How the West Was Won

ABC (ended 1979)


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How the West Was Won

Show Summary

How The West Was Won started on TV as a 1970s spin-off of the wildly popular Oscar wining Cinerama feature film of 1963. Told over several years of varying formats, it's the story of Zeb Macahan, a rugged mountain man who has spent ten years in the Dakota Territory before returning to Virginia where his brother's family is getting ready to make the long trip west to escape the coming violence of the Civil War.
Just as the war begins, Zeb's brother Timothy returns east and his wife Kate is killed in an accident, leaving four children in Zeb's care. Luke, the oldest son, kills three men in self-defense and becomes a fugitive from the law; Laura is beautiful and ready to become a woman; Jessie is the tomboyish 12-year-old; and Josh is the exuberant teenager, anxious to become the man of the family. Aunt Molly, Kate's widowed sister, travels from Boston to help them on their travels, through perils and hardship caused by Indians, renegades, nature and other dangers.
Adding to the scope of the series was the spectacular setting. It was filmed in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Southern California. The executive producer was John Mantley, who had also been the producer of Gunsmoke and the pilot movie was filmed only two years after James Arness left the saddle as Marshall Matt Dillon.
How the West Was Won began it's TV run as the 1976 pilot movie The Macahans. It then returned as a top-rated miniseries in February of 1977. It came back for second "season" as a weekly series in 1978. Finally, the show returned for a third go around in early 1979 with 11 new two-hour stand-alone movies depicting the Macahans as they built a ranch in the Tetons and began to raise Appaloosa horses.
The entire series was extremely popular overseas, but has not yet been officially released on DVD, though a bootleg of mediocre quality taped off of Swedish television is available online.moreless
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  • A little confused...

    I watched this TV series on Norwegian television in 1982-83, and I just had to check if it was as great as I remembered. I came across the Complete Collection on DVD a while ago, and I have just finished watching the last episode. All three seasons are there, with the episodes as listed on this page. However, I have a feeling that "The Slavers" can't be the end of it all, because there still seem to be many loose ends. I have read somewhere that the family finally made it to Oregon, at least most of them, but I haven't seen a single glimpse of Oregon so far. What am I missing? I still like the series though, but I would really like to know how it all ends. Is there another season??moreless
  • A good western show!

    During the early 1960's, I used to remember watching this in Cinerama. I'm not a Western TV series enthusiast during that time, but ever since I saw this wonderful show, it became a huge exception! How the West was Won has all the incredible essentials that a certain show must have. I really do miss watching this show that's why I ordered a copy of it at Dubaidingoes dot com . I was kind of surprised with the fast shipping method. The parcel also arrived in great condition, good quality DVDs. It was really nice to watch again this kind of show, which is totally missing in this generation! How the West was Won is definitely a true masterpiece!moreless
  • PLEASE, give us a re-make of this absolutley fantastic show!

    This show from the late 70s was so ahead of its time, it's amazing! It would be a complete success if we would rewrite it to fit the present times.

    If we're to make it more modern it's a question of HOW, really. Should we keep it the way it was, about the wild, wild west or should we write it completely diffrent so that it's just based on "How the west was won"?

    Myself, i think it would have a break-through either way.

    Actually, if we find new people that can play the characters just like the old ones could, we're saved. It's definetly worth a try!moreless