The Young Riders

Watch The Young Riders

  • TV-PG
  • 1989
  • 3 Seasons
  • 7.8  (2,390)

The Young Riders is a Western television show set in the year 1860, which aired on ABC from 1989 to 1992. The show revolved around a group of young, brave Pony Express riders who risked their lives daily to deliver mail across the United States. It starred Stephen Baldwin as William F. Cody, or more commonly known as Buffalo Bill.

The show was created by Ed Spielman, who also worked on the western television series Kung Fu, and the co-creator of Miami Vice, Michael Mann. The Young Riders was produced by MGM Television, and it followed the lives of these young Pony Express riders as they struggled through the untamed west, learning valuable life lessons along the way.

The main focus of the show was on the six young riders who were recruited to deliver mail for the Pony Express, a pioneer mail delivery system that used horseback riders to transport mail across the western territories. The six young riders were Buck Cross (played by Gregg Rainwater), Ike McSwain (played by Travis Fine), Jimmy Hickok (played by Stephen Baldwin), Cody, Lou McCloud (played by Yvonne Suhor), and Kid Curry (played by Ty Miller).

Each episode of the show typically followed a similar format, with the young riders completing a mail delivery and facing some sort of obstacle along the way. This could be anything from bandits to natural disasters, and the riders often relied on teamwork and quick thinking to overcome these obstacles.

In addition to the various obstacles that the young riders encountered, the show also explored deeper themes, such as loyalty, morality, and the effects of violence on individuals and society. Each of the six riders had their own unique backstory, and the show often delved into their pasts to provide context for their actions and motivations.

One of the most interesting aspects of the show was its historical accuracy. The show was set in the 1860s, which was a tumultuous time in American history. The Pony Express only operated for a brief period of time, from 1860 to 1861, before being replaced by the transcontinental telegraph. The show also featured real-life historical figures, such as William F. Cody, who was a famous buffalo hunter and scout, and Wild Bill Hickok, who was an infamous gunfighter and lawman.

Another notable aspect of The Young Riders was its impressive ensemble cast. In addition to the main six riders, the show featured a talented supporting cast, including Josh Brolin as James Butler Hickok and Melissa Leo as Catherine Merrick. Other noteworthy guest stars included Mark Lenard (best known for playing Spock's father in Star Trek) and Don Swayze.

Overall, The Young Riders was a compelling and well-crafted Western show that provided a unique perspective on American history. Its impressive ensemble cast, historical accuracy, and exploration of deeper themes set it apart from other shows in the genre. Although it only aired for three seasons, it remains a beloved favorite among fans of Westerns and historical dramas.

The Young Riders is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (69 episodes). The series first aired on September 20, 1989.

