A History of Television’s The Virginian, 1962–1971


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About the Book

On September 19, 1962, The Virginian made its primetime broadcast premiere. The 1902 novel by Owen Wister had already seen four movie adaptations when Frank Price mentioned the story’s series potential to NBC. Filmed in color, The Virginian became television’s first 90-minute western series. Immensely successful, it ran for nine seasons—television’s third longest running western.
This work accounts for the entire creative history of The Virginian, including the original inspirations and the motion picture adaptations—but the primary focus is its transformation into television and the ways in which the show changed over time. An extensive episode guide includes title, air date, guest star(s), writers, producers, director and a brief synopsis of each of The Virginian’s 249 episodes, along with detailed cast and production credits.

About the Author(s)

Paul Green has worked as an artist in the UK for Marvel, DC and World International-Egmont, among others, on titles such as Doctor Who, Rambo, Action Man, Wonder Woman and Star Trek. The author of many books about television and film history, he lives in Rustburg, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Green
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 300
Bibliographic Info: 57 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4680-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5799-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Foreword by Frank Price      1

Preface      5

Introduction      7

1. Owen Wister      9

2. Beginnings      15

3. The Virginian: Season One      21

4. Early Seasons: Seasons Two and Three      31

5. Change of Direction: Season Four      45

6. New Beginnings: Season Five      51

7. MacDonnell in Charge: Seasons Six to Eight      62

8. The Men from Shiloh: Season Nine      72

9. Production and Location      79

10. Lee J. Cobb: Judge Henry Garth      90

11. James Drury: The Virginian      94

12. Doug McClure: Trampas      104

13. Gary Clarke: Steve Hill      118

14. Roberta Shore: Betsy Garth      132

15. Randy Boone: Randy Benton      140

16. Clu Gulager and Diane Roter: Emmett Ryker and Jennifer Sommers      151

17. Charles Bickford, Don Quine and Sara Lane: John, Stacey and Elizabeth Grainger      155

18. John McIntire, David Hartman and Tim Matheson: Clay Grainger, David Sutton and Jim Horn      166

19. Stewart Granger and Lee Majors: Col. Alan Mackenzie and Roy Tate      170

20. Familiar Faces: Pippa Scott, L. Q. Jones, John Dehner, Jeanette Nolan and Ross Elliott      173

21. Frank Price: Executive Producer      179

22. Producers      184

23. Writers      192

24. Directors      200

25. Directors of Photography      212

26. Composers      217

27. Episode Guide      230

28. Afterthoughts      267

Appendix: The Virginian Memorabilia      269

Bibliography      271

Index      275

Book Reviews & Awards

“a magnificent must”—Western Clippings; “essential”—Free Rein Magazine; “wonderfully detailed and nostalgic book…congratulations on this remarkable effort!”—Joel Rogosin, producer of The Virginian.