiday with friends as he had intended. Guest stars include Henry Rowland, Rodolfo Hoyos Jr., Karl Swenson and Pierre Watkin.[1]

Jim Hardie usually rode a chestnut horse with a white blaze on his face and four white stockings. The horse, actually belonged to Dale Robertson, was named "Jubilee." In at least one episode in season four, Jubilee came when Hardie whistled and called his name.

CastEdit

Notable guest starsEdit

Broadcast historyEdit

The pilot for Tales of Wells Fargo originally premiered as an episode of the anthology series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars.

In the 1960-61 season, Wells Fargo was scheduled opposite ABC's detective series Surfside 6 and CBS's new sitcom Bringing Up Buddy, starring Frank Aletter. Wells Fargo and Surfside 6 survived another year, but Bringing Up Buddy was cancelled. Wells Fargo was the lead-in that year to a new NBC Western, Klondike, but that series, set in the gold rush town of Skagway, Alaska, survived only seventeen episodes.

RatingsEdit

For its first two years, the series was also in the top ten Nielsen Ratings. During the 1957-58 season, it was ranked #3,[3] and during the 1958-59 season, it was ranked #7.[4]

DVD releasesEdit

Timeless Media Group released the first two seasons on DVD in Region 1 for the first time.[5]

DVD name Ep # Release date
The Complete First and Second Seasons 52 October 25, 2011

MerchandiseEdit

The television series also spawned a number of publications for young readers, including the hardcover book Danger at Dry Creek (Golden Press, 1959), a series of Dell Comics and Little Golden Books. One of the artists who created this comic book adaptation was Russ Heath. [6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Laredo; Tales of Wells Fargo". Internet Movie Database. December 23, 1957. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  2. ^ CTVA.biz
  3. ^ "TV Ratings: 1957-1958". classictvhits.com.
  4. ^ "TV Ratings: 1958-1959". classictvhits.com.
  5. ^ Lambert, David (September 9, 2011). "Tales of Wells Fargo - 'The Complete 1st and 2nd Seasons' 6-DVD Tin". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  6. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/h/heath_russ.htm

External linksEdit