The Texas Wheelers
|The Texas Wheelers|
Gary Busey, Mark Hamill and Jack Elam, 1974.
|Theme music composer||John Prine|
|Country of origin||U.S.|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Original run||September 13, 1974 – July 24, 1975|
The Texas Wheelers is an ABC situation comedy television series that aired in 1974 and 1975. The series, produced by MTM Enterprises, is about the cantankerous but lovable Zack Wheeler, a long-lost father who returned to raise his children Truckie, Doobie, Boo, and T.J. in rural Texas after their mother died.
The show was not successful, due to being broadcast against the second half of NBC's The Rockford Files, and was canceled after four episodes in the fall of 1974. An additional four episodes were aired in June and July 1975. The show is notable as one of MTM's few flops, and for the well-known actors in its cast, including Jack Elam as Zack, Gary Busey as Truckie, Mark Hamill as Doobie, Tony Becker as T.J., and Lisa Eilbacher as the Wheelers' friend Sally.
The theme song for the show was "Illegal Smile" by John Prine.
|Episode #||Episode title||Original airdate||Plot|
|1-1||"Wailin' Wheeler is Dead"||September 13, 1974||Truckie Wheeler, oldest brother and chief provider for his younger brothers and sisters is faced with a school mutiny and the return of "irresponsible but lovable daddy."|
|1-2||"The X-Rated Movie"||September 20, 1974||Doobie sees an X-rated movie to get ready for a date, is repulsed by it and seeks advice from older brother Truckie.|
|1-3||"The Accident"||September 27, 1974||When Truckie discovers a dent in his truck, Zack denies doing it, although he used it the night before.|
|1-4||"The Twister"||October 4, 1974||As a tornado approaches Lamont, Truckie takes the kids to safety while Zack and Doobie are trapped together in the Wheeler basement.|
|1-5||"The Bookmobile"||July 3, 1975||Truckie falls hard for a pretty librarian, but he has a difficult time reconciling his feelings for her with her "wanderlust" spirit.|
|1-6||"The Music Box"||July 10, 1975||Zack has an antique sale when he discovers the pile of junk in his barn is considered valuable, but inadvertently sells his daughter's cherished music box.|
|1-7||"The Call"||July 17, 1975||When Zack gets a wandering foot and attempts to find the Lost Dutchman gold mine, his daughter Boo demands to accompany him, much to his chagrin.|
|1-8||"The Rebel"||July 24, 1975||While working several jobs in order to support the family, Truckie calls it quits and goes on strike.|
- Tim Brooks & Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows (7th ed. 1999), p. 1013.
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