The Cisco Kid is a 1950–1956 half-hour American Western television series starring Duncan Renaldo in the title role, the Cisco Kid, and Leo Carrillo as the jovial sidekick, Pancho. The series was syndicated to individual stations, and was popular with children. Cisco and Pancho were technically desperados wanted for unspecified crimes, but were viewed by the poor as Robin Hood figures who assisted the downtrodden when law enforcement officers proved corrupt or unwilling to help. It was also the first television series to be filmed in color, although few viewers saw it in color until the 1960s.
|The Cisco Kid|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||156 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company||Ziv Television Programs|
|Release||September 5, 1950 –|
March 22, 1956
There were 156 half-hour episodes filmed between 1950 and 1956. The show was never run as a network series and was instead sold to local stations.: 187 During the series' initial run it was seen on 78 stations in the United States. In 1956 the series was dubbed into foreign languages and distributed to twenty countries, including France, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Argentina and the Dominican Republic.
The Cisco Kid was a charming ladies’ man, dressed in a highly embroidered black outfit, and his sidekick Pancho brought humor to the series with his heavily accented comments. Duncan Renaldo said of Leo Carrillo playing Pancho: “His accent was so exaggerated that when we finished a picture, no one in the cast or crew could talk normal English any more.” The Cisco Kid rode a horse named Diablo, and Pancho rode Loco.
There was little gunplay in the series. Cisco usually shot the gun out of the villain’s hand, and Pancho often disarmed the bad guys using a bullwhip. There was plenty of action in the series, and Renaldo often did his own stunts, which resulted in several injuries. In one episode Renaldo was to dodge a 65-pound papier-mâché boulder, which struck him in the head, breaking two neck vertebrae. He was paralyzed for two months.
- Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present, pp. 187, 188 (Seventh Edition), Ballantine Books, 1999
- Woolery, George W. (1985). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946–1981, Part II: Live, Film, and Tape Series. The Scarecrow Press. pp. 121–122. ISBN 0-8108-1651-2.
- Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 165
- Interview with Frederick W. Ziv, in: Irv Broughton, Producers on Producing: The Making of Film and Television, McFarland, 1986, p. 18. ISBN 978-0-89950-199-4.
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
- Grossman, Gary H., Saturday Morning TV, pp. 190–191, Dell Publishing Company, 1981
- Stern, Jane and Michael, Way Out West, pp. 21–22, HarperCollins, 1993
- Summers, Neil and Crowley, Roger M., The Official TV Western Round-Up Book, p. 85, The Old West Shop Publishing, 2002