Watch The Virginian

The television series entitled the Virginian is centered on a wide variety of events and reported stories that took place at a popular ranch in Wyoming known as the Shiloh Ranch. The ownership of the ranch went through different people including individuals like Judge Garth, two brothers who also managed it for sometime known as the Grainger brothers and also MacKenzie.

However two people remained at the ranch for all the seasons of the series and they were the Virginian as he was referred to throughout the series and Trampas his very close associate.

The Virginian saw himself struggling to live a responsible life during his stay at the ranch. He went through a series of challenging experiences in his attempts to achieve what he wanted.

The series was written by True Boardman based on inspiration he got from a novel written by Owen Wister. As such the series is made up of different events featuring different people.

The very first episode of the series in season one was entitled the executioners. This story saw a man hanging himself to death because a lady whom he loved and wanted to be with rejected him.

The second episode saw the discussions between Garth and a newcomer at the ranch who shared his experiences with Barth telling him all he had gone through during his stay there. Other episodes followed suit with different interesting story lines.

The characters in the series included those who featured in all the seasons like Lee Cobb featuring as Henry Garth, Roberta Shore featuring as Betsy, James Drury featuring as the Virginian, Doug McClure Trampas and Gary Clarke featuring as Steve Hill. Others included Bette Davis, George Scott, Myrna Loy, Ricardo Montalban, Ulla Jacobssen, Franchot Tone.

The series which comprised 249 episodes was broadcast on NBC. Each episode aired for 75 minutes per broadcast and this went on for all nine seasons that the show lasted.

It was produced by joint collaboration of Revue Studios and Universal Studios.

Wednesdays at 07:30 pm on NBC
9 Seasons, 249 Episodes
September 19, 1962
Action & Adventure
7.7/10
Cast: Doug McClure, James Drury, Lee J. Cobb, Sara Lane
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The Virginian Full Episode Guide

  • After stopping in the town of Jump-Up to see an old girlfriend, Tate is cheated in a card game by a gambler, and then framed by town boss John Timothy Driscoll and his son for killing the man, and forced into a hard labor camp.

  • After being mauled by a cunning wolf he has been tracking, and then robbed of his horse, gun, and other possessions by a stranger on the road, Col. MacKenzie is taken in by a homesteader and her young son. The wolf, however, is still at large and MacKenzie is determined to hunt him down.

  • Ben Hunter is a sophisticated outlaw whose control of a frightened community is challenged in a showdown with the Virginian.

  • When an Army troop arrives looking for a group of marauding Indians who have gone on the warpath, both Colonel MacKenzie and Parker recognize one of the sergeants as a lancer from the British Army whom they believed to have been killed in India ten years ago - and who was supposed to have been leading MacKenzie's brother when he was captured and killed. The man deserts when he recognizes Parker, and MacKenzie goes out after him, with the Indians following behind.

  • Tate is hired by his friend Joe Benson to work on his ranch and watch over his teenage son and daughter while he's away on business. This puts Tate squarely in the middle of a dispute with a big rancher over a fence Benson wants to build, as well as with a woman who arrives claiming to be Benson's fiancĂ©e, the children's rebelliousness, and a hired gun who comes to town with a wanted poster on Tate.

  • Tate comes across a deaf and mute Indian boy, who is being hunted by a posse for the killing of a respected rancher. To prevent his being lynched, Tate brings the boy into town himself, and hopes to somehow learn his side of the story. But just about everyone in the town, including the judge, is too anxious to hang the boy quickly, so Tate finds he has to take on the role of defense counsel himself.

  • When he is appointed to the Senate Foster Bonham decides to sell his ranch to Shiloh. The Virginian arrives at the Bonham ranch to finalize the sale, but Foster's drunken, irresponsible brother Jack is determined to stop the sale any way he can. When a murder is committed the Virginian searches for Jack, and Foster must decide between his brother and his Senate seat.

  • Upon arriving for a business appointment with a friend, MacKenzie learns that the man was killed by the brother of Nan Allen, a young woman he was in the act of assaulting. He finds this hard to believe, but upon getting to know Nan, he takes a strong liking to her. When her brother Bobby is injured from an avalanche, MacKenzie brings both him and Nan to Shiloh while he recuperates. As he and Nan begin to fall in love, MacKenzie starts to wonder why more than one man in her past has died violently, and if Bobby's strangely possessive attitude has something to do with it.

  • After a precocious young girl's father is stricken with a heart attack while traveling on the train he is on, Trampas decides to help the girl find her estranged mother. He has a hard time keeping the girl, Hannah, from trying to do everything by herself. Unfortunately, Hannah's mother has been manipulated by her boyfriend into participating in a bank robbery.

