NBC (ended 1972)




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Show Summary

James Garner's first TV series since his successful run on Maverick twelve years earlier, centered on Nichols (no first name given) - a similar, if slightly more self-centered, anti-hero. In 1914, just before WWI, tired of guns and fighting, Nichols retired from the US Cavalry after 18 years of service and returned to his family's homestead in Nichols, Arizona (founded by his parents) - only to find that both the land and the town have been taken over by the Ketcham clan, who force him into becoming the town's sheriff. Since the town was crooked and completely controlled by the devious Ketchams, Nichols' efforts focused primarily on getting rich and moving on as soon as he served his six-month "sentence" as Sheriff. A former division boxing champion, he favored using fists over guns whenever possible. But, like Bret Maverick before him and Jim Rockford to follow, Nichols usually preferred smooth-talking his way out of a situation rather than resorting to violence. The stories take place during a time of technological transition. As the opening credits showed, while the old western town still predominantly relied on horsepower, Nichols preferred to get around on a "newfangled" Indian motorcycle - and another leading character, Ketch, drove an automobile. Unfortunately, despite this "new" approach and an impressive stable of recurring and guest stars - and repeated efforts at stimulating a revival - the series was cancelled after only one season. Sadly, other than a brief run on the Armed Forces Network in Europe during the early-1980's, the show has since vanished - unavailable on either DVD or cable reruns.moreless