News Briefs: CBS Puts The Rifleman Remake In Its Sights

By Tim Surette

Nov 10, 2011


... Right now, networks love reboots and they love Westerns. CBS decided to kill two birds with one stone and is developing a reboot of the classic Western The Rifleman, which debuted in 1958 and ran through 1963 and starred Chuck Connors as eagle-eyed homesteader Lucas McCain in the 1880s. The updated version will stay close to the original, taking place in New Mexico territory as Lucas defends his new hometown. But in a shocking turn, the new version will be shot in color! [TV Guide]

... The Case of the Missing Oscar Producer has been solved! With bigshot Hollywood doofus Bret Ratner getting kicked out of the duty after doofus-y comments, Brian Glazer (24, Friday Night Lights) will take over. In addition, Eddie Murphy dropped out of hosting duties, so there is still an opening for host of the awards show if you aren't busy early next year. [ABC via press release]

... Phineas and Ferb, Disney's animated hit among tweens, has been renewed for a fourth season. It comes highly recommended by my nephews, who also recommend that you check out dinosaurs, ice cream, and The Clone Wars. [Disney via press release]

... Syfy grounded Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Universe, leaving a giant hole where a deep-space sci-fi epic should be. That's about to change as Robert H. Wolfe (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine producer) is working with Syfy on a new project. Here's the longline: "After decades of war, the newly formed Unity Democracy orders a volatile mix of humans and trans-humans to lead the Starship Defender on an expedition in search of lost worlds requiring law and order." Sure, why not? Also in the works at Syfy is Ghost Projekt, based on the comics of the same name in which a Russian and an American battle real spooks in Siberia, and Seeing Things, about a ghost-cop who teams with a man to help him pass on. [Syfy via press release]

... Anderson Cooper's selfishly titled talk show Anderson has been renewed for a second season. Good for you, Anderson. As if you haven't patted yourself on the back enough already. [Deadline Hollywood]

... More boring talk show news: Survivor host Jeff Probst's talk show is still in the works, and word is it will land on NBC sometime in 2012. The show will cover human interest stories and some relatioZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... how do you guys stay awake reading this stuff? [Deadline Hollywood]


... ABC's midseason comedy Bent has added J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Matt Letscher (Brothers & Sisters) to its cast. The comedy stars Amanda Peet as a woman who falls for a hunky contractor that's working on her kitchen, if you know what I mean. Letscher will play Peet's on-screen boyfriend, and Smoove will play an electrician working on the house. [TV Guide]

... The Vampire Diaries Paul Wesley is bringing the old ball and chain to work. Pretty Little Liars actress Torrey DeVitto, who is married to Wesley in RL, will play a doctor that has the hots for Alaric. Awkward! Look for her in episode 10. [E! Online]

... Yesterday's trio of casting announcements for Franklin & Bash wasn’t enough, apparently. Sean Astin will guest star on the TNT show as a college security guard that moonlights as a costumed superhero. [TV Line]

... The Shield's Jay Karnes will play a serial rapist in Criminal Minds' 150th episode. What a way to celebrate! [TV Line]

... True Blood's Kevin Alejandro, who has been mentioned around these parts as he guest stars on everything, has also booked a gig on A&E;'s Breakout Kings. He'll play a terminally ill gangster looking to atone for his sins by escaping prison and going on a killing spree by murdering bad, bad people. His heart's in the right place. [EW]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • qamaster Nov 19, 2011

    "Not since Chuck Connors have we seen anyone handle the rifle with such skill and expertise". This video will be the first time you've seen someone shoot, twirl and spin that rifle with such precision and ease, as Chuck Connors did it on "The Rifleman" T.V. show!!

    I think This guy should be involved in the new Rifleman somehoe.

    Check out his two videos. Very cool!

  • qamaster Nov 19, 2011

    A devoted, lifelong fan of one of television's greatest western series, THE RIFLEMAN, starring Chuck Connors, Mike DiMuzio sought over the years to learn all he could about the program. He enjoys sharing trivia about the show's production and cast, and retelling the colorful stories he's heard from those closest to this classic show.

    Mike is acquainted with two of the sons of Chuck Connors Jeff and Mike, as well as Johnny Crawford who played "Mark," the loving son of "Lucas McCain." He has spoken with them on many occasions. Mike has also been interviewed on radio shows about the program. He is mostly called upon to share his expertise and information with fans regarding the famous Rifleman's rifle. He also proudly owns certain rare memorabilia from the show.

    This wasn't enough however. Mike began studying the amazing tricks Chuck Connors had mastered as part of his fascinating character. He even builds his own Rifleman's rifles and has quite a collection of them. Mike DiMuzio has learned to fast draw, swing cock, and spin cock his original modified '92 Winchester in the style of Lucas McCain. Amazingly, like Lucas McCain, Mike DiMuzio can perform most of these tricks with either his right OR his left hand sometimes even performing with two rifles at once!

    Presently, the only known performer of these difficult rifle tricks, Mike DiMuzio provides an exciting display of gunmanship as well as entertaining stories sure to lift the heart of any western fan!

    Visit for more information on "The Rifleman"

  • LynBeiler Nov 13, 2011

    Love the idea of a Rifleman reboot. My son is just the perfect age for westerns so I'm hoping this series stays close to the original.

  • Swinglabacase Nov 11, 2011

    Mark Valley as The Rifleman would be awesome!!!

    He is wasted on Harry's Law.

  • fweak Nov 11, 2011

    Hooray for more Westerns. That new SYFY project sounds fun too!

  • ThomasRiker Nov 10, 2011

    "Right now, networks love reboots and they love Westerns" - really? I was not aware of ANY other Western series currently on! At any rate, I would LOVE some westerns right now. I'm getting pretty tired of shows with criminals running amok randomly killing people and the sheriff trying to catch them - wait a minute - that sounds like a western!!!! However, if I had my druthers (whatever the hell that is), I would prefer a new Star Trek...

  • hedgepigthe1st Nov 10, 2011

    Hell on wheels is the big one at the moment as it debuted this week

  • vicbjones Nov 10, 2011

    You skipped over at least three shows (Alphas, The Dresden Files, and Andromeda) Robert Hewitt Wolfe has been involved in to reference Deep Space Nine, which is kind of perplexing considering two of those shows were on Syfy and it predecessor and the premise of the new project sounds very similar to Andromeda. Also, is Seeing Things a remake of a Canadian show from about 20 years ago?

  • Miz_Tasha Nov 10, 2011

    that's like when David Arquette guest starred on friends but was making out with Lisa Kudrow instead of his then-wife.

  • jaden84 Nov 10, 2011

    Well at least SyFy is getting back to its SciFi roots and hopefully staying away from those damn non-scifi shows. Or is it me speaking to soon.

  • ChristopherAb2 Nov 10, 2011

    yeah that new space show on syfy sounds like a terrible spoof not an actual sci-fi show, clearly we need a new star trek show

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