Walking Tall (TV series)

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Walking Tall
Genre Drama
Written by Lee Sheldon
Directed by Alf Kjellin
Starring
Composer(s) Edd Kalehoff
Country of origin  United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 7
Production
Executive producer(s) David Gerber
Producer(s) Mel Swope
Editor(s)
  • Bob Fish
  • Richard Freeman
  • Rod Stephens
Location(s) Newhall, Santa Clarita, California
Cinematography William Gereghty
Running time 60 min
Production company(s) Columbia Pictures Television
Distributor NBC
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run January 17, 1981 (1981-01-17) – June 6, 1981 (1981-06-06)
Chronology
Related shows

Walking Tall is an American television drama series that ran on NBC in 1981 for one season of seven episodes. The first 5 episodes aired Saturday nights at 9:00 p.m. (opposite the popular ABC series The Love Boat). The last 2 episodes aired Tuesday nights at 10:00 p.m. NBC reran all 7 episodes from April-June 1981. This one-hour show was based on the 1973 film Walking Tall, which was based on the life of Buford Pusser. Here, Pusser is the sheriff of McNeal County, Tennessee, fighting criminals each week in 1969.

Bo Svenson played Pusser, whom he had played before in Walking Tall Part 2 (1975) and Walking Tall: Final Chapter (1977). (Brian Dennehy played Pusser in A Real American Hero in 1978 on CBS).

The rest of the cast included:

L.Q. Jones appeared in one segment as John Witter, Pusser's long-time nemesis.

Guest stars included Robert Englund, William Windom, Chuck Connors, Merlin Olsen, Ralph Bellamy, Gail Strickland, James MacArthur, and Art Hindle.

The theme song "Walking Tall" was sung by Brad Mercer. The lyrics were: "You pay the price for every move you make/ Sometimes right can hurt you more than wrong/ But you can't do the choosing by the pain/ The only thing A man can do is live up to his name/ Walking tall, I'm putting people on the run/ Walking tall, because I did what had to be done/ Walking tall, feeling proud, ain't gonna run and hide/ I've got my pride, and I am walking tall."

At the time, Svenson was the highest-paid actor in a television series.

Episodes[edit]

Title Directed by: Written by: Air date
1 "The Killing of McNeal County's Children" Alf Kjellin Stephen Downing 17 January 1981 (1981-01-17)
Sheriff Buford Pusser investigates when two teenagers are hospitalized after smoking potent PCP cigarettes.
2 "The Protectors of the People" Daniel Haller Donald R. Boyle 24 January 1981 (1981-01-24)
Racial tensions inflame in McNeal County when three Ku Klux Klan members impersonate black men and attack a white girl.
3 "Kidnapped" John Florea Paul Savage 31 January 1981 (1981-01-31)
Bank robbers take Sheriff Pusser's father hostage.
4 "Hitman" Alf Kjellin Robert E. Swanson 7 February 1981 (1981-02-07)
Sheriff Pusser goes against his childhood friend, now a paid assassin assigned to murder Buford.
5 "Company Town" Harvey S. Laidman Lee Sheldon 14 February 1981 (1981-02-14)
Sheriff Pusser investigates the disappearance of a miner who has inflamed his bosses with vocal complaints about low wages and unsafe working conditions.
6 "Deadly Impact" Alexander Singer Gregory S. Dinallo 24 March 1981 (1981-03-24)
After an old friend is murdered by chemical company workers dumping excess toxic waste, Sheriff Pusser teams up with a whistle-blowing company employee to solve the case.
7 "The Fire Within" Phil Bondelli Lee Sheldon 31 March 1981 (1981-03-31)
Sheriff Pusser butts heads with an idealistic priest who learns of a gunrunning ring during confession, but whose vows prevent him from sharing his knowledge with the law.
  • These air dates are from the book "Television Drama Programming: A Comprehensive Chronicle, 1980-1982", by Larry James Gianakos (Scarecrow Press, 1983, hardcover).

Availability[edit]

The entire series has been released on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.[1]

References[edit]