  • Ritter Miley, the leader of an unschooled backwoods clan of thieves, kills a cousin who wanted to go straight. Colonel MacKenzie finds that the type of gun used in the killing was sold to only two men, Ritter and Trampas. Trampas thus tries to prove his innocence by bringing Ritter in and locating his gun, but Ritter's brothers come up with their own ideas to force his release.

  • After Colonel MacKenzie is seriously injured in an accident, Tate brings him into the nearest town looking for a doctor. He finds that the only doctor in town is in jail, scheduled to be hanged the next morning. Though Tate finally persuades the sentencing judge to let the doctor out under guard to treat the colonel, when Tate investigates he learns that the judge may have been motivated more by a desire for vengeance than for justice.

  • Trampas is arrested for the murder of a man he argued with over ownership of a mine. The judge and marshal seem primarily interested in wrapping up the trial as quickly as possible so they can go fishing. Trampas's hope lies with his attorney, Frances B. Finch.

  • A group of German immigrants is repeatedly threatened by night riders who want them out. The night riders are working for a blacksmith who should know only too well the evils of prejudice. Tate becomes involved after the daughter of the leader of the immigrants mistakes him for the gunman they hired to protect them.

  • Trampas wins a riverboat from an old man named Skeet in a poker game. He also wins a substantial amount of money, which two railroad detectives confiscate as it was previously stolen. He finds his new boat very dilapidated, and works to fix it with the help of Skeet and his granddaughter. But two aging outlaw brothers and their gang also want to use the riverboat to stage one last big crime.

  • Trampas and his friend Pick Lexington visit some old friends in Mexico. But Trampas is caught between Pick and one of his Mexican friends as both men fall for the same girl, and he hopes to stop them from dueling each other while the girl chooses between them.

  • Colonel Alan MacKenzie takes over ownership of the Shiloh Ranch and the series also changes its name to The Men from Shiloh for its ninth and final season.

  • An eastern combine attempts to take over control of the Wyoming cattle ranches but Clay Grainger is the main push to keep them out. Cattle prices are declining and The Virginian gets a contract for an acceptable price if they make Cheyenne by a deadline. To prevent their success, someone stampedes the cattle and burns the Shiloh ranch house. When the drive is late, Shiloh is faced with being sold and the hands are all laid off due to lack of financing. A similar fate awaits the other ranches in the area.

  • Harve Yost is an always 'down on his luck' farmer along with his son and daughter living on a homestead that The Virginian helped him buy from Clay Clainger after he rescued The Virginian during a winter in Nebraska. When Harve comes into a $10,000 reward for the recovery of stolen money and the capture of an outlaw, he takes The Virginian's advice and buys a ranch as an investment. However, Harve has no money management ability and soon finds himself going against The Virginian over land rights.

  • The Virginian is rescued by Adam Randall from being killed and having the Shiloh cattle money stolen. He and Clay Grainger offer Adam a job at Shiloh which he accepts. However, Clay is concerned about Adam who is an obvious gunman and has the other ranch hands scared to work with him. Over time Clay realizes Adam is the son of a man he killed on a cattle drive years ago and he is the target of Adam's gun.

  • Clay Grainger is kidnapped for a $20,000 ransom and a threat of burning Medicine Bow by a gang of three from San Francisco. The gang leader's girl friend Mag tries to leave them and help Holly Grainger but the leader of the gang, Connor, wants her back. Although Jum Horn and The Virginian try to find Clay, Holly is forced to follow the gang's instructions and pay the ransom.

  • The Graingers are taken hostage by the three Thurman siblings who believe Clay may have been involved with Judge Will McMasters in stealing their parents homestead for a railroad spur and eventually the death of their parents. There is a clash as well between the two hotheaded brothers and their sister on how to handle the Graingers.

  • Clay Grainger, Elizabeth, and Jim Horn are on a train back to Medicine Bow from Cheyenne at night.There are few other passengers on the train but one is Jed Haines and his new bride as of that day. While the personalities of the various passengers are exposed, they learn that one passenger and his family which is chasing the train want to hang Jed Haines aka Judge Harker, a gun for hire, for killing a family member. People's scruples are fully exposed as they decide on the train how to handle the problem.

  • Stephanie White marries John who owns a successful freight and stagecoach business in Medicine Bow. However, Stephanie is beset with a crippling injury to her new husband followed by his death in a fire. Frank is John's key employee who keeps the company running but he also knew Stephanie in the past. John's brother, Billy, works for John but is more interesting in gambling so John leaves his entire business to Stephanie. Stephanie is framed for killing Frank with only The Virginian to help her prove her innocence.

  • Sheriff Abbott sends Trampas to Clearwater as a deputy to return Luther Watson wanted for stealing horses. The two of them are on the stage with Mary Marshall who is a very talkative southern belle. After the stage is robbed, she forces Trampas and Luther at gunpoint to trail the thieves one of whom is the stagecoach driver. During the search for the thieves, Mary matures and Luther's knowledge of horses plays a key role in recovering Mary's dowry.