The Young Riders
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Til Death Do Us Part: Part 2
22. Til Death Do Us Part: Part 2
July 23, 1992
Jesse must decide between his brother and his friends in the Pony Express, while Noah tries to join the Army, but is turned down. Tragedy strikes when a disaster occurs with Frank's raiders.
Till Death Do Us Part, Part 2
22. Till Death Do Us Part, Part 2
July 23, 1992
Hickok and the Kid brawl, and Lou and the Kid marry.
Til Death Do Us Part: Part 1
21. Til Death Do Us Part: Part 1
July 23, 1992
Lou and Kid prepare for their wedding. Meanwhile, the Army comes to town to recruit scouts. Teaspoon is especially upset when Cody agrees to join them.
Till Death Do Us Part, Part 1
21. Till Death Do Us Part, Part 1
July 23, 1992
With the Civil War looming, Cody enlists as a Union scout.
The Debt
20. The Debt
July 16, 1992
Teaspoon hires a new rider to replace Lou when she gets married. After the new guy dissappears on his first ride, Lou and Jimmy head out to check on him -- but no one in the town is willing to talk about what happened.
Lessons Learned
19. Lessons Learned
July 9, 1992
One of Teaspoon's ex-wives, Polly, moves to town, and she's got love on the menu when she buys the saloon. Meanwhile, after the court overturns his conviction, a gunslinger goes after the men who put him in jail.
The Sacrifice
18. The Sacrifice
June 25, 1992
Kid and Lou's getaway weekend is interrupted when they must guard a prisoner in an unwelcoming town. Jimmy and Teaspoon meet an escaped slave who had been lynched, and they argue about their sides in the coming war.
The Road Not Taken
17. The Road Not Taken
June 11, 1992
The Riders discover that Cody has published a story about them -- and they aren't exactly thrilled. Meanwhile, Jimmy goes after a killer with Jesse hot on his trail.
Dark Brother
16. Dark Brother
June 4, 1992
A young woman who was once promised to Buck comes to town with her fiancé for a visit, but while she is there, she is taken over by an evil spirit. Buck turns to a mysterious Indian elder who insists he can drive the spirit from her.
Mask of Fear
15. Mask of Fear
May 28, 1992
A man returns to Rock Creek after serving time for murder. When Jesse's boss is killed, Jesse is quick to assume the new arrival is guilty.
14. Shadowmen
May 21, 1992
Jimmy tries to track down the men who are responsible for a young boy's death.
13. Spies
January 25, 1992
The Riders become involved in a conspiracy to steal gold shipments. A woman holds the secret to locating the gold in a book of love poems. But when Kid gives the book to Lou, she becomes furious when she finds out who gave him the book.
Song of Isiah
12. Song of Isiah
January 18, 1992
Jimmy gets caught up with vigilante abolitionists when he goes to visit his sister.
Good Night, Sweet Charlotte
11. Good Night, Sweet Charlotte
January 4, 1992
Charlotte, Lou's cousin, has come to visit her relative after fleeing from a brothel.
A Tiger's Tale
10. A Tiger's Tale
December 28, 1991
Jesse sends Lou a love letter, but Lou thinks the letter was from Kid. Meanwhile, Cody and Noah have many adventures trying to transport a tiger all the way to St. Joseph, Mo.
9. Spirits
December 7, 1991
Rachel falls for Mike Stadler, a man with a drinking problem. Yet, as Rachel falls off the wagon, it is revealed that she once had a drinking problem, too.
Just Like Old Times
8. Just Like Old Times
November 30, 1991
Kid's childhood sweetheart, Doritha, comes to town. Lou is a bit jealous, but she can see that Doritha's arrival has brought back some bad memories for Kid.
7. Initiation
November 25, 1991
Jimmy captures Jesse's brother after a bank robbery. Jesse feels that he owes his brother his loyalty, so he breaks him out of jail -- forcing Teaspoon and Jimmy to track them.
6. Survivors
November 16, 1991
Buck is still suffering over Ike's death when he runs into a pregnant woman whose husband has been killed by thieves. At the same time, Cody falls for a widow with a young son. Unfortunately, however, she has troubles of her own.
The Presence of Mine Enemies
5. The Presence of Mine Enemies
November 9, 1991
Ike meets and falls in love with Emily Metcalfe. But when her father is murdered by a card cheat and she seeks to avenge his killer, Ike goes after her to try and save her.
Between Rock Creek and a Hard Place
4. Between Rock Creek and a Hard Place
October 26, 1991
Noah meets Quinn and his sister, Casey, the only other black people in the town. At the same time, he fights with an Army recruiter, making him the prime suspect when that recruiter turns up dead.
The Blood of Others
3. The Blood of Others
October 12, 1991
Kid, Jimmy and Lou take someone to hang. On the way, Kid is hurt, leaving the others to go forward alone. Jimmy identifies with the man because of his own past and is tormented thinking of his own future.
2. Jesse
October 5, 1991
The Riders befriend a young man named Jesse, who is seeking vengeance against the gang of outlaws that killed his guardian.
A House Divided
1. A House Divided
September 28, 1991
The Riders try to rebuild a way station in Rock Creek, a town torn apart.
Where to Watch The Young Riders
The Young Riders is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Young Riders on demand at Apple TV Channels, Amazon Prime, Philo, FuboTV and Pluto TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 20, 1989
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (2,390)