CBS (ended 1990)



User Score: 360

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Show Summary

Paradise was a television Western in a time when television wasn't interested in Westerns (unless in a mini-series format). The fact the series lasted three years is a testament to the show and to the acting. The series began as St. Louis musical review singer Lucy Cord Carroll passed away, sending her four children, ranging in age from 5 to 13, to live with their uncle, grizzled gunfighter Ethan Allan Cord (veteran television actor Lee Horsley), in Paradise, California. Despite having some trepidation about assuming the role of guardian, Ethan rented a farmhouse from Paradise Bank owner Amelia Lawson and converted it into a makeshift ranch house in which his new family could reside. He tried to raise the children to the best of his ability as a peaceful rancher, but was frequently hired for his gunfighting skills, either to track someone down or to simply protect Paradise from criminals -- or both. During these times, the children were "looked in on" from time to time by Amelia or Ethan's friend, John Taylor. But, much of the ranch chores and supervision inevitably rested on the shoulders of the oldest of the Carroll children, 13-year-old Claire (Jenny Beck). With Ethan gone, she and her brothers -- 11-year-old Joseph (Matthew Newmark), nine-year-old Ben (Brian Lando), and five-year-old George (Michael Patrick Carter) -- had plenty of chores assigned to them. John Taylor (Dale Berti), a Native American who was Ethan's best friend, had an uncanny knack of being around just as he was needed, either at the ranch, or with Ethan when a gunfight was imminent. Amelia (Sigrid Thornton) turned into Ethan's love interest in the show. Other characters seen in and around town were Scotty the bartender, Tiny the blacksmith, the hotel's Mr. Dodd, and shopkeepers Mr. Lee and Mr. Axelrod. Paradise was on the air for two seasons, but returned for a third season under the title, Guns of Paradise. The re-tooled version kept most of the same concepts of the original, while eliminating the frequency of some minor characters. In Guns of Paradise, Ethan bacame the town marshal, and was building a home for the children and Amelia, now his fiance. Paradise ran on CBS Thursdays 9-10 p.m. from October 1988 to March 1989 (between 48 Hours and Knots Landing) and Saturdays 8-9 p.m. from April 1989 to September 1990 (prior to Tour of Duty). Guns of Paradise, also on CBS was on Fridays 8-9 p.m. from January 1991 to June 1991. Photo: (front, l-r) Brian Lando and Michael Patrick Carter; (back, l-r) Lee Horsley, Jenny Beck, Matthew Newmark and Sigrid Thornton.moreless
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  • Probably in my Top 5 Favorite TV shows Ever.

    This is just the kind of show I like and the lead character of Ethan Cord was played masterfully by Lee Horsley. It was like this role was written specifically for him and he made this character his own of the gunslinger turned guardian with a huge heart but still a need for excitement. He was forever changed by these four wonderful children as well as the local banker Amelia Lawson. I really want this show to come out on DVD and dont understand why it hasn't yet. Come on powers that high time.moreless
  • A western, a romance and a family show all wrapped up in one. It shows how people can change from their old wicked ways with the proper motivation (family & love) and real friends can be found in those that some would consider to be natural enemies.moreless

    Going from professional gunslinger to being a "dad" to a niece and three nephews could have been enough for a good show but throwing in an unlikely romance with a wealthy "proper lady" throws fuel in the excitement of the town of Paradise. I liked the incredible excitement that built up as the romance SLOWLY progressed! I also liked the special friendship between Ethan and the old but wise Indian. Of course it wouldn't be a western if it didn't have a healthy dose of outlaws coming through Paradise not to mention the enemies within the town that hated Ethan except when they needed him. Lee Horsely and Sigrid Thornton were a match made in heaven for me. I think her Australian accent lent much authenticity to the idea that "opposites attract"; a beautiful and educated lady with a roughneck, gunslinger! Awesome show, I love it! I just wish that America had been ready for a wholesome romantic, family western! The storyline had so much potential.moreless
  • Ethan Cord takes care of family, later the family ends up taking care of him.

    This show is all about amazing love, the incredible love that Ethan learns from this special bunch of kids and the grateful love that they receive from him in return. I used to watch this show every single time it was on the air because it was great for me to see this hardened cowboy turn into a loving creature. A real demonstration of how love changes lives and of how we are turned into loving ceatures when we are really loved. That doesn't mean that Ethan couldnt keep kicking some serious butt, he did it for 3 whole seasons!moreless