  • The Virginian takes a watch in trade for a whole beef while on a cattle drive from a black man, Cobey Jade, claiming to own a nearby town. Trampas recognizes the watch as belonging to an old friend and tracks the down Cobey who traded the watch to The Virginian. He finds himself and Cobey prisoners of an outlaw group led by an ex-Southner who takes his anger out on Cobey when they don't find the gold expected in the town.

  • Peg Halstead returns from finishing school back east after five years to her dad's ranch at Medicine Bow for a two week vacation. She had a young girl crush on Trampas who teased her when she was younger. When they meet again, the relationship blossoms into more than a crush on both sides. However, her dad, John Halstead, wants her to return east and stay away from the west as he feels the west killed her mother. Peg is determined to stay home and marry Trampas but learns life in the west is more complicated and remote than she remembers.

  • Seth James is a lawman on the trail of a gang who robbed and killed in his town. He has a habit of taking no prisoners and when their trail goes near Shiloh he stops there to see his old friend, The Virginian. He tells the Shiloh people he is retiring and on a hunting trip and asks The Virginian to go with him for old times sake. After being on the trail for a while, The Virginian realizes the quarry is human and what Seth has become when they catch up with one of the outlaws.

  • Toby Hamilton deserts from the army due to what he considers unfair treatment by the commanding officer who happens to be his father. He is found injured on Shiloh and the Graingers take him in to recover. He is a well-trained bugler and attracts Elizabeth's attention because she is trying to learn to play a coronet she found. Clay tries to determine the truth as Toby's father is an old friend from Texas who he trusts when he learns Toby is a deserter.

  • Trampas leaves on vacation but his plans go astray when he is picked up by a bounty hunter for murdering a popular doctor. He has to contend with a hostile town, planted evidence, and a saloon girl who swears she saw him commit the murder.

  • Reporter/artist, Julie Oakes, from Boston arrives in Medicine Bow with an introduction for Clay Grainger to do a story on the west. There is an immediate attraction between her and The Virginian but she continues to spend time with businessman Ord Glover who is also from Boston much to the dislike of The Virginian. Her continued flashbacks to Boston and her husband's death result in tragic events which neither the Graingers or The Virginian understand.

  • Young Hoot Callahan escapes a home for wayward boys in Colorado and heads for Wyoming looking for his father. He is discovered at Shiloh but refuses to cooperate with the Graingers. When they learn he has been severely beaten and he provides some history, they try to track down his home. The owner of the home he escaped from tracks Hoot to Shiloh and tries to force the Graingers to return him. Meanwhile The Virginian tracks down his father who is the town drunk and saloon swamper in Medicine Bow.

  • Obie and Anna Moore a teenage couple expecting a baby have rented a farm near Medicine Bow. When Obie is accused of theft by Nathan Rigby in a different town, Obie leaves and Jim Horn finds himself taking over for Obie including delivering the baby by himself. Jim takes it on himself to help Anna with the farm while working at Shiloh but he drops from exhaustion while also falling for Anna. Jim has to decide whether to stay with Anna or return to Shiloh.

  • Clay Grainger is introduced to the power plays involved in politics when he is drafted to run for the territorial legislature when the current Representative resigns. When he learns he was deceived when asked to run, he moves to win the campaign with honesty. However, the other side turns to dirty tricks.

  • Trampas is in Arizona when he encounters a group of men in a fight with an Indian hunting party ending with one of the men. For safety Trampas rides with the men only one of whom is armed. He learns the group is the first Arizona prisoners released on probation who are to convert a ranch bought by the prison system into a training facility for prisoners on probation. The convict killed in the fight was supposed to be the foreman of the ranch and train the men. The man in charge tricks the local marshal into thinking Trampas is the convict who was killed as he needs an experienced foreman. This forces Trampas to stay and puts him in the middle of the feud between the prisoners and the town.

  • Carl Kabe and his two sons Tom and George quit a horse drive led by The Virginian. The Virginian receives a head injury which blinds him when his horses stumbles while alone. He wanders blind into a cabin where the seventeen year old Ginny Kabe is waiting for the return of her father and brothers. She tends to The Virginian but when the men return The Virginian recognizes who they are and that they stole Shiloh horses. Ginny implores them to take The Virginian to Spanish Wells for help.

  • Jim Horn and his mentor Ben Stratton, two saddle tramps, meet Holly when Ben rescues her from a runaway team of horses in Medicine Bow. She suggests they work at Shiloh where they impress The Virginian with their work ethic and horse wrangling. Although they take the job as temporary hands, they are asked to stay permanently but Ben is unable to settle down. However, he realizes young Jim Horn needs the security and stability Shiloh provides.

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The Virginian is currently available to watch and stream on NBC. You can also buy, rent The Virginian on demand at Starz, DIRECTV NOW online.

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