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The Rifleman was very successful and garnered nearly 15,000,000 viewers in its first season. The second, third, and fourth seasons barely broke 10,000,000 and the fifth and final season was not watched widely enough to have been rated. The Rifleman was set in the 1880's and dealt with common American themes of the time. Abraham Lincoln, The Civil War, and smallpox are all common episode themes. The show was concerned with the day to day lives of people in the fake New Mexican town of North Fork. The story follows a young father, whose wife died of smallpox, raising his only son on a ranch by himself with occasional guest stars staying on for an episode or two as people in need of a second chance. The father goes on adventures and is quite handy with a particular model of rifle that has been modified to shoot more bullets at a time, thus his and the show's name The Rifleman.

The Rifleman was shot in black and white and had numerous guest appearances by popular figures of the day. Not all guests were walk on actors; occasionally there would be star athletes and coaches because of the series' Star, Chuck Connors, having been apart of Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, an achievement held by only a handful of skilled individuals.

The series only lasted for five seasons, from 1958 to 1963, the last of which kind of flopped. However, what the series accomplished while it was on the air was an exciting, down to earth, honest show. They dealt with real moral values and the extremes one man will go to maintain them. The problems they dealt with were important to the characters' lives and anyone watching the show could stand to learn a little humanity, honesty, and humility as it was taught to the young son through the father. The men he killed and the men he cared for deserved everything they got. The father seemed to carry an unyielding remorse for his actions and tried to teach his son a proper way of living. The show was still more entertaining than preachy and enjoyed moderate success.

The Rifleman is a series that is currently running and has 5 seasons (168 episodes). The series first aired on September 30, 1958.

Where do I stream The Rifleman online? The Rifleman is available for streaming on ABC, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Rifleman on demand at Philo, Vudu, FuboTV, The Roku Channel Free, Crackle, Tubi TV, Pluto TV, IMDb TV online.

5 Seasons, 168 Episodes
September 30, 1958
Action & Adventure
Cast: Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix
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The Rifleman Full Episode Guide

  • A recluse is the only one who can save Lucas and Mark when they get caught up in quicksand.

  • Lucas' help is needed when a group of lawmen have difficulty capturing a gang of outlaws.

  • When an old man running from the law asks Lucas for help, he is forced to turn him away.

  • Lucas and Mark's new friend is a killer for hire.

  • Mark is temporarily paralyzed following a devastating accident.

  • Lucas finds a bullet and presents it as evidence at a convict's hearing.

  • Lucas' heads out to seek revenge, but his want to get even nearly costs him his life.

  • When a poisonous snake makes its way into the prison, a prisoner uses the opportunity to plan his escape.

  • Lucas is worried when he hears rumors that Mark may be running with a gang of bandits.

  • When a Japanese man arrives in North Fork to visit, he is hounded by townspeople.

  • Mark is threatened by a young boy.

  • A sign painter is accused of murder.

  • An Indian is wanted for the murder at a mining camp.

  • Following a conflict, Lucas loses his self-confidence.

  • When a man becomes deputy for the day, his new found power goes to his head.

  • After an accident, Mark becomes afraid of Lucas' gun.

  • When the railroad informs Lucas that they will need to buy his property in order to put a line through, Lucas refuses to sell.

  • Lucas is challenged by a boastful young man.

  • Mark becomes friends with a man from the circus.

  • Lucas must race to stop an assassination plot.

  • An Irishman woos Lou.

  • A retired gunfighter decides to settle down in North Fork.

  • Lucas and a wanted outlaw are quarantined in a hotel together.

  • The townsmen are in awe when a beautiful woman buys the hotel.

  • Lucas is able to break free from the bandits that are holding him hostage just in time to deliver a baby.

  • Lucas, Micah and Mark are taken hostage by a gang of bandits.

  • An ex-convict arrives at Lucas' ranch in order to find treasure he believes is hidden on the property.

  • After suffering an injury that results in amnesia, Lucas believes he is an outlaw.

  • A gambler tries to woo the owner of the general store.

  • A new marshal arrives in town, but the townspeople have doubts about him when they learn he is close friends with a known convict.

  • Lucas must rethink his attitude when it comes to a former outlaw turned good.

  • A woman claims to be Micah's long-lost mother.

  • An angry, jealous man attacks Lucas.

  • A seemingly nice banjo player becomes friends with Mark, but the tide changes when he attacks Lucas.

  • Lucas becomes a gambler.

  • Out of debt, Mark helps a prisoner break out of jail.

  • Lucas is accused of murder by a man who swears he saw Lucas murder a man.

  • Mark makes his father proud when he stands up to a young, rebellious gunman.

  • Lucas believes a dead man's brother is a bounty hunter.

  • Mark develops a crush on Milly's young niece.

  • Lucas is challenged to a duel.

  • A drifter goes after a deaf girl.

  • A gang arrives in town to free a man from prison.

  • Two siblings stay with the McCains.

  • Lucas is forced to help outlaws stage a prison break.

  • Lucas is forced to mortgage his farm when he needs money to pay a ransom on Mark.

  • A family blames Lucas for their son's death.

  • Townspeople head out to face a killer without Lucas' help.

  • Mark Twain arrives in North Fork.

  • A town tries to take a boy away from his grandfather's custody.

  • Trauma from the war leads a man to believe he is Abe Lincoln.

  • A duel occurs over a chess match dispute.

  • A man tries to bribe Lucas into being a witness.

  • Mark believes the McCain's new neighbor is a deserter.

  • Lucas is subsituted for a condemned killer.

  • Mark and Millie are taken hostage.

  • Mark takes his first job.

  • Lucas goes up against a group of bandits.