The Westerner (TV series)
Brian Keith as Dave Blassingame and Spike as Brown, 1960
|Created by||Sam Peckinpah|
|Written by||Jack Curtis|
|Directed by||Sam Peckinpah|
André de Toth
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Hal Hudson|
|Running time||25 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Four Star Productions|
|Original release||September 30 –|
December 30, 1960
The Westerner is a highbrow American Western series that aired on NBC from September 30 to December 30, 1960. Created, written and produced by Sam Peckinpah, who also directed some episodes, the series was a Four Star Television production. The Westerner stars Brian Keith as amiable, unexceptional cowhand/drifter Dave Blassingame, and features John Dehner as rakish Burgundy Smith, who appeared in three episodes.
Dave Blassingame was a basically decent, ordinary man who was handy with a gun and his fists (and, when the occasion arose, the ladies). A cowboy and drifter, he could sometimes behave amorally in his quest to get enough money together to buy his own ranch, but always did the right thing in the end, and remained true to himself.
His equally amiable dog Brown was played by Spike, which was trained by Frank Weatherwax and is best known for playing the title role in Old Yeller. Brown figured prominently in a number of episodes, appeared in all of them, and was always seen faithfully following Blassingame in the end credits.
- Brian Keith as Dave Blassingame
- Spike (dog) as Brown
- Hank Gobble as Digger
- Jimmy Lee Cook as Band Member
- Michael T. Mikler as Band Member
- Marie Selland as Addie McKeen
- John Dehner as Burgundy Smith
Syndication as The Westerners
For rerun syndication it was grouped with three other short-lived Western series from the same company, Black Saddle starring Peter Breck, Johnny Ringo starring Don Durant, and Law of the Plainsman starring Michael Ansara, under the umbrella title The Westerners, bracketed with hosting sequences featuring Keenan Wynn.
|1||Jeff||Sam Peckinpah||Robert Heverly, Sam Peckinpah||Sep 30, 1960|
|2||School Days||André De Toth||Robert Heverly, Sam Peckinpah||Oct 7, 1960|
|3||Brown||Sam Peckinpah||Bruce Geller||Oct 21, 1960|
|4||Mrs. Kennedy||Bernard L. Kowalski||John Dunkel, Sam Peckinpah||Oct 28, 1960|
|5||Dos Pinos||Don McDougall||E. Jack Neuman||Nov 4, 1960|
|6||The Courting of Libby||Sam Peckinpah||Bruce Geller||Nov 11, 1960|
|7||Treasure||Ted Post||Cyril Hume||Nov 18, 1960|
|8||The Old Man||André De Toth||Jack Curtis, Sam Peckinpah||Nov 25, 1960|
|9||Ghost of a Chance||Bruce Geller||Milton S. Gelman||Dec 2, 1960|
|10||Line Camp||Tom Gries||Tom Gries||Dec 9, 1960|
|11||Going Home||Elliot Silverstein||Jack Curtis||Dec 16, 1960|
|12||Hand on the Gun||Sam Peckinpah||Bruce Geller||Dec 23, 1960|
|13||The Painting||Sam Peckinpah||Bruce Geller||Dec 30, 1960|
Spin-offs and remakes
The Losers (1963)
An unsuccessful attempt to update and revive the hardbitten series aired as a January 1963 episode of The Dick Powell Theater, "The Losers", directed by Peckinpah and featuring Lee Marvin as Dave Blassingame and Keenan Wynn as Burgundy Smith, but set in the modern West. Rosemary Clooney portrayed the leading lady.
Will Penny (1968)
The Gambler Returns (1991)
Brian Keith briefly played the same character again in 1991's The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, which featured a number of 1950s and 1960s television Western series leads reprising their roles in quick cameo appearances (Gene Barry as Bat Masterson, Hugh O'Brian as Wyatt Earp, Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick, Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie, David Carradine as Kung Fu's Caine, Chuck Connors as The Rifleman, and so on).
- "The Westerner: The Complete Series". Shout! Factory. Retrieved November 10, 2017.