The Rifleman

The Rifleman

  • TV-PG
  • 1960
  • 5 Seasons
  • 8.3  (3,401)

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
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Seasons
Old Tony
26. Old Tony
April 8, 1963
A recluse is the only one who can save Lucas and Mark when they get caught up in quicksand.
Which Way'd They Go?
25. Which Way'd They Go?
April 1, 1963
Lucas' help is needed when a group of lawmen have difficulty capturing a gang of outlaws.
Old Man Running (aka The Wanted Man)
24. Old Man Running (aka The Wanted Man)
March 18, 1963
When an old man running from the law asks Lucas for help, he is forced to turn him away.
The Guest
23. The Guest
March 11, 1963
Lucas and Mark's new friend is a killer for hire.
Requiem at Mission Springs
22. Requiem at Mission Springs
March 4, 1963
Mark is temporarily paralyzed following a devastating accident.
The Bullet
21. The Bullet
February 25, 1963
Lucas finds a bullet and presents it as evidence at a convict's hearing.
End of the Hunt
20. End of the Hunt
February 18, 1963
Lucas' heads out to seek revenge, but his want to get even nearly costs him his life.
And the Devil Makes Five
19. And the Devil Makes Five
February 11, 1963
When a poisonous snake makes its way into the prison, a prisoner uses the opportunity to plan his escape.
Hostages to Fortune
18. Hostages to Fortune
February 4, 1963
Lucas is worried when he hears rumors that Mark may be running with a gang of bandits.
The Sixteenth Cousin
17. The Sixteenth Cousin
January 28, 1962
When a Japanese man arrives in North Fork to visit, he is hounded by townspeople.
The Sidewinder
16. The Sidewinder
January 21, 1963
Mark is threatened by a young boy.
Suspicion
15. Suspicion
January 14, 1963
A sign painter is accused of murder.
Incident at Line Shack Six
14. Incident at Line Shack Six
January 7, 1963
An Indian is wanted for the murder at a mining camp.
Conflict
13. Conflict
December 24, 1962
Following a conflict, Lucas loses his self-confidence.
The Anvil Chorus
12. The Anvil Chorus
December 17, 1962
When a man becomes deputy for the day, his new found power goes to his head.
Gun Shy
11. Gun Shy
December 10, 1962
After an accident, Mark becomes afraid of Lucas' gun.
Squeeze Play
10. Squeeze Play
December 3, 1962
When the railroad informs Lucas that they will need to buy his property in order to put a line through, Lucas refuses to sell.
The Most Amazing Man
9. The Most Amazing Man
November 26, 1962
Lucas is challenged by a boastful young man.
Mark's Rifle
8. Mark's Rifle
November 19, 1962
Mark becomes friends with a man from the circus.
The Assailants
7. The Assailants
November 12, 1962
Lucas must race to stop an assassination plot.
I Take This Woman
6. I Take This Woman
November 5, 1962
An Irishman woos Lou.
Death Never Rides Alone
5. Death Never Rides Alone
October 29, 1962
A retired gunfighter decides to settle down in North Fork.
Quiet Night, Deadly Night
4. Quiet Night, Deadly Night
October 22, 1962
Lucas and a wanted outlaw are quarantined in a hotel together.
Lou Mallory
3. Lou Mallory
October 15, 1962
The townsmen are in awe when a beautiful woman buys the hotel.
Waste (2)
2. Waste (2)
October 8, 1962
Lucas is able to break free from the bandits that are holding him hostage just in time to deliver a baby.
Waste (1)
1. Waste (1)
October 1, 1962
Lucas, Micah and Mark are taken hostage by a gang of bandits.
Description

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, 1960.

Where to Watch The Rifleman

The Rifleman is available for streaming on the ABC website, 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 and IMDb TV.

  • Premiere Date
    September 30, 1960
  • IMDB Rating
    8.3  (3,401)