Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke

  • TV-PG
  • 1955
  • 20 Seasons
  • 7.9  (5,181)

Gunsmoke was originally a radio series, but when CBS television decided to put it on television John Wayne introduced it. The actor William Conrad portrayed Marshall Dillon when Gunsmoke was on radio. CBS wanted John Wayne in the lead. However, at that time in Hollywood, doing a television series was considered a step down for any movie star. But John Wayne was the one, who strongly recommended to CBS, that James Arness would be perfect for the lead. So on Saturday, September 10, 1955, at 10:00 p.m., John Wayne went on national television and introduced Gunsmoke. He also assured the American people that James Arness was perfect for the role of Marshall Dillon. The show was only 30 minutes long for the first 6 years. Then, in 1961 CBS decided to extend it to an hour. The series, in its entirety, lasted 20 years. It was an adult dramatic western television series. There were none on the air at that time. Gunsmoke broke new ground with the format. The characters in Gunsmoke were easy to like and admire. Marshall Matt Dillon was the sheriff of Dodge City, Kansas. Miss Kitty Russell, Doc Adams and Chester Goode round out the original cast. They were people with values and courage. You could look up to them. The American viewing public welcomed these people into their living rooms every week for twenty years. No western in television history has ever accomplished this feat. CBS hit gold with Gunsmoke.

Gunsmoke
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Seasons
The Sharecroppers
24. The Sharecroppers
March 31, 1975
Ann Marie Pugh needs to have a crop planted before her landlord evicts them from the property, but has her hands full trying to get her lazy family to work.
Manolo
23. Manolo
March 17, 1975
A traditional Basque custom, thought to prove one's manhood, causes Manola to be shunned by his people for refusing to fight his father.
The Busters
22. The Busters
March 10, 1975
A wild stallion ruins the dreams of two bronco busters who have risked their lives to raise money to build a ranch in Montana.
I Have Promises to Keep
21. I Have Promises to Keep
March 3, 1975
A preacher from back East intends to build a church for the Native Americans, placing Festus in the middle of a dispute when the townspeople protesting the idea.
Hard Labor
20. Hard Labor
February 24, 1975
A shooting in Bedrock has Marshal Matt Dillon sentenced for murder with a life imprisonment and hard labor.
Brides and Grooms
19. Brides and Grooms
February 10, 1975
The three sons of farmer Hackett are told it is time they wed the women they brought back from Dodge earlier.
The Angry Land
18. The Angry Land
February 3, 1975
Marshal Dillon escorts Bessie Sutherland to her Aunt Rachel's home after her parents are killed, but find out she is unwelcome in her house.
The Fires of Ignorance
17. The Fires of Ignorance
January 27, 1975
A school teacher fights to get all the children of Dodge City into school for a good education, something sorely lacking in the area, where the children's parents believe books are a waste of time..
Larkin
16. Larkin
January 20, 1975
Bounty hunters have their aim on Newly and his prisoner, a professional killer, as he escorts him back to Dodge City, forcing them into a strange alliance.
The Hiders
15. The Hiders
January 13, 1975
A man and his law abiding associates are skinners by trade, but they soon find themselves on the other side of the law when the go beyond the legal rights to do as they please.
The Squaw
14. The Squaw
January 6, 1975
Gristy Calhoun's survival in the badlands will all depend on a Native American woman when he flees from the partners he has double-crossed and from Marshal Dillon.
The Colonel
13. The Colonel
December 16, 1974
A once-proud military officer has an unplanned reunion with his daughter, which becomes a painful experience.
Island in the Desert (2)
12. Island in the Desert (2)
December 9, 1974
Ben Snow uses Festus to carry back his hidden gold to civilization to use in fighting an old enemy.
Island in the Desert (1)
11. Island in the Desert (1)
December 2, 1974
Festus is forced to become a human pack animal after being saved by Ben Snow, a half-crazed desert hermit.
In Performance of Duty
10. In Performance of Duty
November 18, 1974
Outlaw Emmett Kaysinger and his gang will be set free by Judge Kendall if Marshal Dillon doesn't maintain justice by the letter of the law.
The Tarnished Badge
9. The Tarnished Badge
November 11, 1974
A town is kept in line by Sheriff Bo Harker, who rules the territory by keeping the citizens in fear with brutality.
The Fourth Victim
8. The Fourth Victim
November 4, 1974
Matt fears that Doc is slated as the next victim in what appears to be a pattern of random murders in Dodge City.
The Iron Men
7. The Iron Men
October 21, 1974
Matt Dillon wants to reform his old friend Chauncey Demon, a former sheriff who has degenerated into a drunk.
The Wiving
6. The Wiving
October 14, 1974
The three sons of farmer Jed Hackett are ordered by their father to go into Dodge City and come back with prospective wives.
Thirty a Month and Found
5. Thirty a Month and Found
October 7, 1974
An old friend of Matt's is discovered dead along with two other men due to a sequence of tragedies.
The Guns of Cibola Blanca (2)
4. The Guns of Cibola Blanca (2)
September 30, 1974
Matt, Festus and Newly head out tof find their friend Doc when his stagecoach arrives with three passengers missing.
The Guns of Cibola Blanca (1)
3. The Guns of Cibola Blanca (1)
September 23, 1974
A band of former Confederate officers-turned-outlaws hold Doc and saloon owner Lyla Ross as virtual slaves after being kidnapped.
A Town in Chains
2. A Town in Chains
September 16, 1974
Five bank robbers wanted by the Marshal, capture Matt Dillon and hold him for ransom.
Matt Dillon Must Die
1. Matt Dillon Must Die
September 9, 1974
A widower who planed his revenge against Matt Dillon for the death of his son, a wanted murderer, will get his chance as the Marshal walks into his clutches.
Description

Gunsmoke was originally a radio series, but when CBS television decided to put it on television John Wayne introduced it.

The actor William Conrad portrayed Marshall Dillon when Gunsmoke was on radio. CBS wanted John Wayne in the lead. However, at that time in Hollywood, doing a television series was considered a step down for any movie star. But John Wayne was the one, who strongly recommended to CBS, that James Arness would be perfect for the lead.

So on Saturday, September 10, 1955, at 10:00 p.m., John Wayne went on national television and introduced Gunsmoke. He also assured the American people that James Arness was perfect for the role of Marshall Dillon. The show was only 30 minutes long for the first 6 years. Then, in 1961 CBS decided to extend it to an hour. The series, in its entirety, lasted 20 years. It was an adult dramatic western television series. There were none on the air at that time. Gunsmoke broke new ground with the format.

The characters in Gunsmoke were easy to like and admire. Marshall Matt Dillon was the sheriff of Dodge City, Kansas. Miss Kitty Russell, Doc Adams and Chester Goode round out the original cast. They were people with values and courage. You could look up to them. The American viewing public welcomed these people into their living rooms every week for twenty years. No western in television history has ever accomplished this feat.

CBS hit gold with Gunsmoke.Gunsmoke is a series that is currently running and has 20 seasons (770 episodes). The series first aired on September 10, 1955.

Where to Watch Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke is available for streaming on the CBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Gunsmoke on demand at Apple TV+, Paramount+ and Sling.

  • Premiere Date
    September 10, 1955
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (5,181)