Sierra (TV series)

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Cruncher Sierra 1974.JPG
Behind-the-scenes photo of how Cruncher the bear, a show regular, was filmed.
Genre police drama
Created by Jack Webb
Starring James G. Richardson
Ernest Thompson
Susan Foster
Jack Hogan
Michael Warren
Theme music composer Lee Holdridge and
John Denver[1]
performed by
Denny Brooks[2]
Composer(s) John Denver (additional music by)
Lee Holdridge (1.1, 1.5)
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 14 (13 + 1 movie)
Executive producer(s) Jack Webb
Robert A. Cinader
Producer(s) Bruce Johnson
Production location(s) California (Yosemite Nat. Park)
Camera setup multi-camera
Running time 60 mins.
Production company(s) Mark VII Limited
Universal Television
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Picture format 1.33 : 1 color
Audio format monoaural
Original release 12 September –
24 December 1974 (full-length movie; series actually cancelled on 12 December 1974)
Related shows Emergency!

Sierra is a 1974 television crime drama series focusing on the efforts of National Park Service rangers to enforce federal law and to effect wilderness rescues. The program aired on NBC and was packaged by Jack Webb's Mark VII Limited for Universal Television. The show's theme song was written by Lee Holdridge (music) and John Denver (lyrics). Robert A. Cinader, executive producer of Mark VII's Emergency! (which partially inspired this show), handled this program also; Bruce Johnson produced.


The show derived its name from its setting, the fictional Sierra National Park, a part of the U.S. National Park Service. In reality, exteriors were filmed at Yosemite National Park.[3] The tenth episode, "The Urban Ranger", established that the park also existed within the same fictional world populated by the characters of Emergency!, its sister Mark VII show. The two paramedic characters from Emergency!,[4] played by Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth, also appeared in Sierra "The Urban Rangers".[5]


Like many Mark VII Limited television dramas, the show centered on a pair of leads in a public service job, backed up by a supporting cast of characters from within the same organization. In this case, the leads were James G. Richardson as Ranger Tim Cassidy and Ernest Thompson as Ranger Matt Harper. The cast was rounded out by their boss, Chief Ranger Jack Moore (Jack Hogan), and fellow rangers Julie Beck (Susan Foster) and P. J. Lewis (Michael Warren).


The show was cancelled after three months, mainly due to the popularity of The Waltons,[1] which was its direct competition on CBS. The series finale aired on Christmas Eve as a modified version of its previously-unaired pilot episode, The Rangers.[6]


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