Cheyenne/Bronco

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ABC (ended 1963)

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Cheyenne/Bronco

Show Summary

In 1955, Warner Bros.' new TV division, under the leadership of William T. Orr, launched an action-packed western on 'primetime' titled Cheyenne. Clint Walker played the title role of Cheyenne Bodie, a former army scout who now drifted around the West taking on odd jobs. One week might find Bodie a marshal, the next week a trail boss, a third a Cavalry scout.

The Cheyenne title came from a 1947 WB western feature starring Dennis Morgan, but the new show had no other connection to the old movie. Some of the early Cheyenne episodes, however, were remakes of old Warner Bros. films—the pilot episode was a reworking of Rocky Mountain, an Errol Flynn Western, while other early episodes were remakes of Paul Muni's Bordertown and the classic Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Incidentally, one of the guest stars in the pilot was James Garner, who had been a runner-up for the Cheyenne role and went on to star in his own Warner Bros. western, Maverick.

Cheyenne originally debuted on the ABC television network as part of a three-show rotation that ran under the umbrella title of Warner Brothers Presents. Cheyenne's two partners in rotation were Casablanca and Kings Row, also based on old Warner Brothers movies, but Cheyenne did the best in the ratings, and thus became the sole survivor of the trio the following year.

In 1957, a contract dispute between Cheyenne star Clint Walker and Warner Brothers caused Walker to walk out from the show. Involved in the dispute were clauses in Walker's contract requiring that he kick back half of all personal appearance fees to Warner Bros., and that he only record for Warner music labels. Actor Ty Hardin replaced Walker, playing a new character called Bronco Layne, but the show retained the Cheyenne title. When Walker returned to the show in 1958, Bronco was given its own time slot.

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