Tales of Wells Fargo
|Tales of Wells Fargo|
Dale Robertson as Jim Hardie, 1958.
|Created by||James Brooks
|Directed by||Earl Bellamy
William F. Claxton
Lewis R. Foster
Leslie H. Martinson
|Theme music composer||Mort Greene
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||200|
|Running time||30 mins, (1957-1961)
60 mins. (1961-1962)
|Production company(s)||Overland Productions
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Picture format||Black-and-white (1957-61)
|Original release||March 18, 1957– June 2, 1962|
Tales of Wells Fargo is an American Western television series starring Dale Robertson that ran from 1957 to 1962 on NBC. Produced by Revue Productions, the series aired in a half-hour format until its final season when it expanded to an hour.
Set in the 1870s and 1880s, the series starred the Oklahoma native Dale Robertson as special agent Jim Hardie, noted at the time as "the left-handed gun". The series development was influenced by the biography of Wells Fargo detective Fred J. Dodge. The concept of Tales of Wells Fargo, a company troubleshooter in the American West, was also adapted by the syndicated series Pony Express, co-starring Grant Sullivan as detective Brett Clark, which aired in the 1959-1960 season, nearly coinciding with the centennial of the Pony Express. Even earlier, from 1954 to 1955, Jim Davis had starred as a railroad investigator, Matt Clark, in the syndicated Stories of the Century. Davis and Robertson, both of whom had unusual but similar-sounding speaking voices, each did the narration for their respective series.
In the 1957 Christmas episode entitled "Laredo", Jim Hardie must track gunrunners across the United States/Mexican border in Laredo, Texas, a quest which keeps him from spending the holiday with friends as he had intended. Guest stars include Henry Rowland, Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr., Karl Swenson, and Pierre Watkin.
Jim Hardie usually rode a chestnut horse with a white blaze on his face and four white stockings. His name was Jubilee. In at least one episode in season four, Jubilee came when Hardie whistled and called his name.
- Dale Robertson as Jim Hardie, Wells Fargo agent
- William Demarest as Jeb Gaine (1961-1962)
- Virginia Christine as Ovie (1961–1962)
- Jack Ging as Beau McCloud
- Lory Patrick as Tina (1961–1962)
Notable guest stars
The pilot for Tales of Wells Fargo originally premiered as an episode of the anthology series Schlitz Playhouse.
In the 1960-61 season, Wells Fargo was scheduled opposite ABC's detective series Surfside 6 and CBS's new sitcom Bringing Up Buddy, starring Frank Aletter. Wells Fargo and Surfside 6 survived another year, but Bringing Up Buddy was cancelled. Wells Fargo was the lead-in that year to a new NBC Western, Klondike, but that series, set in the Alaskan gold rush town of Skagway, survived only seventeen episodes.
|DVD name||Ep #||Release date|
|The Complete First and Second Seasons||52||October 25, 2011|
- ""Laredo", on Tales of Wells Fargo, December 23, 1957". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- "TV Ratings: 1957-1958". classictvhits.com.
- "TV Ratings: 1958-1959". classictvhits.com.
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