The Rounders (TV series)

The Rounders was an American Western-style sitcom about two cowboys on the fictitious J.L. Ranch in Texas. It starred Ron Hayes as Ben Jones and Patrick Wayne, a son of John Wayne, as Howdy Lewis. The M-G-M television series aired on ABC from September 6, 1966, to January 3, 1967. The program was loosely based on a 1965 film of the same name, starring Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda, set near Sedona, Arizona, rather than Texas.[1]

The Rounders
Based onThe Rounders
Developed byMarion Hargrove
Directed byAllen Reisner
StarringRon Hayes
Patrick Wayne
Chill Wills
Walker Edmiston
Strother Martin
James Brown
Jason Wingreen
Theme music composerJeff Alexander
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes17
Running time30 minutes
Production companyMGM Television
Original networkABC
Picture formatColor
Original releaseSeptember 6, 1966 (1966-09-06) –
January 3, 1967 (1967-01-03)
Ron Hayes (1966)


Chill Wills, a native Texan and formerly of CBS's Frontier Circus, appeared as the shady ranch owner, Jim Ed Love. Janis Hansen co-starred as Ben's girlfriend, Sally, and Bobbi Jordan played Howdy's girlfriend, Ada. Jason Wingreen appeared as Shorty Dawes, and Walker Edmiston as Regan. Character actors Strother Martin and J. Pat O'Malley appeared as "Cousin Fletch" and "Vince", respectively. James Brown, formerly the lieutenant on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, played Luke.[2]



Selected episodes with notable guest stars include: "A Horse on Jim Ed Love", series premiere with Harry Carey, Jr.; "It's a Noble Thing to Do", with John Smith, formerly Slim Sherman on NBC's Laramie; "Don't Buffalo Me", with Jay Silverheels, formerly Tonto of The Lone Ranger, as John Tallgrass; "The Moonshine Still Shines"; "It Takes Only One to Suffer"; "The Scavenger Hunt" with Zsa Zsa Gabor as Ilona Hobson; "Some Things Are Not for Sale"; "Four Alarm Wing Ding", with Dick Haynes as a sheriff; "Horse of a Different Cutter" with Andy Devine as Honest John Denton and Strother Martin as Cousin Fletch; "Polo, Anyone?", with Jay C. Flippen as Kenny Fahrbush; "Efficiency Is for Experts", and "What Elephants?", the series finale, in which Ben and Howdy try to hide an elephant in plain sight.[3]

The Rounders was broadcast on Tuesday evenings at 8:30 Eastern in the time slot following ABC's long-running military drama Combat!, then in its last season, and preceding Phyllis Diller's unsuccessful attempt at a weekly sitcom, The Pruitts of Southampton. The Rounders aired opposite The Red Skelton Show on CBS and the sitcom Occasional Wife, starring Michael Callan, on NBC.[4] Prior to The Rounders, Ron Hayes had appeared in the starring role of the syndicated series The Everglades.


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"A Horse On Jim Ed Love"Burt KennedyMarion HargroveSeptember 6, 1966 (1966-09-06)
Jim wants to buy a horse to resell and make a lot of money, but the horse has other plans.
2"Frontier Frankenstein"Hollingsworth MorseJack TurleySeptember 13, 1966 (1966-09-13)
Jim is tired of Old Fooler, so he uses a remote-control training device to try to whip the ranch ponies into top-flight cutting horses.
3"It's The Noble Thing To Do"Hollingsworth MorseMilton S. GelmanSeptember 20, 1966 (1966-09-20)
Noble Vestry is known as the greatest cowpuncher in the world, so Jim enlists Noble's help to teach Howdy and Ben the reality of being a cowboy.
4"The Moonshine Still Shines"Alexander SingerLois HireSeptember 27, 1966 (1966-09-27)
A new sheriff is in town, at least temporarily, and as his first official duty, Jim sets out to smash the still of a moonshiner.
5"Don't Buffalo Me"Hollingsworth MorseJudith Plowden & Teddi ShermanOctober 6, 1966 (1966-10-06)
Jim wants to own a real buffalo. Howdy and Ben want to make a lot of money. So the two cowpokes set out to satisfy Jim Ed's dream.
6"The Scavenger Hunt"Hollingsworth MorseStanley Adams & George F. SlavinOctober 11, 1966 (1966-10-11)
Velvet Haven, a fancy exclusive health resort just for women, has captured Howdy and Ben and put them to work at their ranch.
7"Some Things are Not for Sale"Alexander SingerMarion HargroveOctober 18, 1966 (1966-10-18)
Jim wants to buy Howdy's remarkably effective good-luck piece, but some things just are not for sale.
8"It Takes Only One to Suffer"Allen ReisnerEd AdamsonOctober 25, 1966 (1966-10-25)
Disgusted with life on the ranch, Ben gives Old Fooler to Howdy and takes over the operation of a one-pump gas station.
9"Man of the Year"Alexander SingerJohn DunkelNovember 1, 1966 (1966-11-01)
Jim wants to be named Man of the Year in Texas, so the ornery tightwad makes a painful effort to change his image.
10"Four Alarm Wingding"Alexander SingerHarold SwantonNovember 15, 1966 (1966-11-15)
Jim has bought a trailer from Howdy, but the merchandise might not arrive in A-1 condition; Howdy and Ben are throwing a party for the whole darned community in the trailer.
11"You Hold Your Temper, I'll Hold My Tongue"Hollingsworth MorseMilton S. GelmanNovember 22, 1966 (1966-11-22)
Jim promises a handsome sum if Ben Howdy will haul his new boat to Lake Love. Leave it to the two cowpokes to foul up a simple job....
12"Horse of a Different Cutter"Tom GriesMilton S. GelmanNovember 29, 1966 (1966-11-29)
A cutting-horse contest finds Howdy and Jim backing different entrants, and using all the sneaky tricks in the book to win their bets.
13"Polo, Anyone?"Hollingsworth MorseStanley Adams & George F. SlavinDecember 6, 1966 (1966-12-06)
Cowpokes Ben and Howdy are plotting to put one over on their boss Jim by using an old nag that they claim is a hot polo pony.
14"Low Moon At Hi Lo"Tom GriesPalmer ThompsonDecember 13, 1966 (1966-12-13)
Jim, with all his sneaky tricks, is again the favorite to win the annual horse race, but Abbey Marstow thinks she can outfox the fox this year with her own bag of tricks.
15"The Sweet Little Old Lady"Hollingsworth MorseNorman LessingDecember 20, 1966 (1966-12-20)
Martha Frobish was Jim's fourth-grade teacher, and since she has shown up, she has been wreaking havoc on the ranch.
16"Efficiency Is For The Experts"Allen ReisnerNorman KatkovDecember 27, 1966 (1966-12-27)
Jim needs efficiency on the ranch, and hires a woman who is an expert at it, much to the chagrin of two lazy cowboys.
17"What Elephants?"Hollingsworth MorseGene ThompsonJanuary 3, 1967 (1967-01-03)
Cowpokes Ben and Howdy are hiding a runaway pachyderm in plain sight, and having it do their work for them while they are at it.


  1. ^ "The Rounders (1965)". Nocturnal Pictures. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  2. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 710
  3. ^ "The Rounders (1966), episode list". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  4. ^ McNeil, Total Television, appendix

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